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Saturday, October 18, 1890

     Received following letter from Johnston today:

New York, Oct 17 1890

Dear Traubel:

My wife leaves at 3 P.M. today for Phil. and I will leave with Ingersoll at 12:20 Tuesday.

Say—my wife wonders if I ought to have my dress suit in.

I guess not. What do you guess?

Yrs truly

JH Johnston

     At once answered him regarding dress suit that it was "funny" to me but he should pursue his pleasure.

     Busy all day—with printers, posters, editors. Saw Fitzgerald, Editor of Item, also saw Managing Editor of Star. Gave out tickets to the papers—21 in all. When I gave the two to McClure, he was very affable, saying, "Yes, I am only too glad to be able to give Walt Whitman a lift. The Colonel has written me direct." Managing Editor of Inquirer, Dr. Cox, a rather good looking but sickly man—just as affable. In Record saw Managing Editor—who wished to "know why" I "was not around before," with news or advertisements, at which I told him frankly, in a way that made him flush and the editors scattered about the room titter. "I had not heard that before,"

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he said—but promised a notice. Tickets brightened some, but not hot. Got 15,000 dodgers printed and prepared to distribute them Monday. Tramping the town from nine to five-thirty—a long, after a while wearisome job. But when the light brightens ahead, as I expect it Monday—then for revival and faith. I am a little blue about tickets, but theatrical people think our showing "fine" and they should know. We met Mrs. Gillespie at Blasius' and she thought we had a happy chart. She, too, has had trouble with the Academy Baker—his attempt to violate Thomas concert contract.

     7:20 P.M. In to see W. who was very bright and cordial, welcoming me with hand and eye. Hand very warm and I remarked it. He laughed and said he did not know but it was part of the fire had struck in. Wood burning lustily in stove. Yet the day was mild. Room astonishingly heated.

     W. remarked, "I got the North American Review proof and returned it. Do you know, Horace, it is very gossipy: I am astonished myself at its character. There was something of the gossipy sort in 'An Old Man's Rejoinder,' but there is more of it here. I seem to be developing into a garrulous old man—a talker—a teller of stories." And when I made some protest he insisted merrily, "But I know what I mean: it is thoroughly gossipy." Said, "It was in the contract that I should have a number of the slips. You must have one of them." And again, "They evidently are going to print it at once."

     He told me at another instant, "Mrs. Johnston has been here, and a friend, a Mrs. Ober." I asked, "And who is Mrs. Ober?" which made him laugh and say, "That's so—who? And Ingram too—he has been around: the good old man!" And still more, "Tom has been in to see me—was here tonight. He wants to see you, too: you ought to have some talk together. It is getting near the time."

     I gave W. some of the dodgers, and their yellow, blue and pink attracted him. "How pretty and positive they are!"


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