Wed, 7 Jan 2015 10:48:01 -0500
In 1865 Sam seems to have had a reputation that was less than flattering.
In November of that year he was writing for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Some miles away, in Sacramento, there is a story in the November 17, 1865,
Sacramento Daily Union (p.2, col. 4) telling a confusing tale of an
incident in a boarding house in which ". . . a tall but distinguished looking
gentleman entered the office, holding a carpet sack in his left hand, and two
junk bottles and a Westphalian ham in his right, and approached the
[boarding house manager] in a confidential manner. "
For some reason, unclear to this reader, things went weird and the stranger
ends up fleeing. Then the last bit of the Sacramento article gives us a
humorous hint at Mark Twain's reputation in Sacramento in 1865:
" The police are on the track of the stranger, but he has not yet been
found, and all surmises as to who he is fall idly to the ground. The
hypothesis that it was only Mark Twain stepping up to pay his board bill is scouted
as too monstrously improbable to be worthy of a moment's consideration."
The article is on cdnc.ucr.edu/, but unfortunately they are having a
problem at the moment with newspaper images, so for the time being you can read
the OCR text, which is somewhat clean, but you cannot at this time see the
image of the actual newspaper article or the illustration accompanying the