Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)
From The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Works

In 1889, having published six short-story collections in a one-year period, the 23-year-old Rudyard Kipling left India for a tour of America and Europe. His travels brought him to New York and Connecticut, where he hoped to locate and “shake hands with” Mark Twain, the “man I had learned to love and admire fourteen thousand miles away.” His recollection of that encounter was published in newspapers from Allahabad to New York. “An Interview with Mark Twain” is more than a transcription of his conversation with the author of Tom Sawyer; Kipling also recounts how he hunted down his idol, his awe at actually meeting him, and Twain’s genteel demeanor to a stranger arriving unannounced at the door.

When Rudyard Kipling traveled to England the following year and soon became a literary celebrity, Mark Twain did not immediately connect the young visitor with the rising star of English letters—but Twain’s daughter Susy, enamored with the idea that anyone could hail from such an exotic locale, had kept Kipling’s calling card with its address in India. Twain then read Plain Tales from the Hills and wrote to a friend, “whereas Kipling’s stories are plenty good enough on a first reading they very greatly improve on a second.” Mark Twain later recalled his initial encounter with Kipling: “I believed that he knew more than any person I had met before, and I knew that he knew that I knew less than any person he had met before—though he did not say it, and I was not expecting that he would. . . . He was a stranger to me and to all the world, and remained so for twelve months, then he became suddenly known, and universally known.”

I should like to have heard Mark’s version of that, with somestories of his joyous and variegated past. He has been journey-man printer (in those days he wandered from the banks of the Missouri even to Philadelphia), pilot cub and full-blown pilot,soldier of the South (that was for three weeks only), private sec-retary to a Lieutenant-Governor of Nevada (that displeasedhim), miner, editor, special correspondent in the SandwichIslands, and the Lord only knows what else. If so experienced aman could by any means be made drunk, it would be a gloriousthing to fll him up with composite liquors, and, in the languageo his own country, “let him retrospect.” But these eyes willnever see that orgy ft for the gods!
The Pioneer 
Reprinted in
From Sea to Sea: Letters of Travel