From the start, Mr. Langdon was suspicious of Clemens. Olivia waited with baited breath each day for the mail to arrive to see if there was another letter from Sam, and inevitably there was. She told her father of his often references to Christ or spiritual things. “He’s just putting on in order to win your confidence. Can’t you see that, daughter?” he would say.
But as the letters kept coming and the tone kept sounding more and more sincere, Jervis began to weaken. But just nine and a half months later, near the end of August, when the letter came, purposing marriage, it was a different story. Olivia was so excited she could hardly contain herself. “Oh, father, he’s asked me to marry him.”
“What? So soon?” was the reply. “I’m still not sure I trust him, or that he would make a suitable husband for you, daughter dear.”
“Tell him, no. If he’s really serious about you, he’ll persist. If not, he never was right for you anyway.”
She sighed. “Perhaps you’re right, Father. I’ll write the letter right away.”
Her letter of rejection broke his heart. His companions sensed that something was terribly wrong with him as they sat at their favorite table in the saloon. “What’s with you?” asked Bret. “You look like you lost your last friend.”
“Worse than that. I purposed marriage to her and she turned me down.”
“Well, look at it this way,” offered Steve, “She’s not the only fish in the sea.”
Mark sighed a huge sigh and said “I’m afraid for me she is.”
“Well then,” offered Artemus, “if you feel that strongly about her, why give up? Keep trying. In fact, why not go there and court her in person? It seems to me that would be better than this long distance thing you’ve been doing.”
Mark sighed again. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. I could see if the Alta will take me on as permanent New York correspondent, and maybe a New York paper will hire me too.
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