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Albert Bigelow Paine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,512 pages of information about Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete.

When it was pleasant we sometimes sat on a bench in Central Park; and once he must have left a handkerchief there, for a few days later one of his handkerchiefs came to him accompanied by a note.  Its finder, a Mr. Lockwood, received a reward, for Mark Twain wrote him: 

There is more rejoicing in this house over that one handkerchief that was lost and is found again than over the ninety and nine that never went to the wash at all.  Heaven will reward you, I know it will.

On Sunday mornings the return walk would be timed for about the hour that the churches would be dismissed.  On the first Sunday morning we had started a little early, and I thoughtlessly suggested, when we reached Fifty-ninth Street, that if we returned at once we would avoid the throng.  He said, quietly: 

“I like the throng.”

So we rested in the Plaza Hotel until the appointed hour.  Men and women noticed him, and came over to shake his hand.  The gigantic man in uniform; in charge of the carriages at the door, came in for a word.  He had opened carriages for Mr. Clemens at the Twenty-third Street station, and now wanted to claim that honor.  I think he received the most cordial welcome of any one who came.  I am sure he did.  It was Mark Twain’s way to warm to the man of the lower social rank.  He was never too busy, never too preoccupied, to grasp the hand of such a man; to listen to his story, and to say just the words that would make that man happy remembering them.

We left the Plaza Hotel and presently were amid the throng of outpouring congregations.  Of course he was the object on which every passing eye turned; the presence to which every hat was lifted.  I realized that this open and eagerly paid homage of the multitude was still dear to him, not in any small and petty way, but as the tribute of a nation, the expression of that affection which in his London and Liverpool speeches he had declared to be the last and final and most precious reward that any man can win, whether by character or achievement.  It was his final harvest, and he had the courage to claim it—­the aftermath of all his years of honorable labor and noble living.

CCLXII

From mark TWAIN’s mail

If the reader has any curiosity as to some of the less usual letters which a man of wide public note may inspire, perhaps he will find a certain interest in a few selected from the thousands which yearly came to Mark Twain.

For one thing, he was constantly receiving prescriptions and remedies whenever the papers reported one of his bronchial or rheumatic attacks.  It is hardly necessary to quote examples of these, but only a form of his occasional reply, which was likely to be in this wise: 

    Dear sir [or madam],—­I try every remedy sent to me.  I am now on
    No. 87.  Yours is 2,653.  I am looking forward to its beneficial
    results.

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