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親愛的長腿叔叔:

 

    請看我今天的學習內容。

 

    平截頭正稜錐體凸面的面積,等於底邊總長和梯形一邊的高度乘積的一半。

 

    聰起來似乎不對,實際非常正確,我還會驗證呢。

 

    你從未聽我說過有什麼衣服吧?我有六件漂亮的新衣是專家為我買的,而不是什麼人穿了嫌小的衣服。或許你想像不到這件事在一個孤兒的生活中意味著什麼。這些都是你給我的,我衷心地感謝你。受教育固然不錯,可是任何事都比不上擁有六件新衣服,更能讓人產生一種頭暈目眩的感覺。感謝上帝,這些衣服是巡視委員會的普利查德小姐而不是李培太太幫的挑選的。一件是綴著石竹花的絲綢晚禮服(我穿上很美),一件藍色禮拜服。兩件餐服:一件是紅色有料,上面鑲著東方花邊(我穿上後像個吉卜賽人),另一件是玫瑰印花布料的。一套日常穿的灰色套裝,還有一件是平時上課穿的。這些服裝對朱麗雅˙路特利奇˙彭德爾頓來說算不得什麼,可是對朱蒂˙艾博特來說哦,天啊!

 

    現在,你會認為我那麼輕浮淺薄,並感到送女孩上大學真是一種浪漫吧?

 

    不過呢,要是你一輩子除了花格布,沒穿過別的,你就能體會到我的心情。我上中學以後,穿的比花格布還不如呢。

 

    我穿的都是濟貧施捨箱裹的衣服。你不會知道我多麼害怕穿普人家施捨的衣服到學校去。我擔心鄰座的女孩原本是衣服的主人,她會暗中恥笑我,悄悄把這件事告訴別的女孩。一想到你穿的衣服可能是你討厭的 人扔掉的,更是讓人心如刀割。即使今後天天穿長統絲襪,也無法彌補我心頭的創傷。

 

最新戰報!

戰場消息

 

    1113日星期四四點時分,漢尼拔擊退了羅馬人的先鋒部隊,帶領迦大基部隊翻山越嶺進入卡西利濃平原[卡西利濃,是義大利境內的一古代地名。]。一隊帶著輕便武器的努米底亞人,與昆塔斯˙費比烏斯˙馬克西馬斯[(?-西元前203)昆塔斯˙費比烏斯˙馬克西馬,羅馬獨裁者。]的步兵交戰。兩場戰役,還有幾次小衝突。羅馬人被擊退了,他們損失慘重。

 

    很榮幸作你的戰地特派記者。

 

朱蒂˙艾博特

 附註:我知道不能指得到回信,也被告知不可向你提出問題。但是,長腿叔叔,請告訴我只此一次,下不為例你是老態龍中鐘呢,還是不算太老?頭髮全部脫落了呢,還只是有點微禿?你對我來說好抽象,就如幾何定理一樣,太難捉摸了。

     一位身材高高的富人。他不喜歡女孩子,卻又為一個魯莽無禮的女孩慷慨解囊,他該是什麼模樣的呢?    盼覆。

1115

  

 

November 15th

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

     Listen to what I’ve learned today:

     The area of the convex surface of the frustum of a regular pyramid is half the product of the sum of the perimeters of its bases by the altitude of either of its trapezoids.

     It doesn’t sound true, but it isI can prove it!

     You’ve never heard about my clothes, have you, Daddy?  Six dresses, all new and beautiful and bought for me not handed down for, somebody bigger.  Perhaps you don’t realize what a climax that marks in the career of an orphan?  You gave them to me, and I am very, very, very much obliged.  It’s a fine thing to be educatedbut nothing compared to the dizzying experience of owning six new dresses.  Miss Pritchard, who is on the visiting committee, picked them outnot Mrs. Lippett, thank goodness.  I have an evening dress, pink mull over silk )I’m perfectly beautiful in that), and a blue church dress, and a dinner dress of red veiling with Oriental trimming (makes me look like a Gypsy) and another of rose-cloored challis, and a gray street suit, and an everyday dress for classes.  That wouldn’t be an awfully big wardrobe for Julia Rutledge Pendleton, perhaps, but for Jerusha Abbottoh, my!

     I suppose you’re thinking now what a frivolous, shallow, little beast she is, and what a waste of money to educate a girl?

     But, Daddy, if you’d been dressed in checked ginghams all your life, you’d appreciate how I feel.  And when I started to the high school, I entered upon another period even worse than the checked ginghams.

     The poor box.

     You can’t know how I dreaded appearing in school in those miserable poor-box dresses.  I was perfectly sure too be put down in class next to the girl who first owned my dress, and she would whisper and giggle and point it out to the others.  The bitterness of wearing your enemies’ cast-off clothes eats into your soul.  If I wore silk stockings for the rest of my life, I don’t believe I could obliterate the scar.

 

 

LATEST WAR BULLETIN!

News from the Scene of Action

 

 

     At the fourth watch on Thursday the 13th of November, Hannibal routed the advance guard of the Romans and led the Carthaginian forces over the mountains into the plains of Casilinum[卡西利濃,是義大利境內的一古代地名。].  A cohort of light armed Numidians[努米底亞人。] engaged the infantry of Quintus Fabius Maximus[(?-西元前203)昆塔斯˙費比烏斯˙馬克西馬,羅馬獨裁者。].  Two battles and light skirmishing.  Romans repulsed with heavy losses.

     I have the honor of being,

     Your special correspondent from the front.

 

J. Abbott

 

P.S. I know I’m not to expect any letters in return, and I’ve been warned not to bother you with questions, but tell me, Daddy, Just this onceare you awfully old or just a little old?  And are you perfectly bald or just a little bald? It is very difficult thinking about you in the abstract like a theorem in geometry.

     Given a tall rich man who hates girls, but is very generous to one quite impertinent girl, what does he look like?

     R.S.V.P.[為法語Repondez, s’ll vous plaft的縮略,意為請回信。]