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親愛的長腿叔叔:

 

    你到過我們校園嗎?(這只是一句客套的話,請別在意。)五月時節,這裹的景色美極了。灌木叢中花團錦簇,樹上一片嫩綠,就連蒼松也換上了新裝。黃色蒲公英,和幾百個穿著藍白粉紅衣服的女孩點綴著草坪。人人充滿喜樂,無憂無慮,因為假期就快來臨了。有了這個期盼,考試就算不了什麼了。

   

    這還不令人心曠神怡嗎?哦,叔叔,而我比誰都高興!因為我已不在孤兒院,不再是誰的保母、打字員或是簿記員你知道,要不是你,我還是其中之一。)

 

    我為過去所做的壞事感到內疚。

    我不該對李培太太無禮。

    我不該打罵費萊迪˙柏金斯。

    我更不該在理事背後做鬼臉。

 

    我太幸福了, 我對每一個人都和藹可親、親切、友善。今年夏天,我要不斷地寫、寫、寫,做一個偉大的作家。這算不算是祟高的目標?哦,我在培養一種優雅氣質!儘管寒冷和冰霜會挫敗它,但當陽光閃耀時,它又會迅速挺立。

 

    人人都是如此。我不同意這種論調:境、憂傷或失意會造就人的道德力量。快樂的人才會熱情洋溢。我不相信厭世者(好詞!剛剛學的)長腿叔叔,你不是一個厭世者吧?

 

    剛才提到校園,我希望你能來訪,我可以帶你四下走走,告訴你:

   

「這是圖書館,這是煤氣廠。你左邊的哥德式建築是體育場,旁邊的都鐸式建築是新建的學校醫院。」

 

    我是個好的導遊。我在孤兒院經常帶人參觀,今天還帶人走了一天。真的,不騙你。

 

    而且是一位男!

 

    這是個很棒的經驗。的從未和男人說過話(除了理事,但他們不算數。)對不起,長鮪叔叔,我說理事的壞話,並不想傷你的心。我沒有把你和他們看成一樣。你只是碰考當了理事的。所謂理事,應當是肥肥胖胖、態度傲慢、一副慈善的模樣。他喜歡摸人腦袋,掛金錶鏈。

 

    看起來像六月的臭蟲,可曷這就是理事的畫像,除了你之外。

 

 

 

 

    不過―言歸正傳:

 

    我和一個男士散步、聊天,還一起吃茶點。他是個很優秀的人,是朱麗雅家族的傑維斯˙彭德爾頓。簡單地說,他是她的叔叔說詳細點,或許我應該要告訴你,他和你一樣高)。他到城裹辦事,順便到學校來探望他的侄女。他是朱麗雅爸爸最小的弟弟。但朱麗雅和他並不親密,就好像是她小時侯時,他看了她一眼,就決定不喜歡她,從此就再也沒有注意過她了。

 

    不管怎樣,他來了。嚴謹規矩地端坐在接待室,帽子、手杖、手套放在一邊。莎莉和朱麗雅第七節是誦讀課,不能缺席。所以朱麗雅衝到我房間,要我帶他到校園走走,等第七節課結束再帶他去找她。出於禮貌,我答應了,但並不怎麼熱心,因為我對彭德爾頓家沒有多大好感。

 

    可是他溫文儒雅,是一個有血有肉的人―一點也不像是彭德爾頓家的人。我們共度了一段美妙時光。從那以後,我就很盼望有個叔叔比當祖母好多了。

 

    彭德爾頓先生讓我想起了你,長隈叔叔,二十年前的你,你看我對你多熟悉,雖然我們從未見面!

 

    他身材高瘦,臉色黝黑,佈滿皺紋,也不開懷大笑,只是把嘴角微微一揚,古怪極了。他非常平易近人,令人好像一見如故。

 

    我們從方庭到操場,走遍了整個校園。他說他走累了要喝杯茶,提議去大學餐廳。餐廳不遠,就在校門外的松徑旁。我說應該先回去找朱麗雅和莎莉,他說他不想讓他的侄女喝太多茶,會變得神經質。所以,我們倆悄悄溜去了,還吃了烤鬆餅、桔子醬、冰淇淋和蛋糕,坐在陽台一張雅致的小桌子旁。店裹正好沒人,現在正是月底,大家零用錢都花得差不多了。

 

    我們玩得非常開心!可是一回到學校,他就要去趕火車,只匆匆看了朱麗雅一眼。朱麗雅很生氣我帶他出去。看來他是位非常富有和討人喜歡的叔叔。得知他很有錢,我才放下心來,因為茶和點心很貴,每樣要六十分呢。

 

    今天早上(現在是星期一)朱麗雅、莎莉和我都收到一盒巧克力,是快遞郵件。你覺得怎樣?一個男士送來的巧克力!

 

    我開始感覺自己是個女孩而不是棄兒。

 

    我希望你哪天也能來喝茶,讓我看看是否喜歡你。可是如果我不喜歡你,豈不是太糟糕了。不過,我會喜歡你的。

 

    好了,向你致意。

 

想念你的朱蒂

530

 

附記:

今天早上照鏡子,發現我長了個酒窩,以前沒看到過。真奇怪,從哪裹來的?

 

 

May 30 th

 

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

 

     Did you ever see this campus?  (That is merely a rhetorical question.  Don’t let it annoy you.)  It is a heavenly spot in May.  All the shrubs are in blossom and the trees are the loveliest young green―even the old pines look fresh and new.  The grass is dotted with yellow dandelions and hundreds of girls in blue and white and pink dresses.  Everybody is joyous and carefree, for vacation’s coming, and with that to look forward to, examinations don’t count.

     Isn’t that a happy frame of mind to be in?  And oh, Daddy!  I’m the happiest of all!  Because I’, not in the asylum any more; and I’m not anybody’s nursemaid or typewriter or bookkeeper (I should have been, you know, except for you).

     I’m sorry I ever slapped Freddie Perkins. 

     I’m sorry I ever filled the sugar bowl with salt.

     I’m sorry I ever made faces behind the trustees’ backs.

     I’m going to be good and sweet and kind to everybody because I’m so happy.  And this summer I’m going to write and write and write and begin to be a great author.  Isn’t that an exalted stand to take?  Oh, I’m developing a beautiful character!  It droops a bit under could and frost, but it does grow fast when the sum shines.

     That’s the way with everybody.  I don’t agree with the theory that adversity and sorrow and disappointment develop moral strength.  The happy people are the ones who are bubbling over with kindliness.  I have no faith in misanthropes.  (Fine word!  Just learned it.)   You are not a misanthrope, are you, Daddy?

     I started to tell you about the campus.  I wish you’d come for a little visit and let me walk you about and say:

     “That is the library.  This is the gas plant, Daddy dear.  The Gothic building on your left is the gymnasium, and the Tudor Romanesque beside it is the new infirmary.”

     Oh, I’m fine at showing people about.  I’ve done it all my life at the asylum and I’ve been doing it all day here.  I have honestly.

     And a man, too!

     That’s a great experience. I never talked to a man before (except occasional trustees, and they don’t count).  Pardon, Daddy.  I don’t mean to hurt your feelings when I abuse trustees.  I don’t consider that you really belong among them.  You just tumbled onto the Board by chance.  The trustee, as such, is fat and pompous and benevolent.  He pats one on the head and wears a gold watch chain.

     The looks like a June bug. But is meant to be a portrait of any trusted except you.

     However―to resume:

     I have been walking and talking and having tea with a man.  And with a very superior man―with Mr. Jervis Pendleton of the House of Julia; her uncle, in short (in long, perhaps I ought to say; he’s as tall as you).  Being in town on business, he decided to run out to the college and call on his niece.  He’s her father’s youngest brother, but she doesn’t know him very intimately.  It seems he glanced at her when she was a baby, decided he didn’t like her, and has never noticed her since.

     Anyway, there he was, sitting in the reception room very proper with his hat and stick and gloves beside him; and Julia and Sallie with seventh-hour recitations that they couldn’t cut.  So Julia dashed into my room and begged me to walk him about the campus and then deliver him to her when the seventh hour was over.  I said I would, obligingly but unenthusiastically, because I don’t care much for Pendletions.

     But he turned out to be a sweet lamb[羔羊似的溫和的人。].  He’s a real human being―not a Pendleton at all.  We had a beautiful time; I’ve longed for an uncle ever since.  Do you mind pretending you’re my uncle?  I believe they’re superior to grandmothers.

     Mr. Pendleton reminded me a little of you, Daddy, as you were twenty years ago.  You see I know you intimately, even if we haven’t ever met!

     He’s tall and thinnish with a dark face all over lines, and the funniest underneath smile that never quite comes through but just wrinkles up the corners of his mouth.  And he has a way of making you feel right off a though you’d known him a long time.  He’s very companionable.

     We walked all over the campus from the quadrangle to the athletic grounds; then he said he felt weak and must have some tea.  He proposed that we go to College Inn―it’s just off the campus by the pine walk,  I said we ought to go back for Julia and Sallie, but he said he didn’t like to have his nieces drink too much tea; it made them nervous.  So we just ran away and had tea and muffins and marmalade and ice cream and cake at a nice little table out on the balcony.  The inn was quite conveniently empty, this being the end of the month and allowance low.

     We had the jolliest time!  But he had to run for his train the minute he got back and he barely saw Julia at all.  She was furio7us with me for taking him off; it seems he’s an unusually rich and desirable uncle.  It relieved my mind to find he was rich, for the tea and things cost sixty cents apiece.

     This morning (it’s Monday now) three boxes of chocolates came by express for Julia and Sallie and me.  What do you think of that?  To be getting candy from a man!

     I begin to feel like a girl instead of a founding.

     I wish you’d come and take tea some day and let me see if I like you.  But wouldn’t it be dreadful if I didn’t?  However, I know I should.

     Bien![{法語}好。]  I make you my compliments.

  

 

Jamais Je ne t’oublierai.”[{法語}我永遠不會忘記你。]

Judy

 

 

PS.  I looked in the glass this morning and found a perfectly new dimple that I’d never seen before.  It’s very curious.  Where do you suppose it came from?