<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Letter from Mark Twain to Mrs. Elizabeth W. Smith - Oct. 31, [probably 1859]
Mark Twain Letters

Letter from Mark Twain to Mrs. Elizabeth W. Smith
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 31 [probably 1859]

DEAR AUNT BETSEY,—Ma has not written you, because she did not know when I would get started down the river again....

You see, Aunt Betsey, I made but one trip on the packet after you left, and then concluded to remain at home awhile. I have just discovered this morning that I am to go to New Orleans on the "Col. Chambers"—fine, light-draught, swift-running passenger steamer—all modern accommodations and improvements—through with dispatch—for freight or passage apply on board, or to—but—I have forgotten the agent's name—however, it makes no difference—and as I was saying, or had intended to say, Aunt Betsey, probably, if you are ready to come up, you had better take the "Ben Lewis," the best boat in the packet line. She will be at Cape Girardeau at noon on Saturday (day after tomorrow,) and will reach here at breakfast time, Sunday. If Mr. Hamilton is chief clerk,—very well, I am slightly acquainted with him. And if Messrs. Carter Gray and Dean Somebody (I have forgotten his other name,) are in the pilot-house—very well again-I am acquainted with them. Just tell Mr. Gray, Aunt Betsey—that I wish him to place himself at your command.

All the family are well—except myself—I am in a bad way again—disease, Love, in its most malignant form. Hopes are entertained of my recovery, however. At the dinner table—excellent symptom—I am still as "terrible as an army with banners."

Aunt Betsey—the wickedness of this world—but I haven't time to moralize this morning.



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