God bless you Joe--and all of your house. S. L. C.
To Mr. Henry C. Robinson, Hartford, Conn.:
LONDON, Sept. 28, '96. It is as you say, dear old friend, "the pathos of it" yes, it was a piteous thing--as piteous a tragedy as any the year can furnish. When we started westward upon our long trip at half past ten at night, July 14, 1895, at Elmira, Susy stood on the platform in the blaze of the electric light waving her good-byes to us as the train glided away, her mother throwing back kisses and watching her through her tears. One year, one month, and one week later, Clara and her mother having exactly completed the circuit of the globe, drew up at that platform at the same hour of the night, in the same train and the same car--and again Susy had come a journey and was near at hand to meet them. She was waiting in the house she was born in, in her coffin.
All the circumstances of this death were pathetic--my brain is worn to rags rehearsing them. The mere death would have been cruelty enough, without overloading it and emphasizing it with that score of harsh and wanton details. The child was taken away when her mother was within three days of her, and would have given three decades for sight of her.
In my despair and unassuageable misery I upbraid myself for ever parting with her. But there is no use in that. Since it was to happen it would have happened. With love S. L. C.
The life at Tedworth Square that winter was one of almost complete privacy. Of the hundreds of friends which Mark Twain had in London scarcely half a dozen knew his address. He worked steadily on his book of travels, 'Following the Equator', and wrote few letters beyond business communications to Mr. Rogers. In one of these he said, "I am appalled! Here I am trying to load you up with work again after you have been dray-horsing over the same tiresome ground for a year. It's too bad, and I am ashamed of it."
But late in November he sent a letter of a different sort--one that was to have an important bearing on the life of a girl today of unique and world-wide distinction.
To Mrs. H. H. Rogers, in New York City: