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The New York Times, July 26, 1924

Son of His Host Recalls Author's Buttonless Collar and Vest Replacing Suspenders.

By T. R. Ybarra.
Copyright, 1924, by The New York Times Company.
By Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.

BERLIN, July 25. - Mark Twain would rather have been an inventor than a writer, declares a German who, when he was a child, once saw and heard America's great humorist. The latter visited the home of this German's father during his trip to Germany and the two got to talking about themselves in a weird, hodgepodge of English and German, while the little son of Mark Twain's host, who had read "Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer" until he nearly knew them by heart, listened in breathless silence.

"Once I invented a combination lamp and cooking stove," said Mark Twain's host.

The humorist promptly replied: "Once I invented a collar that needed no collar button, and also a vest which enabled the wearer to do away with suspenders."

From Mark Twain's tone as he spoke, says the German who heard him, one could easily see he was prouder of these inventions than of his books. So jovial was Twain throughout the visit, continues the German, that nobody could have guessed he had just lost the entire fortune amassed from his writings and had been obliged at the age of 56 to begin all over again.

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