"Many thanks for your letter & enclosures. If I had the time I would hurl myself in the drama, wholesale. But I must go on with my book. I do not know whether I could fit Mr. & Mrs. Barney Williams with characters or not, but I still think I could fit Bijou—though I must not be thinking about dramas, with this big book on my shoulders." The "big book" may have been Old Times on the Mississippi, serialized the following year in the Atlantic Monthly and not really that big until it was subsumed by Life on the Mississippi in 1883.
Clemens continues to advise Fuller about dealing with Densmore and his adaptation, the rights to which Clemens eventually bought. Clemens revised the work retitled it Colonel Sellers. The Raymond mentioned is likely John T. Raymond, the actor who originated the role of Colonel Sellers in Densmore's original production and continued it in Clemens's eponymous revision. "I have written & asked Raymond to cross my name off the Mark Smith Benefit list, because I shall find it so difficult to leave home. Look here. You go & see McCullough about that piece. That is what I was going to do, but was so driven I couldn’t. I mean go & see him & make a trade on the merits of the piece, for you see I think I wouldn’t want my name associated with it as being the redresser of a character thrown in to make by-play while the scenes are shifted. See? But there’s meat in that play." Clemens closes the letter "We swap affections with you," and in a postscript written vertically between the two pages of text, he adds, "I enclose the P. M. I see I have been trying to turn it into a magazine article again, which I had forgotten."
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