NEVER TOO ILL FOR A STORY.
"Mark Twain's" Only Comment on Brooklyn's Edict Against His Works.
There is a letter over in Brooklyn signed by Samuel L. Clemens, a sad man living at 21 Fifth Avenue. Mr. Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, has been ill for a week with a cold which threatened him with pneumonia. Yesterday he was said to be better, but he did not feel well enough to receive interviewers and explain to them how it had happened that the Brooklyn Public Libraries, through Librarian Frank P. Hill, had put on the "restricted list" both "Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer," and what he had said to them in the letter he wrote on the subject.
Mr. Clemens's secretary told the reporters that the humorist had thrown away Dante's "Inferno," which he had been reading, when he learned of the ban on his books in Brooklyn. Then he proceeded to tell a story heknew of an Englishman who "bettered a story." Here is the story as the secretary told it:
"There was once a wicked man who stayed late at his club. His wife had a cuckoo clock. As he entered the door he heard it sound twice, and on his own account added more 'cuckoos.' When he awoke in the morning he was happy in the belief that his wife had been deceived into thinking he had got home by 12 o'clock.
"Now this story was told by an American to an Englishman, who, lacking a sense of humor, insisted on telling the sequel. It was to the effect that the too lively gentleman learned from his spouse when he complained about not being wakened in time that she had been out on an errand. During the night she had heard the clock 'co-co' and decided that it had the hiccoughs, so she had taken it to the clockmaker."
The doctor who was summoned after this story said that his patient was doing very well, indeed. The fact that Mr. Hill had refused to give out the letter in regard to the edict against "Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer" made it impossible for Mr. Clemmens's [sic] secretary to make it public, the communication being personal.
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