I wish you had been in at the beginning. Then we should have had the good luck to step promptly ashore.
Miss Harrison has had a dream which promises me a large bank account, and I want her to go ahead and dream it twice more, so as to make the prediction sure to be fulfilled.
I've got a first rate subject for a book. It kept me awake all night, and I began it and completed it in my mind. The minute I finish Joan I will take it up. Love and Happy New Year to you all. Sincerely yours, S. L. CLEMENS.
This was about the end of the machine interests so far as Clemens was concerned. Paige succeeded in getting some new people interested, but nothing important happened, or that in any way affected Mark Twain. Characteristically he put the whole matter behind him and plunged into his work, facing comparative poverty and a burden of debts with a stout heart. The beginning of the new year found him really poorer in purse than he had ever been in his life, but certainly not crushed, or even discouraged--at least, not permanently--and never more industrious or capable.
To H. H. Rogers, in New York City:
169 RUE DE L'UNIVERSITE, PARIS, Jan. 23, '95. DEAR MR. ROGERS,--After I wrote you, two or three days ago I thought I would make a holiday of the rest of the day--the second deliberate holiday since I had the gout. On the first holiday I wrote a tale of about 6,000 words, which was 3 days' work in one; and this time I did 8,000 before midnight. I got nothing out of that first holiday but the recreation of it, for I condemned the work after careful reading and some revision; but this time I fared better--I finished the Huck Finn tale that lies in your safe, and am satisfied with it.
The Bacheller syndicate (117 Tribune Building) want a story of 5,000 words (lowest limit of their London agent) for $1,000 and offer to plank the check on delivery, and it was partly to meet that demand that I took that other holiday. So as I have no short story that suits me (and can't and shan't make promises), the best I can do is to offer the longer one which I finished on my second holiday--"Tom Sawyer, Detective."
It makes 27 or 28,000 words, and is really written for grown folks, though I expect young folk to read it, too. It transfers to the banks of the Mississippi the incidents of a strange murder which was committed in Sweden in old times.