June 29 Saturday – In Saranac Lake, N.Y. Sam wrote to daughter Clara, who had remained for a time in New York, probably for activities related to her singing career: “Hurry up here, Ashcat dear, before the mosquitoes & strawberries are gone. We are wanting to see you, & are all ready to welcome you.” Sam signed the note “Mongoose.” His first paragraph is a short spoof that begins by “What does the mongoose say? That the spider is right to smile” [MTP].
The New York Times, p. BR 6, “Books and Art,” printed a letter of Sam’s concerning the missionaries controversy. The letter is uncollected, and was written some time before this publication. Thanks to JoDee Benussi for spotting this:
The friends of the Rev. Mr. Ament, missionary to China, have been congratulating themselves that the guns of the distinguished enemy, Mark Twain, had been silenced concerning the controversy over the missionary question in China, into which he was plunged by his criticism of Mr. Ament some weeks ago. Mr. Ament’s turn came when he reached this country, and since then Mark Twain has been silent. It would seem, though, that he was getting ready for a new attack on the missionaries, as in a letter acknowledging the receipt of Henry Savage Landor’s volumes on “China and the Allies” he says: “I wish I could have had them two months ago, as I see they contain certain information which I very much needed at that time, but I am not sure that I am done with the China business yet, and if I take it up again these volumes will be a competent treasury for me to draw from.”