Mr. Perkins will send you and Ma your checks when we are gone. But don't write him, ever, except a single line in case he forgets the checks--for the man is driven to death with work.
I see you are half promising yourself a monthly return for your book. In my experience, previously counted chickens never do hatch. How many of mine I have counted! and never a one of them but failed! It is much better to hedge disappointment by not counting.--Unexpected money is a delight. The same sum is a bitterness when you expected more.
My time in America is growing mighty short. Perhaps we can manage in this way: Imprimis, if the N. Y. Weekly people know that you are my brother, they will turn that fact into an advertisement--a thing of value to them, but not to you and me. This must be prevented. I will write them a note to say you have a friend near Keokuk, Charles S. Miller, who has a MS for sale which you think is a pretty clever travesty on Verne; and if they want it they might write to him in your care. Then if any correspondence ensues between you and them, let Mollie write for you and sign your name--your own hand writing representing Miller's. Keep yourself out of sight till you make a strike on your own merits there is no other way to get a fair verdict upon your merits.
Later-I've written the note to Smith, and with nothing in it which he can use as an advertisement. I'm called--Good bye-love to you both.
We leave here next Wednesday for Elmira: we leave there Apl. 9 or 10--and sail 11th Yr Bro. SAM.
In the letter that follows the mention of Annie and Sam refers, of course, to the children of Mrs. Moffett, who had been, Pamela Clemens. They were grown now, and Annie Moffett was married to Charles L. Webster, who later was to become Mark Twain's business partner. The Moffetts and Websters were living in Fredonia at this time, and Clemens had been to pay them a good-by visit. The Taylor dinner mentioned was a farewell banquet given to Bayard Taylor, who had been appointed Minister to Germany, and was to sail on the ship with Mark Twain. Mark Twain's mother was visiting in Fredonia when this letter was written.
To Mrs. Jane Clemens, in Fredonia:
Apr. 7, '78. MY DEAR MOTHER,--I have told Livy all about Annie's beautiful house, and about Sam and Charley, and about Charley's ingenious manufactures and his strong manhood and good promise, and how glad I am that he and Annie married. And I have told her about Annie's excellent house-keeping, also about the great Bacon conflict; (I told you it was a hundred to one that neither Livy nor the European powers had heard of that desolating struggle.)