Poor Sam was shooting at a barn door but he couldn't hit it.
Now just at this moment a little bird, no bigger than a sparrow, flew along about thirty yards away. Steve whipped out his revolver ande shot its head off. They ran down to pick up the bird and just then, Mr. Laird and his second came and saw the bird with its head shot off. Laird lost colour, and asked about who had done it. Steve spoke up, and said quit calmly that Clemens did it.
So Laird and his second said good morning and went home. Laird sent a note decklning to fight a duel with Sam. Thanks to the liittle bird Sam;s life was saved.
Sam was twenty-nine, and had earned his own living since he was twelve. He had been a printer, a pilot, a miner, and a newspaper man.
At just this time, the Pacific Steamboat Company began a regular passenger service between sun Francisco and Honolulu. Sam took the trip, paying for it with letters as a special correspondent of the Sacramento Union.
Now he would travel arround the world, and he would write of the places he saw and the people he meet.
He rode horseback two hundred miles over the island of Hawaii, throught the coffee, sugar and orange region of Kona.
Sam had found the work which suited him best: he could ramble as much as he liked, and write funny letters to many newspapers to make the readers laugh till their sides ached.
Dear, dear livy
The Langdons had been a happy family until the day of the accident. Livy, their daughter, fell on the ice and a partial paralysis followed. For two years after the accident, Livy lay in her bed. She was unable even to sit up.
Then came a new, famous doctor and said to Livy,
"Now we will sit up my child." Then he added "Take a step. Take just a step".
Livy stood on her feet, with doctors help.
It was like a dream for the poor girl!
And from this day on Livy's health was steadily improwing. Livy's brother, Carsley Langdon, had gone off on a sea voyage. One of his companions was the well-known newspaper correspondent who called himself Mark Twain, the author of many scetches that were making him famous.
The Langdons were spending the Cristmas holiday in 1867 in New York City. Twain was a on this way to his first meeting with Livy.
Now Livy was twenty-two. She was a small delicate girl with serious dark eyes and black hair. She was lovely.
Sam was introduced to the mother and the father and to the "sweet and timid and lovely girl." He was head over heels in love with Livy. After the first visit he got a standing invitation to the Langdon's home in Elmira.
During the nights he was writing and soon as he was free, immedietly he ran to the Langdon's
Livy and Sam were married on the 2nd of February, 1870. The next day they went to Buffalo where Sam bought a share in newspaper. Jervis Langdon had bought and furnished a new and beautiful house for the young couple in a fashionable street in Buffalo. The rambler finally had to settle-down.
Sam worked a lot, editing Buffalo Express, writing for the New York magazines, and collecting material fo a new book Roughing It - the story of his Nevada mining and newspaper days. It was published when he was thity-six. It was a great success.
The twenty years between 1875 and 1894 were the happiest and the wealthiest for Samuel Clemens. He wrote his best book in Hartford, in a wonderful house built for him and his family. The rooms were large and always gay with company and friends.
Here was born Clara, and here in June, 1874, Sam began one of his dreatest books the Adventures of Tom Sawer - the book about his own childhood. In 1880, Mark Twain finished the Prience and the Pauper. In the preface whe writes:
"It may be history, it may be only legend. It may have happend, it may not have happend: but it could have happend."
The book is dedicated to: "Those good-mannered and agreeable chidren Susy and Clara Clemens."
Susy writes in his fathers biography: "One of the papa's latest books is the Prience and the Pauper and it is the best book he haas ever written. The book is full of lovely, charming ideas. Oh, it is so funny and nice! Papa seldom writes a passage without some humor in it."
The books mark Twain wrotes for chidren, he wrote with great happiness.
Mark Twain was writing and lecturing. At home he was a loving father, playing jokes on his children, telling them stories. To his family and old friends he was always "Sam". His ftiends never used his pen name of "Mark Twain".
The tragic end
When Sam was in England Susy died in Hartford. The last thirteen days Susy was very ill. She refused to see a doctor. Then came a sudden change for the worse. When the doctor came it was too late. The poor girl was unconscious during three days. The brain fever was raging.
The last word Susan spoke was "Mamma" - that was Susy's good bye. She was twenty four years old. For the parentsit was terrible shock. The loved her dearly. A few days after Susy was buried in Elmira, Livy sailed with Clara and Jean, the youngest daughter, for Endland and Italy. The never lived in the Hartford house again.
When the thirty four annivesary came livy was very ill. "Her heart soon began to alarm her." She went to bed and Sam was allowed to see her five minites a day.
One day Sam, Clara and Jean came to say her good night. The found her silent. Sam bent over her. She was dead.
"She was my life and she is gone; ahe was my riches, and I am a pauper."
They sailed for home to bury Livy in Elmira, beside Susy. "In this 34 days we have made many voyages together, Livy dear, and now we are making our last."
In the morning of Cristmas night in 1909, Jean Clemens died. Ther in her bathroom she lay, the fair young creature. The poor girl was an epileptic.
"I shall never write any more." It was as Sam Clemens said. The Death of Jean was Mark Twain's last work.
"I lost Susy thirteen years ago; I lost her mother - her incomporable mother! - five and a half years ago; Clara has gone away to live in Europe; and now I have lost Jean. Now poor I am, who was the once rich."
Now, he was alone and he was ill. Clara annd her husbund came back from Europe and they were with their dying father the lust few days.
"Death, the most precious of all gift" he welcomed without fear. Late in the afternoon on the 21st of April, 1910, Samuel Clemens died at the age of seventy-four. At Elmira, next to Livy and Susy and Jean, Sam Clemens was buried. For him, the great American Humonist, who had made the world laugh, the sad pilgrimage was ended.