<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Letter from Mark Twain to W. D. Howells - Jun. 25, 1875
Mark Twain Letters

Letter from Mark Twain to W. D. Howells

June 25, 1875.

Mark Twain William Dean Howells

MY DEAR HOWELLS,—I told Patrick to get some carpenters and box the machine and send it to you—and found that Bliss had sent for the machine and earned it off.

I have been talking to you and writing to you as if you were present when I traded the machine to Bliss for a twelve-dollar saddle worth $25 (cheating him outrageously, of course—but conscience got the upper hand again and I told him before I left the premises that I'd pay for the saddle if he didn't like the machine—on condition that he donate said machine to a charity)

This was a little over five weeks ago—so I had long ago concluded that Bliss didn't want the machine and did want the saddle—wherefore I jumped at the chance of shoving the machine off onto you, saddle or no saddle so I got the blamed thing out of my sight.

The saddle hangs on Tara's walls down below in the stable, and the machine is at Bliss's grimly pursuing its appointed mission, slowly and implacably rotting away another man's chances for salvation.

I have sent Bliss word not to donate it to a charity (though it is a pity to fool away a chance to do a charity an ill turn,) but to let me know when he has got his dose, because I've got another candidate for damnation. You just wait a couple of weeks and if you don't see the Type-Writer come tilting along toward Cambridge with an unsatisfied appetite in its eye, I lose my guess.

Don't you be mad about this blunder, Howells—it only comes of a bad memory, and the stupidity which is inseparable from true genius. Nothing intentionally criminal in it.

Yrs ever

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