Good-by, with love to all of you,
S. L. Clemens.
The result of this letter was that Mr. Rogers personally took charge of Helen Keller’s fortunes, and out of his own means made it possible for her to continue her education and to achieve for herself the enduring fame which Mark Twain had foreseen.
Mr. Rogers wrote that, by a curious coincidence, a letter had come to him from Mrs. Hutton on the same morning that Mrs. Rogers had received hers from Tedworth Square. Clemens sent grateful acknowledgments to Mrs. Rogers.
Dear Mrs. Rogers,—It is superb! And I am beyond measure grateful to you both. I knew you would be interested in that wonderful girl, & that Mr. Rogers was already interested in her & touched by her; & I was sure that if nobody else helped her you two would; but you have gone far & away beyond the sum I expected—may your lines fall in pleasant places here, & Hereafter for it!
The Huttons are as glad & grateful
as they can be, & I am glad for
their sakes as well as for Helen’s.
I want to thank Mr. Rogers for crucifying himself on the same old cross between Bliss & Harper; & goodness knows I hope he will come to enjoy it above all other dissipations yet, seeing that it has about it the elements of stability & permanency. However, at any time that he says sign we’re going to do it.
S. L. Clemens.
FINISHING THE BOOK OF TRAVEL
One reading the Equator book to-day, and knowing the
which it was written, might be puzzled to reconcile the secluded
household and its atmosphere of sorrow with certain gaieties of the
subject matter. The author himself wondered at it, and to Howells wrote:
I don’t mean that I am miserable; no-worse than that—indifferent.
Indifferent to nearly everything but work. I like that; I enjoy it,
& stick to it. I do it without purpose & without ambition; merely
for the love of it. Indeed, I am a mud-image; & it puzzles me to
know what it is in me that writes & has comedy fancies & finds
pleasure in phrasing them. It is the law of our nature, of course,
or it wouldn’t happen; the thing in me forgets the presence of the
mud-image, goes its own way wholly unconscious of it & apparently of
no kinship with it.
He saw little company. Now and, then a good friend, J.Y.W. MacAlister, came in for a smoke with him. Once Clemens sent this line: