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親愛的長腿叔叔:

 

     但願你不是坐在癩蛤蟆上的那位理事。聽說,當時砰一聲很響,可能是一位比你還胖的理事。

 

    你還記得格利爾之家洗衣房窗外那些蓋著柵欄的空洞嗎?每逢春天蟾蜍鼓噪之際,我們常見去捕捉蟾蜍,為此我們受到嚴厲的懲罰,但是並未停止捕捉蟾蜍。

 

    有一天她吧,我不要扯些芝麻蒜皮的事來煩你了反正,有一隻又肥又大粘的蛤蟆,不知怎麼的跳進了理事廳的大皮椅子裹。而那天下午開理事會不過我敢說你當時一定在場,並記得當時的情景?

 

    此刻冷靜地回想,我受到的懲罰是應得的,如果我沒記錯話,也還恰如其分。

 

   不知為何我這般懷舊,莫非是春天和蛤蟆觸動了我貪得的天性?這裹沒有禁止捕捉蛙的禁令,而我也沒有了捕蛙的願望。

 

星期一第八節課

 

    你知道我最喜歡哪一本書嗎?我指的是現在;因我的愛好三天一變。我最喜歡《咆哮山莊》。愛蜜麗•勃朗特寫這本書時還很年輕,從未涉足哈華斯教區之外。她一生中從未接觸過男性,如何能創造出希斯克利夫這樣的一個男人?

 

    我就不能,我也很年輕,沒出過孤兒院的門具備成功的種種條件。我有時很氣餒,覺得自己不是天才。長腿叔叔,如果我成不了偉大作家,你會失望嗎?春天的一切都那麼美好、青翠,欣欣向榮,我真想丟下功課沉醉在書中的故事,要比寫書有趣多了。

 

    ! ! ! ! ! !

 

    我這一聲喊叫把莎莉、朱麗雅還有待真倒霉)走廊那頭的大四學生都招引來了。這是因為我看到一條蜈蚣,就像這樣

 

 

 

 

 

    比這還可怕。正當我寫完上句,正在思考下句時,噗落!牠從天而降,落在我身旁。我一躍而起,打翻了桌上兩隻杯子。莎莉用我的駛刷背部拍打,弄死了前半截開髮刷再也不能用了)。後面的五十對腳跑到梳妝台下不見了。

 

這間古舊的宿舍爬滿了長春藤,藏著無數蜈蚣,這比有隻老虎蹲在床下還可怕。

 

星期四做禮拜後

 

 

    倒霉的事接二連三!今天早晨,我沒聽見起床鈴,急忙穿衣時,又扯斷了鞋帶,還把領口的扣子拉掉在脖子裹。早飯吃晚了,第一節自習課也遲到了,鋼筆漏水又沒帶吸墨水紙。上三角課時,我和教授為了一個對數的小問題而起了爭執。查書以後,我發覺還是她對,中午吃燜羊肉和大黃莖,都是我不愛吃的,像孤兒院的伙食。郵差什麼也沒收送來,只有帳單(不過說是真的,除了帳單,我也沒收到過別的東西,我的家人從來就不寫信。)下午的英語課突然改成了寫作課,擺在面前的是:

 

我別無他求,

也不復遭到拒絕。

我為此獻上生命;

那位無所不能的商中笑了。

 

巴西?他玩弄著妞紐釦,

看也不看我一眼:

但是,夫人,難道我們今天

就沒有其他可以呈獻?

 

    這是一首詩,我不知道作者,也不明白它的含義。到教室時,只見它工整地被抄在黑板上,老師並要求的我們加以評論。讀完第一段,似乎有些懂了。無所不能的商人是指賜福給行善者的神祗,可是看到他在第二段中商人玩弄紐釦,這推測似乎有點褻瀆神明,我又趕緊改變了主意。班上同學也是一樣的狀況,整整三刻鐘我們面對著一張白紙,腦子空空如也。受教育真是個極其磨人的過程!

 

    這還沒完,更倒霉的事還在後面。

 

    雨天不能打高爾夫球場,但要到體育館。我旁邊的那女孩,用體操棒砰的一下打到我的手肘。回到宿舍,我天藍色的春裝送來了。可是裙子太小,坐都坐不下來。星期五是打掃宿舍的日子。清潔女工把我桌上的紙弄得亂七八糟,我們的點心是「墓碑」(一種香草牛奶凍)。禮拜時間延長了二十分鐘,給我們宣講為婦之道。還有,當我好不容易鬆了口氣坐下看《貴婦人的畫像》時,一個笨手笨腳、死氣沈沈,臉長得像麵糰的女孩艾克莉跑來問我,星期一的課是從第六十九段開始,還是從七十段。上拉丁語課時,她就坐在我的旁邊,因為她的姓和我一樣都是a字母開頭(我真希望李培太太給我取個z開頭的姓,比如扎布里斯基)。她坐了整整一個鐘頭,剛剛才走。

 

    你有聽說過這麼一連串令人  氣嗎?生活中,並不只是在大難臨頭時,才要顯現出英雄本色。人要能勇於對抗危險,面蒐重大的衝擊,還要對日常的煩擾付諸一笑我想這真的需耍一點精神才行。

 

    今後,我耍培養這種精神。我耍把生活視為一場競技,盡我所能熟巧和公平地投入這場遊戲。勝也罷,敗也好,我都會聳聳肩,一笑置之。

 

    不管怎樣,我要作一個堂堂正正的人,親愛的長腿叔叔,你再不會聽到我因為朱麗雅穿長統絲襪,和蜈蚣從天而降而發出怨言了。

 

    請速覆信。

 

 

永遠是你的朱蒂

星期五晚930

 

 

 

 

 

 

8th hour, Monday

 

Dear Daddy-Long-legs,

 

     I hope you aren’t the trustee who sat on the toad?  It went offI was toldwith quite a pop, so probably he was a fatter trustee.

     Do you remember the little dugout places with gratings over them by the laundry windows in he John Grier Home?  Every spring when the hoptoad season opened we used to form a collection of toads and keep them in those window holes; and occasionally they would spill over into the laundry, causing a very pleasurable commotion on wash days.  We were severely punished for our activities in this direction, but in spite of all discouragement the toads would collect.

     And one daywell, I won’t bore you with particularsbut somehow, one of the fattest, biggest, juiciest toads got into one of those big leather arm chairs in the trustees’ room, and that afternoon at the trustees’ meeting . . .  But I dare say you were there and recall the rest?

     Looking back dispassionately after a period of time, I will say that punishment was merited, and if I remember rightlyadequate.

     I don’t know why I am in such a reminiscent mood except that spring and the reappearance of toads always awakens the old acquisitive instinct.  The only thing that keeps me from starting a collection is the fact that no rule exists against it.

 

 

After chapel, Thursday

 

     What do you think is my favorite book?  Just now, I mean; I change every three days.  Wuthering Heights.  Emily Bronte[(1818-1848)愛蜜麗•勃朗特,英國女作家,《咆哮山莊》的作者] was quite young when she wrote it, and had never been outside of Haworth churchyard.  She had never known any men in her life; how could she imagine a man like Heathcliffe? [《咆哮山莊》的男主角]

     I couldn’t do it, and I’m quite young and never outside the John Brier asylumI’ve had every chance in the world.  Sometimes a dreadful fear comes over me that I’, not a genius.  Will you be awfully disappointed, Daddy, If I don’t turn out to be a great author?  In the spring when everything is so beautiful and green and budding, I feel like turning my back on lessons, and running away to play with the weather.  There are such lots of adventures out in the fields!  It’s much more entertaining to live books than to write them.

     Ow!!!!!! 

     That was a shriek which brought Sallie and Julia and (for a disgusted moment the senior form across the hall.  It was caused by a centipede like this:

 

Only worse. Just as I had finished the last sentence and was thinking what to say nextplump!it fell off the ceiling and landed at my side.  I tipped two cups off the tea table in trying to get away.  Sallie whacked it with the back of my hairbrushwhich I shall never be able to use againand killed the front end. But the tear fifty feet ran under the bureau and escaped.

     The dormitory, owing to its age and ivy-covered walls, is full of centipedes.  They are dreadful creatures.  I’d rather find a tiger under the bed.

 

 

Friday, 9:30p.m.

 

Such a lot of troubles!  I didn’t hear the rising bell this morning, then I broke my shoestring while I was hurrying to dress and dropped my collar button down my neck.  I was late for breakfast and also for first-hour recitation.  I forgot to take any blotting paper and my fountain pen leaked.  In trigonometry the professor and I had a disagreement touching a little matter of logarithms.  On looking it up, I find that she was right.  We had mutton stew and pie-plant[大黃屬植物,其莖可供食用,西方常用來做餡餅。] for lunchhate ‘em both; they taste like the asylum. Nothing but bills in my mail(though I must say that I never do get anything else; my family are  not the kind that write).  In English class this afternoon we had an unexpected written lesson.  This was it:

 

I asked no other thing,

No other was denied.

I offered Being for it;

The mighty merchant smiled.

 

Brazil?  He twirled a button

Without a glance my way:

But, madam, is there nothing else

That we can show today?

 

     That is a poem.  I don’t know who wrote it or what it means.  It was simply printed out on the blackboard when we arrived and we were ordered to comment upon it.  When I read he first verse I thought I had an ideathe mighty merchant was a divinity who distributes blessings in return for virtuous deedsbut when I got to the second verse and found him twirling a button, it seemed a blasphemous supposition, and I hastily changed my mind.  The rest of the class was in the same predicament; and there we sat for three-quarters of an hour with blank paper and equally blank minds.  Getting an education is an awfully wearing process!

     But this didn’t end the day.  There’s worse to come.

     I rained so we couldn’t play golf, but had to go to gymnasium instead.  The girl next to me banged my elbow with an Indian club.  I got home to find that the box with my new blue spring dress had come. And the skirt was so tight that I couldn’t sit down.  Friday is sweeping day, and the maid had mixed all the papers on my desk.  We had tombstone for dessert (milk and gelatin flavored with vanilla).  We were kept in chapel twenty minutes later than usual to listen to a speech about womanly women.  And thenjust as I was settling down with a sigh of well-earned relief to The Portrait of a Lady[美國小說家亨利•詹姆斯巴達1843-1916]的作品。], a girl named Ackerly, a doughfaced, deadly, unintermittently stupid girl, who sits net to me in Latin because her name begins with A (I wish Mrs.  Lippett had named me Zabriski), came to ask if Monday’s lesson commenced at paragraph 69or 70, and stayed ONE HOUR. She had just gone.

 

     Did you ever hear of such a discouraging series of events?  It isn’t the big troubles in life that require character.  Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laughI really think that requires spirit.

     It’s the kind of character that I am going to develop.  I am going to pretend that all life is just a game which I must play as skillfully and fairly as I can.  If I am going to shrug my shoulders and laughalso if I win.

     Anyway, I am going to be a sport.[指具有公正、勇敢、不氣餒等性格的人。]  You will never hear me complain again. Daddy dear, because Jylia wears silk stockings and centipedes drop off the wall.

  

Your ever,

Judy

 

Answer soon.