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They dallied in Liverpool for two days, and then boarded the newly commissioned Cunard steamer Gallia, “a very fine ship.” Coincidentally, they sailed with Sams friend the Earl of Dunraven, “an uncommonly clever fellow.” During the transatlantic voyage, the body of a passenger who had died en route was packed in ice and stored in a lifeboat, and Sam added a grisly note to this news in his notebook: “the hilarious Passengers sing & laugh & joke under him” as “the melting ice drips on them.” The family landed in New York on September 2 after a tour that had lasted nearly eighteen months. “We were fed like princes,’ Sam told the reporters at the dock, and “made a comfortable voyage. We have been in some seas that would have made the old Quaker City turn somersaults, but this ship kept steady through it all.” The New York Mail reported that Sam had been “the life of the voyage.” When asked if he had written a book while abroad, he teplied that he had “nearly finished” one, “all but the last two or three chapters. The first half of it, I guess, is finished, but the last half has not been revised yet; and when I get at it I will do a good deal of rewriting and a great deal of tearing up. I may possibly tear up the first part of it, too, and rewrite that.” He noted that his publisher wanted him “to stay in New York and revise it ... but I cannot possibly do that. I am going to start tomorrow morning for Elmira, where we will stay for some time.’ The family returned with twelve trunks and twenty-two parcels full of furnishings for the Hartford house and Sam was trapped for six hours passing through customs, which he finally cleared at 8:00 p.m., because “the ship was loaded mainly with my freight.” Sam forwarded the cargo north and, after relaxing three days at the Gilsey House, the family headed west to reunite with Livy's mother.
[Page 288 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891]