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This interview originally appeared in the ELMIRA (New York) ADVERTISER June 24, 1895. It was later reprinted in the Philadelphia Times and later the Dallas Morning News on July 2, 1895. The following text is from the Dallas Morning News.


The Author Gives Some Hints to Solve the Henry Murder Mystery.

Elmira, N.Y., June 23. - Mark Twain was found at Quarry farm to-day, where he is resting quietly preparatory to taking his lecture tour around the world. He was asked what he thought of the hand-print found at the Henry house and what similarity it bore to the bloody hand mystery solved by Puddin-Head Wilson.

He said he had not read the latest phases of the Henry murder, but when shown the account in a newspaper of finding a bloody handprint on the basement door he said: "They seem to be in doubt as to which of the two made that hand-print, the assassin or the murdered man. I should think that would be easy to determine. They have a man under arrest whom they suspect, as I understand it, and I should think they could easily get a hand-print from him and compare it with the bloody hand-print and then determine whether he made it or not.. There is nothing in this case that you or I can suggest that would not suggest itself to anybody's mind. Thus far that hand-print has not a value, because it is not determinable whose it is. You don't know whether it is valuable until you know that it is not the hand of the dead man. If it is the hand of a survivor it can have some value.

"If it is clear that hand-print, so the marking of the ball of the thumb, for instance, is distinct and can be followed, there can be a print taken from that and then enlarged by a pantographer ten or twenty times, so that there is no mistaking these lines, because they are clearly defined. Then unquestionably they can take as many thumb marks corresponding with those until they find the man that left that hand-print there. That is sure. When a thumb mark is magnified the difference in the lines can be easily detected between ten or twenty thumbs--that is, you can find as many innocent people as you please in that way, but there is only one guilty. There is only one thumb in the world that will correspond with the print that that man left there. When they have found the man who made that thumb print they will know him sure without any question at all, and there will be no need of an expert to determine whose hand made the print.

"When you have got that far you have not arrived at any goal yet. It will be pretty strong evidence, but there is a suggestion that there could have been several persons there and you want to know who it was that killed the man. But whether he is guilty or not you won't know. It if were known that there were no persons present but the assassin and the victim you know you have got the assassin. It is well worth while to follow that clew if they can find that the dead man did not leave that print there. If that body is not decomposed it will be an easy matter to find out whether he made the hand-print or not. If he did not, that narrows the murder down considerably. I do not say that the bloody hand-print can convict anybody, but it can help. It will be remembered that in 'Puddin-head Wilson' it was proved the bloody finger prints on the dagger were not left there by the accused person in court, but were made by a person in court, but not accused."

Mark Twain was evidently greatly interested in the subject. He had made a study of finger and hand marks.

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