Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete eBook

Albert Bigelow Paine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,890 pages of information about Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete.
oh, now, in spirit we should enter it unshod.

A tugboat with Dr. Rice, Mr. Twichell, and other friends of the family went down the bay to meet the arriving vessel with Mrs. Clemens and Clara on board.  It was night when the ship arrived, and they did not show themselves until morning; then at first to Clara.  There had been little need to formulate a message—­their presence there was enough—­and when a moment later Clara returned to the stateroom her mother looked into her face and she also knew.  Susy already had been taken to Elmira, and at half past ten that night Mrs. Clemens and Clara arrived there by the through train—­the same train and in the same coach which they had taken one year and one month before on their journey westward around the world.

And again Susy was there, not waving her welcome in the glare of the lights as she had waved her farewell to us thirteen months before, but lying white and fair in her coffin in the house where she was born.

They buried her with the Langdon relatives and the little brother, and ordered a headstone with some lines which they had found in Australia: 

Warm summer sun shine kindly here;
Warm southern wind blow softly here;
Green sod above lie light, lie light
Good night, dear heart, good night, good night.

—­[These lines at first were generally attributed to Clemens himself.  When this was reported to him he ordered the name of the Australian poet, Robert Richardson, cut beneath them.  The word “southern” in the original read “northern,” as in Australia. the warm wind is from the north.  Richardson died in England in 1901.]



Mrs. Clemens, Clara, and Jean, with Katie Leary, sailed for England without delay.  Arriving there, they gave up the house in Guildford, and in a secluded corner of Chelsea, on the tiny and then almost unknown Tedworth Square (No. 23), they hid themselves away for the winter.  They did not wish to be visited; they did not wish their whereabouts known except to a few of their closest friends.  They wanted to be alone with their sorrow, and not a target for curious attention.  Perhaps not a dozen people in London knew their address and the outside world was ignorant of it altogether.  It was through this that a wild report started that Mark Twain’s family had deserted him—­that ill and in poverty he was laboring alone to pay his debts.  This report—­exploited in five-column head-lines by a hyper-hysterical paper of that period received wide attention.

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Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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