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COLUMBUS (Georgia) DAILY ENQUIRER, July 14, 1895, p. 4.


Mark Twain, who has probably made more people smile and laugh than any other American humorist, is at present an illustration that the man whose business is to make others laugh and grow fat,often wears a solemn visage himself. Mr. Clemens was a victim of the lawyers in New York last Thursday, in court proceedings, as a witness about his own financial affairs, which have suffered severely by the failure of the firm of Charles L. Webster & Co., a publishing firm of which he was a member. As he walked along Wall street at 11:30 o'clock in the morning, going to the court room, everybody seemed to recognize the shambling figure surrounded by the shock of iron gray hair. He was the Mark Twain whom everybody knows. His trousers bagged a bit, his loose blue coat sagged on one side, and his russet shoes had no glossiness, while his silk hat shone afar off. Wall street brokers looked at him, and made way with a kindly smile.

There were tears of suffering on the lines of the familiar face, and he limped a trifle. He took his seat before the lawyers and the judge, wearily, and waited. He nervously fingered his gray mustache and said, with that quiet drawl of his, that he was ready. He sat there from a quarter to twelve o'clock until after 6 o'clock in the evening, answering questions concerning himself and his connection with the publishing firm.

The principal thing the creditors wanted to know was why Mr. Clemens had transferred all the copyrights of his works to his wife. Mrs. Clemens was a creditor of the firm of Charles L. Webster & Co. The inquiry was directed mainly toward finding out what the income from these copyrights was and what was the exact sum advanced by her.

Mr. Clemens stated that his wife, Olivia, was a creditor of the firm to the amount of $70,000. She had received this amount of money from her father's estate and advanced it to the firm, and the copyrights were turned over to her to protect her against loss. The royalties from the thirty-three copyrights would, he thought, in a year or two, make good the indebtedness to his wife. Mr. Clemens interrupted the proceedings once when he sent out for a glass of milk. He looked care-worn when it was over, and afterwards, when a newspaper reporter asked him if he had anything to say, he smiled for the first time and said he thought he had said about enough for one day. He is making preparations to do on a lecturing tour, by which he hopes to retrieve some of his losses.

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