LOCK WILLOW, 19th June Dear Daddy-Long-Legs, I'm educated! My diploma is in the bottom bureau drawer with my two best dresses. Commencement was as usual, with a few showers at vital moments. Thank you for your rosebuds. They were lovely. Master Jervie and Master Jimmie both gave me roses, too, but I left theirs in the bath tub and carried yours in the class procession. Here I am at Lock Willow for the summer--for ever maybe. The board is cheap; the surroundings quiet and conducive to a literary life. What more does a struggling author wish? I am mad about my book. I think of it every waking moment, and dream of it at night. All I want is peace and quiet and lots of time to work (interspersed with nourishing meals). Master Jervie is coming up for a week or so in August, and Jimmie McBride is going to drop in sometime through the summer. He's connected with a bond house now, and goes about the country selling bonds to banks. He's going to combine the 'Farmers' National' at the Corners and me on the same trip. You see that Lock Willow isn't entirely lacking in society. I'd be expecting to have you come motoring through--only I know now that that is hopeless. When you wouldn't come to my commencement, I tore you from my heart and buried you for ever. Judy Abbott, A.B. 24th July Dearest Daddy-Long-Legs, Isn't it fun to work--or don't you ever do it? It's especially fun when your kind of work is the thing you'd rather do more than anything else in the world. I've been writing as fast as my pen would go every day this summer, and my only quarrel with life is that the days aren't long enough to write all the beautiful and valuable and entertaining thoughts I'm thinking. I've finished the second draft of my book and am going to begin the third tomorrow morning at half-past seven. It's the sweetest book you ever saw--it is, truly. I think of nothing else. I can barely wait in the morning to dress and eat before beginning; then I write and write and write till suddenly I'm so tired that I'm limp all over. Then I go out with Colin (the new sheep dog) and romp through the fields and get a fresh supply of ideas for the next day. It's the most beautiful book you ever saw--Oh, pardon--I said that before. You don't think me conceited, do you, Daddy dear? I'm not, really, only just now I'm in the enthusiastic stage. Maybe later on I'll get cold and critical and sniffy. No, I'm sure I won't! This time I've written a real book. Just wait till you see it. I'll try for a minute to talk about something else. I never told you, did I, that Amasai and Carrie got married last May? They are still working here, but so far as I can see it has spoiled them both. She used to laugh when he tramped in mud or dropped ashes on the floor, but now--you should hear her scold! And she doesn't curl her hair any longer. Amasai, who used to be so obliging about beating rugs and carrying wood, grumbles if you suggest such a thing. Also his neckties are quite dingy--black and brown, where they used to be scarlet and purple. I've determined never to marry. It's a deteriorating process, evidently. There isn't much of any farm news. The animals are all in the best of health. The pigs are unusually fat, the cows seem contented and the hens are laying well. Are you interested in poultry? If so, let me recommend that invaluable little work, 200 Eggs per Hen per Year. I am thinking of starting an incubator next spring and raising broilers. You see I'm settled at Lock Willow permanently. I have decided to stay until I've written 114 novels like Anthony Trollope's mother. Then I shall have completed my life work and can retire and travel. Mr. James McBride spent last Sunday with us. Fried chicken and ice-cream for dinner, both of which he appeared to appreciate. I was awfully glad to see him; he brought a momentary reminder that the world at large exists. Poor Jimmie is having a hard time peddling his bonds. The 'Farmers' National' at the Corners wouldn't have anything to do with them in spite of the fact that they pay six per cent. interest and sometimes seven. I think he'll end up by going home to Worcester and taking a job in his father's factory. He's too open and confiding and kind-hearted ever to make a successful financier. But to be the manager of a flourishing overall factory is a very desirable position, don't you think? Just now he turns up his nose at overalls, but he'll come to them. I hope you appreciate the fact that this is a long letter from a person with writer's cramp. But I still love you, Daddy dear, and I'm very happy. With beautiful scenery all about, and lots to eat and a comfortable four-post bed and a ream of blank paper and a pint of ink--what more does one want in the world? Yours as always, Judy PS. The postman arrives with some more news. We are to expect Master Jervie on Friday next to spend a week. That's a very pleasant prospect--only I am afraid my poor book will suffer. Master Jervie is very demanding. 27th August Dear Daddy-Long-Legs, Where are you, I wonder? I never know what part of the world you are in, but I hope you're not in New York during this awful weather. I hope you're on a mountain peak (but not in Switzerland; somewhere nearer) looking at the snow and thinking about me. Please be thinking about me. I'm quite lonely and I want to be thought about. Oh, Daddy, I wish I knew you! Then when we were unhappy we could cheer each other up. I don't think I can stand much more of Lock Willow. I'm thinking of moving. Sallie is going to do settlement work in Boston next winter. Don't you think it would be nice for me to go with her, then we could have a studio together? I would write while she SETTLED and we could be together in the evenings. Evenings are very long when there's no one but the Semples and Carrie and Amasai to talk to. I know in advance that you won't like my studio idea. I can read your secretary's letter now: 'Miss Jerusha Abbott. 'DEAR MADAM, 'Mr. Smith prefers that you remain at Lock Willow. 'Yours truly, 'ELMER H. GRIGGS.' I hate your secretary. I am certain that a man named Elmer H. Griggs must be horrid. But truly, Daddy, I think I shall have to go to Boston. I can't stay here. If something doesn't happen soon, I shall throw myself into the silo pit out of sheer desperation. Mercy! but it's hot. All the grass is burnt up and the brooks are dry and the roads are dusty. It hasn't rained for weeks and weeks. This letter sounds as though I had hydrophobia, but I haven't. I just want some family. Goodbye, my dearest Daddy. I wish I knew you. Judy LOCK WILLOW, 19th September Dear Daddy, Something has happened and I need advice. I need it from you, and from nobody else in the world. Wouldn't it be possible for me to see you? It's so much easier to talk than to write; and I'm afraid your secretary might open the letter. Judy PS. I'm very unhappy. LOCK WILLOW, 3rd October Dear Daddy-Long-Legs, Your note written in your own hand--and a pretty wobbly hand!-- came this morning. I am so sorry that you have been ill; I wouldn't have bothered you with my affairs if I had known. Yes, I will tell you the trouble, but it's sort of complicated to write, and VERY PRIVATE. Please don't keep this letter, but burn it. Before I begin--here's a cheque for one thousand dollars. It seems funny, doesn't it, for me to be sending a cheque to you? Where do you think I got it? I've sold my story, Daddy. It's going to be published serially in seven parts, and then in a book! You might think I'd be wild with joy, but I'm not. I'm entirely apathetic. Of course I'm glad to begin paying you--I owe you over two thousand more. It's coming in instalments. Now don't be horrid, please, about taking it, because it makes me happy to return it. I owe you a great deal more than the mere money, and the rest I will continue to pay all my life in gratitude and affection. And now, Daddy, about the other thing; please give me your most worldly advice, whether you think I'll like it or not. You know that I've always had a very special feeling towards you; you sort of represented my whole family; but you won't mind, will you, if I tell you that I have a very much more special feeling for another man? You can probably guess without much trouble who he is. I suspect that my letters have been very full of Master Jervie for a very long time. I wish I could make you understand what he is like and how entirely companionable we are. We think the same about everything-- I am afraid I have a tendency to make over my ideas to match his! But he is almost always right; he ought to be, you know, for he has fourteen years' start of me. In other ways, though, he's just an overgrown boy, and he does need looking after-- he hasn't any sense about wearing rubbers when it rains. He and I always think the same things are funny, and that is such a lot; it's dreadful when two people's senses of humour are antagonistic. I don't believe there's any bridging that gulf! And he is--Oh, well! He is just himself, and I miss him, and miss him, and miss him. The whole world seems empty and aching. I hate the moonlight because it's beautiful and he isn't here to see it with me. But maybe you've loved somebody, too, and you know? If you have, I don't need to explain; if you haven't, I can't explain. Anyway, that's the way I feel--and I've refused to marry him. I didn't tell him why; I was just dumb and miserable. I couldn't think of anything to say. And now he has gone away imagining that I want to marry Jimmie McBride--I don't in the least, I wouldn't think of marrying Jimmie; he isn't grown up enough. But Master Jervie and I got into a dreadful muddle of misunderstanding and we both hurt each other's feelings. The reason I sent him away was not because I didn't care for him, but because I cared for him so much. I was afraid he would regret it in the future-- and I couldn't stand that! It didn't seem right for a person of my lack of antecedents to marry into any such family as his. I never told him about the orphan asylum, and I hated to explain that I didn't know who I was. I may be DREADFUL, you know. And his family are proud--and I'm proud, too! Also, I felt sort of bound to you. After having been educated to be a writer, I must at least try to be one; it would scarcely be fair to accept your education and then go off and not use it. But now that I am going to be able to pay back the money, I feel that I have partially discharged that debt--besides, I suppose I could keep on being a writer even if I did marry. The two professions are not necessarily exclusive. I've been thinking very hard about it. Of course he is a Socialist, and he has unconventional ideas; maybe he wouldn't mind marrying into the proletariat so much as some men might. Perhaps when two people are exactly in accord, and always happy when together and lonely when apart, they ought not to let anything in the world stand between them. Of course I WANT to believe that! But I'd like to get your unemotional opinion. You probably belong to a Family also, and will look at it from a worldly point of view and not just a sympathetic, human point of view--so you see how brave I am to lay it before you. Suppose I go to him and explain that the trouble isn't Jimmie, but is the John Grier Home--would that be a dreadful thing for me to do? It would take a great deal of courage. I'd almost rather be miserable for the rest of my life. This happened nearly two months ago; I haven't heard a word from him since he was here. I was just getting sort of acclimated to the feeling of a broken heart, when a letter came from Julia that stirred me all up again. She said--very casually--that 'Uncle Jervis' had been caught out all night in a storm when he was hunting in Canada, and had been ill ever since with pneumonia. And I never knew it. I was feeling hurt because he had just disappeared into blankness without a word. I think he's pretty unhappy, and I know I am! What seems to you the right thing for me to do? Judy 6th October Dearest Daddy-Long-Legs, Yes, certainly I'll come--at half-past four next Wednesday afternoon. Of COURSE I can find the way. I've been in New York three times and am not quite a baby. I can't believe that I am really going to see you-- I've been just THINKING you so long that it hardly seems as though you are a tangible flesh-and-blood person. You are awfully good, Daddy, to bother yourself with me, when you're not strong. Take care and don't catch cold. These fall rains are very damp. Affectionately, Judy PS. I've just had an awful thought. Have you a butler? I'm afraid of butlers, and if one opens the door I shall faint upon the step. What can I say to him? You didn't tell me your name. Shall I ask for Mr. Smith? Thursday Morning My Very Dearest Master-Jervie-Daddy-Long-Legs Pendleton-Smith, Did you sleep last night? I didn't. Not a single wink. I was too amazed and excited and bewildered and happy. I don't believe I ever shall sleep again--or eat either. But I hope you slept; you must, you know, because then you will get well faster and can come to me. Dear Man, I can't bear to think how ill you've been--and all the time I never knew it. When the doctor came down yesterday to put me in the cab, he told me that for three days they gave you up. Oh, dearest, if that had happened, the light would have gone out of the world for me. I suppose that some day in the far future-- one of us must leave the other; but at least we shall have had our happiness and there will be memories to live with. I meant to cheer you up--and instead I have to cheer myself. For in spite of being happier than I ever dreamed I could be, I'm also soberer. The fear that something may happen rests like a shadow on my heart. Always before I could be frivolous and care-free and unconcerned, because I had nothing precious to lose. But now--I shall have a Great Big Worry all the rest of my life. Whenever you are away from me I shall be thinking of all the automobiles that can run over you, or the sign-boards that can fall on your head, or the dreadful, squirmy germs that you may be swallowing. My peace of mind is gone for ever--but anyway, I never cared much for just plain peace. Please get well--fast--fast--fast. I want to have you close by where I can touch you and make sure you are tangible. Such a little half hour we had together! I'm afraid maybe I dreamed it. If I were only a member of your family (a very distant fourth cousin) then I could come and visit you every day, and read aloud and plump up your pillow and smooth out those two little wrinkles in your forehead and make the corners of your mouth turn up in a nice cheerful smile. But you are cheerful again, aren't you? You were yesterday before I left. The doctor said I must be a good nurse, that you looked ten years younger. I hope that being in love doesn't make every one ten years younger. Will you still care for me, darling, if I turn out to be only eleven? Yesterday was the most wonderful day that could ever happen. If I live to be ninety-nine I shall never forget the tiniest detail. The girl that left Lock Willow at dawn was a very different person from the one who came back at night. Mrs. Semple called me at half-past four. I started wide awake in the darkness and the first thought that popped into my head was, 'I am going to see Daddy-Long-Legs!' I ate breakfast in the kitchen by candle-light, and then drove the five miles to the station through the most glorious October colouring. The sun came up on the way, and the swamp maples and dogwood glowed crimson and orange and the stone walls and cornfields sparkled with hoar frost; the air was keen and clear and full of promise. I knew something was going to happen. All the way in the train the rails kept singing, 'You're going to see Daddy-Long-Legs.' It made me feel secure. I had such faith in Daddy's ability to set things right. And I knew that somewhere another man--dearer than Daddy-- was wanting to see me, and somehow I had a feeling that before the journey ended I should meet him, too. And you see! When I came to the house on Madison Avenue it looked so big and brown and forbidding that I didn't dare go in, so I walked around the block to get up my courage. But I needn't have been a bit afraid; your butler is such a nice, fatherly old man that he made me feel at home at once. 'Is this Miss Abbott?' he said to me, and I said, 'Yes,' so I didn't have to ask for Mr. Smith after all. He told me to wait in the drawing-room. It was a very sombre, magnificent, man's sort of room. I sat down on the edge of a big upholstered chair and kept saying to myself: 'I'm going to see Daddy-Long-Legs! I'm going to see Daddy-Long-Legs!' Then presently the man came back and asked me please to step up to the library. I was so excited that really and truly my feet would hardly take me up. Outside the door he turned and whispered, 'He's been very ill, Miss. This is the first day he's been allowed to sit up. You'll not stay long enough to excite him?' I knew from the way he said it that he loved you--an I think he's an old dear! Then he knocked and said, 'Miss Abbott,' and I went in and the door closed behind me. It was so dim coming in from the brightly lighted hall that for a moment I could scarcely make out anything; then I saw a big easy chair before the fire and a shining tea table with a smaller chair beside it. And I realized that a man was sitting in the big chair propped up by pillows with a rug over his knees. Before I could stop him he rose--rather shakily--and steadied himself by the back of the chair and just looked at me without a word. And then-- and then--I saw it was you! But even with that I didn't understand. I thought Daddy had had you come there to meet me or a surprise. Then you laughed and held out your hand and said, 'Dear little Judy, couldn't you guess that I was Daddy-Long-Legs?' In an instant it flashed over me. Oh, but I have been stupid! A hundred little things might have told me, if I had had any wits. I wouldn't make a very good detective, would I, Daddy? Jervie? What must I call you? Just plain Jervie sounds disrespectful, and I can't be disrespectful to you! It was a very sweet half hour before your doctor came and sent me away. I was so dazed when I got to the station that I almost took a train for St Louis. And you were pretty dazed, too. You forgot to give me any tea. But we're both very, very happy, aren't we? I drove back to Lock Willow in the dark but oh, how the stars were shining! And this morning I've been out with Colin visiting all the places that you and I went to together, and remembering what you said and how you looked. The woods today are burnished bronze and the air is full of frost. It's CLIMBING weather. I wish you were here to climb the hills with me. I am missing you dreadfully, Jervie dear, but it's a happy kind of missing; we'll be together soon. We belong to each other now really and truly, no make-believe. Doesn't it seem queer for me to belong to someone at last? It seems very, very sweet. And I shall never let you be sorry for a single instant. Yours, for ever and ever, Judy PS. This is the first love-letter I ever wrote. Isn't it funny that I know how?
柳树农场 六月十九日 亲爱的长腿叔叔: 我已经被教育完成了.我的文凭和两件最好的洋装被一起放在五斗柜最下层的抽屉里.毕业典礼没有什么特别的,重要的时候下了点雨.谢谢你送的玫瑰花,很漂亮.哲维少爷和吉米少爷也送我玫瑰花,但是我把他们送的花放在浴缸,带着你送的花参加班级游行. 我来柳树农场过暑假 - 或许过一辈子也不一定.这儿的食宿很便宜;周遭的环境很安静,非常适合写作.一个想要跻身作家之林的人,还能有何要求呢?我疯狂的写着我的书,只要醒著就不停的想我的书,晚上也梦着我的书.我只希望有很多的时间可以安静的写作(只被营养的三餐打断.). 八月时哲维少爷要来待一个礼拜,而夏天时吉米麦克白也会过来.他现在在一家债券公司工作,四处出差跟银行兜售债券.他把柯尔耐尔的国家农民银行和柳树农场结合在同一条出差路线上. 你瞧柳树农场并非完全和社会脱节.我很期待你会开车经过这儿 - 虽然明知那是不可能的事.当你没有来参加我的毕业典礼时,我已经把你从我的心中除去而且永远的埋起来了. 茱蒂爱柏 七月二十四日 最亲爱的长腿叔叔: 工作真是件有趣的事,不是吗?你曾经工作过吗?如果你的工作是全世界你最想做的事,那就更加有趣了.这个夏天我每天都不停的写写写,唯一令我不满的是时间不够用,不够让我写下我脑中美丽的,重要的,愉悦的思绪. 我已经完成我的书的第二份草稿,明天早上七点半开始要写第三份.这将会是你读过最棒的书 - 真的.现在我满脑子只有我的书.简直等不及早上起床着衣吃早饭,然后开始写写写.我要一直写到累到不能动,四肢瘫软无力为止.然后我要跟柯林出去(新来的牧羊犬),跟着他一起在田里奔跑玩耍,在脑中注入明天可以用的新想去.这会是你见过最美丽的书了 - 不好意思 - 我之前说过了. 你不会觉得我很自大吧,Daddy? 我并不自大,只是现在处于一个极度热切的阶段.也许之后我会冷静下来,变得又挑剔又不屑.不,我相信我不会的.这次我要写出一本真正的书,你等著瞧吧! 现在我来试着告诉你一些我的书以外的事情.我没有跟你提过阿马萨和凯丽五月结婚了吧?他们依然在此工作,但就我所见婚姻这件事把他们的关系搞坏了.以前当他踩到烂泥巴进屋子或是把屋子弄脏,她都是哈哈笑着,但现在 - 你真该听听她是怎么骂他的.她再也不上发卷了.以前阿马萨总是心甘情愿的打毯子搬木头,现在如果你叫他做这些事他会咕哝个不停.现在他的领带颜色多么灰暗啊 - 不是黑色就是咖啡色 - 他以前可都是打红色或紫色领带的.我已经决定绝不走入婚姻.很显然那是一个恶化的过程. 农场没有什么新鲜事.动物都健壮无比.猪只异常肥大,乳牛似乎十分满足,而母鸡也都乖乖的下蛋.你对家禽有兴趣吗?如果有,容我推荐最有价值的小生意,每只母鸡每年可以下两百个蛋.明年春天我想弄个孵蛋房和养肉鸡.你瞧我已经在柳树农场永远的安顿下来了.我决定在这儿待到我写完一百一十四本小说,像安东尼崔洛普(注)的母亲一样多产.届时我一生的工作已经完成,我可以退休然后去旅行. 注:安东尼崔洛普Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) 英国小说家,母亲以写作养家. 上个周日吉米麦克白来到农场.晚餐是炸鸡和冰淇淋,两者似乎他都很喜欢.我很高兴见到他;他让我短暂想起外面的大世界是存在着的.可怜的吉米卖债券卖得很辛苦.国家农民银行并不想跟他买债券,即使利率有六分,有时候是七分.我想最后他会回到渥尔切斯特,在他父亲的工厂工作.他太坦白真诚好心,不可能成为一个成功的金融家.在一个蓬勃的工作服工厂当一个经理人是一份不错的工作,你不觉得吗?现在的他对工作服感到不屑,但有一天他会回心转意的. 我想你会感激这封信出自于一个勤于写作而肩膀酸痛的作家之手.我还是爱你的,Daddy,而且我很快乐.身处如此美丽的景色当中,有丰富的食物,一张舒服的四柱床,一叠空白稿纸和一品脱的墨水 - 我还能奢求什么呢? 永远的,
PS 邮差带着一些消息到来.哲维少爷周五要来住一周.真是令人愉快的期待 - 只是届时我的写作进度会受到影响,哲维少爷的要求是很多的. 八月二十七日 亲爱的长腿叔叔: 你在哪儿呢? 我从来不知道你身处这世界的何处,但希望在这恶劣的气候中你不是在纽约.我希望你是在山上(但不是在瑞士,在离我近一点的山上),欣赏雪景并想着我.请想着我.我好孤单而且希望有人想着我.真希望我认识你,那么当我们不开心时可以互相打气.
致洁若沙爱柏小姐 亲爱的女士, 史密斯先生希望妳待在柳树农场.
我不喜欢你的秘书.我很肯定叫爱尔马葛列克的人一定不讨人喜欢.但是我真的觉得我应该去波士顿.我无法待在这儿.如果再没有事发生,我可能会绝望至极往粮仓跳下去. 天气真热!草被晒焦,河流被晒干,道路都是尘砂.已经好几个礼拜又几个礼拜没有下雨了. 这封信看起来我好像得了恐水症,其实我只是希望有家人而已. 再见,最亲爱的Daddy, 希望我认识你,
亲爱的Daddy, 有事情发生了,而且我需要你的建议,来自于你的建议,而不是任何其他人.我可以见你一面吗?这件事用说的比用写的容易多了;而且我很担心你的秘书会读我的信. 茱蒂 PS 我很不开心. 柳树农场,十月三日 亲爱的长腿叔叔, 你亲手写的信 - 看得出来自颤抖的手 - 今早收到了.如果我知道你生病,我就不会写信去烦你了.是的,我愿意用写的告诉你我遇到的问题.不过这事有点复杂,而且非常私人.读完这封信后,请你把信烧了. 在我开始写之前,请收下随信附上的一千元支票.现在换我寄支票给你了,感觉很奇妙,不是吗?你觉得我的钱是从哪儿来的呢? 我已经卖出我写的故事了,Daddy.我的书会先分七次连载刊出,然后结集成册出版.你可能会以为我一定欣喜若狂,但我并没有.我完全无动于衷.当然我很开心可以开始把我的学费还给你 - 我还欠你超过两千块.我会开始分期偿还.请不要害怕,请收下我的支票,因为可以还债让我感到开心.我欠你的远远超过金钱所能衡量.这一部份我会在我的下半辈子中,用感激与诚意来偿还. 现在,Daddy,关于另一件事,请给我最中肯的建议,不要管我喜欢与否. 你知道我一直对你有一份特别的感情;在某方面你代表我所有的家人;但是如果我跟你说我对另一个男人有更多特别的感情,你应该不会介意吧?或许你可以很快的猜出是谁.我怀疑我的信中长期以来写了很多哲维少爷. 我希望我可以让你了解他的为人,以及我们之间的相处是如何融洽.我们的想法几乎一致 - 我想应该是我倾向于附和他的想法.但他几乎都是对的,他应该是对的,你知道的,因为他大我十四岁.但是在其他方面,他像一个长不大的男孩,需要被照顾 - 他完全不知道下雨天该穿雨鞋.他和我对相同的事情感到有趣,而且不胜枚举.如果两个人的幽默感是敌对的话,那是很糟糕的.我不认为那是可以跨越的鸿沟. 而且他 - 喔,他只是他,而我想念他,想念他,想念他.世界是如此空洞且痛苦.我讨厌月光,因为没有他和我一起看月光.也许你曾经爱过某个人,所以了解这种感觉.如果你曾经,我无须解释.如果你未曾,我无法解释. 总之,那是我的感觉 - 而且我拒绝了他的求婚. 我没有告诉他原因;我又笨又沮丧,完全想不出要说什么.现在他走了,以为我想要嫁的人是吉米麦克白 - 我一点也不想嫁给吉米,他根本还没长大.但是哲维少爷和我误解彼此的感觉,互相伤害了对方.我拒绝的原因并不是因为我不在乎他,而是因为太在乎他.我怕他将来会后悔 - 我无法忍受这个想法.像我这样一个出身不明的人,嫁入如此一户人家是不恰当的.我从没跟他提过孤儿院的事,我讨厌去解释不知道自己是谁.也许我很糟糕.他的家人很骄傲 - 但我也有我的骄傲. 再者,我觉得对你有所亏欠.在你教育我作为一个作家之后,我至少要朝那个方向努力.接受你的教育后,却完全不派上用场,那是不对的.现在我可以开始还钱,我觉得我已经开始清偿付债 - 而且我觉得就算我结了婚,我还是可以继续写作的.这两种职业并不互相抵触. 我一直在认真思考这件事.当然他是个社会主义者,有着反传统的想法;也许他并不介意和无产阶级结婚,有些男人是这样的.也许如果两人是契合的,在一起时总是很开心,分开时很孤单,他们不应该让世俗成见阻挡其中.当然我想这么相信.但是我需要你理性的意见.或许你也来自一个显赫的家族,可以用实际的,不带感情的,人性的观点来看这件事 - 你瞧,我是鼓起多大的勇气告诉你这件事. 如果我去找他,跟他说原因不是吉米而是孤儿院 - 那会是一件很糟糕的事吗?那需要很大的勇气.我几乎宁愿选择悲惨的度过余生了. 这已经是近两个月前的事了;到现在为止我没有收到他的只字片语.在我几乎要习惯拥有一颗破碎的心时,茱莉亚捎来一封信,再度打乱我的心.她说 - 非常若无其事的 - “哲维叔叔”在加拿大打猎时,有一晚被暴风雨困住,结果得了肺炎,到现在都还没好.我觉得好伤心,因为他就这么不发一言的消失无踪.他可能很不开心,至少我确定我是不开心的. 我应该要怎么做才对呢? 茱蒂 十月六日 最亲爱的长腿叔叔: 是的,我当然可以去 - 下周三下午四点半.当然我找得到路.我去过纽约三次,而且我不是小孩子了.我无法相信我真的要见到你了 - 长久以来你只存在我的想像中,都快忘了其实你是一个有血有肉的人. 你真是一个大好人,Daddy,生著病还为了我而烦心.请小心别着凉了.今年秋天的雨水很潮溼. 衷心的,
PS 我突然有一个可怕的想法.你有男管家吗?我很怕男管家,如果是他们来开门,我会在门前昏倒.我要跟他说什么?你并没有跟我说你的名字.我该说我要找史密斯先生吗? 周四早晨 我最亲爱的哲维少爷长腿叔叔潘得敦史密斯先生: 你昨天有睡吗?我整晚都没有合眼.我太意外,太激动,太不知所措,太开心了.我觉得我可能永远也无法入眠了 - 或是吃东西.但我希望你有睡觉,你一定要的,你知道吗?因为这样你才可以快点好起来然后来找我. 天啊,我无法想像你生了这么重的病 - 而且我一点都不知情.当昨天医生下楼送我上车时,他说有三天的时间他们对你不抱希望了.喔,亲爱的,如果那真的发生,我的世界的灯光会永远熄灭.我想在未来的某一天 - 我们总有一方要离开另一方;但至少我们应该拥有我们的幸福,带着回忆活下去. 原本打算写信让你开心的 - 结果我却得让自己开心起来.尽管我从没想过自己可以如此快乐,但另一方面我却是非常清醒的.对未来的恐惧在我心上投下一道阴影.在此之前我是如此的傻气,自由自在,蛮不在乎,因为我没有任何珍贵的东西可以失去.但是现在 - 终其一生我都有一个非常巨大的担心.当你不在我身边的时候,我会担心你可能会被车撞到,或是被掉下来的招牌砸到头,或是吃下某种可怕的细菌.我宁静的思绪再也回不来了 - 反正我向来也不在乎单调的宁静. 请赶快-赶快-赶快好起来.我希望你在我伸手可及之处,确定你是真正的存在.我们相处的那半小时是多么的短暂啊!我一直担心我是在做梦.如果我是你家的其中一员(一个遥远的四等亲)那么我就可以每天去看你,读书给你听,帮你拍枕头,抚平你额头那两道纹路,让你嘴角扬起形成一个开心的微笑.但是你的确再度开心了,不是吗?昨天我离开前你是的.医生说我一定是个好护士,因为你看起来年轻了三岁.希望谈恋爱不会让每个人年轻十岁.如果我只有十一岁,亲爱的,你还会在乎我吗? 昨天是有史以来最棒的一天.如果我能活到九十九岁,我也不会忘记任何最小的细节.那个在清晨离开柳树农场的女孩,晚上回去时已经变成一个截然不同的人了.山普太太在清晨四点半把我叫醒.在黑暗中我头脑异常清醒,第一个想法是:我要和长腿叔叔见面了!我在厨房就著烛光吃早餐,然后乘马车走了五公里路到车站,就著最灿烂的十月晨光.太阳在半路升起,枫树和茱萸散发出红橘的光芒,石墙和玉米田有点点白霜;空气冷冽清新充满希望.我感觉到某事就要发生.搭火车时,铁轨一路唱着:妳要去见长腿叔叔了.“那带给我安全感.我对长腿叔叔的能力有信心.而且我知道在某个地方有另一个男人 - 比长腿叔叔更亲爱的男人 - 想要见我,而且不知怎么的,我觉得在纽约之旅结束前我也会见到他.你瞧,我真的见到他了. 当我来到麦迪逊大道,看到那栋巨大的高高在上的棕色房子时,我不敢进去,所以绕着屋子走好鼓起勇气.其实我不需要害怕的,你的男管家是一个如此和蔼可亲的老人,让我立刻卸下防备.“请问是爱柏小姐吗?”他问我,我回,“是的,”所以我根本不需跟他说我要找史密斯先生.他要我在客厅等一下.那是一间沈稳,高尚,男人的客厅.我在一个舖了软垫的椅子边缘坐下,一直跟自己说: “我要见到长腿叔叔了!我要见到长腿叔叔了!” 不久管家回来要我上楼到书房去.我兴奋到两脚几乎拖不动身体.在书房门外他转身跟我说,“他最近病得很重,小姐.今天是他第一次被允许坐起来.请不要停留太久,以免他过于激动.”从他说话的方式我知道他是爱你的 - 他真是一个老好人. 然后他敲门并说,“爱柏小姐,”接着我进门,门在我身后合上. 乍从明亮的走廊进到昏暗的书房,有一会我什么也看不清;然后我看到壁炉前有一张大椅子,一张发亮的茶几,以及旁边的一把小椅子.接着我看到一个男人坐在大椅子上,背后有枕头垫著,腿上盖著毯子.在我可以阻止他之前,他站起来了 - 不稳的 - 他抓着椅背好稳住自己,不发一言的看着我.然后 - 然后 - 我看到你.但是我很不解.我以为长腿叔叔叫你去那儿见我,好给我一个大惊喜. 接着你笑了,伸出一只手说,“亲爱的小茱蒂,难道你猜不出来我就是长腿叔叔吗?” 刹那间我明白了,喔,天啊,我怎么那么笨呢?如果我够聪明,也许早就从一百个小细节看出你就是长腿叔叔.我是做不了大侦探的.我该怎么称呼你呢?Daddy?哲维?哲维听起来有点不尊敬,我不能对你不尊敬啊. 在你的医生来把我送走之前,那是最美好的半小时了.我是如此飘飘然,在车站时几乎搭错火车.你也是啊,因为你连茶都忘了给我.但我们是如此的开心,不是吗?我在夜色中驾马车回农场,天上的星星如此闪亮.今天早上我带着柯林走遍你和我一起去过的地方,想着你说过的话和你的模样.今天的树林红通通的,空气中满是结霜的味道.这是爬山的气候!真希望你在这里和我一起爬山.我好想念你,亲爱的哲维,但那是一种快乐的想念;我们很快会见面.我们真的属于彼此,不是虚幻不实的.真的属于某一个人的感觉有点怪,不是吗?那是一种非常甜美的感觉. 我不会让你有一刻不开心的. 永远永远的,
PS 这是我写的第一封情书.没想到我竟然会写情书!