Notes by David Page with considerable help from the 2003 work of D.H. Stewart in editing 'Kipling’s American: Travel Letters, 1889-1895', and of the ORG.
An Interview with Mark Twain
DEAR KIPLING--It is reported that you are about to visit India. This has moved me to journey to that far country in order that I may unload from my conscience a debt long due to you. Years ago you came from India to Elmira to visit me, as you said at the time. It has always been my purpose to return that visit and that great compliment some day. I shall arrive next January and you must be ready. I shall come riding my ayah with his tusks adorned with silver bells and ribbons and escorted by a troop of native howdahs richly clad and mounted upon a herd of wild bungalows; and you must be on hand with a few bottles of ghee, for I shall be thirsty.Charles Carrington (p.396) recalls a friendly encounter in Oxford eighteen years later:
S. L. CLEMENS.
[The Letters Of Mark Twain, Volume 4, 1886-1900, See Gutenberg.]
In 1907 they were both presented with the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at Oxford University, and whilst waiting together ‘slipped away to smoke under an archway, with guilty apprehension, until they were summoned to the [Sheldon] theatre’.