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親愛的長腿叔叔:

 

    你那裹有下雪嗎?我從樓頂向外眺望,大地白茫茫一片,爆玉米花般的雪片紛紛飄落下來。時正黃昏,夕陽西下(一種冷黃色調),落入了寒冷的暗紫色群山背後。我高坐在窗邊,在最後一絲餘暉中寫信給你。

 

    收到你的五個金幣真意外!我還沒有收受聖誕禮物的習慣。你已經給了我那麼多東西我所有的一切,你知道我總覺得我不該收額外的禮物。不過我還是很高興,你想知道我用這些錢買了什麼嗎?

1.  一隻裝在皮盒子的銀手錶,可以讓我準時溫習功課。

2.  馬修˙阿諾德[(1822-1888)馬修˙阿諾德,英國詩人。]的詩集。

3.  一個熱水瓶。

4.  一條船用手毯我的房間很冷)

5.  五百頁黃色稿紙(我即將開始成為一名作家)

6.  一本同義詞詞典(增加作家的詞彙量)

7.  (最後一項本來不想講,不過還是告訴你吧)一雙長統絲襪。

 

瞧,長腿叔叔,我對你毫無保留!

 

    我不得不承認我買絲襪是出於一種很淺薄的動機。每天晚上,朱麗雅˙彭德爾頓都來我房間做幾何題,她穿著長統絲襪盤腿坐在我床上。可是等著瞧吧!等她放假回來,我就要穿上長統絲襪坐在到她床上。長腿叔叔,你瞧我多壞!不過至少我是誠實的;而你早已從孤兒院的檔案中得知我並非好得不得了,對吧?

 

    總而言之(英文老師每隔一句話都會帶上這個詞),我很感謝你送給我的這七件禮物,是我加州的家裹寄來的。爸爸送錶,媽媽送毯子,奶奶送熱水瓶她老是怕我在這種季節著涼―稿紙是弟弟哈里送的;妹妹伊莎貝爾送我長統絲襪;蘇珊姨媽送馬修˙阿諾德詩集;哈里舅舅(小哈里與他同名)送詞典。他本想送巧克力,可是我堅持要同義詞詞典。

 

    你不反對扮演所有的這些家庭成員吧?

 

    現在我是否該描述一下我的假期呢?還是你只關心我的學業本身?希望你能體會「本身」這一詞的微妙含義,這是我最新掌握的詞彙。

 

    德州來的女孩叫李奧娜拉˙芬頓(這名字幾乎和潔魯莎一樣可笑,是嗎?),我喜歡莎莉一樣喜歡任何人除了你。我應該永遠把你放在首位,因為你是我全家的化身。每當天氣晴朗時,我和李奧娜拉,還有兩個大二的學生就在附近散步,穿著短裙和針織外衣,戴上線帽子,還拿著光滑的棍子四下敲敲打打。我們的足跡走遍周圍各處。一天,我們步行四英里(6.5公里)進城,在一家大學女孩子們都愛去的餐廳吃飯。紅燜龍蝦(三角五分),甜食、蕎麥餅和楓糖漿(共一角五分)。很營養,又便宜。

 

真是好玩極了!對我來說,尤其如此,與孤兒院比起來,這其間的差別太大了。每次離開校園我都像犯人離開了牢籠。我不假思索地談起我的心情,幾乎說破了我的祕密,我趕緊收住話題。要守口如瓶真的很難,我生性坦率,要不是有你可以聊聊,我一定會憋死。

   

    上星期五晚上,費古森樓的阮長舉辦了拉糖蜜的聚會,邀請其他宿舍沒回家的同學參加。二十二個不同年級的學生聚在一起,友善和諧。廚房很寬敞,石頭牆壁上掛著一排排銅鍋和水壺,最小的雙耳鍋也和煮食鍋一般大小。費古森樓住有四百名女生。頭頂白帽,穿著白圍裙的大廚師,又找出了二十二套白圍裙和帽子真不知他從哪兒找回來那麼多。我們都裝扮成了廚師。

拉糖蜜真有意思,儘管糖蜜做得不很理想。做完後,我們每個人、整個廚房,連同所有的門把,全都弄得粘糊糊的。我們仍然頂著白帽,圍著白圍裙,手拿一把大叉子、大湯匙或一只平底鍋,列隊穿過空盪盪的走廓到教員休息室去,五、六位教授和講師正在那裹享受寧靜的夜晚。我們唱了校園歌曲,請他們吃糖。他們禮貌地接受了,又帶點猶豫。我們離開了休息室,留他們在那裹安靜地吮吸著那粘粘的糖蜜。

    長腿叔叔,你瞧我的進展!

   

    你不認為我該去當畫家而不是作家?

 

    再兩天就開學了,我很高興再見到同學們。我在寢室裹稍縑寂寞;九個人住著四百人的房子,確實有些坐立不安。

 

    一下就寫了十一頁,可憐的長腿叔叔,你一定累壞了!本想寫封短簡致謝,但一寫就收不住筆了。

 

    再見,感謝你記掛著我,我覺得幸福極了,可惜有一小片烏雲籠罩在地平線上二月份就要考試了。 

愛你的朱蒂

寫於聖誕假的尾聲,確實日期不詳

 

附記: 或許不該說愛你。如果是這樣,請你原諒。我總得愛過什麼人,而可以選擇的只有你和李培太太。所以,親愛的長腿叔叔,你只好忍受了,我實在無法愛她啊。

 

 

Toward the end of the Christmas vacation.

Exact date unknown.

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

     Is it snowing where you are?  All the world that I see from my tower is draped in white and the flakes are coming down as big as popcorn.  It’s late afternoonthe sun is just setting ( a cold yellow color) behind some colder violet hills, and I am up in my window seat using the last light to write to you. 

     You five gold pieces were a surprise!  I’m not used to receiving Christmas presents.  You have already given me such lots of thingseverything I have, you knowthat I don’t quite feel that I deserve extras.  But I like them just the same.  Do you want to know what I bought with my money?

i.    A silver watch in a leather case to wear on my wrist and get me to recitations on time.

ii. Matthew Arnold’s[(1822-1888)馬修˙阿諾德,英國詩人。] poems.

iii. A hot water bottle.

     iv. A steamer rug.   (My tower is cold.)

v.      Five hundred sheets of yellow manuscript paper.  (I’m going to commence being an author pretty soon.)

vi.   A dictionary of synonyms.  (To enlarge the author’s vocabulary.)

vii. (I don’t much like to confess this last item, but I will.)  A pair of silk stockings.

     And Now, Daddy, never say I don’t tell all!

     It was a very low motive, if you must know it, that prompted the silk stockings.  Julia Pendleton comes into my room to do geometry, and she sits cross-legged on the couch and wears silk stockings every night.  But just waitas soon as she gets back from vacation I shall go in and sit on her couch in my silk stockings.  You see, Daddy, the miserable creature that I ambut at least I’m honest; and you knew already, from my asylum record, that I wasn’t perfect, didn’t you?

     To recapitulate (that’s the way the English instructor begins every other sentence), I am very much obliged for my seven presents.  I’m pretending to myself that they came in a box from my family in California.  The watch is from father, the laprug from mother, the hot water bottle from grand-motherwho is always worrying for fear I shall catch cold in this climateand the yellow paper from my little brother Harry.  My sister Isobel gave me the silk stockings, and Aunt Susan the Matthew Arnold poems; Uncle Harry (little Harry is named for him) gave me the dictionary.  He wanted to send chocolates, but I insisted on synonyms.

     You don’t object, do you, to playing the part of a composite family?

     And now, shall I tell you about my vacation, or are you only interested in my education as such?  I hope you appreciate the delicate shade of meaning in ”as such.”  It is the latest addition to my vocabulary.

     The girl from Texas is named Leonora Fenton. (Almost as funny as Jerusha, isn’t it?)  I like her, byu not so much as Sallie McBride; I shall never like anyone so much as Sallieexcept you.  I must always like you the best of all, because you’re my whole family rolled into one.  Leonora and I and two sophomores have walked’ cross country every pleasant day and explored the whole neighborhood, dressed in short skirts and knit jackets and caps, and carrying hockey sticks to whack things with.  Once we walked into townfour milesand stopped at a restaurant where the college girls go for dinner.  Broilde lobster (35 cents) and for dessert, buckwheat cakes and maple syrup (15 cents).  Nourishing and cheap.

     It was such a lark[{}嬉戲、愉快、開玩笑。]!  Especially for me, because it was so awfully different from the asylumI feel like an escaped convict every time leave the campus.  Before I thought, I started to tell the others what an experience was having.  The cat was almost out of the bag[洩露秘密。] when I grabbed it by its tail and pulled it back.  It’s awfully hard for me not to tell everything I know.  I’m a very confiding soul by nature; if I didn’t have you to tell things to, I’d burst.

     We had a molasses candy pull last Friday evening, given by the house matron of Fergussen to the left-behinds in the other halls.  There were twenty-two of us altogether, freshmen and sophomores and juniors and seniors all united in amicable accord.  The kitchen is huge, with copper pots and kettles hanging in rows on the stone wallthe littlest casserole among them about the size of a washboiler.  Four hundred girls live in Fergussen.  The chef, in a white cap and apron, fetched out twenty-two other white caps and apronsI can’t imagine where he got so manyand we all turned ourselves into cooks.

     It was great fun, though I have seen better candy.  When it was finally finished, and ourselves and the kitchen and the doorknobs all thoroughly sticky, we organized a procession and still in our caps and aprons, each carrying a big fork or spoon or frying pan, we marched through the empty corridors to the officers’ parlor where half a dozen professors and instructors were passing a tranquil evening.  We serenaded them with college songs and offered refreshments.  They accepted politely but dubiously.  We left them sucking chunks of molasses candy, sticky and speechless.

     So you see, Daddy, my education progresses!

     Don’t you really think that I ought to be an artist instead of an author?

     Vacation will be over in two days and I shall be glad to see the girls again.  My tower is just a trifle lonely; when nine people occupy a house that was built for four hundred, they do rattle around a bit.

     Eleven pagespoor Daddy, you must be tired!  I meant this to be just a short little thank-you notebut when I get started I seem to have a ready pen.

     Good-bye, and thank you for thinking of meI should be perfectly happy except for one little threatening cloud on he horizon.  Examinations come in February.

 Yours with love,

Judy

 

P.S. Maybe it isn’t proper to send love?  If it isn’t, please excuse.  But I must love somebody and there’s only you and Mrs. Lippett to choose between, so you seeyou’ll have to put up with it, Daddy dear, because I can’t lover her.