But if the hour is too early or too late for you, I shall obscure myself somewhere till I can come to the office.
Yours sincerely S. L. C.
Nothing of importance happened in America. The new Paige company had a factory started in Chicago and expected to manufacture fifty machines as a beginning. They claimed to have capital, or to be able to command it, and as the main control had passed from Clemens's hands, he could do no more than look over the ground and hope for the best. As for the business, about all that he could do was to sign certain notes necessary to provide such additional capital as was needed, and agree with Hall that hereafter they would concentrate their efforts and resist further temptation in the way of new enterprise. Then he returned to Bad-Nauheim and settled down to literature. This was the middle of July, and he must have worked pretty steadily, for he presently had a variety of MSS. ready to offer.
Aug. 10, '92. DEAR MR. HALT,--I have dropped that novel I wrote you about, because I saw a more effective way of using the main episode--to wit: by telling it through the lips of Huck Finn. So I have started Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer (still 15 years old) and their friend the freed slave Jim around the world in a stray balloon, with Huck as narrator, and somewhere after the end of that great voyage he will work in the said episode and then nobody will suspect that a whole book has been written and the globe circumnavigated merely to get that episode in an effective (and at the same time apparently unintentional) way. I have written 12,000 words of this narrative, and find that the humor flows as easily as the adventures and surprises--so I shall go along and make a book of from 50,000 to 100,000 words.
It is a story for boys, of course, and I think will interest any boy between 8 years and 80.
When I was in New York the other day Mrs. Dodge, editor of St. Nicholas, wrote and, offered me $5,000 for (serial right) a story for boys 50,000 words long. I wrote back and declined, for I had other matter in my mind, then.
I conceive that the right way to write a story for boys is to write so that it will not only interest boys but will also strongly interest any man who has ever been a boy. That immensely enlarges the audience.
Now this story doesn't need to be restricted to a Childs magazine--it is proper enough for any magazine, I should think, or for a syndicate. I don't swear it, but I think so.