Marooned Mark Twain
MAROONED MARK TWAIN
Was Bottled Up at Old Point Because He Refused to Go Home by Rail
Mark Twain marooned at Old Point Comfort on the yacht Kanawha, and so far from Fifth avenue that he says he will never look upon the Washington Monument again; that was the whisper that went around the lots or at the Hotel Chamberlin Yesterday.
Mark himself held a reporter with his glittering eye and drowned the blare of the loud basso in the dining room in recounting his modern versin of the ancient marinter's tale:
"Here I am," said the author, nervously flicking a big of cigar ashes from his copyrighted white flanner suit, "here I am alone on Mr. H. H. Rogers' yacht Kanawha anchored out there and not one saint to look down in pity.
"Rogers has gone home, his son, Harry, has gone and the only remaining guest that came down to this merry, exposition opening last Friday says he is going back to New York tonight. But I cannot go. For two days we have been held up by the fog out by the Capes, and the navigation officer says that he won't risk the passage.
"I simply will not go back by train, so here I remain, pacing the boards of the Kanawha or the carpets of the Chamberlin, utterly, unforgiveable alone, I think of that Fifth avenue and of the dear omnibus trundling up and down from the monument and I feel that I am without a country."
Mr. Clemens bit deep into his cigar end, and went on to explain that he had come down as Mr. Rogers' guest on the Kanawha to witness the opening of the exposition, believing in his innocence that he would straightway be carried back to New York and his work after the show was over. But when the fogs of the last three days chained up the Capes and the navigatin officer on the yacht would not move anchor one inch, Mr. Clemens had the alternative of taking the train back with hishost or waiting on the pleasure of the weather bureau. Since he detests railroad travel, he says that there is no alternative, and that he will remain a marooned mariner until the fog lifts.
Impatient Mr. Clemens was the only unhappy man in and about Hampton Roads. Exhilaration shrieked from the whistles of every launch that plied between the steel ships and the pier at Old Point, there was promise of joy in the piled cases of beer that awaited transport to th battleships against Thursday night's feasting.
Though the fog lifted yesterday morning, Mark took no chances, but lay overnight below. This morning a big steam yacht pretty well identified as the Kanawha passed out the Virginia Capes at 4:45 o'clock. She was followed an hour later by the Carola, another big steam yacht, which has been here during the exposition opening festival.