March 9 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to A.V.S. Anthony.
“Please let the artist always picture the Prince & Tom Canty as lads of 13 or 14 years old. I knew I was making them too wise & knowing for their real age, so I studiously avoided mentioning any dates which would remind the reader that they were under 10 years old” [MTP].
Joe Goodman answered Sam’s Feb. 27letter. Joe was now in Fresno, trying to grow grapes. After relating details to jog Sam’s memory about one Ned Fairman—Falstaff’s visit to Shallow, Clements’ Inn, Jennie Tyler’s, Charley Thorne—all of the “drinking days” of San Francisco, Joe disclosed his current endeavor:
I got busted in San Francisco—dead broke. Mackay (who owns half of the Enterprise) offered to buy the other half and give it to me; but I saw no profit in it,—Virginia City will soon be as desolate a place as Baalbec,—and, besides, my health was too poor to undertake literary work; so I borrowed $4,000 from Mackay and have started in to vine-growing in this region. I don’t know how it will turn out—and don’t care much. …
Joe also wrote of old friends:
Denis McCarthy has been the proprietor of the Virginia Evening Chronicle for six or seven years, and has done well with it…Denis is one of the truest and best men I ever met.
Steve Gillis, I fear, is sort of going to the dogs. He has two children living—his wife died five or six years ago. Two years ago he could have cleared up $60,000 or $80,000 out of Sierra Nevada; but he neglected the opportunity and is penniless now. Moreover I hear he has taken to drink, and has had the delerium tremens once or twice. He was on the Enterprise last I heard.
Dan de Quille grows venerable on the Enterprise. He went to the dogs once, but one of his daughters—one of the most charming women I ever met—came out and redeemed him, and watches over him like a guardian angel…
Jerry Driscoll, you know…died five or six years ago. He was worth about half a million, but felt himself a beggar.
[Charles A.V.?] Putnam is still on the Enterprise, aged and addicted to Bourbon, and vowing vengeance to everyone, but showing gentleness to all.
Frank Mayo—God bless him as one of the few true men in the world—was on the coast a year ago. He told me of your meeting in London, etc.
I am extra lonely just now. We can get no suitable servant, and Mrs. Goodman has gone to San Francisco in search of one [MTP].
March 9? Wednesday – Sam telegraphed Dan Slote, seeking “Beck’s opinion of the Twain-Snyder [Sneider] plates.” Was the usefulness of the brass-plate invention doubtful? Reference to this telegram is found in Sam’s Mar. 16 letter to Dan [MTBus 151]. Beck was a wallpaper manufacturer and a potential customer for Kaolatype cylinders [MTNJ 2: 391n115].
March 9 or 10 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James R. Osgood, sending a paragraph citing a “rumor” that Osgood & Co. contemplated “the issue of a Cyclopedia of Humor, with Mark Twain or W.D. Howells (& possibly both,) to do the compiling & editing.” Sam asked Osgood to see if the paragraph was acceptable to Howells. Sam felt it best not to ask Howells directly [MTP]