Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume III, Part 2: 1907-1910 eBook

Albert Bigelow Paine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume III, Part 2.

An invalid-carriage had been provided, and a compartment secured on the afternoon express to Redding—­the same train that had taken him there two years before.  Dr. Robert H. Halsey and Dr. Edward Quintard attended him, and he made the journey really in cheerful comfort, for he could breathe now, and in the relief came back old interests.  Half reclining on the couch, he looked through the afternoon papers.  It happened curiously that Charles Harvey Genung, who, something more than four years earlier, had been so largely responsible for my association with Mark Twain, was on the same train, in the same coach, bound for his country-place at New Hartford.

Lounsbury was waiting with the carriage, and on that still, sweet April evening we drove him to Stormfield much as we had driven him two years before.  Now and then he mentioned the apparent backwardness of the season, for only a few of the trees were beginning to show their green.  As we drove into the lane that led to the Stormfield entrance, he said: 

“Can we see where you have built your billiard-room?”

The gable showed above the trees, and I pointed it out to him.

“It looks quite imposing,” he said.

I think it was the last outside interest he ever showed in anything.  He had been carried from the ship and from the train, but when we drew up to Stormfield, where Mrs. Paine, with Katie Leary and others of the household, was waiting to greet him, he stepped from the carriage alone with something of his old lightness, and with all his old courtliness, and offered each one his hand.  Then, in the canvas chair which we had brought, Claude and I carried him up-stairs to his room and delivered him to the physicians, and to the comforts and blessed air of home.  This was Thursday evening, April 14, 1910.



There would be two days more before Ossip and Clara Gabrilowitsch could arrive.  Clemens remained fairly bright and comfortable during this interval, though he clearly was not improving.  The physicians denied him the morphine, now, as he no longer suffered acutely.  But he craved it, and once, when I went in, he said, rather mournfully: 

“They won’t give me the subcutaneous any more.”

It was Sunday morning when Clara came.  He was cheerful and able to talk quite freely.  He did not dwell upon his condition, I think, but spoke rather of his plans for the summer.  At all events, he did not then suggest that he counted the end so near; but a day later it became evident to all that his stay was very brief.  His breathing was becoming heavier, though it seemed not to give him much discomfort.  His articulation also became affected.  I think the last continuous talking he did was to Dr. Halsey on the evening of April 17th—­the day of Clara’s arrival.  A mild opiate had been administered, and he said he wished to talk himself to sleep.  He recalled one of his old subjects, Dual Personality, and discussed various instances that flitted through his mind—­Jekyll and Hyde phases in literature and fact.  He became drowsier as he talked.  He said at last: 

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Mark Twain, a Biography — Volume III, Part 2: 1907-1910 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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