CHAPTER I The Father of Three Little Girls

Twenty long years have passed since my father was laid in the ground, yet had these years been only days the memory of that tragic event could not be more vivid. In the lovely month of April--month of soft green shades and playing breezes--the spirit of liberation, that comes with spring to the human heart after bitter winter blasts, reached my father in the form of all-consoling death. The great soul of Mark Twain was released from bondage. The realization that he must have welcomed this majestic progress into higher realms did not lessen the grief of those who were left to mourn.

Mark Twain's voice silent! It could not be. And it wasn't. So great a personality can never fade into the state of death. Daily I am aware of this when witnessing scenes of nature "imperially ermined" as he described snow-clad trees in winter, or "a burnished carpet of blown leaves" in autumn; and I am reminded of his wise sense of justice when the mistakes of human beings darken one another's lives; and of his capacity for joy in sunny thoughts.

When my thoughts return to childhood, I see figures of romance moving in the atmosphere of fairyland, kings and queens in the world of dreams. I wish that words could give a true picture of those long-vanished, unforgettable days--days filled with joy, sorrow, humor, fun, work, and always sparkling interest. How sad it is that

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