He went without further delay, bareheaded and in his slippers, as usual. Warner and B——were in cheerful and friendly converse. They had met before. Clemens entered gaily:
“Oh Yes, I see! You found him all right. Charlie, we met Mr. B——and his wife in Europe last summer and they made things pleasant for us. I wanted to come over here with him, but was a good deal occupied just then. Livy isn’t very well, but she seems a good deal better, so I just followed along to have a good talk, all together.”
He stayed an hour, and whatever bad impression had formed in B——’s mind faded long before the hour ended. Returning home Clemens noticed the pictures still on the parlor floor.
“George,” he said, “what pictures are those that gentleman left?”
“Why, Mr. Clemens, those are our own pictures. I’ve been straightening up the room a little, and Mrs. Clemens had me set them around to see how they would look in new places. The gentleman was looking at them while he was waiting for you to come down.”
FURTHER AFFAIRS AT THE FARM
It was at Elmira, in July (1880), that the third little girl came—Jane Lampton, for her grandmother, but always called Jean. She was a large, lovely baby, robust and happy. When she had been with them a little more than a month Clemens, writing to Twichell, said:
Dear old Joe,—Concerning Jean Clemens, if anybody said he “didn’t see no pints about that frog that’s any better’n any other frog,” I should think he was convicting himself of being a pretty poor sort of observer. She is the comeliest and daintiest and perfectest little creature the continents and archipelagos have seen since the Bay and Susy were her size. I will not go into details; it is not necessary; you will soon be in Hartford, where I have already hired a hall; the admission fee will be but a trifle.
It is curious to note the change in the stock-quotations of the Affection Board brought about by throwing this new security on the market. Four weeks ago the children still put Mama at the head of the list right along, where she had always been. But now:
That is the way it stands now. Mama is become No. 2; I have dropped from No. 4, and am become No. 5. Some time ago it used to be nip and tuck between me and the cats, but after the cats “developed” I didn’t stand any more show.
Been reading Daniel Webster’s Private Correspondence. Have read a hundred of his diffuse, conceited, “eloquent,” bathotic (or bathostic) letters, written in that dim (no, vanished) past, when he was a student. And Lord! to think that this boy, who is so real to me now, and so booming with fresh young blood and bountiful life, and sappy cynicisms about girls,