Submitted by scott on

March 31 Thursday – In Hartford Sam, soured on the brass-engraving process, wrote two letters to Dan Slote:

I hope that before April is over we shall see palpable & demonstrable (not theoretic & imaginative) reasons for going on; but my hopes are not high—they have had a heavy jolt. I feel pretty sore & humiliated when I think over the history of the past few months. The book I was at work on & intended to rush through in two months’ time [Huck Finn], is standing still. One can’t write a book unless he can banish perplexities & put his whole mind on it. However, that “goes without saying,” as they say the French say [MTBus 152].

Powers declares that “Slote really was a ‘sinner’” who fleeced Sam. If so, Sam was not yet aware of it as he wrote Dan that “we must get up our pluck, Dan—but let it be on the basis of demonstrated fact, this time” [152]. The culprit in Sam’s mind at this time was Charles Sneider (see May 6 entry).

Sam’s second letter is a short paragraph about Slote paying $100 for a memorandum book that Sam had invented, “a full $100 more than it was worth.” Sam could document use of it with dates and by the witness of “an Episcopal Clergyman located on the Continent” so that “Whoever ventures to work under this American patent will need to move with some caution” [MTP].

A.D. Vorce & Co. “picture & looking glass frames, oil paintings” etc., Hartford billed Sam $132.50 for Mar. 10 purchase of (9) etchings, 1 brown tea pot; Mar. 25 cloisonné jar, vase; paid Apr. 2J.P. Newton, “meat poultry, game, fish & vegetables” billed $7.93 for beef, fish, oysters purchased Mar. 2, 4, 8, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30; paid Apr. 2 [MTP].

Western Union Telegraph Co. billed Sam $5.04 for “12 msgs deliv by phone in Feb”; and March telegrams on Mar. 1, 4, 5, 16, 21, 28 to N.Y.; Mar. 15 to Elmira; paid [MTP].

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Day By Day Acknowledgment

Mark Twain Day By Day was originally a print reference, meticulously created by David Fears, who has generously made this work available, via the Center for Mark Twain Studies, as a digital edition.