The Boys’ Life of Mark Twain
by Paine

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Public Domain Books

LXIX. The Return to Redding

I spent most of each day with him, merely sitting by the bed and reading. I noticed when he slept that his breathing was difficult, and I could see that he did not improve, but often he was gay and liked the entire family to gather about and be merry. It was only a few days before we sailed that the severe attacks returned. Then followed bad nights; but respite came, and we sailed on the 12th, as arranged. The Allen home stands on the water, and Mr. Allen had chartered a tug to take us to the ship. We were obliged to start early, and the fresh morning breeze was stimulating. Mark Twain seemed in good spirits when we reached the “Oceana,” which was to take him home.

As long as I remember anything I shall remember the forty-eight hours of that homeward voyage. He was comfortable at first, and then we ran into the humid, oppressive air of the Gulf Stream, and he could not breathe. It seemed to me that the end might come at any moment, and this thought was in his own mind, but he had no dread, and his sense of humor did not fail. Once when the ship rolled and his hat fell from the hook and made the circuit of the cabin floor, he said:

“The ship is passing the hat.”

I had been instructed in the use of the hypodermic needle, and from time to time gave him the “hypnotic injunction,” as he still called it. But it did not afford him entire relief. He could remain in no position for any length of time. Yet he never complained and thought only of the trouble he might be making. Once he said:

“I am sorry for you, Paine, but I can’t help it–I can’t hurry this dying business.”

And a little later:

“Oh, it is such a mystery, and it takes so long!”

Relatives, physicians, and news-gatherers were at the dock to welcome him. Revived by the cool, fresh air of the North, he had slept for several hours and was seemingly much better. A special compartment on the same train that had taken us first to Redding took us there now, his physicians in attendance. He did not seem to mind the trip or the drive home.

As we turned into the lane that led to Stormfield he said:

“Can we see where you have built your billiard-room?”

The gable of the new study showed among the trees, and I pointed it out to him.

“It looks quite imposing,” he said.

Arriving at Stormfield, he stepped, unassisted, from the carriage to greet the members of the household, and with all his old courtliness offered each his hand. Then in a canvas chair we had brought we carried him up-stairs to his room–the big, beautiful room that looked out to the sunset hills. This was Thursday evening, April 14, 1910.


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

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The boys' life of Mark Twain: The story of a man who made the world laugh and love him
By Albert Bigelow Paine
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