5.30 p. m. Great Scott, this is Tuesday! I must rush this letter into the mail instantly.
Tell that sassy Ben I've got her welcome letter, and I'll write her as soon as I get a daylight chance. I've most time at night, but I'd druther write daytimes. SAML.
The Reid and Simmons mentioned in the foregoing were Robert Reid and Edward Simmons, distinguished painter--the latter a brilliant, fluent, and industrious talker. The title; "Fire-escape Simmons," which Clemens gives him, originated when Oliver Herford, whose quaint wit has so long delighted New-Yorkers, one day pinned up by the back door of the Players the notice: "Exit in case of Simmons." Gwen, a popular novel of that day, was written by Blanche Willis Howard.
"Jamie" Dodge, in the next letter, was the son of Mrs. Mary Mapes Dodge, editor of St. Nicholas.
MR. ROGERS'S OFFICE, Feb. 5, '94. Dear Benny--I was intending to answer your letter to-day, but I am away down town, and will simply whirl together a sentence or two for good- fellowship. I have bought photographs of Coquelin and Jane Hading and will ask them to sign them. I shall meet Coquelin tomorrow night, and if Hading is not present I will send her picture to her by somebody.
I am to breakfast with Madame Nordica in a few days, and meantime I hope to get a good picture of her to sign. She was of the breakfast company yesterday, but the picture of herself which she signed and gave me does not do her majestic beauty justice.
I am too busy to attend to the photo-collecting right, because I have to live up to the name which Jamie Dodge has given me--the "Belle of New York"--and it just keeps me rushing. Yesterday I had engagements to breakfast at noon, dine at 3, and dine again at 7. I got away from the long breakfast at 2 p. m., went and excused myself from the 3 o'clock dinner, then lunched with Mrs. Dodge in 58th street, returned to the Players and dressed, dined out at 9, and was back at Mrs. Dodge's at 10 p. m. where we had magic-lantern views of a superb sort, and a lot of yarns until an hour after midnight, and got to bed at 2 this morning --a good deal of a gain on my recent hours. But I don't get tired; I sleep as sound as a dead person, and always wake up fresh and strong-- usually at exactly 9.
I was at breakfast lately where people of seven separate nationalities sat and the seven languages were going all the time. At my side sat a charming gentleman who was a delightful and active talker, and interesting. He talked glibly to those folks in all those seven languages and still had a language to spare! I wanted to kill him, for very envy.