December – Sam’s story, “Hunting the Deceitful Turkey,” first ran in Harper’s Monthly, p. 57- 8 [Budd, Collected 2: 1012].
Sam inscribed a copy of The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories to Anita Moffett: “To Anita Moffett / with affectionate Xmas greeting / from her kinsman / Mark Twain / Dec. 1906” [MTP].
Sam also wrote a letter declining to attend a gathering of Kentuckians to honor Henry Watterson, his third cousin by marriage.
I am sorrier than I can convey in words that I shall have to be absent when the Kentuckians foregather to do honor to my age-long friend and kinsman, Henry Watterson, but such is the case. My sixteen years of annual bronchial attacks have consolidated in accordance with present-day policy and become a permanent trust, carrying on business all the year around without vacations. Therefore my physician has forbidden me to attend public gatherings at night this Winter. This with the idea of saving what health is left to me.
May Watterson long keep his superfluity of it, since it comes of his being about the best man in the country at the present time, and, as far as I think, the only one without sin [MTP]. Note: the letter appeared in the N.Y. Times on Dec. 12, 1906
The Reader published a photograph of Mark Twain by Vander Weyde, on p. 107. without commentary [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Third Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1979 p. 191].
Henry Arthur Jones’ article in the Atlantic Monthly issue for Dec., “Literature and the Modern Drama,” refers to Mark Twain as “a not distant kinsman of Cervantes” who uses satire to do nascent American drama a favor—“clearing it at the start from sham heroes and sham heroics” [Wells 27].
December 1906 to 1907 – Sometime during this period, more likely on his 1907 trip to England, Sam enclosed a “Tuck’s Post Card” in a letter (the card itself is not postmarked) to daughter Jean. The card has a printed poem “To Mark Twain” about the “secret little maid,” so that famous picture is likely on the reverse side. He wrote:
Jean dear, do you remember this picture with the accidental child in it?
This is made in Germany, & is good work. I am so glad, so very glad, to hear that you are cheerful & happy, & are going to fight it out on Dr. Patterson’s lines & help him in every way you can to push your improvement along to a cure. Lovingly / Father [MTP]. Note: “Patterson” is likely Dr. Frederick Peterson. The postcard also bears the following, printed vertically on the left edge: “Raphael Tuck & Sons Series No. 2565. ‘Mark Twain.’ / ART PUBLISHERS TO THEIR MAJESTIES THE KING AND QUEEN.”