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"Robert E. Stewart [log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 11:24:12 -0500
text/plain (36 lines)
CORRECTING MY ERROR: "Oh Good Grief," to quote Charlie  Brown: Friday was 
the last business day of the month, but not the last day  of it. So here's a 
corrected version:
In 1863, 152 years ago, January 31 fell on a  Saturday, just as  it does 
this year (2015). That makes today the 152nd  anniversary, both in date and 
day of the week, since the first  known occasion on which Sam  Clemens signed 
a letter "Mark  Twain."

He sent the letter up to Virginia City from Carson City on the  Stage, 
arriving there Sunday morning. The Territorial Enterprise  typesetters and 
printers did not work on Sundays, so there was no Monday  morning paper. The  
letter appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 3,  issue.*

To make up for my date error, I'll add something about that letter,  
although it is not a happy thing: In it, Twain wrote: "Horace Smith, Esq.,  is 
also very fond of mirrors. He came and looked in the glass for an hour, with  
me. Finally, it cracked - the night was pretty cold - and Horace Smith's  
reflection was split right down the centre. But where his face had been, the  
damage was greatest - a hundred cracks converged from his reflected nose, 
like  spokes from the hub of a wagon wheel."
Superstition holds that breaking a mirror brings bad luck, but Twain  could 
never have known what ill fortune was to follow for Horace: That  summer 
his rooming house burned, than a couple of months later his law  office 
burned, then in November he was shot in a "discussion" over a legal fee.  In 
December, Horace Smith died of the bullet wound.

Bob Stewart

*the date of publication is inferred, no copies of the  Feb. 3 or  4 
Enterprise are known to exist, only the clipping, in Twain's  scrapbook.  The 
letter itself is dated January 31 in type.