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The New York Times, June 1, 1902

The Author Sees His Former Sweetheart in His Old Home in Missouri.

Special to The New York Times.

HANNIBAL, Mo., May 31. - "I'm afraid we'll have to put a hoop around Mark Twain's head before he leave Hannibal," said Mrs. Laura Fraser, the author's reported first sweetheart, now matron of the Home for the Friendless at Hannibal.

"I'm afraid he'll be spoiled," she continued; "but I suppose if there was any danger of that it would have happened long ago."

Mrs. Fraser, who is believed to be the original of Becky Thatcher in "Tom Sawyer," is now a matronly lady, whose memory is still clear concerning those early times. Last night Samuel L. Clemens met Mrs. Fraser at dinner at the home of Mrs. John H. Garth and the talk reverted to the incidents and the friends of their youth. This afternoon Mr. Clemens visited Mrs. Fraser at the Home for the Friendless.

A story attaches to a visit made by Mr. Clemens yesterday, of which no word has yet been said. When he was "Sam," and perhaps "Tom Sawyer," he knew a girl whose full name was Azalia Erminie Cordelia Transquilla Amelia Amerine Penn. Her father owned Mr. Clemens's birthplace, a house in Florida, Mo.

The visiting author remembered the name Azalia, &c., Penn, and found that the lady was now Mrs. Fowkes, seventy years old, living in Hannibal. He lost no time in calling on her.

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