The Boys’ Life of Mark Twain
by Paine

Presented by

Public Domain Books

LXVII. The Death of Jean

Clara Clemens was married that autumn to Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the Russian pianist, and presently sailed for Europe, where they would make their home. Jean Clemens was now head of the house, and what with her various duties and poor health, her burden was too heavy. She had a passion for animal life of every kind, and in some farm-buildings at one corner of the estate had set up quite an establishment of chickens and domestic animals. She was fond of giving these her personal attention, and this, with her house direction and secretarial work, gave her little time for rest. I tried to relieve her of a share of the secretarial work, but she was ambitious and faithful. Still, her condition did not seem critical.

I stayed at Stormfield, now, most of the time–nights as well as days– for the dull weather had come and Mark Twain found the house rather lonely. In November he had an impulse to go to Bermuda, and we spent a month in the warm light of that summer island, returning a week before the Christmas holidays. And just then came Mark Twain’s last great tragedy–the death of his daughter Jean.

The holidays had added heavily to Jean’s labors. Out of her generous heart she had planned gifts for everybody–had hurried to and from the city for her purchases, and in the loggia set up a beautiful Christmas tree. Meantime she had contracted a heavy cold. Her trouble was epilepsy, and all this was bad for her. On the morning of December 24, she died, suddenly, from the shock of a cold bath.

Below, in the loggia, drenched with tinsel, stood the tree, and heaped about it the packages of gifts which that day she had meant to open and put in place. Nobody had been overlooked.

Jean was taken to Elmira for burial. Her father, unable to make the winter journey, remained behind. Her cousin, Jervis Langdon, came for her.

It was six in the evening when she went away. A soft, heavy snow was falling, and the gloom of the short day was closing in. There was not the least noise, the whole world was muffled. The lanterns shone out the open door, and at an upper window, the light gleaming on his white hair, her father watched her going away from him for the last time. Later he wrote:

“From my window I saw the hearse and the carriages wind along the road and gradually grow vague and spectral in the falling snow, and presently disappear. Jean was gone out of my life, and would not come back any more. The cousin she had played with when they were babies together–he and her beloved old Katy–were conducting her to her distant childhood home, where she will lie by her mother’s side once more, in the company of Susy and Langdon.”


Preface  •  I. The Family of John Clemens  •  II. The New Home, and Uncle John Quarles’s Farm  •  IV. Education Out of School  •  V. Tom Sawyer and His Band  •  VI. Closing School-Days  •  VII. The Apprentice  •  VIII. Orion’s Paper  •  IX. The Open Road  •  X. A Wind of Chance  •  XI. The Long Way to the Amazon  •  XII. Renewing an Old Ambition  •  XIII. Learning the River  •  XIV. River Days  •  XV. The Wreck of the “Pennsylvania”  •  XVI. The Pilot  •  XVII. The End of Piloting  •  XVIII. The Soldier  •  XIX. The Pioneer  •  XX. The Miner  •  XXI. The Territorial Enterprise  •  XXII. “Mark Twain”  •  XXIII. Artemus Ward and Literary San Francisco  •  XXIV. The Discovery of “The Jumping Frog”  •  XXV. Hawaii and Anson Burlingame  •  XXVI. Mark Twain, Lecturer  •  XXVII. An Innocent Abroad, and Home Again  •  XXVIII. Olivia Langdon. Work on the “Innocents”  •  XXIX. The Visit to Elmira and Its Consequences  •  XXX. The New Book and a Wedding  •  XXXI. Mark Twain in Buffalo  •  XXXII. At Work on “Roughing It”  •  XXXIII. In England  •  XXXIV. A New Book and New English Triumphs  •  XXXV. Beginning “Tom Sawyer”  •  XXXVI. The New Home  •  XXXVII. “Old Times,” “Sketches,” And “Tom Sawyer”  •  XXXVIII. Home Pictures  •  XXXIX. Tramping Abroad  •  XL. “The Prince and the Pauper”  •  XLI. General Grant at Hartford  •  XLII. Many Investments  •  XLIII. Back to the River, With Bixby  •  XLIV. A Reading-Tour With Cable  •  XLV. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”  •  XLVI. Publisher to General Grant  •  XLVII. The High-Tide of Fortune  •  XLVIII. Business Difficulties. Pleasanter Things  •  XLIX. Kipling at Elmira. Elsie Leslie. The “Yankee”  •  L. The Machine. Good-By to Hartford. “Joan” Is Begun  •  LI. The Failure of Webster & Co. Around the World. Sorrow  •  LII. European Economies  •  LIII. Mark Twain Pays His Debts  •  LIV. Return After Exile  •  LV. A Prophet At Home  •  LVI. Honored by Missouri  •  LVII. The Close of a Beautiful Life  •  LVIII. Mark Twain at Seventy  •  LIX. Mark Twain Arranges for His Biography  •  LX. Working With Mark Twain  •  LXI. Dictations at Dublin, N. H.  •  LXII. A New Era of Billiards  •  LXIII. Living With Mark Twain  •  LXIV. A Degree From Oxford  •  LXV. The Removal to Redding  •  LXVI. Life at Stormfield  •  LXVII. The Death of Jean  •  LXVIII. Days in Bermuda  •  LXIX. The Return to Redding  •  LXX. The Close of a Great Life

[Buy at Amazon]
The boys' life of Mark Twain: The story of a man who made the world laugh and love him
By Albert Bigelow Paine
At Amazon