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.
Proposed title of the story, "New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
The "novel" mentioned in the foregoing was The Extraordinary Twins, a story from which Pudd'nhead Wilson would be evolved later. It was a wildly extravagant farce--just the sort of thing that now and then Mark Twain plunged into with an enthusiasm that had to work itself out and die a natural death, or mellow into something worth while. Tom Sawyer Abroad, as the new Huck story was finally called, was completed and disposed of to St. Nicholas for serial publication.
The Twichells were in Europe that summer, and came to Bad-Nauheim. The next letter records a pleasant incident. The Prince of Wales of that day later became King Edward VII.
To Mr. and Mrs. Orion Clemens, in Keokuk, Iowa.:
Private. BAD-NAUHEIM, Aug. 23, '92. DEAR ORION AND MOLLIE,--("Private" because no newspaper-man or other gossip must get hold of it)