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親愛的送孤兒上大學的仁慈理事:

 

    我到學校了!昨天我坐了四小時火車。心中充滿新奇的感覺,不是嗎?我還從來沒有坐過火車呢。

 

    校園大極了,我常感到手足無措,一離開房間就會迷失方向。等我對周圍環境熟悉一點,再向你描繪我的校園,並報告我的課程。此刻是星期六晚上,要到下星期一上午才開始上課。但我想先寫封信互相認識一下。

 

    寫信給陌生人似乎有點怪。對我來說,寫信這事本身就很怪,我一生寫的信不超過三、四封,要是寫得不好,請您多多原諒。

 

    昨天早上離開孤兒院前,李培太太告我作了一次嚴肅的談話。她告誡我今後一輩子該如何為人處世,特別是如何對待那位好心的先生,因而他幫了我那麼大的忙,我必須要特別尊敬他。

   

    但是,對於一位希望被稱為約翰˙史密斯的人,我要如何尊敬呢?你為何不選擇一個有點個性的姓名?我好比在給親愛的拴馬樁或衣服架寫信。

 

    整個夏天,我想了很多關於你的事。在孤兒院待了這麼多年,忽然有人關心我,我好像找到了一個家似的,開始有了歸宿。這是一種令人陶醉的感覺。但我不得說,每當想到你時,我的腦子裹總是空空的。我只知道三件事:

1.  你很高。

2.  你很富有。

3.  你討厭女孩。

 

    我想我應該稱你為討厭女孩的先生,但這有像傷我的自尊。稱你為有錢的先生,又像侮辱了你的人格,好像只有錢才與你有關。些外,富有是一種外在的特徵,或許你不是一輩子富有,很多聰明人在華爾街栽了跟斗。但至少你的身高是改變不了的!我決定稱你為親愛的長腿叔叔。希望你不介意。這只是我們之間的暱稱不要告訴李培太太。

 

    十點的鈴聲再過兩分鐘就要響起了。我們的時間由鈴聲支配,按鈴聲吃飯、就寢、學習。生活很有朝氣;我一刻不閒,像救火車一樣。聽,鈴響了!該熄燈了。祝你晚安。

 

    瞧我多麼遵守規矩這得歸功於格利爾之家的訓練。

 

尊敬你的潔魯莎˙艾博特

924日於費古森樓215

 

 

 

September 24 th

Dear Kind-Trustee-who-sends-Orphans-to-College,

     Here I am! I traveled yesterday for four hours in a train.  It’s a funny sensation isn’t it?  I never rode in one before.

     College is the biggest, most bewildering placeI get lost whenever I leave my room.  I will write you a description later when I’m feeling less muddled; also I will tell you about my lessons.  Classes don’t begin until Monday morning, and this is Saturday night.  But I wanted to write a letter first just to get acquainted.

     It seems queer to be writing letters to somebody you don’t know.  It seems queer for me to be writing letters a t allI’ve never written more than three or four in my life, so please overlook it if these are not a model kind.

     Before leaving yesterday morning, I had a very serious talk with Mrs. Lippett.  She told me how to behave all the rest of my life, and especially how to behave toward the kind gentleman who is dong so much for me.  I must take care to be Very Respectful. 

     But how can one be very respectful to a person who wishes to be called John Smith?  Why couldn’t you have picked out a name with a little personality?  I might as well write letters to Dear Hitching-Post or Dear Clothes-Pole.

     I have been thinking about you a great deal this summer; having somebody take an interest in[關心、關注] me after all these years, makes me feel as though I had found a sort of family.  It seems as though I belonged to somebody now, and it’s a very comfortable sensation.  I must say, however, that when I think about you, my imagination has very little to work upon.  There are just three things that I know:

i.   You are tall.

ii.    You are rich.

iii.  You hate girls

     I suppose I might call you Dear Mr. Girl-Hater.  Only that’s sort of insulting to me. Or Dear Mr. Rich-Man, but that’s insulting to you, as though money were the only important thing about you.  Besides, being rich is such a very external quality.  Maybe you won’t stay rich all your life; lots of very clever men get smashed up in Wall Street.  But at least you will stay tall all your life!  So I’ve decided to call you Dear Daddy-Long-legs.  I hope you won’t mind.  It’s just a private pet namewe won’t tell Mrs. Lippett.

     The ten o’clock bell is going to ring in two minutes.  Our day is divided into sections by bells.  We eat and sleep and study by bells.  It’s very enlivening; I feel like a firehorse all of the time.  There it goes!  Lights out.  Good night.

     Observe with what precision I obey rulesdue to my training in the John Grier Home.

 

Yours most respectfully,

Jerusha Abbott