It was far in the night; but neighbor H. A. Lounsbury and Deputy-Sheriff Banks were notified, and by morning the thieves were captured, though only after a pretty desperate encounter, during which the officer received a bullet-wound. Lounsbury and a Stormfield guest had tracked them in the dark with a lantern to Bethel, a distance of some seven miles. The thieves, also their pursuers, had boarded the train there. Sheriff Banks was waiting at the West Redding station when the train came down, and there the capture was made. It was a remarkably prompt and shrewd piece of work. Clemens gave credit for its success chiefly to Lounsbury, whose talents in many fields always impressed him. The thieves were taken to the Redding Town Hall for a preliminary healing. Subsequently they received severe sentences.
Clemens tacked this notice on his front door:
To the next burglar
There is nothing but plated ware in this house now and henceforth.
You will find it in that brass
thing in the dining-room over in the
corner by the basket of kittens.
If you want the basket put the
kittens in the brass thing. Do not
make a noise—it disturbs the family.
You will find rubbers in the front
hall by that thing which has the
umbrellas in it, chiffonnier, I think they call it, or pergola, or
something like that.
Please close the door when you go away!
S. L. Clemens.
Now came the tranquil days of the Connecticut autumn. The change of the landscape colors was a constant delight to Mark Twain. There were several large windows in his room, and he called them his picture-gallery. The window-panes were small, and each formed a separate picture of its own that was changing almost hourly. The red tones that began to run through the foliage; the red berry bushes; the fading grass, and the little touches of sparkling frost that came every now and then at early morning; the background of distant blue hills and changing skies-these things gave his gallery a multitude of variation that no art-museums could furnish. He loved it all, and he loved to walk out in it, pacing up and down the terrace, or the long path that led to the pergola at the foot of a natural garden. If a friend came, he was willing to walk much farther; and we often descended the hill in one direction or another, though usually going toward the “gorge,” a romantic spot where a clear brook found its way through a deep and rather dangerous-looking chasm. Once he was persuaded to descend into this fairy-like place, for it was well worth exploring; but his footing was no longer sure and he did not go far.