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The New York Times, October 8, 1911

Listened and Never Joked on European Travels, Says Courier.

Special Correspondence THE NEW YORK TIMES.

LONDON, September 26. - Joseph Verey, a courier who claims to have accompanied Mark Twain on nine of his European visits has been publishing some of his recollections of the author of "The Innocents Abroad."

"Mr. Clemens," says Verey, "hardly ever talked to any one. Once I traveled from Cologne to Dresden with him, and he only spoke about two words to me. What I was instructed to do was to engage the other people in the compartment in conversation, and ask them about everything. Mr. Clemens used to sit and listen.

"He must have had a wonderful memory. We used to go to museums for hours. He would not say a word, but he would listen while I asked questions and engaged people in conversation.

"I never heard him make a joke, not even with his own family. He never made one with me. The nearest approach that he got to one was in a letter to me about the uncertainty of his plans. He wrote: 'Ifs are bad prophets.' "

Mark Twain "discovered" Verey in Paris through the hall porter at the Hotel Normandy, who gave such a glowing account of Verey that Mark determined to have him.

"George, I must have this Verey," he said. George could not leave his post to go and find him, so Mark Twain said he would put on George's apron and look after the door.

For more information on Joseph Verey, see "Mark Twain's Perfect Courier."
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