Inasmuch as the Blaine-Cleveland campaign was essentially a campaign of scurrility, this touch was loudly applauded.
Mark Twain voted for Grover Cleveland, though up to the very eve of election he was ready to support a Republican nominee in whom he had faith, preferably Edmunds, and he tried to inaugurate a movement by which Edmunds might be nominated as a surprise candidate and sweep the country.
It was probably Dr. Burchard’s ill-advised utterance concerning the three alleged R’s of Democracy, “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion,” that defeated Blaine, and by some strange, occult means Mark Twain’s butler George got wind of this damning speech before it became news on the streets of Hartford. George had gone with his party, and had a considerable sum of money wagered on Blaine’s election; but he knew it was likely to be very close, and he had an instant and deep conviction that these three fatal words and Blaine’s failure to repudiate them meant the candidate’s downfall. He immediately abandoned everything in the shape of household duties, and within the briefest possible time had changed enough money to make him safe, and leave him a good margin of winnings besides, in the event of Blame’s defeat. This was evening. A very little later the news of Blaine’s blunder, announced from the opera-house stage, was like the explosion of a bomb. But it was no news to George, who went home rejoicing with his enemies.
PLATFORMING WITH CABLE
The drain of many investments and the establishment of a publishing house had told heavily on Clemens’s finances. It became desirable to earn a large sum of money with as much expedition as possible. Authors’ readings had become popular, and Clemens had read in Philadelphia and Boston with satisfactory results. He now conceived the idea of a grand tour of authors as a commercial enterprise. He proposed to Aldrich, Howells, and Cable that he charter a private car for the purpose, and that with their own housekeeping arrangements, cooking, etc., they could go swinging around the circuit, reaping, a golden harvest. He offered to be general manager of the expedition, the impresario as it were, and agreed to guarantee the others not less than seventy-five dollars a day apiece as their net return from the “circus,” as he called it.
Howells and Aldrich liked well enough to consider it as an amusing prospect, but only Cable was willing to realize it. He had been scouring the country on his own account, and he was willing enough to join forces with Mark Twain.