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The New York Times, November 6, 1897

Denies that He Wrote a Letter Saying He Had Paid His Creditors.

HARTFORD, Nov. 5. - Mark Twain's publishers in this city have just received a cablegram from the author, in which he emphatically denies the report that he recently wrote a letter to a personal friend in this country stating that he had made $82,000 the last two years, and had paid his business debts in full. The cablegram, dated Nov. 4, and sent from Vienna, Austria, reads:

"Bliss, Publisher: Lie. Wrote no such letter. Still deeply in debt."

The facts are that Mr. Clemens still owes abut $50,000 on account of C. L. Webster & Co., debts which represent about one-half of the original indebtedness of that firm, the half which the author need not pay, but which he says he will pay dollar for dollar. He has great faith in the staying qualities of his new book, "Following the Equator," and hopes to soon realize enough from its sale to be able to turn over a handsome sum to his creditors. Beyond the business debts, which weigh upon him so heavily, he owes nothing, and with them out of the way would have no cause of worry as to the future.

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