The quote about mathematics had me rolling, though. Kipling captured Mark Twain's imposing figure and witty quips really well. He made it feel like it was just on the verge of being intrusive into Twain's daily life . I got a slight sense of sarcasm, though. Like Kipling was being a little too diminutive or groveling. I'm not sure if maybe I'm reading too much into it but why emphasize with such incredible detail the overwhelming value of simply being touch by Twain, or wanting to steal his pipe?