from The (Boston) Sunday Herald
1885: May 10


  SPECIAL DISPATCH TO THE HERALD, NEW YORK, 9 MAY.--Rumors of a triangular row have gone out from the Everett House and thence penetrated the remotest corners of the literary metropolis. The story grew as it spread, until it told of personal conflict, even fisticuffs, between Mark Twain, Maj. J. B. Pond and George W. Cable; but when inquiry was today made as to whether two of the named notables had fallen upon the third, or each of the three had assaulted the two others, tremendous exaggeration was disclosed. There had been no physical encounter, and only a business disagreement so private and intangible that few particulars can be ascertained. It is certain, however, that the tour which Twain and Cable lately made as readers of their own works, under the management of Pond, resulted in profit and ill-humor equally large. Twain was the originator of the scheme, and he invited Cable to his home in Hartford, where the details of the proposed entertainment were arranged. It is Pond's business to manage lecturers and other lyceum performers, and he was offered a partnership in the enterprise. The contract provided that the "travelling expenses," added to the costs of advertising and halls, should first be deducted from the receipts, and the remainder divided into three equal shares for the partners. They did not follow the common practice of engaging with local societies, but trusted wholly to the dual strength of the humorist and the novelist, to draw audiences independently at theatrical prices. When they returned from the successful venture, and put up at the Everett, where Pond and Twain lived a considerable part of their time, it was observed that amicability had departed from the midst of the trio. Cable talked vaguely to his friends of hoggishness on the part of Twain in getting a disproportionate share of the glory, and Twain vowed, in seeming acrimony, that he would never, never go on the platform again; but Pond's plaint was less sentimental, for it related to the nature of the charges which his companions made as "travelling expenses." Cable was the chief offender in that way. His theory was that so highly luxurious a thing as champagne and so lowly a one as the blacking of his boots properly belonged to the partnership account, and Pond declares that the bills rendered by Cable are greater curiosities of literature than the best of his creole dialect. All three admit that the firm of Twain, Cable & Pond is permanently dissolved.

SOURCE: Guy A. Cardwell, "Mark Twain's 'Row' with George Cable," Modern Language Quarterly 13 (December 1952).
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