Fair warning: if you're looking for a happy story, you probably shouldn't read a section titled "personal tragedy." Seriously, this section is about to make Old Yeller look like a fluffy rom-com.
You've been warned.
In 1894, the publishing company that Twain had founded with his nephew Charles L. Webster finally went belly-up after ten difficult years of constant financial strain. Twain was nearly bankrupt. "The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for,"blank">The Lion King.