daddy-long-legsby jean webster to yousection i blue wednesdaythe first wednesday in every month was a perfectly awful dayâ€”a day to be awaited with dread,endured with courage and forgotten with haste. every floor must be spotless, every chairdustless, and every bed without a wrinkle. ninety-seven squirming little orphans mustbe scrubbed and combed and buttoned into freshly starched ginghams; and all ninety-seven remindedof their manners, and told to say, 'yes, sir,' 'no, sir,' whenever a trustee spoke.it was a distressing time; and poor jerusha abbott, being the oldest orphan, had to bearthe brunt of it.
but this particular first wednesday, likeits predecessors, finally dragged itself to a close. jerusha escaped from the pantry whereshe had been making sandwiches for the asylum's guests, and turned upstairs to accomplishher regular work. her special care was room f, where elevenlittle tots, from four to seven, occupied eleven little cots set in a row.jerusha assembled her charges, straightened their rumpled frocks, wiped their noses, andstarted them in an orderly and willing line towards the dining-room to engage themselvesfor a blessed half hour with bread and milk and prune pudding.then she dropped down on the window seat and leaned throbbing temples against the coolglass.
she had been on her feet since five that morning,doing everybody's bidding, scolded and hurried by a nervous matron.mrs. lippett, behind the scenes, did not always maintain that calm and pompous dignity withwhich she faced an audience of trustees and lady visitors.jerusha gazed out across a broad stretch of frozen lawn, beyond the tall iron paling thatmarked the confines of the asylum, down undulating ridges sprinkled with country estates, tothe spires of the village rising from the midst of bare trees.the day was endedâ€”quite successfully, so far as she knew.the trustees and the visiting committee had made their rounds, and read their reports,and drunk their tea, and now were hurrying
home to their own cheerful firesides, to forgettheir bothersome little charges for another month.jerusha leaned forward watching with curiosityâ€”and a touch of wistfulnessâ€”the stream of carriagesand automobiles that rolled out of the asylum gates.in imagination she followed first one equipage, then another, to the big houses dotted alongthe hillside. she pictured herself in a fur coat and a velvet hat trimmed with feathersleaning back in the seat and nonchalantly murmuring 'home' to the driver.but on the door-sill of her home the picture grew blurred.jerusha had an imaginationâ€”an imagination, mrs. lippett told her, that would get herinto trouble if she didn't take careâ€”but
keen as it was, it could not carry her beyondthe front porch of the houses she would enter. poor, eager, adventurous little jerusha, inall her seventeen years, had never stepped inside an ordinary house; she could not picturethe daily routine of those other human beings who carried on their lives undiscommoded byorphans. je-ru-sha ab-bottyou are wan-ted in the of-fice,and i think you'd better hurry up!tommy dillon, who had joined the choir, came singing up the stairs and down the corridor,his chant growing louder as he approached room f. jerusha wrenched herself from thewindow and refaced the troubles of life.
'who wants me?' she cut into tommy's chantwith a note of sharp anxiety. mrs. lippett in the office,and i think she's mad. ah-a-men!tommy piously intoned, but his accent was not entirely malicious.even the most hardened little orphan felt sympathy for an erring sister who was summonedto the office to face an annoyed matron; and tommy liked jerusha even if she did sometimesjerk him by the arm and nearly scrub his nose off.jerusha went without comment, but with two parallel lines on her brow. what could havegone wrong, she wondered. were the sandwiches not thin enough?were there shells in the nut cakes?
had a lady visitor seen the hole in susiehawthorn's stocking? hadâ€”o horrors!â€”one of the cherubic littlebabes in her own room f 'sauced' a trustee? the long lower hall had not been lighted,and as she came downstairs, a last trustee stood, on the point of departure, in the opendoor that led to the porte-cochere. jerusha caught only a fleeting impression of the manâ€”andthe impression consisted entirely of tallness. he was waving his arm towards an automobilewaiting in the curved drive. as it sprang into motion and approached, headon for an instant, the glaring headlights threw his shadow sharply against the wallinside. the shadow pictured grotesquely elongated legs and arms that ran along the floor andup the wall of the corridor.
it looked, for all the world, like a huge,wavering daddy-long-legs. jerusha's anxious frown gave place to quicklaughter. she was by nature a sunny soul, and had alwayssnatched the tiniest excuse to be amused. if one could derive any sort of entertainmentout of the oppressive fact of a trustee, it was something unexpected to the good. sheadvanced to the office quite cheered by the tiny episode, and presented a smiling faceto mrs. lippett. to her surprise the matron was also, if notexactly smiling, at least appreciably affable; she wore an expression almost as pleasantas the one she donned for visitors. 'sit down, jerusha, i have something to sayto you.'
jerusha dropped into the nearest chair andwaited with a touch of breathlessness. an automobile flashed past the window; mrs.lippett glanced after it. 'did you notice the gentleman who has justgone?' 'i saw his back.''he is one of our most affluential trustees, and has given large sums of money towardsthe asylum's support. i am not at liberty to mention his name; heexpressly stipulated that he was to remain unknown.'jerusha's eyes widened slightly; she was not accustomed to being summoned to the officeto discuss the eccentricities of trustees with the matron.'this gentleman has taken an interest in several
of our boys.you remember charles benton and henry freize? they were both sent through college by mr.â€”erâ€”thistrustee, and both have repaid with hard work and success the money that was so generouslyexpended. other payment the gentleman does not wish.heretofore his philanthropies have been directed solely towards the boys; i have never beenable to interest him in the slightest degree in any of the girls in the institution, nomatter how deserving. he does not, i may tell you, care for girls.''no, ma'am,' jerusha murmured, since some reply seemed to be expected at this point.'to-day at the regular meeting, the question of your future was brought up.'mrs. lippett allowed a moment of silence to
fall, then resumed in a slow, placid mannerextremely trying to her hearer's suddenly tightened nerves.'usually, as you know, the children are not kept after they are sixteen, but an exceptionwas made in your case. you had finished our school at fourteen, andhaving done so well in your studiesâ€”not always, i must say, in your conductâ€”it wasdetermined to let you go on in the village high school.now you are finishing that, and of course the asylum cannot be responsible any longerfor your support. as it is, you have had two years more thanmost.' mrs. lippett overlooked the fact that jerushahad worked hard for her board during those
two years, that the convenience of the asylumhad come first and her education second; that on days like the present she was kept at hometo scrub. 'as i say, the question of your future wasbrought up and your record was discussedâ€”thoroughly discussed.'mrs. lippett brought accusing eyes to bear upon the prisoner in the dock, and the prisonerlooked guilty because it seemed to be expectedâ€”not because she could remember any strikinglyblack pages in her record. 'of course the usual disposition of one inyour place would be to put you in a position where you could begin to work, but you havedone well in school in certain branches; it seems that your work in english has even beenbrilliant.
miss pritchard, who is on our visiting committee,is also on the school board; she has been talking with your rhetoric teacher, and madea speech in your favour. she also read aloud an essay that you hadwritten entitled, "blue wednesday".' jerusha's guilty expression this time wasnot assumed. 'it seemed to me that you showed little gratitudein holding up to ridicule the institution that has done so much for you.had you not managed to be funny i doubt if you would have been forgiven.but fortunately for you, mr.â€”, that is, the gentleman who has just goneâ€”appearsto have an immoderate sense of humour. on the strength of that impertinent paper,he has offered to send you to college.'
'to college?'jerusha's eyes grew big. mrs. lippett nodded.'he waited to discuss the terms with me. they are unusual.the gentleman, i may say, is erratic. he believes that you have originality, andhe is planning to educate you to become a writer.''a writer?' jerusha's mind was numbed.she could only repeat mrs. lippett's words. 'that is his wish.whether anything will come of it, the future will show.he is giving you a very liberal allowance, almost, for a girl who has never had any experiencein taking care of money, too liberal. but
he planned the matter in detail, and i didnot feel free to make any suggestions. you are to remain here through the summer,and miss pritchard has kindly offered to superintend your outfit.your board and tuition will be paid directly to the college, and you will receive in additionduring the four years you are there, an allowance of thirty-five dollars a month.this will enable you to enter on the same standing as the other students.the money will be sent to you by the gentleman's private secretary once a month, and in return,you will write a letter of acknowledgment once a month.that isâ€”you are not to thank him for the money; he doesn't care to have that mentioned,but you are to write a letter telling of the
progress in your studies and the details ofyour daily life. just such a letter as you would write to yourparents if they were living. 'these letters will be addressed to mr. johnsmith and will be sent in care of the secretary. the gentleman's name is not john smith, buthe prefers to remain unknown. to you he will never be anything but johnsmith. his reason in requiring the letters is thathe thinks nothing so fosters facility in literary expression as letter-writing. since you haveno family with whom to correspond, he desires you to write in this way; also, he wishesto keep track of your progress. he will never answer your letters, nor inthe slightest particular take any notice of
them.he detests letter-writing and does not wish you to become a burden.if any point should ever arise where an answer would seem to be imperativeâ€”such as in theevent of your being expelled, which i trust will not occurâ€”you may correspond with mr.griggs, his secretary. these monthly letters are absolutely obligatoryon your part; they are the only payment that mr. smith requires, so you must be as punctiliousin sending them as though it were a bill that you were paying.i hope that they will always be respectful in tone and will reflect credit on your training.you must remember that you are writing to a trustee of the john grier home.'jerusha's eyes longingly sought the door.
her head was in a whirl of excitement, andshe wished only to escape from mrs. lippett's platitudes and think.she rose and took a tentative step backwards. mrs. lippett detained her with a gesture;it was an oratorical opportunity not to be slighted.'i trust that you are properly grateful for this very rare good fortune that has befallenyou? not many girls in your position ever havesuch an opportunity to rise in the world. you must always rememberâ€”''iâ€”yes, ma'am, thank you. i think, if that's all, i must go and sewa patch on freddie perkins's trousers.' the door closed behind her, and mrs. lippettwatched it with dropped jaw, her peroration
in mid-air.end of section i section iifreshman year the letters ofmiss jerusha abbott tomr. daddy-long-legs smith 215 fergussen hall24th september dear kind-trustee-who-sends-orphans-to-college,here i am! i travelled yesterday for four hours in atrain. it's a funny sensation, isn't it?i never rode in one before. college is the biggest, most bewildering placeâ€”iget lost whenever i leave my room.
i will write you a description later wheni'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 at allâ€”i've never written more than threeor four in my life, so please overlook it if these are not a model kind.before leaving yesterday morning, mrs. lippett and i had a very serious talk.she told me how to behave all the rest of my life, and especially how to behave towardsthe kind gentleman who is doing so much for
me.i must take care to be very respectful. but how can one be very respectful to a personwho wishes to be called john smith? why couldn't you have picked out a name witha little personality? i might as well write letters to dear hitching-postor dear clothes-prop. i have been thinking about you a great dealthis summer; having somebody take an interest in me after all these years makes me feelas though i had found a sort of family. it seems as though i belonged to somebodynow, and it's a very comfortable sensation. i must say, however, that when i think aboutyou, 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 rather insulting to me.or dear mr. rich-man, but that's insulting to you, as though money were the only importantthing about you. besides, being rich is such a very externalquality. maybe you won't stay rich all your life; lotsof 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 name we won't tellmrs. lippett.
the ten o'clock bell is going to ring in twominutes. our day is divided into sections by bells.we eat and sleep and study by bells. it's very enlivening; i feel like a fire horseall of the time. there it goes!lights out. good night.observe with what precision i obey rulesâ€”due to my training in the john grier home.yours most respectfully, jerusha abbottto mr. daddy-long-legs smith 1st octoberdear daddy-long-legs, i love college and i love you for sendingmeâ€”i'm very, very happy, and so excited
every moment of the time that i can scarcelysleep. you can't imagine how different it is fromthe john grier home. i never dreamed there was such a place inthe world. i'm feeling sorry for everybody who isn'ta girl and who can't come here; i am sure the college you attended when you were a boycouldn't have been so nice. my room is up in a tower that used to be thecontagious ward before they built the new infirmary.there are three other girls on the same floor of the towerâ€”a senior who wears spectaclesand is always asking us please to be a little more quiet, and two freshmen named salliemcbride and julia rutledge pendleton.
sallie has red hair and a turn-up nose andis quite friendly; julia comes from one of the first families in new york and hasn'tnoticed me yet. they room together and the senior and i havesingles. usually freshmen can't get singles; they arevery scarce, but i got one without even asking. i suppose the registrar didn't think it wouldbe right to ask a properly brought-up girl to room with a foundling.you see there are advantages! my room is on the north-west corner with twowindows and a view. after you've lived in a ward for eighteenyears with twenty room-mates, it is restful to be alone.this is the first chance i've ever had to
get acquainted with jerusha abbott.i think i'm going to like her. do you think you are?tuesday they are organizing the freshman basket-ballteam and there's just a chance that i shall get in it.i'm little of course, but terribly quick and wiry and tough.while the others are hopping about in the air, i can dodge under their feet and grabthe ball. it's loads of fun practisingâ€”out in theathletic field in the afternoon with the trees all red and yellow and the air full of thesmell of burning leaves, and everybody laughing and shouting.these are the happiest girls i ever sawâ€”and
i am the happiest of all!i meant to write a long letter and tell you all the things i'm learning (mrs. lippettsaid you wanted to know), but 7th hour has just rung, and in ten minutes i'm due at theathletic field in gymnasium clothes. don't you hope i'll get in the team?yours always, jerusha abbottps. (9 o'clock.) sallie mcbride just poked her head in at mydoor. this is what she said:'i'm so homesick that i simply can't stand it.do you feel that way?' i smiled a little and said no; i thought icould pull through.
at least homesickness is one disease thati've escaped! i never heard of anybody being asylum-sick,did you? 10th octoberdear daddy-long-legs, did you ever hear of michael angelo?he was a famous artist who lived in italy in the middle ages. everybody in english literatureseemed to know about him, and the whole class laughed because i thought he was an archangel.he sounds like an archangel, doesn't he? the trouble with college is that you are expectedto know such a lot of things you've never learned.it's very embarrassing at times. but now, when the girls talk about thingsthat i never heard of, i just keep still and
look them up in the encyclopedia.i made an awful mistake the first day. somebody mentioned maurice maeterlinck, andi asked if she was a freshman. that joke has gone all over college.but anyway, i'm just as bright in class as any of the othersâ€”and brighter than someof them! do you care to know how i've furnished myroom? it's a symphony in brown and yellow.the wall was tinted buff, and i've bought yellow denim curtains and cushions and a mahoganydesk (second hand for three dollars) and a rattan chair and a brown rug with an ink spotin the middle. i stand the chair over the spot.the windows are up high; you can't look out
from an ordinary seat.but i unscrewed the looking-glass from the back of the bureau, upholstered the top andmoved it up against the window. it's just the right height for a window seat.you pull out the drawers like steps and walk up. very comfortable!sallie mcbride helped me choose the things at the senior auction.she has lived in a house all her life and knows about furnishing.you can't imagine what fun it is to shop and pay with a real five-dollar bill and get somechangeâ€”when you've never had more than a few cents in your life.i assure you, daddy dear, i do appreciate that allowance.sallie is the most entertaining person in
the worldâ€”and julia rutledge pendleton theleast so. it's queer what a mixture the registrar canmake in the matter of room-mates. sallie thinks everything is funnyâ€”even flunkingâ€”andjulia is bored at everything. she never makes the slightest effort to beamiable. she believes that if you are a pendleton,that fact alone admits you to heaven without any further examination.julia and i were born to be enemies. and now i suppose you've been waiting veryimpatiently to hear what i am learning? i. latin:second punic war. hannibal and his forces pitched camp at laketrasimenus last night.
they prepared an ambuscade for the romans,and a battle took place at the fourth watch this morning.romans in retreat. ii. french:24 pages of the three musketeers and third conjugation, irregular verbs.iii. geometry: finished cylinders; now doing cones.iv. english: studying exposition.my style improves daily in clearness and brevity. v. physiology:reached the digestive system. bile and the pancreas next time.yours, on the way to being educated, jerusha abbottps.
i hope you never touch alcohol, daddy?it does dreadful things to your liver. wednesdaydear daddy-long-legs, i've changed my name.i'm still 'jerusha' in the catalogue, but i'm 'judy' everywhere else. it's really toobad, isn't it, to have to give yourself the only pet name you ever had?i didn't quite make up the judy though. that's what freddy perkins used to call mebefore he could talk plainly. i wish mrs. lippett would use a little moreingenuity about choosing babies' names. she gets the last names out of the telephonebookâ€”you'll find abbott on the first pageâ€”and she picks the christian names up anywhere;she got jerusha from a tombstone.
i've always hated it; but i rather like judy.it's such a silly name. it belongs to the kind of girl i'm notâ€”asweet little blue-eyed thing, petted and spoiled by all the family, who romps her way throughlife without any cares. wouldn't it be nice to be like that?whatever faults i may have, no one can ever accuse me of having been spoiled by my family!but it's great fun to pretend i've been. in the future please always address me asjudy. do you want to know something?i have three pairs of kid gloves. i've had kid mittens before from the christmastree, but never real kid gloves with five fingers.i take them out and try them on every little
while.it's all i can do not to wear them to classes. (dinner bell.goodbye.) fridaywhat do you think, daddy? the english instructor said that my last papershows an unusual amount of originality. she did, truly.those were her words. it doesn't seem possible, does it, consideringthe eighteen years of training that i've had? the aim of the john grier home (as you doubtlessknow and heartily approve of) is to turn the ninety-seven orphans into ninety-seven twins.the unusual artistic ability which i exhibit was developed at an early age through drawingchalk pictures of mrs. lippett on the woodshed
door.i hope that i don't hurt your feelings when i criticize the home of my youth?but you have the upper hand, you know, for if i become too impertinent, you can alwaysstop payment of your cheques. that isn't a very polite thing to sayâ€”butyou can't expect me to have any manners; a foundling asylum isn't a young ladies' finishingschool. you know, daddy, it isn't the work that isgoing to be hard in college. it's the play. half the time i don't know what the girlsare talking about; their jokes seem to relate to a past that every one but me has shared.i'm a foreigner in the world and i don't understand the language.it's a miserable feeling.
i've had it all my life.at the high school the girls would stand in groups and just look at me.i was queer and different and everybody knew it.i could feel 'john grier home' written on my face.and then a few charitable ones would make a point of coming up and saying somethingpolite. i hated every one of themâ€”the charitableones most of all. nobody here knows that i was brought up inan asylum. i told sallie mcbride that my mother and fatherwere dead, and that a kind old gentleman was sending me to college which is entirely trueso far as it goes.
i don't want you to think i am a coward, buti do want to be like the other girls, and that dreadful home looming over my childhoodis the one great big difference. if i can turn my back on that and shut outthe remembrance, i think, i might be just as desirable as any other girl.i don't believe there's any real, underneath difference, do you?anyway, sallie mcbride likes me! yours ever,judy abbott (nee jerusha.)saturday morning i've just been reading this letter over andit sounds pretty un-cheerful. but can't you guess that i have a special topic due mondaymorning and a review in geometry and a very
sneezy cold?sunday i forgot to post this yesterday, so i willadd an indignant postscript. we had a bishop this morning, and what do you think he said?'the most beneficent promise made us in the bible is this, "the poor ye have always withyou." they were put here in order to keep us charitable.'the poor, please observe, being a sort of useful domestic animal.if i hadn't grown into such a perfect lady, i should have gone up after service and toldhim what i thought. 25th octoberdear daddy-long-legs, i'm in the basket-ball team and you oughtto see the bruise on my left shoulder.
it's blue and mahogany with little streaksof orange. julia pendleton tried for the team, but shedidn't get in. hooray!you see what a mean disposition i have. college gets nicer and nicer.i like the girls and the teachers and the classes and the campus and the things to eat.we have ice-cream twice a week and we never have corn-meal mush.you only wanted to hear from me once a month, didn't you?and i've been peppering you with letters every few days!but i've been so excited about all these new adventures that i must talk to somebody; andyou're the only one i know.
please excuse my exuberance; i'll settle prettysoon. if my letters bore you, you can always tossthem into the wastebasket. i promise not to write another till the middleof november. yours most loquaciously,judy abbott 15th novemberdear daddy-long-legs, listen to what i've learned to-day.the area of the convex surface of the frustum of a regular pyramid is half the product ofthe sum of the perimeters of its bases by the altitude of either of its trapezoids.it doesn't sound true, but it isâ€”i can prove it!you've never heard about my clothes, have
you, daddy?six dresses, all new and beautiful and bought for meâ€”not handed down from 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 educatedâ€”but nothing compared to the dizzying experience of owningsix new dresses. miss pritchard, who is on the visiting committee,picked them outâ€”not mrs. lippett, thank goodness.i have an evening dress, pink mull over silk (i'm perfectly beautiful in that), and a bluechurch dress, and a dinner dress of red veiling with oriental trimming (makes me look likea gipsy), and another of rose-coloured challis,
and a grey street suit, and an every-day dressfor classes. that wouldn't be an awfully big wardrobe forjulia rutledge pendleton, perhaps, but for jerusha abbottâ€”oh, my!i suppose you're thinking now what a frivolous, shallow little beast she is, and what a wasteof money to educate a girl? but, daddy, if you'd been dressed in checkedginghams 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 checkedginghams. the poor box.you can't know how i dreaded appearing in school in those miserable poor-box dresses.i was perfectly sure to 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 thescar. latest war bulletin!news from the scene of action. at the fourth watch on thursday the 13th ofnovember, hannibal routed the advance guard of the romans and led the carthaginian forcesover the mountains into the plains of casilinum. a cohort of light armed numidians engagedthe infantry of quintus fabius maximus. two battles and light skirmishing.romans repulsed with heavy losses.
i have the honour of being,your special correspondent from the front, j. abbottps. i know i'm not to expect any letters in return, and i've been warned not to botheryou with questions, but tell me, daddy, just this onceâ€”are you awfully old or just alittle old? and are you perfectly bald or just a littlebald? it is very difficult thinking about you inthe abstract like a theorem in geometry. given a tall rich man who hates girls, butis very generous to one quite impertinent girl, what does he look like?r.s.v.p. 19th decemberdear daddy-long-legs,
you never answered my question and it wasvery important. are you bald?i have it planned exactly what you look likeâ€”very satisfactorilyâ€”until i reach the top ofyour head, and then i am stuck. i can't decide whether you have white hairor black hair or sort of sprinkly grey hair or maybe none at all.here is your portrait: but the problem is, shall i add some hair?would you like to know what colour your eyes are?they're grey, and your eyebrows stick out like a porch roof (beetling, they're calledin novels), and your mouth is a straight line with a tendency to turn down at the corners.oh, you see, i know!
you're a snappy old thing with a temper.(chapel bell.) 9.45 p.m.i have a new unbreakable rule: never, never to study at night no matter howmany written reviews are coming in the morning. instead, i read just plain booksâ€”i haveto, you know, because there are eighteen blank years behind me.you wouldn't believe, daddy, what an abyss of ignorance my mind is; i am just realizingthe depths myself. the things that most girls with a properlyassorted family and a home and friends and a library know by absorption, i have neverheard of. for example:i never read mother goose or david copperfield
or ivanhoe or cinderella or blue beard orrobinson crusoe or jane eyre or alice in wonderland or a word of rudyard kipling.i didn't know that henry the eighth was married more than once or that shelley was a poet.i didn't know that people used to be monkeys and that the garden of eden was a beautifulmyth. i didn't know that r. l. s. stood for robertlouis stevenson or that george eliot was a lady.i had never seen a picture of the 'mona lisa' and (it's true but you won't believe it) ihad never heard of sherlock holmes. now, i know all of these things and a lotof others besides, but you can see how much i need to catch up.and oh, but it's fun!
i look forward all day to evening, and theni put an 'engaged' on the door and get into my nice red bath robe and furry slippers andpile all the cushions behind me on the couch, and light the brass student lamp at my elbow,and read and read and read one book isn't enough.i have four going at once. just now, they're tennyson's poems and vanityfair and kipling's plain tales andâ€”don't laughâ€”little women.i find that i am the only girl in college who wasn't brought up on little women.i haven't told anybody though (that would stamp me as queer). i just quietly went andbought it with $1.12 of my last month's allowance; and the next time somebody mentions pickledlimes, i'll know what she is talking about!
(ten o'clock bell.this is a very interrupted letter.) saturdaysir, i have the honour to report fresh explorationsin the field of geometry. on friday last we abandoned our former worksin parallelopipeds and proceeded to truncated prisms.we are finding the road rough and very uphill. sundaythe christmas holidays begin next week and the trunks are up.the corridors are so filled up that you can hardly get through, and everybody is so bubblingover with excitement that studying is getting left out.i'm going to have a beautiful time in vacation;
there's another freshman who lives in texasstaying behind, and we are planning to take long walks and if there's any iceâ€”learnto skate. then there is still the whole library to bereadâ€”and three empty weeks to do it in! goodbye, daddy, i hope that you are feelingas happy as am. yours ever,judy ps.don't forget to answer my question. if you don't want the trouble of writing,have your secretary telegraph. he can just say:mr. smith is quite bald, ormr. smith is not bald,
ormr. smith has white hair. and you can deduct the twenty-five cents outof my allowance. goodbye till januaryâ€”and a merry christmas!towards 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 isdraped in white and the flakes are coming down as big as pop-corns. it's late afternoonâ€”thesun is just setting (a cold yellow colour) behind some colder violet hills, and i amup in my window seat using the last light to write to you.your five gold pieces were a surprise!
i'm not used to receiving christmas presents.you have already given me such lots of thingsâ€”everything i have, you knowâ€”that i don't quite feelthat 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 in time.ii. matthew arnold's 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 knowit, 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 justwaitâ€”as soon as she gets back from vacation i shall go in and sit on her couch in my silkstockings. you see, daddy, the miserable creature thati am but at least i'm honest; and you knew already, from my asylum record, that i wasn'tperfect, didn't you? to recapitulate (that's the way the englishinstructor 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 rug from mother, the hot water bottle from grandmother whois always worrying for fear i shall catch cold in this climateâ€”and the yellow paperfrom my little brother harry. my sister isabel gave me the silk stockings,and aunt susan the matthew arnold poems; uncle harry (little harry is named after him) gaveme the dictionary. he wanted to send chocolates, but i insistedon synonyms. you don't object, do you, to playing the partof 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 additionto my vocabulary. the girl from texas is named leonora fenton.(almost as funny as jerusha, isn't it?) i like her, but not so much as sallie mcbride;i shall never like any one so much as sallieâ€”except 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 exploredthe whole neighbourhood, dressed in short skirts and knit jackets and caps, and carryingshiny sticks to whack things with. once we walked into townâ€”four milesâ€”andstopped at a restaurant where the college
girls go for dinner.broiled lobster (35 cents), and for dessert, buckwheat cakes and maple syrup (15 cents).nourishing and cheap. it was such a lark!especially for me, because it was so awfully different from the asylumâ€”i feel like anescaped convict every time i leave the campus. before i thought, i started to tell the otherswhat an experience i was having. the cat was almost out of the bag when i grabbedit by its tail and pulled it back. it's awfully hard for me not to tell everythingi know. i'm a very confiding soul by nature; if ididn'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 allunited in amicable accord. the kitchen is huge, with copper pots andkettles hanging in rows on the stone wallâ€”the littlest casserole among them about the sizeof a wash boiler. four hundred girls live in fergussen.the chef, in a white cap and apron, fetched out twenty-two other white caps and apronsâ€”ican't imagine where he got so manyâ€”and 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 door-knobs all thoroughlysticky, we organized a procession and still
in our caps and aprons, each carrying a bigfork or spoon or frying pan, we marched through the empty corridors to the officers' parlour,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 fourhundred, they do rattle around a bit.
eleven pagesâ€”poor daddy, you must be tired!i meant this to be just a short little thank-you noteâ€”but when i get started i seem to havea ready pen. goodbye, and thank you for thinking of meâ€”ishould be perfectly happy except for one little threatening cloud on the horizon.examinations come in february. yours with love,judy ps.maybe it isn't proper to send love? if it isn't, please excuse. but i must lovesomebody and there's only you and mrs. lippett to choose between, so you seeâ€”you'll haveto put up with it, daddy dear, because i can't love her.on the eve
dear daddy-long-legs,you should see the way this college is studying! we've forgotten we ever had a vacation.fifty-seven irregular verbs have i introduced to my brain in the past four daysâ€”i'm onlyhoping they'll stay till after examinations. some of the girls sell their text-books whenthey're through with them, but i intend to keep mine.then after i've graduated i shall have my whole education in a row in the bookcase,and when i need to use any detail, i can turn to it without the slightest hesitation.so much easier and more accurate than trying to keep it in your head.julia pendleton dropped in this evening to pay a social call, and stayed a solid hour.she got started on the subject of family,
and i couldn't switch her off.she wanted to know what my mother's maiden name wasâ€”did you ever hear such an impertinentquestion to ask of a person from a foundling asylum?i didn't have the courage to say i didn't know, so i just miserably plumped on the firstname i could think of, and that was montgomery. then she wanted to know whether i belongedto the massachusetts montgomerys or the virginia montgomerys.her mother was a rutherford. the family came over in the ark, and wereconnected by marriage with henry the viii. on her father's side they date back furtherthan adam. on the topmost branches of her family treethere's a superior breed of monkeys with very
fine silky hair and extra long tails.i meant to write you a nice, cheerful, entertaining letter tonight, but i'm too sleepyâ€”and scared.the freshman's lot is not a happy one. yours, about to be examined,judy abbott sundaydearest daddy-long-legs, i have some awful, awful, awful news to tellyou, but i won't begin with it; i'll try to get you in a good humour first.jerusha abbott has commenced to be an author. a poem entitled, 'from my tower', appearsin the february monthlyâ€”on the first page, which is a very great honour for a freshman.my english instructor stopped me on the way out from chapel last night, and said it wasa charming piece of work except for the sixth
line, which had too many feet.i will send you a copy in case you care to read it.let me see if i can't think of something else pleasantâ€”oh, yes! i'm learning to skate, and can glide aboutquite respectably all by myself. also i've learned how to slide down a rope from theroof of the gymnasium, and i can vault a bar three feet and six inches highâ€”i hope shortlyto pull up to four feet. we had a very inspiring sermon this morningpreached by the bishop of alabama. his text was:'judge not that ye be not judged.' it was about the necessity of overlooking mistakesin others, and not discouraging people by
harsh judgments.i wish you might have heard it. this is the sunniest, most blinding winterafternoon, with icicles dripping from the fir trees and all the world bending undera weight of snowâ€”except me, and i'm bending under a weight of sorrow.now for the newsâ€”courage, judy!â€”you must tell.are you surely in a good humour? i failed in mathematics and latin prose.i am tutoring in them, and will take another examination next month.i'm sorry if you're disappointed, but otherwise i don't care a bit because i've learned sucha lot of things not mentioned in the catalogue. i've read seventeen novels and bushels ofpoetryâ€”really necessary novels like vanity
fair and richard feverel and alice in wonderland.also emerson's essays and lockhart's life of scott and the first volume of gibbon'sroman empire and half of benvenuto cellini's lifeâ€”wasn't he entertaining?he used to saunter out and casually kill a man before breakfast.so you see, daddy, i'm much more intelligent than if i'd just stuck to latin.will you forgive me this once if i promise never to fail again?yours in sackcloth, judydear daddy-long-legs, this is an extra letter in the middle of themonth because i'm rather lonely tonight. it's awfully stormy.all the lights are out on the campus, but
i drank black coffee and i can't go to sleep.i had a supper party this evening consisting of sallie and julia and leonora fentonâ€”andsardines and toasted muffins and salad and fudge and coffee.julia said she'd had a good time, but sallie stayed to help wash the dishes.i might, very usefully, put some time on latin tonight but, there's no doubt about it, i'ma very languid latin scholar. we've finished livy and de senectute and arenow engaged with de amicitia (pronounced damn icitia).should you mind, just for a little while, pretending you are my grandmother?sallie has one and julia and leonora each two, and they were all comparing them tonight.i can't think of anything i'd rather have;
it's such a respectable relationship.so, if you really don't objectâ€”when i went into town yesterday, i saw the sweetest capof cluny lace trimmed with lavender ribbon. i am going to make you a present of it onyour eighty-third birthday. bong!that's the clock in the chapel tower striking twelve.i believe i am sleepy after all. good night, granny.i love you dearly. judyend of section ii section iiifreshman year continued the ides of marchdear d.-l.-l.,
i am studying latin prose composition.i have been studying it. i shall be studying it.i shall be about to have been studying it. my re-examination comes the 7th hour nexttuesday, and i am going to pass or bust. so you may expect to hear from me next, wholeand happy and free from conditions, or in fragments.i will write a respectable letter when it's over.tonight i have a pressing engagement with the ablative absolute.yoursâ€”in evident haste j. a.26th marchmr. d.-l.-l. smith,
sir:you never answer any questions; you never show the slightest interest in anything ido. you are probably the horridest one of allthose horrid trustees, and the reason you are educating me is, not because you carea bit about me, but from a sense of duty. i don't know a single thing about you.i don't even know your name. it is very uninspiring writing to a thing.i haven't a doubt but that you throw my letters into the waste-basket without reading them.hereafter i shall write only about work. my re-examinations in latin and geometry camelast week. i passed them both and am now free from conditions.yours truly,
jerusha abbott2nd april dear daddy-long-legs,i am a beast. please forget about that dreadful letter isent you last weekâ€”i was feeling terribly lonely and miserable and sore-throaty thenight i wrote. i didn't know it, but i was just sickeningfor tonsillitis and grippe and lots of things mixed.i'm in the infirmary now, and have been here for six days; this is the first time theywould let me sit up and have a pen and paper. the head nurse is very bossy.but i've been thinking about it all the time and i shan't get well until you forgive me.here is a picture of the way i look, with
a bandage tied around my head in rabbit'sears. doesn't that arouse your sympathy?i am having sublingual gland swelling. and i've been studying physiology all theyear without ever hearing of sublingual glands. how futile a thing is education!i can't write any more; i get rather shaky when i sit up too long. please forgive mefor being impertinent and ungrateful. i was badly brought up.yours with love, judy abbottthe infirmary 4th aprildearest daddy-long-legs, yesterday evening just towards dark, wheni was sitting up in bed looking out at the
rain and feeling awfully bored with life ina great institution, the nurse appeared with a long white box addressed to me, and filledwith the loveliest pink rosebuds. and much nicer still, it contained a cardwith a very polite message written in a funny little uphill back hand (but one which showsa great deal of character). thank you, daddy, a thousand times.your flowers make the first real, true present i ever received in my life.if you want to know what a baby i am i lay down and cried because i was so happy.now that i am sure you read my letters, i'll make them much more interesting, so they'llbe worth keeping in a safe with red tape around themâ€”only please take out that dreadfulone and burn it up.
i'd hate to think that you ever read it over.thank you for making a very sick, cross, miserable freshman cheerful. probably you have lotsof loving family and friends, and you don't know what it feels like to be alone.but i do. goodbyeâ€”i'll promise never to be horridagain, because now i know you're a real person; also i'll promise never to bother you withany more questions. do you still hate girls?yours for ever, judy8th hour, monday dear daddy-long-legs,i hope you aren't the trustee who sat on the toad?it went offâ€”i was toldâ€”with quite a pop,
so probably he was a fatter trustee.do you remember the little dugout places with gratings over them by the laundry windowsin the john grier home? every spring when the hoptoad season openedwe used to form a collection of toads and keep them in those window holes; and occasionallythey 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 discouragementthe toads would collect. and one dayâ€”well, i won't bore you withparticularsâ€”but somehow, one of the fattest, biggest, juciest toads got into one of thosebig leather arm chairs in the trustees' room, and that afternoon at the trustees' meetingâ€”buti dare say you were there and recall the rest?
looking back dispassionately after a periodof time, i will say that punishment was merited, andâ€”if i remember rightlyâ€”adequate.i don't know why i am in such a reminiscent mood except that spring and the reappearanceof toads always awakens the old acquisitive instinct. the only thing that keeps me fromstarting a collection is the fact that no rule exists against it.after chapel, thursday what do you think is my favourite book?just now, i mean; i change every three days. wuthering heights.emily bronte was quite young when she wrote it, and had never been outside of haworthchurchyard. she had never known any men in her life; how could she imagine a man likeheathcliffe?
i couldn't do it, and i'm quite young andnever outside the john grier asylumâ€”i've had every chance in the world.sometimes a dreadful fear comes over me that i'm 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 turningmy 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 andjulia and (for a disgusted moment) the senior
from 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 nextâ€”plump!â€”itfell off the ceiling and landed at my side. i tipped two cups off the tea table in tryingto get away. sallie whacked it with the back of my hairbrushâ€”which i shall never be able to use againâ€”and killed the front end, but therear fifty feet ran under the bureau and escaped. this dormitory, owing to its age and ivy-coveredwalls, is full of centipedes. they are dreadful creatures.i'd rather find a tiger under the bed. friday, 9.30 p.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 downmy neck. i was late for breakfast and also for first-hourrecitation. i forgot to take any blotting paper and myfountain pen leaked. in trigonometry the professor and i had adisagreement touching a little matter of logarithms. on looking it up, i find that she was right.we had mutton stew and pie-plant for lunchâ€”hate 'em both; they taste like the asylum.the post brought me nothing but bills (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 anunexpected 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 buttonwithout a glance my way: but, madam, is there nothing elsethat 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 blackboardwhen we arrived and we were ordered to comment upon it.when i read the first verse i thought i had an ideaâ€”the mighty merchant was a divinitywho distributes blessings in return for virtuous
deedsâ€”but when i got to the second verseand found him twirling a button, it seemed a blasphemous supposition, and i hastily changedmy 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.it rained so we couldn't play golf, but had to go to gymnasium instead. the girl nextto me banged my elbow with an indian club. i got home to find that the box with my newblue 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 flavoured with vanilla).we were kept in chapel twenty minutes later than usual to listen to a speech about womanlywomen. and thenâ€”just as i was settling down witha sigh of well-earned relief to the portrait of a lady, a girl named ackerly, a dough-faced,deadly, unintermittently stupid girl, who sits next to me in latin because her namebegins with a (i wish mrs. lippett had named me zabriski), came to ask if monday's lessoncommenced at paragraph 69 or 70, and stayed one hour.she has just gone. did you ever hear of such a discouraging seriesof events?
it isn't the big troubles in life that requirecharacter. anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushingtragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laughâ€”i reallythink that requires spirit. it's the kind of character that i am goingto develop. i am going to pretend that all life is justa game which i must play as skilfully and fairly as i can.if i lose, i am going to shrug my shoulders and laughâ€”also if i win.anyway, i am going to be a sport. you will never hear me complain again, daddydear, because julia wears silk stockings and centipedes drop off the wall.yours ever,
judyanswer soon. 27th maydaddy-long-legs, esq. dear sir:i am in receipt of a letter from mrs. lippett. she hopes that i am doing well in deportmentand studies. since i probably have no place to go thissummer, she will let me come back to the asylum and work for my board until college opens.i hate the john grier home. i'd rather die than go back.yours most truthfully, jerusha abbottcher daddy-jambes-longes, vous etes un brick!je suis tres heureuse about the farm, parceque
je n'ai jamais been on a farm dans ma vieand i'd hate to retourner chez john grier, et wash dishes tout l'ete. there would bedanger of quelque chose affreuse happening, parceque j'ai perdue ma humilite d'autre foiset j'ai peur that i would just break out quelque jour et smash every cup and saucer dans lamaison. pardon brievete et paper.je ne peux pas send des mes nouvelles parceque je suis dans french class et j'ai peur quemonsieur le professeur is going to call on me tout de suite.he did! au revoir,je vous aime beaucoup. judy30th may
dear daddy-long-legs,did you ever see this campus? (that is merely a rhetorical question. don'tlet it annoy you.) it is a heavenly spot in may.all the shrubs are in blossom and the trees are the loveliest young greenâ€”even the oldpines look fresh and new. the grass is dotted with yellow dandelionsand 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'm not in the asylum any more; andi'm not anybody's nursemaid or typewriter
or bookkeeper (i should have been, you know,except for you). i'm sorry now for all my past badnesses.i'm sorry i was ever impertinent to mrs. lippett. 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 cold and frost, but it does grow fast when the sun shines.that's the way with everybody.
i don't agree with the theory that adversityand 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 letme 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, andi'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 on to the board by chance. the trustee, as such, is fat and pompous andbenevolent. he pats one on the head and wears a gold watchchain. that looks like a june bug, but is meant tobe a portrait of any trustee except you.
howeverâ€”to resume:i have been walking and talking and having tea with a man.and with a very superior manâ€”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 hasnever noticed her since. anyway, there he was, sitting in the receptionroom very proper with his hat and stick and gloves beside him; and julia and sallie withseventh-hour recitations that they couldn't
cut.so julia dashed into my room and begged me to walk him about the campus and then deliverhim to her when the seventh hour was over. i said i would, obligingly but unenthusiastically,because i don't care much for pendletons. but he turned out to be a sweet lamb.he's a real human beingâ€”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 smilethat never quite comes through but just wrinkles up the corners of his mouth.and he has a way of making you feel right off as though you'd known him a long time.he's very companionable. we walked all over the campus from the quadrangleto the athletic grounds; then he said he felt weak and must have some tea.he proposed that we go to college innâ€”it's just off the campus by the pine walk. i saidwe ought to go back for julia and sallie, but he said he didn't like to have his niecesdrink too much tea; it made them nervous. so we just ran away and had tea and muffinsand 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 allowanceslow. 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 furious with me for taking him off; it seems he's an unusually rich and desirableuncle. it relieved my mind to find he was rich, forthe tea and things cost sixty cents apiece. this morning (it's monday now) three boxesof 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 foundling. i wish you'd come and have tea some day andlet me see if i like you. but wouldn't it
be dreadful if i didn't? however, i know ishould. bien!i make you my compliments. 'jamais je ne t'oublierai.'judy ps.i looked in the glass this morning and found a perfectly new dimple that i'd never seenbefore. it's very curious.where do you suppose it came from? 9th junedear daddy-long-legs, happy day!i've just finished my last examination physiology. and now:three months on a farm!
i don't know what kind of a thing a farm is.i've never been on one in my life. i've never even looked at one (except fromthe car window), but i know i'm going to love it, and i'm going to love being free.i am not used even yet to being outside the john grier home.whenever i think of it excited little thrills chase up and down my back.i feel as though i must run faster and faster and keep looking over my shoulder to makesure that mrs. lippett isn't after me with her arm stretched out to grab me back.i don't have to mind any one this summer, do i?your nominal authority doesn't annoy me in the least; you are too far away to do anyharm.
mrs. lippett is dead for ever, so far as iam concerned, and the semples aren't expected to overlook my moral welfare, are they?no, i am sure not. i am entirely grown up.hooray! i leave you now to pack a trunk, and threeboxes of teakettles and dishes and sofa cushions and books.yours ever, judyps. here is my physiology exam.do you think you could have passed? lock willow farm,saturday night dearest daddy-long-legs,i've only just come and i'm not unpacked,
but i can't wait to tell you how much i likefarms. this is a heavenly, heavenly, heavenly spot!the house is square like this: and old.a hundred years or so. it has a veranda on the side which i can'tdraw and a sweet porch in front. the picture really doesn't do it justiceâ€”thosethings that look like feather dusters are maple trees, and the prickly ones that borderthe drive are murmuring pines and hemlocks. it stands on the top of a hill and looks wayoff over miles of green meadows to another line of hills.that is the way connecticut goes, in a series of marcelle waves; and lock willow farm isjust on the crest of one wave.
the barns used to be across the road wherethey obstructed the view, but a kind flash of lightning came from heaven and burnt themdown. the people are mr. and mrs. semple and a hiredgirl and two hired men. the hired people eat in the kitchen, and the semples and judy inthe dining-room. we had ham and eggs and biscuits and honey and jelly-cake and pie and picklesand cheese and tea for supperâ€”and a great deal of conversation.i have never been so entertaining in my life; everything i say appears to be funny.i suppose it is, because i've never been in the country before, and my questions are backedby an all-inclusive ignorance. the room marked with a cross is not wherethe murder was committed, but the one that
i occupy.it's big and square and empty, with adorable old-fashioned furniture and windows that haveto be propped up on sticks and green shades trimmed with gold that fall down if you touchthem. and a big square mahogany tableâ€”i'm goingto spend the summer with my elbows spread out on it, writing a novel.oh, daddy, i'm so excited! i can't wait till daylight to explore. it's8.30 now, and i am about to blow out my candle and try to go to sleep.we rise at five. did you ever know such fun?i can't believe this is really judy. you and the good lord give me more than ideserve.
i must be a very, very, very good person topay. i'm going to be.you'll see. good night,judy ps.you should hear the frogs sing and the little pigs squeal and you should see the new moon!i saw it over my right shoulder. lock willow,12th july dear daddy-long-legs,how did your secretary come to know about lock willow?(that isn't a rhetorical question. i am awfully curious to know.) for listento this:
mr. jervis pendleton used to own this farm,but now he has given it to mrs. semple who was his old nurse.did you ever hear of such a funny coincidence? she still calls him 'master jervie' and talksabout what a sweet little boy he used to be. she has one of his baby curls put away ina box, and it is redâ€”or at least reddish! since she discovered that i know him, i haverisen very much in her opinion. knowing a member of the pendleton family isthe best introduction one can have at lock willow.and the cream of the whole family is master jervisâ€”i am pleased to say that julia belongsto an inferior branch. the farm gets more and more entertaining.i rode on a hay wagon yesterday.
we have three big pigs and nine little piglets,and you should see them eat. they are pigs!we've oceans of little baby chickens and ducks and turkeys and guinea fowls.you must be mad to live in a city when you might live on a farm.it is my daily business to hunt the eggs. i fell off a beam in the barn loft yesterday,while i was trying to crawl over to a nest that the black hen has stolen.and when i came in with a scratched knee, mrs. semple bound it up with witch-hazel,murmuring all the time, 'dear! dear! it seems only yesterday that master jerviefell off that very same beam and scratched this very same knee.'the scenery around here is perfectly beautiful.
there's a valley and a river and a lot ofwooded hills, and way in the distance a tall blue mountain that simply melts in your mouth.we churn twice a week; and we keep the cream in the spring house which is made of stonewith the brook running underneath. some of the farmers around here have a separator,but we don't care for these new-fashioned ideas.it may be a little harder to separate the cream in pans, but it's sufficiently betterto pay. we have six calves; and i've chosen the namesfor all of them. 1.sylvia, because she was born in the woods. 2.lesbia, after the lesbia in catullus.
3.sallie. 4.juliaâ€”a spotted, nondescript animal. 5.judy, after me. 6.daddy-long-legs. you don't mind, do you, daddy? he's pure jersey and has a sweet disposition.he looks like thisâ€”you can see how appropriate the name is.i haven't had time yet to begin my immortal novel; the farm keeps me too busy.yours always, i've learned to make doughnuts.ps. (2) if you are thinking of raising chickens,let me recommend buff orpingtons.
they haven't any pin feathers.ps. (3) i wish i could send you a pat of the nice,fresh butter i churned yesterday. i'm a fine dairy-maid!ps. (4) this is a picture of miss jerusha abbott,the future great author, driving home the cows.sunday dear daddy-long-legs,isn't it funny? i started to write to you yesterday afternoon,but as far as i got was the heading, 'dear daddy-long-legs', and then i remembered i'dpromised to pick some blackberries for supper, so i went off and left the sheet lying onthe table, and when i came back today, what
do you think i found sitting in the middleof the page? a real true daddy-long-legs!i picked him up very gently by one leg, and dropped him out of the window.i wouldn't hurt one of them for the world. they always remind me of you.we hitched up the spring wagon this morning and drove to the centre to church.it's a sweet little white frame church with a spire and three doric columns in front (ormaybe ionicâ€”i always get them mixed). a nice sleepy sermon with everybody drowsilywaving palm-leaf fans, and the only sound, aside from the minister, the buzzing of locustsin the trees outside. i didn't wake up till i found myself on myfeet singing the hymn, and then i was awfully
sorry i hadn't listened to the sermon; i shouldlike to know more of the psychology of a man who would pick out such a hymn.this was it: come, leave your sports and earthly toysand join me in celestial joys. or else, dear friend, a long farewell.i leave you now to sink to hell. i find that it isn't safe to discuss religionwith the semples. their god (whom they have inherited intactfrom their remote puritan ancestors) is a narrow, irrational, unjust, mean, revengeful,bigoted person. thank heaven i don't inherit god from anybody!i am free to make mine up as i wish him. he's kind and sympathetic and imaginativeand forgiving and understandingâ€”and he has
a sense of humour.i like the semples immensely; their practice is so superior to their theory.they are better than their own god. i told them soâ€”and they are horribly troubled.they think i am blasphemousâ€”and i think they are!we've dropped theology from our conversation. this is sunday afternoon.amasai (hired man) in a purple tie and some bright yellow buckskin gloves, very red andshaved, has just driven off with carrie (hired girl) in a big hat trimmed with red rosesand a blue muslin dress and her hair curled as tight as it will curl.amasai spent all the morning washing the buggy; and carrie stayed home from church ostensiblyto cook the dinner, but really to iron the
muslin dress.in two minutes more when this letter is finished i am going to settle down to a book whichi found in the attic. it's entitled, on the trail, and sprawledacross the front page in a funny little-boy hand:jervis pendleton if this book should ever roam,box its ears and send it home. he spent the summer here once after he hadbeen ill, when he was about eleven years old; and he left on the trail behind.it looks well readâ€”the marks of his grimy little hands are frequent!also in a corner of the attic there is a water wheel and a windmill and some bows and arrows.mrs. semple talks so constantly about him
that i begin to believe he really livesâ€”nota grown man with a silk hat and walking stick, but a nice, dirty, tousle-headed boy who clattersup the stairs with an awful racket, and leaves the screen doors open, and is always askingfor cookies. (and getting them, too, if i know mrs. semple!)he seems to have been an adventurous little soulâ€”and brave and truthful. i'm sorry tothink he is a pendleton; he was meant for something better.we're going to begin threshing oats tomorrow; a steam engine is coming and three extra men.it grieves me to tell you that buttercup (the spotted cow with one horn, mother of lesbia)has done a disgraceful thing. she got into the orchard friday evening andate apples under the trees, and ate and ate
until they went to her head.for two days she has been perfectly dead drunk! that is the truth i am telling.did you ever hear anything so scandalous? sir,i remain, your affectionate orphan,judy abbott ps.indians in the first chapter and highwaymen in the second.i hold my breath. what can the third contain?'red hawk leapt twenty feet in the air and bit the dust.'that is the subject of the frontispiece. aren't judy and jervie having fun?15th september
dear daddy,i was weighed yesterday on the flour scales in the general store at the comers.i've gained nine pounds! let me recommend lock willow as a health resort.yours ever, judyend of section iii section ivsophomore year dear daddy-long-legs,behold meâ€”a sophomore! i came up last friday, sorry to leave lockwillow, but glad to see the campus again. it is a pleasant sensation to come back tosomething familiar. i am beginning to feel at home in college,and in command of the situation; i am beginning,
in fact, to feel at home in the worldâ€”asthough i really belonged to it and had not just crept in on sufferance.i don't suppose you understand in the least what i am trying to say.a person important enough to be a trustee can't appreciate the feelings of a personunimportant enough to be a foundling. and now, daddy, listen to this.whom do you think i am rooming with? sallie mcbride and julia rutledge pendleton.it's the truth. we have a study and three little bedroomsâ€”voila!sallie and i decided last spring that we should like to room together, and julia made up hermind to stay with sallieâ€”why, i can't imagine, for they are not a bit alike; but the pendletonsare naturally conservative and inimical (fine
word!) to change.anyway, here we are. think of jerusha abbott, late of the john grier home for orphans, roomingwith a pendleton. this is a democratic country.sallie is running for class president, and unless all signs fail, she is going to beelected. such an atmosphere of intrigue you shouldsee what politicians we are! oh, i tell you, daddy, when we women get ourrights, you men will have to look alive in order to keep yours. election comes next saturday,and we're going to have a torchlight procession in the evening, no matter who wins.i am beginning chemistry, a most unusual study. i've never seen anything like it before.molecules and atoms are the material employed,
but i'll be in a position to discuss themmore definitely next month. i am also taking argumentation and logic.also history of the whole world. also plays of william shakespeare.also french. if this keeps up many years longer, i shallbecome quite intelligent. i should rather have elected economics thanfrench, but i didn't dare, because i was afraid that unless i re-elected french, the professorwould not let me passâ€”as it was, i just managed to squeeze through the june examination.but i will say that my high-school preparation was not very adequate.there's one girl in the class who chatters away in french as fast as she does in english.she went abroad with her parents when she
was a child, and spent three years in a conventschool. you can imagine how bright she is comparedwith the rest of usâ€”irregular verbs are mere playthings.i wish my parents had chucked me into a french convent when i was little instead of a foundlingasylum. oh no, i don't either!because then maybe i should never have known you.i'd rather know you than french. goodbye, daddy.i must call on harriet martin now, and, having discussed the chemical situation, casuallydrop a few thoughts on the subject of our next president.yours in politics,
j. abbott17th october dear daddy-long-legs,supposing the swimming tank in the gymnasium were filled full of lemon jelly, could a persontrying to swim manage to keep on top or would he sink?we were having lemon jelly for dessert when the question came up.we discussed it heatedly for half an hour and it's still unsettled. sallie thinks thatshe could swim in it, but i am perfectly sure that the best swimmer in the world would sink.wouldn't it be funny to be drowned in lemon jelly?two other problems are engaging the attention of our table.1st.
what shape are the rooms in an octagon house?some of the girls insist that they're square; but i think they'd have to be shaped likea piece of pie. don't you?2nd. suppose there were a great big hollow spheremade of looking-glass and you were sitting inside.where would it stop reflecting your face and begin reflecting your back?the more one thinks about this problem, the more puzzling it becomes.you can see with what deep philosophical reflection we engage our leisure!did i ever tell you about the election? it happened three weeks ago, but so fast dowe live, that three weeks is ancient history.
sallie was elected, and we had a torchlightparade with transparencies saying, 'mcbride for ever,' and a band consisting of fourteenpieces (three mouth organs and eleven combs). we're very important persons now in '258.'julia and i come in for a great deal of reflected glory.it's quite a social strain to be living in the same house with a president.bonne nuit, cher daddy. acceptez mez compliments,tres respectueux, je suis,votre judy 12th novemberdear daddy-long-legs, we beat the freshmen at basket ball yesterday.of course we're pleasedâ€”but oh, if we could
only beat the juniors!i'd be willing to be black and blue all over and stay in bed a week in a witch-hazel compress.sallie has invited me to spend the christmas vacation with her.she lives in worcester, massachusetts. wasn't it nice of her?i shall love to go. i've never been in a private family in mylife, except at lock willow, and the semples were grown-up and old and don't count. butthe mcbrides have a houseful of children (anyway two or three) and a mother and father andgrandmother, and an angora cat. it's a perfectly complete family!packing your trunk and going away is more fun than staying behind.i am terribly excited at the prospect.
seventh hourâ€”i must run to rehearsal.i'm to be in the thanksgiving theatricals. a prince in a tower with a velvet tunic andyellow curls. isn't that a lark? yours,j. a. saturdaydo you want to know what i look like? here's a photograph of all three that leonorafenton took. the light one who is laughing is sallie, andthe tall one with her nose in the air is julia, and the little one with the hair blowing acrossher face is judyâ€”she is really more beautiful than that, but the sun was in her eyes.'stone gate', worcester, mass.,31st december
dear daddy-long-legs,i meant to write to you before and thank you for your christmas cheque, but life in themcbride household is very absorbing, and i don't seem able to find two consecutive minutesto spend at a desk. i bought a new gownâ€”one that i didn't need,but just wanted. my christmas present this year is from daddy-long-legs;my family just sent love. i've been having the most beautiful vacationvisiting sallie. she lives in a big old-fashioned brick housewith white trimmings set back from the streetâ€”exactly the kind of house that i used to look at socuriously when i was in the john grier home, and wonder what it could be like inside.i never expected to see with my own eyesâ€”but
here i am!everything is so comfortable and restful and homelike; i walk from room to room and drinkin the furnishings. it is the most perfect house for childrento be brought up in; with shadowy nooks for hide and seek, and open fire places for pop-corn,and an attic to romp in on rainy days and slippery banisters with a comfortable flatknob at the bottom, and a great big sunny kitchen, and a nice, fat, sunny cook who haslived in the family thirteen years and always saves out a piece of dough for the childrento bake. just the sight of such a house makes you wantto be a child all over again. and as for families!i never dreamed they could be so nice.
sallie has a father and mother and grandmother,and the sweetest three-year-old baby sister all over curls, and a medium-sized brotherwho always forgets to wipe his feet, and a big, good-looking brother named jimmie, whois a junior at princeton. we have the jolliest times at the tableâ€”everybodylaughs and jokes and talks at once, and we don't have to say grace beforehand.it's a relief not having to thank somebody for every mouthful you eat.(i dare say i'm blasphemous; but you'd be, too, if you'd offered as much obligatory thanksas i have.) such a lot of things we've doneâ€”i can'tbegin to tell you about them. mr. mcbride owns a factory and christmas eve he had atree for the employees' children.
it was in the long packing-room which wasdecorated with evergreens and holly. jimmie mcbride was dressed as santa clausand sallie and i helped him distribute the presents.dear me, daddy, but it was a funny sensation! i felt as benevolent as a trustee of the johngrier home. i kissed one sweet, sticky little boyâ€”buti don't think i patted any of them on the head!and two days after christmas, they gave a dance at their own house for me.it was the first really true ball i ever attendedâ€”college doesn't count where we dance with girls.i had a new white evening gown (your christmas presentâ€”many thanks) and long white glovesand white satin slippers.
the only drawback to my perfect, utter, absolutehappiness was the fact that mrs. lippett couldn't see me leading the cotillion with jimmie mcbride.tell her about it, please, the next time you visit the j. g. h.yours ever, judy abbottps. would you be terribly displeased, daddy, ifi didn't turn out to be a great author after all, but just a plain girl?6.30, saturday dear daddy,we started to walk to town today, but mercy! how it poured.i like winter to be winter with snow instead of rain.julia's desirable uncle called again this
afternoonâ€”and brought a five-pound box ofchocolates. there are advantages, you see, about roomingwith julia. our innocent prattle appeared to amuse himand he waited for a later train in order to take tea in the study.we had an awful lot of trouble getting permission. it's hard enough entertaining fathers andgrandfathers, but uncles are a step worse; and as for brothers and cousins, they arenext to impossible. julia had to swear that he was her uncle beforea notary public and then have the county clerk's certificate attached.(don't i know a lot of law?) and even then i doubt if we could have had our tea if thedean had chanced to see how youngish and good-looking
uncle jervis is.anyway, we had it, with brown bread swiss cheese sandwiches.he helped make them and then ate four. i told him that i had spent last summer atlock willow, and we had a beautiful gossipy time about the semples, and the horses andcows and chickens. all the horses that he used to know are dead,except grover, who was a baby colt at the time of his last visitâ€”and poor grove nowis so old he can just limp about the pasture. he asked if they still kept doughnuts in ayellow crock with a blue plate over it on the bottom shelf of the pantryâ€”and theydo! he wanted to know if there was still a woodchuck'shole under the pile of rocks in the night
pastureâ€”and there is!amasai caught a big, fat, grey one there this summer, the twenty-fifth great-grandson ofthe one master jervis caught when he was a little boy.i called him 'master jervie' to his face, but he didn't appear to be insulted.julia says she has never seen him so amiable; he's usually pretty unapproachable.but julia hasn't a bit of tact; and men, i find, require a great deal.they purr if you rub them the right way and spit if you don't. (that isn't a very elegantmetaphor. i mean it figuratively.)we're reading marie bashkirtseff's journal. isn't it amazing?listen to this:
'last night i was seized by a fit of despairthat found utterance in moans, and that finally drove me to throw the dining-room clock intothe sea.' it makes me almost hope i'm not a genius;they must be very wearing to have aboutâ€”and awfully destructive to the furniture.mercy! how it keeps pouring. we shall have to swim to chapel tonight.yours ever, judy20th jan. dear daddy-long-legs,did you ever have a sweet baby girl who was stolen from the cradle in infancy?maybe i am she! if we were in a novel, that would be the denouement,wouldn't it?
it's really awfully queer not to know whatone isâ€”sort of exciting and romantic. there are such a lot of possibilities.maybe i'm not american; lots of people aren't. i may be straight descended from the ancientromans, or i may be a viking's daughter, or i may be the child of a russian exile andbelong by rights in a siberian prison, or maybe i'm a gipsyâ€”i think perhaps i am.i have a very wandering spirit, though i haven't as yet had much chance to develop it.do you know about that one scandalous blot in my career the time i ran away from theasylum because they punished me for stealing cookies? it's down in the books free for anytrustee to read. but really, daddy, what could you expect?when you put a hungry little nine-year girl
in the pantry scouring knives, with the cookiejar at her elbow, and go off and leave her alone; and then suddenly pop in again, wouldn'tyou expect to find her a bit crumby? and then when you jerk her by the elbow andbox her ears, and make her leave the table when the pudding comes, and tell all the otherchildren that it's because she's a thief, wouldn't you expect her to run away?i only ran four miles. they caught me and brought me back; and everyday for a week i was tied, like a naughty puppy, to a stake in the back yard while theother children were out at recess. oh, dear!there's the chapel bell, and after chapel i have a committee meeting.i'm sorry because i meant to write you a very
entertaining letter this time.auf wiedersehen cher daddy,pax tibi! there's one thing i'm perfectly sure of i'mnot a chinaman. 4th februarydear daddy-long-legs, jimmie mcbride has sent me a princeton banneras big as one end of the room; i am very grateful to him for remembering me, but i don't knowwhat on earth to do with it. sallie and julia won't let me hang it up;our room this year is furnished in red, and you can imagine what an effect we'd have ifi added orange and black. but it's such nice, warm, thick felt, i hateto waste it.
would it be very improper to have it madeinto a bath robe? my old one shrank when it was washed.i've entirely omitted of late telling you what i am learning, but though you might notimagine it from my letters, my time is exclusively occupied with study.it's a very bewildering matter to get educated in five branches at once.'the test of true scholarship,' says chemistry professor, 'is a painstaking passion for detail.''be careful not to keep your eyes glued to detail,' says history professor.'stand far enough away to get a perspective of the whole.'you can see with what nicety we have to trim our sails between chemistry and history.i like the historical method best.
if i say that william the conqueror came overin 1492, and columbus discovered america in 1100 or 1066 or whenever it was, that's amere detail that the professor overlooks. it gives a feeling of security and restfulnessto the history recitation, that is entirely lacking in chemistry.sixth-hour bellâ€”i must go to the laboratory and look into a little matter of acids andsalts and alkalis. i've burned a hole as big as a plate in thefront of my chemistry apron, with hydrochloric acid.if the theory worked, i ought to be able to neutralize that hole with good strong ammonia,oughtn't i? examinations next week, but who's afraid?yours ever,
judy5th march dear daddy-long-legs,there is a march wind blowing, and the sky is filled with heavy, black moving clouds.the crows in the pine trees are making such a clamour! it's an intoxicating, exhilarating,calling noise. you want to close your books and be off overthe hills to race with the wind. we had a paper chase last saturday over fivemiles of squashy 'cross country. the fox (composed of three girls and a bushelor so of confetti) started half an hour before the twenty-seven hunters.i was one of the twenty-seven; eight dropped by the wayside; we ended nineteen.the trail led over a hill, through a cornfield,
and into a swamp where we had to leap lightlyfrom hummock to hummock. of course half of us went in ankle deep.we kept losing the trail, and we wasted twenty-five minutes over that swamp.then up a hill through some woods and in at a barn window!the barn doors were all locked and the window was up high and pretty small.i don't call that fair, do you? but we didn't go through; we circumnavigatedthe barn and picked up the trail where it issued by way of a low shed roof on to thetop of a fence. the fox thought he had us there, but we fooledhim. then straight away over two miles of rollingmeadow, and awfully hard to follow, for the
confetti was getting sparse.the rule is that it must be at the most six feet apart, but they were the longest sixfeet i ever saw. finally, after two hours of steady trotting,we tracked monsieur fox into the kitchen of crystal spring (that's a farm where the girlsgo in bob sleighs and hay wagons for chicken and waffle suppers) and we found the threefoxes placidly eating milk and honey and biscuits. they hadn't thought we would get that far;they were expecting us to stick in the barn window.both sides insist that they won. i think we did, don't you?because we caught them before they got back to the campus.anyway, all nineteen of us settled like locusts
over the furniture and clamoured for honey.there wasn't enough to go round, but mrs. crystal spring (that's our pet name for her;she's by rights a johnson) brought up a jar of strawberry jam and a can of maple syrupâ€”justmade last weekâ€”and three loaves of brown bread.we didn't get back to college till half-past sixâ€”half an hour late for dinnerâ€”and wewent straight in without dressing, and with perfectly unimpaired appetites!then we all cut evening chapel, the state of our boots being enough of an excuse.i never told you about examinations. i passed everything with the utmost easeâ€”iknow the secret now, and am never going to fail again. i shan't be able to graduate withhonours though, because of that beastly latin
prose and geometry freshman year.but i don't care. wot's the hodds so long as you're 'appy?(that's a quotation. i've been reading the english classics.)speaking of classics, have you ever read hamlet? if you haven't, do it right off.it's perfectly corking. i've been hearing about shakespeare all mylife, but i had no idea he really wrote so well; i always suspected him of going largelyon his reputation. i have a beautiful play that i invented along time ago when i first learned to read. i put myself to sleep every night by pretendingi'm the person (the most important person) in the book i'm reading at the moment.at present i'm opheliaâ€”and such a sensible
ophelia!i keep hamlet amused all the time, and pet him and scold him and make him wrap up histhroat when he has a cold. i've entirely cured him of being melancholy.the king and queen are both deadâ€”an accident at sea; no funeral necessaryâ€”so hamlet andi are ruling in denmark without any bother. we have the kingdom working beautifully.he takes care of the governing, and i look after the charities.i have just founded some first-class orphan asylums.if you or any of the other trustees would like to visit them, i shall be pleased toshow you through. i think you might find a great many helpfulsuggestions.
i remain, sir,yours most graciously, ophelia,queen of denmark. 24th march,maybe the 25th dear daddy-long-legs,i don't believe i can be going to heavenâ€”i am getting such a lot of good things here;it wouldn't be fair to get them hereafter too. listen to what has happened.jerusha abbott has won the short-story contest (a twenty-five dollar prize) that the monthlyholds every year. and she's a sophomore!the contestants are mostly seniors. when i saw my name posted, i couldn't quitebelieve it was true.
maybe i am going to be an author after all.i wish mrs. lippett hadn't given me such a silly nameâ€”it sounds like an author-ess,doesn't it? also i have been chosen for the spring dramaticsâ€”asyou like it out of doors. i am going to be celia, own cousin to rosalind.and lastly: julia and sallie and i are going to new yorknext friday to do some spring shopping and stay all night and go to the theatre the nextday with 'master jervie.' he invited us.julia is going to stay at home with her family, but sallie and i are going to stop at themartha washington hotel. did you ever hear of anything so exciting?i've never been in a hotel in my life, nor
in a theatre; except once when the catholicchurch had a festival and invited the orphans, but that wasn't a real play and it doesn'tcount. and what do you think we're going to see?hamlet. think of that!we studied it for four weeks in shakespeare class and i know it by heart.i am so excited over all these prospects that i can scarcely sleep.goodbye, daddy. this is a very entertaining world.yours ever, i've just looked at the calendar.it's the 28th. another postscript.i saw a street car conductor today with one
brown eye and one blue. wouldn't he make anice villain for a detective story? 7th aprildear daddy-long-legs, mercy!isn't new york big? worcester is nothing to it.do you mean to tell me that you actually live in all that confusion?i don't believe that i shall recover for months from the bewildering effect of two days ofit. i can't begin to tell you all the amazingthings i've seen; i suppose you know, though, since you live there yourself.but aren't the streets entertaining? and the people?and the shops? i never saw such lovely things
as there are in the windows.it makes you want to devote your life to wearing clothes.sallie and julia and i went shopping together saturday morning.julia went into the very most gorgeous place i ever saw, white and gold walls and bluecarpets and blue silk curtains and gilt chairs. a perfectly beautiful lady with yellow hairand a long black silk trailing gown came to meet us with a welcoming smile.i thought we were paying a social call, and started to shake hands, but it seems we wereonly buying hatsâ€”at least julia was. she sat down in front of a mirror and triedon a dozen, each lovelier than the last, and bought the two loveliest of all.i can't imagine any joy in life greater than
sitting down in front of a mirror and buyingany hat you choose without having first to consider the price!there's no doubt about it, daddy; new york would rapidly undermine this fine stoicalcharacter which the john grier home so patiently built up.and after we'd finished our shopping, we met master jervie at sherry's. i suppose you'vebeen in sherry's? picture that, then picture the dining-room of the john grier home withits oilcloth-covered tables, and white crockery that you can't break, and wooden-handled knivesand forks; and fancy the way i felt! i ate my fish with the wrong fork, but thewaiter very kindly gave me another so that nobody noticed.and after luncheon we went to the theatreâ€”it
was dazzling, marvellous, unbelievableâ€”idream about it every night. isn't shakespeare wonderful?hamlet is so much better on the stage than when we analyze it in class; i appreciatedit before, but now, clear me! i think, if you don't mind, that i'd ratherbe an actress than a writer. wouldn't you like me to leave college andgo into a dramatic school? and then i'll send you a box for all my performances,and smile at you across the footlights. only wear a red rose in your buttonhole, please,so i'll surely smile at the right man. it would be an awfully embarrassing mistakeif i picked out the wrong one. we came back saturday night and had our dinnerin the train, at little tables with pink lamps
and negro waiters.i never heard of meals being served in trains before, and i inadvertently said so.'where on earth were you brought up?' said julia to me.'in a village,' said i meekly, to julia. 'but didn't you ever travel?' said she tome. 'not till i came to college, and then it wasonly a hundred and sixty miles and we didn't eat,' said i to her.she's getting quite interested in me, because i say such funny things. i try hard not to,but they do pop out when i'm surprisedâ€”and i'm surprised most of the time.it's a dizzying experience, daddy, to pass eighteen years in the john grier home, andthen suddenly to be plunged into the world.
but i'm getting acclimated.i don't make such awful mistakes as i did; and i don't feel uncomfortable any more withthe other girls. i used to squirm whenever people looked atme. i felt as though they saw right through mysham new clothes to the checked ginghams underneath. but i'm not letting the ginghams bother meany more. sufficient unto yesterday is the evil thereof.i forgot to tell you about our flowers. master jervie gave us each a big bunch ofviolets and lilies-of-the-valley. wasn't that sweet of him?i never used to care much for menâ€”judging by trusteesâ€”but i'm changing my mind.eleven pagesâ€”this is a letter!
have courage.i'm going to stop. yours always,judy 10th aprildear mr. rich-man, here's your cheque for fifty dollars.thank you very much, but i do not feel that i can keep it.my allowance is sufficient to afford all of the hats that i need.i am sorry that i wrote all that silly stuff about the millinery shop; it's just that ihad never seen anything like it before. however, i wasn't begging!and i would rather not accept any more charity than i have to.sincerely yours,
jerusha abbott11th april dearest daddy,will you please forgive me for the letter i wrote you yesterday?after i posted it i was sorry, and tried to get it back, but that beastly mail clerk wouldn'tgive it back to me. it's the middle of the night now; i've beenawake for hours thinking what a worm i amâ€”what a thousand-legged wormâ€”and that's the worsti can say! i've closed the door very softly into thestudy so as not to wake julia and sallie, and am sitting up in bed writing to you onpaper torn out of my history note-book. i just wanted to tell you that i am sorryi was so impolite about your cheque.
i know you meant it kindly, and i think you'rean old dear to take so much trouble for such a silly thing as a hat.i ought to have returned it very much more graciously.but in any case, i had to return it. it's different with me than with other girls.they can take things naturally from people. they have fathers and brothers and aunts anduncles; but i can't be on any such relations with any one.i like to pretend that you belong to me, just to play with the idea, but of course i knowyou don't. i'm alone, reallyâ€”with my back to the wall fighting the worldâ€”and i getsort of gaspy when i think about it. i put it out of my mind, and keep on pretending;but don't you see, daddy?
i can't accept any more money than i haveto, because some day i shall be wanting to pay it back, and even as great an author asi intend to be won't be able to face a perfectly tremendous debt.i'd love pretty hats and things, but i mustn't mortgage the future to pay for them.you'll forgive me, won't you, for being so rude?i have an awful habit of writing impulsively when i first think things, and then postingthe letter beyond recall. but if i sometimes seem thoughtless and ungrateful,i never mean it. in my heart i thank you always for the lifeand freedom and independence that you have given me.my childhood was just a long, sullen stretch
of revolt, and now i am so happy every momentof the day that i can't believe it's true. i feel like a made-up heroine in a story-book.it's a quarter past two. i'm going to tiptoe out to post this off now.you'll receive it in the next mail after the other; so you won't have a very long timeto think bad of me. good night, daddy,i love you always, judy end of section ivsection v sophomore year continued4th may dear daddy-long-legs,field day last saturday.
it was a very spectacular occasion.first we had a parade of all the classes, with everybody dressed in white linen, theseniors carrying blue and gold japanese umbrellas, and the juniors white and yellow banners.our class had crimson balloonsâ€”very fetching, especially as they were always getting looseand floating offâ€”and the freshmen wore green tissue-paper hats with long streamers. alsowe had a band in blue uniforms hired from town.also about a dozen funny people, like clowns in a circus, to keep the spectators entertainedbetween events. julia was dressed as a fat country man witha linen duster and whiskers and baggy umbrella. patsy moriarty (patrici really.did you ever hear such a name?
mrs. lippett couldn't have done better) whois tall and thin was julia's wife in a absurd green bonnet over one ear.waves of laughter followed them the whole length of the course.julia played the part extremely well. i never dreamed that a pendleton could displayso much comedy spiritâ€”begging master jervie' pardon; i don't consider him a true pendletonthough, any more than i consider you a true trustee.sallie and i weren't in the parade because we were entered for the events.and what do you think? we both won!at least in something. we tried for the running broad jump and lost; but sallie won the pole-vaulting(seven feet three inches) and i won the fifty-yard
sprint (eight seconds).i was pretty panting at the end, but it was great fun, with the whole class waving balloonsand cheering and yelling: what's the matter with judy abbott?she's all right. who's all right?judy ab-bott! that, daddy, is true fame.then trotting back to the dressing tent and being rubbed down with alcohol and havinga lemon to suck. you see we're very professional.it's a fine thing to win an event for your class, because the class that wins the mostgets the athletic cup for the year. the seniors won it this year, with seven eventsto their credit.
the athletic association gave a dinner inthe gymnasium to all of the winners. we had fried soft-shell crabs, and chocolateice-cream moulded in the shape of basket balls. i sat up half of last night reading jane eyre.are you old enough, daddy, to remember sixty years ago?and, if so, did people talk that way? the haughty lady blanche says to the footman,'stop your chattering, knave, and do my bidding.' mr. rochester talks about the metal welkinwhen he means the sky; and as for the mad woman who laughs like a hyena and sets fireto bed curtains and tears up wedding veils and bitesâ€”it's melodrama of the purest,but just the same, you read and read and read. i can't see how any girl could have writtensuch a book, especially any girl who was brought
up in a churchyard.there's something about those brontes that fascinates me.their books, their lives, their spirit. where did they get it?when i was reading about little jane's troubles in the charity school, i got so angry thati had to go out and take a walk. i understood exactly how she felt.having known mrs. lippett, i could see mr. brocklehurst.don't be outraged, daddy. i am not intimating that the john grier homewas like the lowood institute. we had plenty to eat and plenty to wear, sufficientwater to wash in, and a furnace in the cellar. but there was one deadly likeness.our lives were absolutely monotonous and uneventful.
nothing nice ever happened, except ice-creamon sundays, and even that was regular. in all the eighteen years i was there i onlyhad one adventureâ€”when the woodshed burned. we had to get up in the night and dress soas to be ready in case the house should catch. but it didn't catch and we went back to bed.everybody likes a few surprises; it's a perfectly natural human craving.but i never had one until mrs. lippett called me to the office to tell me that mr. johnsmith was going to send me to college. and then she broke the news so gradually thatit just barely shocked me. you know, daddy, i think that the most necessaryquality for any person to have is imagination. it makes people able to put themselves inother people's places.
it makes them kind and sympathetic and understanding.it ought to be cultivated in children. but the john grier home instantly stampedout the slightest flicker that appeared. duty was the one quality that was encouraged.i don't think children ought to know the meaning of the word; it's odious, detestable.they ought to do everything from love. wait until you see the orphan asylum thati am going to be the head of! it's my favourite play at night before i go to sleep.i plan it out to the littlest detailâ€”the meals and clothes and study and amusementsand punishments; for even my superior orphans are sometimes bad.but anyway, they are going to be happy. i think that every one, no matter how manytroubles he may have when he grows up, ought
to have a happy childhood to look back upon.and if i ever have any children of my own, no matter how unhappy i may be, i am not goingto let them have any cares until they grow up.(there goes the chapel bellâ€”i'll finish this letter sometime).thursday when i came in from laboratory this afternoon,i found a squirrel sitting on the tea table helping himself to almonds.these are the kind of callers we entertain now that warm weather has come and the windowsstay openâ€” saturday morningperhaps you think, last night being friday, with no classes today, that i passed a nicequiet, readable evening with the set of stevenson
that i bought with my prize money?but if so, you've never attended a girls' college, daddy dear.six friends dropped in to make fudge, and one of them dropped the fudgeâ€”while it wasstill liquidâ€”right in the middle of our best rug.we shall never be able to clean up the mess. i haven't mentioned any lessons of late; butwe are still having them every day. it's sort of a relief though, to get awayfrom them and discuss life in the largeâ€”rather one-sided discussions that you and i hold,but that's your own fault. you are welcome to answer back any time youchoose. i've been writing this letter off and on forthree days, and i fear by now vous etes bien
bored!goodbye, nice mr. man, judymr. daddy-long-legs smith, sir:having completed the study of argumentation and the science of dividing a thesis intoheads, i have decided to adopt the following form for letter-writing. it contains all necessaryfacts, but no unnecessary verbiage. i. we had written examinations this week in:a. chemistry. b. history.ii. a new dormitory is being built.a. its material is: (a) red brick.(b) grey stone.
b. its capacity will be:(a) one dean, five instructors. (b) two hundred girls.(c) one housekeeper, three cooks, twenty waitresses, twenty chambermaids.iii. we had junket for dessert tonight.iv. i am writing a special topic upon the sourcesof shakespeare's plays. v. lou mcmahon slipped and fell this afternoonat basket ball, and she: a. dislocated her shoulder.b. bruised her knee. vi.i have a new hat trimmed with: a. blue velvet ribbon.b. two blue quills.
c. three red pompoms.vii. it is half past nine.viii. good night.judy 2nd junedear daddy-long-legs, you will never guess the nice thing that hashappened. the mcbrides have asked me to spend the summerat their camp in the adirondacks! they belong to a sort of club on a lovelylittle lake in the middle of the woods. the different members have houses made oflogs dotted about among the trees, and they go canoeing on the lake, and take long walksthrough trails to other camps, and have dances
once a week in the club houseâ€”jimmie mcbrideis going to have a college friend visiting him part of the summer, so you see we shallhave plenty of men to dance with. wasn't it sweet of mrs. mcbride to ask me?it appears that she liked me when i was there for christmas.please excuse this being short. it isn't a real letter; it's just to let youknow that i'm disposed of for the summer. yours,in a very contented frame of mind, judy5th june dear daddy-long-legs,your secretary man has just written to me saying that mr. smith prefers that i shouldnot accept mrs. mcbride's invitation, but
should return to lock willow the same as lastsummer. why, why, why, daddy?you don't understand about it. mrs. mcbride does want me, really and truly.i'm not the least bit of trouble in the house. i'm a help. they don't take up many servants,and sallie an i can do lots of useful things. it's a fine chance for me to learn housekeeping.every woman ought to understand it, and i only know asylum-keeping.there aren't any girls our age at the camp, and mrs. mcbride wants me for a companionfor sallie. we are planning to do a lot of reading together.we are going to read all of the books for next year's english and sociology.the professor said it would be a great help
if we would get our reading finished in thesummer; and it's so much easier to remember it if we read together and talk it over.just to live in the same house with sallie's mother is an education. she's the most interesting,entertaining, companionable, charming woman in the world; she knows everything.think how many summers i've spent with mrs. lippett and how i'll appreciate the contrast.you needn't be afraid that i'll be crowding them, for their house is made of rubber. whenthey have a lot of company, they just sprinkle tents about in the woods and turn the boysoutside. it's going to be such a nice, healthy summerexercising out of doors every minute. jimmie mcbride is going to teach me how toride horseback and paddle a canoe, and how
to shoot andâ€”oh, lots of things i oughtto know. it's the kind of nice, jolly, care-free timethat i've never had; and i think every girl deserves it once in her life.of course i'll do exactly as you say, but please, please let me go, daddy.i've never wanted anything so much. this isn't jerusha abbott, the future greatauthor, writing to you. it's just judyâ€”a girl.9th june mr. john smith,sir: yours of the 7th inst. at hand.in compliance with the instructions received through your secretary, i leave on fridaynext to spend the summer at lock willow farm.
i hope always to remain,(miss) jerusha abbott lock willow farm,3rd august dear daddy-long-legs,it has been nearly two months since i wrote, which wasn't nice of me, i know, but i haven'tloved you much this summerâ€”you see i'm being frank!you can't imagine how disappointed i was at having to give up the mcbrides' camp.of course i know that you're my guardian, and that i have to regard your wishes in allmatters, but i couldn't see any reason. it was so distinctly the best thing that couldhave happened to me. if i had been daddy, and you had been judy,i should have said, 'bless yo my child, run
along and have a good time; see lots of newpeople and learn lots of new things; live out of doors, and get strong and well andrested for a year of hard work.' but not at all!just a curt line from your secretary ordering me to lock willow.it's the impersonality of your commands that hurts my feelings.it seems as though, if you felt the tiniest little bit for me the way i feel for you,you'd sometimes send me a message that you'd written with your own hand, instead of thosebeastly typewritten secretary's notes. if there were the slightest hint that you cared,i'd do anything on earth to please you. i know that i was to write nice, long, detailedletters without ever expecting any answer.
you're living up to your side of the bargainâ€”i'mbeing educatedâ€”and i suppose you're thinking i'm not living up to mine!but, daddy, it is a hard bargain. it is, really.i'm so awfully lonely. you are the only person i have to care for,and you are so shadowy. you're just an imaginary man that i've madeupâ€”and probably the real you isn't a bit like my imaginary you.but you did once, when i was ill in the infirmary, send me a message, and now, when i am feelingawfully forgotten, i get out your card and read it over.i don't think i am telling you at all what i started to say, which was this:although my feelings are still hurt, for it
is very humiliating to be picked up and movedabout by an arbitrary, peremptory, unreasonable, omnipotent, invisible providence, still, whena man has been as kind and generous and thoughtful as you have heretofore been towards me, isuppose he has a right to be an arbitrary, peremptory, unreasonable, invisible providenceif he chooses, and soâ€”i'll forgive you and be cheerful again.but i still don't enjoy getting sallie's letters about the good times they are having in camp!howeverâ€”we will draw a veil over that and begin again.i've been writing and writing this summer; four short stories finished and sent to fourdifferent magazines. so you see i'm trying to be an author.i have a workroom fixed in a corner of the
attic where master jervie used to have hisrainy-day playroom. it's in a cool, breezy corner with two dormerwindows, and shaded by a maple tree with a family of red squirrels living in a hole.i'll write a nicer letter in a few days and tell you all the farm news.we need rain. yours as ever,judy 10th augustmr. daddy-long-legs, sir:i address you from the second crotch in the willow tree by the pool in the pasture.there's a frog croaking underneath, a locust singing overhead and two little 'devil downheads'darting up and down the trunk.
i've been here for an hour; it's a very comfortablecrotch, especially after being upholstered with two sofa cushions.i came up with a pen and tablet hoping to write an immortal short story, but i've beenhaving a dreadful time with my heroineâ€”i can't make her behave as i want her to behave;so i've abandoned her for the moment, and am writing to you.(not much relief though, for i can't make you behave as i want you to, either.)if you are in that dreadful new york, i wish i could send you some of this lovely, breezy,sunshiny outlook. the country is heaven after a week of rain.speaking of heavenâ€”do you remember mr. kellogg that i told you about last summer?â€”the ministerof the little white church at the corners.
well, the poor old soul is deadâ€”last winterof pneumonia. i went half a dozen times to hear him preachand got very well acquainted with his theology. he believed to the end exactly the same thingshe started with. it seems to me that a man who can think straightalong for forty-seven years without changing a single idea ought to be kept in a cabinetas a curiosity. i hope he is enjoying his harp and goldencrown; he was so perfectly sure of finding them!there's a new young man, very consequential, in his place.the congregation is pretty dubious, especially the faction led by deacon cummings.it looks as though there was going to be an
awful split in the church.we don't care for innovations in religion in this neighbourhood.during our week of rain i sat up in the attic and had an orgy of readingâ€”stevenson, mostly.he himself is more entertaining than any of the characters in his books; i dare say hemade himself into the kind of hero that would look well in print.don't you think it was perfect of him to spend all the ten thousand dollars his father left,for a yacht, and go sailing off to the south seas?he lived up to his adventurous creed. if my father had left me ten thousand dollars,i'd do it, too. the thought of vailima makes me wild.i want to see the tropics.
i want to see the whole world.i am going to be a great author, or artist, or actress, or playwrightâ€”or whatever sortof a great person i turn out to be. i have a terrible wanderthirst; the very sightof a map makes me want to put on my hat and take an umbrella and start.'i shall see before i die the palms and temples of the south.'thursday evening at twilight, sitting on the doorstep.very hard to get any news into this letter! judy is becoming so philosophical of late,that she wishes to discourse largely of the world in general, instead of descending tothe trivial details of daily life. but if you must have news, here it is:our nine young pigs waded across the brook
and ran away last tuesday, and only eightcame back. we don't want to accuse anyone unjustly, butwe suspect that widow dowd has one more than she ought to have.mr. weaver has painted his barn and his two silos a bright pumpkin yellowâ€”a very uglycolour, but he says it will wear. the brewers have company this week; mrs. brewer'ssister and two nieces from ohio. one of our rhode island reds only broughtoff three chicks out of fifteen eggs. we can't imagine what was the trouble.rhode island reds, in my opinion, are a very inferior breed.i prefer buff orpingtons. the new clerk in the post office at bonnyriggfour corners drank every drop of jamaica ginger
they had in stockâ€”seven dollars' worthâ€”beforehe was discovered. old ira hatch has rheumatism and can't workany more; he never saved his money when he was earning good wages, so now he has to liveon the town. there's to be an ice-cream social at the schoolhousenext saturday evening. come and bring your families.i have a new hat that i bought for twenty-five cents at the post office.this is my latest portrait, on my way to rake the hay.it's getting too dark to see; anyway, the news is all used up.good night, judyfriday
good morning!here is some news! what do you think?you'd never, never, never guess who's coming to lock willow.a letter to mrs. semple from mr. pendleton. he's motoring through the berkshires, andis tired and wants to rest on a nice quiet farmâ€”if he climbs out at her doorstep somenight will she have a room ready for him? maybe he'll stay one week, or maybe two, ormaybe three; he'll see how restful it is when he gets here.such a flutter as we are in! the whole house is being cleaned and all thecurtains washed. i am driving to the corners this morning toget some new oilcloth for the entry, and two
cans of brown floor paint for the hall andback stairs. mrs. dowd is engaged to come tomorrow to washthe windows (in the exigency of the moment, we waive our suspicions in regard to the piglet).you might think, from this account of our activities, that the house was not alreadyimmaculate; but i assure you it was! whatever mrs. semple's limitations, she isa housekeeper. but isn't it just like a man, daddy?he doesn't give the remotest hint as to whether he will land on the doorstep today, or twoweeks from today. we shall live in a perpetual breathlessnessuntil he comesâ€”and if he doesn't hurry, the cleaning may all have to be done overagain.
there's amasai waiting below with the buckboardand grover. i drive aloneâ€”but if you could see old grove,you wouldn't be worried as to my safety. with my hand on my heartâ€”farewell.judy ps.isn't that a nice ending? i got it out of stevenson's letters.saturday good morning again!i didn't get this enveloped yesterday before the postman came, so i'll add some more.we have one mail a day at twelve o'clock. rural delivery is a blessing to the farmers!our postman not only delivers letters, but he runs errands for us in town, at five centsan errand.
yesterday he brought me some shoe-stringsand a jar of cold cream (i sunburned all the skin off my nose before i got my new hat)and a blue windsor tie and a bottle of blacking all for ten cents. that was an unusual bargain,owing to the largeness of my order. also he tells us what is happening in thegreat world. several people on the route take daily papers,and he reads them as he jogs along, and repeats the news to the ones who don't subscribe.so in case a war breaks out between the united states and japan, or the president is assassinated,or mr. rockefeller leaves a million dollars to the john grier home, you needn't botherto write; i'll hear it anyway. no sign yet of master jervie.but you should see how clean our house isâ€”and
with what anxiety we wipe our feet beforewe step in! i hope he'll come soon; i am longing for someoneto talk to. mrs. semple, to tell you the truth, gets rathermonotonous. she never lets ideas interrupt the easy flowof her conversation. it's a funny thing about the people here.their world is just this single hilltop. they are not a bit universal, if you knowwhat i mean. it's exactly the same as at the john grierhome. our ideas there were bounded by the four sidesof the iron fence, only i didn't mind it so much because i was younger, and was so awfullybusy.
by the time i'd got all my beds made and mybabies' faces washed and had gone to school and come home and had washed their faces againand darned their stockings and mended freddie perkins's trousers (he tore them every dayof his life) and learned my lessons in betweenâ€”i was ready to go to bed, and i didn't noticeany lack of social intercourse. but after two years in a conversational college,i do miss it; and i shall be glad to see somebody who speaks my language.i really believe i've finished, daddy. nothing else occurs to me at the momentâ€”i'lltry to write a longer letter next time. ps.the lettuce hasn't done at all well this year. it was so dry early in the season.25th august
well, daddy, master jervie's here.and such a nice time as we're having! at least i am, and i think he is, tooâ€”hehas been here ten days and he doesn't show any signs of going.the way mrs. semple pampers that man is scandalous. if she indulged him as much when he was ababy, i don't know how he ever turned out so well.he and i eat at a little table set on the side porch, or sometimes under the trees,orâ€”when it rains or is coldâ€”in the best parlour.he just picks out the spot he wants to eat in and carrie trots after him with the table.then if it has been an awful nuisance, and she has had to carry the dishes very far,she finds a dollar under the sugar bowl.
he is an awfully companionable sort of man,though you would never believe it to see him casually; he looks at first glance like atrue pendleton, but he isn't in the least. he is just as simple and unaffected and sweetas he can beâ€”that seems a funny way to describe a man, but it's true.he's extremely nice with the farmers around here; he meets them in a sort of man-to-manfashion that disarms them immediately. they were very suspicious at first.they didn't care for his clothes! and i will say that his clothes are ratheramazing. he wears knickerbockers and pleated jacketsand white flannels and riding clothes with puffed trousers.whenever he comes down in anything new, mrs.
semple, beaming with pride, walks around andviews him from every angle, and urges him to be careful where he sits down; she is soafraid he will pick up some dust. it bores him dreadfully.he's always saying to her: 'run along, lizzie, and tend to your work.you can't boss me any longer. i've grown up.'it's awfully funny to think of that great big, long-legged man (he's nearly as long-leggedas you, daddy) ever sitting in mrs. semple's lap and having his face washed.particularly funny when you see her lap! she has two laps now, and three chins.but he says that once she was thin and wiry and spry and could run faster than he.such a lot of adventures we're having!
we've explored the country for miles, andi've learned to fish with funny little flies made of feathers.also to shoot with a rifle and a revolver. also to ride horsebackâ€”there's an astonishingamount of life in old grove. we fed him on oats for three days, and heshied at a calf and almost ran away with me. wednesdaywe climbed sky hill monday afternoon. that's a mountain near here; not an awfullyhigh mountain, perhapsâ€”no snow on the summitâ€”but at least you are pretty breathless when youreach the top. the lower slopes are covered with woods, butthe top is just piled rocks and open moor. we stayed up for the sunset and built a fireand cooked our supper. master jervie did the
cooking; he said he knew how better than meand he did, too, because he's used to camping. then we came down by moonlight, and, whenwe reached the wood trail where it was dark, by the light of an electric bulb that he hadin his pocket. it was such fun!he laughed and joked all the way and talked about interesting things.he's read all the books i've ever read, and a lot of others besides.it's astonishing how many different things he knows.we went for a long tramp this morning and got caught in a storm.our clothes were drenched before we reached home but our spirits not even damp.you should have seen mrs. semple's face when
we dripped into her kitchen.'oh, master jervieâ€”miss judy! you are soaked through.dear! dear! what shall i do?that nice new coat is perfectly ruined.' she was awfully funny; you would have thoughtthat we were ten years old, and she a distracted mother.i was afraid for a while that we weren't going to get any jam for tea.saturday i started this letter ages ago, but i haven'thad a second to finish it. isn't this a nice thought from stevenson?the world is so full of a number of things, i am sure we should all be as happy as kings.it's true, you know.
the world is full of happiness, and plentyto go round, if you are only willing to take the kind that comes your way. the whole secretis in being pliable. in the country, especially, there are sucha lot of entertaining things. i can walk over everybody's land, and lookat everybody's view, and dabble in everybody's brook; and enjoy it just as much as thoughi owned the landâ€”and with no taxes to pay! it's sunday night now, about eleven o'clock,and i am supposed to be getting some beauty sleep, but i had black coffee for dinner,soâ€”no beauty sleep for me! this morning, said mrs. semple to mr. pendleton,with a very determined accent: 'we have to leave here at a quarter past tenin order to get to church by eleven.'
'very well, lizzie,' said master jervie, 'youhave the buggy ready, and if i'm not dressed, just go on without waiting.''we'll wait,' said she. 'as you please,' said he, 'only don't keepthe horses standing too long.' then while she was dressing, he told carrieto pack up a lunch, and he told me to scramble into my walking clothes; and we slipped outthe back way and went fishing. it discommoded the household dreadfully, becauselock willow of a sunday dines at two. but he ordered dinner at sevenâ€”he ordersmeals whenever he chooses; you would think the place were a restaurantâ€”and that keptcarrie and amasai from going driving. but he said it was all the better becauseit wasn't proper for them to go driving without
a chaperon; and anyway, he wanted the horseshimself to take me driving. did you ever hear anything so funny?and poor mrs. semple believes that people who go fishing on sundays go afterwards toa sizzling hot hell! she is awfully troubled to think that shedidn't train him better when he was small and helpless and she had the chance.besidesâ€”she wished to show him off in church. anyway, we had our fishing (he caught fourlittle ones) and we cooked them on a camp-fire for lunch.they kept falling off our spiked sticks into the fire, so they tasted a little ashy, butwe ate them. we got home at four and went driving at fiveand had dinner at seven, and at ten i was
sent to bed and here i am, writing to you.i am getting a little sleepy, though. good night.here is a picture of the one fish i caught. ship ahoy, cap'n long-legs!avast! belay!yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum. guess what i'm reading?our conversation these past two days has been nautical and piratical.isn't treasure island fun? did you ever read it, or wasn't it writtenwhen you were a boy? stevenson only got thirty pounds for the serialrightsâ€”i don't believe it pays to be a great author.maybe i'll be a school-teacher.
excuse me for filling my letters so full ofstevenson; my mind is very much engaged with him at present.he comprises lock willow's library. i've been writing this letter for two weeks,and i think it's about long enough. never say, daddy, that i don't give details.i wish you were here, too; we'd all have such a jolly time together.i like my different friends to know each other. i wanted to ask mr. pendleton if he knew youin new yorkâ€”i should think he might; you must move in about the same exalted socialcircles, and you are both interested in reforms and thingsâ€”but i couldn't, for i don't knowyour real name. it's the silliest thing i ever heard of, notto know your name.
mrs. lippett warned me that you were eccentric.i should think so! affectionately,judy ps.on reading this over, i find that it isn't all stevenson.there are one or two glancing references to master jervie.10th september dear daddy,he has gone, and we are missing him! when you get accustomed to people or placesor ways of living, and then have them snatched away, it does leave an awfully empty, gnawingsort of sensation. i'm finding mrs. semple's conversation prettyunseasoned food.
college opens in two weeks and i shall beglad to begin work again. i have worked quite a lot this summer thoughâ€”sixshort stories and seven poems. those i sent to the magazines all came backwith the most courteous promptitude. but i don't mind.it's good practice. master jervie read themâ€”he brought in thepost, so i couldn't help his knowingâ€”and he said they were dreadful.they showed that i didn't have the slightest idea of what i was talking about.(master jervie doesn't let politeness interfere with truth.) but the last one i didâ€”justa little sketch laid in collegeâ€”he said wasn't bad; and he had it typewritten, andi sent it to a magazine.
they've had it two weeks; maybe they're thinkingit over. you should see the sky!there's the queerest orange-coloured light over everything.we're going to have a storm. it commenced just that moment with tremendouslybig drops and all the shutters banging. i had to run to close the windows, while carrieflew to the attic with an armful of milk pans to put under the places where the roof leaksand then, just as i was resuming my pen, i remembered that i'd left a cushion and rugand hat and matthew arnold's poems under a tree in the orchard, so i dashed out to getthem, all quite soaked. the red cover of the poems had run into theinside; dover beach in the future will be
washed by pink waves.a storm is awfully disturbing in the country. you are always having to think of so manythings that are out of doors and getting spoiled. thursdaydaddy! daddy!what do you think? the postman has just come with two letters.1st. my story is accepted.$50. alors!i'm an author. 2nd.a letter from the college secretary. i'm to have a scholarship for two years thatwill cover board and tuition.
it was founded for 'marked proficiency inenglish with general excellency in other lines.' and i've won it!i applied for it before i left, but i didn't have an idea i'd get it, on account of myfreshman bad work in maths and latin. but it seems i've made it up.i am awfully glad, daddy, because now i won't be such a burden to you.the monthly allowance will be all i'll need, and maybe i can earn that with writing ortutoring or something. i'm longing to go back and begin work.yours ever, jerusha abbott,author of when the sophomores won the game. for sale at all news stands, price ten cents.end of section v
section vijunior year 26th septemberdear daddy-long-legs, back at college again and an upper classman.our study is better than ever this yearâ€”faces the south with two huge windows and oh!so furnished. julia, with an unlimited allowance, arrivedtwo days early and was attacked with a fever for settling.we have new wall paper and oriental rugs and mahogany chairsâ€”not painted mahogany whichmade us sufficiently happy last year, but real. it's very gorgeous, but i don't feelas though i belonged in it; i'm nervous all the time for fear i'll get an ink spot inthe wrong place.
and, daddy, i found your letter waiting formeâ€”pardonâ€”i mean your secretary's. will you kindly convey to me a comprehensiblereason why i should not accept that scholarship? i don't understand your objection in the least.but anyway, it won't do the slightest good for you to object, for i've already acceptedit and i am not going to change! that sounds a little impertinent, but i don'tmean it so. i suppose you feel that when you set out toeducate me, you'd like to finish the work, and put a neat period, in the shape of a diploma,at the end. but look at it just a second from my pointof view. i shall owe my education to you just as muchas though i let you pay for the whole of it,
but i won't be quite so much indebted.i know that you don't want me to return the money, but nevertheless, i am going to wantto do it, if i possibly can; and winning this scholarship makes it so much easier.i was expecting to spend the rest of my life in paying my debts, but now i shall only haveto spend one-half of the rest of it. i hope you understand my position and won'tbe cross. the allowance i shall still most gratefullyaccept. it requires an allowance to live up to juliaand her furniture! i wish that she had been reared to simplertastes, or else that she were not my room-mate. this isn't much of a letter; i meant to havewritten a lotâ€”but i've been hemming four
window curtains and three portieres (i'm gladyou can't see the length of the stitches), and polishing a brass desk set with toothpowder (very uphill work), and sawing off picture wire with manicure scissors, and unpackingfour boxes of books, and putting away two trunkfuls of clothes (it doesn't seem believablethat jerusha abbott owns two trunks full of clothes, but she does!) and welcoming backfifty dear friends in between. opening day is a joyous occasion!good night, daddy dear, and don't be annoyed because your chick is wanting to scratch forherself. she's growing up into an awfully energeticlittle henâ€”with a very determined cluck and lots of beautiful feathers (all due toyou).
30th septemberdear daddy, are you still harping on that scholarship?i never knew a man so obstinate, and stubborn and unreasonable, and tenacious, and bull-doggish,and unable-to-see-other-people's-point-of-view, as you.you prefer that i should not be accepting favours from strangers.strangers!â€”and what are you, pray? is there anyone in the world that i know less?i shouldn't recognize you if i met you in the street.now, you see, if you had been a sane, sensible person and had written nice, cheering fatherlyletters to your little judy, and had come occasionally and patted her on the head, andhad said you were glad she was such a good
girlâ€”then, perhaps, she wouldn't have floutedyou in your old age, but would have obeyed your slightest wish like the dutiful daughtershe was meant to be. strangers indeed!you live in a glass house, mr. smith. and besides, this isn't a favour; it's likea prizeâ€”i earned it by hard work. if nobody had been good enough in english,the committee wouldn't have awarded the scholarship; some years they don't. alsoâ€” but what'sthe use of arguing with a man? you belong, mr. smith, to a sex devoid ofa sense of logic. to bring a man into line, there are just twomethods: one must either coax or be disagreeable.i scorn to coax men for what i wish.
therefore, i must be disagreeable.i refuse, sir, to give up the scholarship; and if you make any more fuss, i won't acceptthe monthly allowance either, but will wear myself into a nervous wreck tutoring stupidfreshmen. that is my ultimatum!and listenâ€”i have a further thought. since you are so afraid that by taking thisscholarship i am depriving someone else of an education, i know a way out.you can apply the money that you would have spent for me towards educating some otherlittle girl from the john grier home. don't you think that's a nice idea?only, daddy, educate the new girl as much as you choose, but please don't like her anybetter than me.
i trust that your secretary won't be hurtbecause i pay so little attention to the suggestions offered in his letter, but i can't help itif he is. he's a spoiled child, daddy.i've meekly given in to his whims heretofore, but this time i intend to be firm.yours, with a mind,completely and irrevocably and world-without-end made-up,jerusha abbott 9th novemberdear daddy-long-legs, i started down town today to buy a bottleof shoe blacking and some collars and the material for a new blouse and a jar of violetcream and a cake of castile soapâ€”all very
necessary; i couldn't be happy another daywithout themâ€”and when i tried to pay the car fare, i found that i had left my pursein the pocket of my other coat. so i had to get out and take the next car,and was late for gymnasium. it's a dreadful thing to have no memory andtwo coats! julia pendleton has invited me to visit herfor the christmas holidays. how does that strike you, mr. smith?fancy jerusha abbott, of the john grier home, sitting at the tables of the rich.i don't know why julia wants meâ€”she seems to be getting quite attached to me of late.i should, to tell the truth, very much prefer going to sallie's, but julia asked me first,so if i go anywhere it must be to new york
instead of to worcester.i'm rather awed at the prospect of meeting pendletons en masse, and also i'd have toget a lot of new clothesâ€”so, daddy dear, if you write that you would prefer havingme remain quietly at college, i will bow to your wishes with my usual sweet docility.i'm engaged at odd moments with the life and letters of thomas huxleyâ€”it makes nice,light reading to pick up between times. do you know what an archaeopteryx is?it's a bird. and a stereognathus?i'm not sure myself, but i think it's a missing link, like a bird with teeth or a lizard withwings. no, it isn't either; i've just looked in thebook.
it's a mesozoic mammal.i've elected economics this yearâ€”very illuminating subject.when i finish that i'm going to take charity and reform; then, mr. trustee, i'll know justhow an orphan asylum ought to be run. don't you think i'd make an admirable voterif i had my rights? i was twenty-one last week.this is an awfully wasteful country to throw away such an honest, educated, conscientious,intelligent citizen as i would be. 7th decemberdear daddy-long-legs, thank you for permission to visit juliaâ€”itake it that silence means consent. such a social whirl as we've been having!the founder's dance came last weekâ€”this
was the first year that any of us could attend;only upper classmen being allowed. i invited jimmie mcbride, and sallie invitedhis room-mate at princeton, who visited them last summer at their campâ€”an awfully niceman with red hairâ€”and julia invited a man from new york, not very exciting, but sociallyirreproachable. he is connected with the de la mater chichesters.perhaps that means something to you? it doesn't illuminate me to any extent.howeverâ€”our guests came friday afternoon in time for tea in the senior corridor, andthen dashed down to the hotel for dinner. the hotel was so full that they slept in rowson the billiard tables, they say. jimmie mcbride says that the next time he is bidden to asocial event in this college, he is going
to bring one of their adirondack tents andpitch it on the campus. at seven-thirty they came back for the president'sreception and dance. our functions commence early!we had the men's cards all made out ahead of time, and after every dance, we'd leavethem in groups, under the letter that stood for their names, so that they could be readilyfound by their next partners. jimmie mcbride, for example, would stand patientlyunder 'm' until he was claimed. (at least, he ought to have stood patiently,but he kept wandering off and getting mixed with 'r's' and 's's' and all sorts of letters.)i found him a very difficult guest; he was sulky because he had only three dances withme.
he said he was bashful about dancing withgirls he didn't know! the next morning we had a glee club concertâ€”andwho do you think wrote the funny new song composed for the occasion?it's the truth. she did.oh, i tell you, daddy, your little foundling is getting to be quite a prominent person!anyway, our gay two days were great fun, and i think the men enjoyed it.some of them were awfully perturbed at first at the prospect of facing one thousand girls;but they got acclimated very quickly. our two princeton men had a beautiful timeâ€”atleast they politely said they had, and they've invited us to their dance next spring.we've accepted, so please don't object, daddy
dear.julia and sallie and i all had new dresses. do you want to hear about them?julia's was cream satin and gold embroidery and she wore purple orchids.it was a dream and came from paris, and cost a million dollars.sallie's was pale blue trimmed with persian embroidery, and went beautifully with redhair. it didn't cost quite a million, but was justas effective as julia's. mine was pale pink crepe de chine trimmedwith ecru lace and rose satin. and i carried crimson roses which j. mcb.sent (sallie having told him what colour to get). and we all had satin slippers and silkstockings and chiffon scarfs to match.
you must be deeply impressed by these millinerydetails. one can't help thinking, daddy, what a colourlesslife a man is forced to lead, when one reflects that chiffon and venetian point and hand embroideryand irish crochet are to him mere empty words. whereas a womanâ€”whether she is interestedin babies or microbes or husbands or poetry or servants or parallelograms or gardens orplato or bridgeâ€”is fundamentally and always interested in clothes.it's the one touch of nature that makes the whole world kin.(that isn't original. i got it out of one of shakespeare's plays).however, to resume. do you want me to tell you a secret that i'velately discovered?
and will you promise not to think me vain?then listen: i'm pretty.i am, really. i'd be an awful idiot not to know it withthree looking-glasses in the room. a friendps. this is one of those wicked anonymous lettersyou read about in novels. 20th decemberdear daddy-long-legs, i've just a moment, because i must attendtwo classes, pack a trunk and a suit-case, and catch the four-o'clock trainâ€”but i couldn'tgo without sending a word to let you know how much i appreciate my christmas box.i love the furs and the necklace and the liberty
scarf and the gloves and handkerchiefs andbooks and purseâ€”and most of all i love you! but daddy, you have no business to spoil methis way. i'm only humanâ€”and a girl at that.how can i keep my mind sternly fixed on a studious career, when you deflect me withsuch worldly frivolities? i have strong suspicions now as to which oneof the john grier trustees used to give the christmas tree and the sunday ice-cream.he was nameless, but by his works i know him! you deserve to be happy for all the good thingsyou do. goodbye, and a very merry christmas.yours always, i am sending a slight token, too.do you think you would like her if you knew
her?11th january i meant to write to you from the city, daddy,but new york is an engrossing place. i had an interestingâ€”and illuminatingâ€”time,but i'm glad i don't belong to such a family! i should truly rather have the john grierhome for a background. whatever the drawbacks of my bringing up,there was at least no pretence about it. i know now what people mean when they saythey are weighed down by things. the material atmosphere of that house wascrushing; i didn't draw a deep breath until i was on an express train coming back.all the furniture was carved and upholstered and gorgeous; the people i met were beautifullydressed and low-voiced and well-bred, but
it's the truth, daddy, i never heard one wordof real talk from the time we arrived until we left.i don't think an idea ever entered the front door.mrs. pendleton never thinks of anything but jewels and dressmakers and social engagements.she did seem a different kind of mother from mrs. mcbride!if i ever marry and have a family, i'm going to make them as exactly like the mcbridesas i can. not for all the money in the world would iever let any children of mine develop into pendletons.maybe it isn't polite to criticize people you've been visiting?if it isn't, please excuse.
this is very confidential, between you andme. i only saw master jervie once when he calledat tea time, and then i didn't have a chance to speak to him alone.it was really disappointing after our nice time last summer.i don't think he cares much for his relativesâ€”and i am sure they don't care much for him! julia'smother says he's unbalanced. he's a socialistâ€”except, thank heaven, hedoesn't let his hair grow and wear red ties. she can't imagine where he picked up his queerideas; the family have been church of england for generations.he throws away his money on every sort of crazy reform, instead of spending it on suchsensible things as yachts and automobiles
and polo ponies.he does buy candy with it though! he sent julia and me each a box for christmas.you know, i think i'll be a socialist, too. you wouldn't mind, would you, daddy?they're quite different from anarchists; they don't believe in blowing people up.probably i am one by rights; i belong to the proletariat.i haven't determined yet just which kind i am going to be.i will look into the subject over sunday, and declare my principles in my next.i've seen loads of theatres and hotels and beautiful houses.my mind is a confused jumble of onyx and gilding and mosaic floors and palms. i'm still prettybreathless but i am glad to get back to college
and my booksâ€”i believe that i really ama student; this atmosphere of academic calm i find more bracing than new york.college is a very satisfying sort of life; the books and study and regular classes keepyou alive mentally, and then when your mind gets tired, you have the gymnasium and outdoorathletics, and always plenty of congenial friends who are thinking about the same thingsyou are. we spend a whole evening in nothing but talkâ€”talkâ€”talkâ€”andgo to bed with a very uplifted feeling, as though we had settled permanently some pressingworld problems. and filling in every crevice, there is alwayssuch a lot of nonsenseâ€”just silly jokes about the little things that come up but verysatisfying.
we do appreciate our own witticisms!it isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out ofthe little onesâ€”i've discovered the true secret of happiness, daddy, and that is tolive in the now. not to be for ever regretting the past, oranticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant.it's like farming. you can have extensive farming and intensivefarming; well, i am going to have intensive living after this.i'm going to enjoy every second, and i'm going to know i'm enjoying it while i'm enjoyingit. most people don't live; they just race.they are trying to reach some goal far away
on the horizon, and in the heat of the goingthey get so breathless and panting that they lose all sight of the beautiful, tranquilcountry they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old andworn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not.i've decided to sit down by the way and pile up a lot of little happinesses, even if inever become a great author. did you ever know such a philosopheress as i am developinginto? ps.it's raining cats and dogs tonight. two puppies and a kitten have just landedon the window-sill. dear comrade,hooray!
i'm a fabian.that's a socialist who's willing to wait. we don't want the social revolution to cometomorrow morning; it would be too upsetting. we want it to come very gradually in the distantfuture, when we shall all be prepared and able to sustain the shock.in the meantime, we must be getting ready, by instituting industrial, educational andorphan asylum reforms. yours, with fraternal love,judy monday, 3rd hour11th february dear d.-l.-l., don't be insulted because this is so short.it isn't a letter; it's just a line to say that i'm going to write a letter pretty soonwhen examinations are over.
it is not only necessary that i pass, butpass well. i have a scholarship to live up to.yours, studying hard, j. a.end of section vi section viijunior year continued 5th marchdear daddy-long-legs, president cuyler made a speech this eveningabout the modern generation being flippant and superficial.he says that we are losing the old ideals of earnest endeavour and true scholarship;and particularly is this falling-off noticeable in our disrespectful attitude towards organizedauthority.
we no longer pay a seemly deference to oursuperiors. i came away from chapel very sober.am i too familiar, daddy? ought i to treat you with more dignity andaloofness?â€”yes, i'm sure i ought. i'll begin again.my dear mr. smith, you will be pleased to hear that i passedsuccessfully my mid-year examinations, and am now commencing work in the new semester.i am leaving chemistryâ€”having completed the course in qualitative analysisâ€”and amentering upon the study of biology. i approach this subject with some hesitation,as i understand that we dissect angleworms and frogs.an extremely interesting and valuable lecture
was given in the chapel last week upon romanremains in southern france. i have never listened to a more illuminatingexposition of the subject. we are reading wordsworth's tintern abbeyin connection with our course in english literature. what an exquisite work it is, and how adequatelyit embodies his conceptions of pantheism! the romantic movement of the early part ofthe last century, exemplified in the works of such poets as shelley, byron, keats, andwordsworth, appeals to me very much more than the classical period that preceded it. speakingof poetry, have you ever read that charming little thing of tennyson's called locksleyhall? i am attending gymnasium very regularly oflate.
a proctor system has been devised, and failureto comply with the rules causes a great deal of inconvenience.the gymnasium is equipped with a very beautiful swimming tank of cement and marble, the giftof a former graduate. my room-mate, miss mcbride, has given me herbathing-suit (it shrank so that she can no longer wear it) and i am about to begin swimminglessons. we had delicious pink ice-cream for dessertlast night. only vegetable dyes are used in colouringthe food. the college is very much opposed, both fromaesthetic and hygienic motives, to the use of aniline dyes.the weather of late has been idealâ€”bright
sunshine and clouds interspersed with a fewwelcome snow-storms. i and my companions have enjoyed our walks to and from classesâ€”particularlyfrom. trusting, my dear mr. smith, that this willfind you in your usual good health, i remain,most cordially yours, jerusha abbott24th april dear daddy,spring has come again! you should see how lovely the campus is.i think you might come and look at it for yourself.master jervie dropped in again last fridayâ€”but he chose a most unpropitious time, for sallieand julia and i were just running to catch
a train.and where do you think we were going? to princeton, to attend a dance and a ballgame, if you please! i didn't ask you if i might go, because ihad a feeling that your secretary would say no.but it was entirely regular; we had leave-of-absence from college, and mrs. mcbride chaperonedus. we had a charming timeâ€”but i shall haveto omit details; they are too many and complicated. saturdayup before dawn! the night watchman called usâ€”six of usâ€”andwe made coffee in a chafing dish (you never saw so many grounds!) and walked two milesto the top of one tree hill to see the sun
rise.we had to scramble up the last slope! the sun almost beat us!and perhaps you think we didn't bring back appetites to breakfast!dear me, daddy, i seem to have a very ejaculatory style today; this page is peppered with exclamations.i meant to have written a lot about the budding trees and the new cinder path in the athleticfield, and the awful lesson we have in biology for tomorrow, and the new canoes on the lake,and catherine prentiss who has pneumonia, and prexy's angora kitten that strayed fromhome and has been boarding in fergussen hall for two weeks until a chambermaid reportedit, and about my three new dressesâ€”white and pink and blue polka dots with a hat tomatchâ€”but i am too sleepy.
i am always making this an excuse, am i not?but a girls' college is a busy place and we do get tired by the end of the day!particularly when the day begins at dawn. 15th maydear daddy-long-legs, is it good manners when you get into a carjust to stare straight ahead and not see anybody else?a very beautiful lady in a very beautiful velvet dress got into the car today, and withoutthe slightest expression sat for fifteen minutes and looked at a sign advertising suspenders.it doesn't seem polite to ignore everybody else as though you were the only importantperson present. anyway, you miss a lot.while she was absorbing that silly sign, i
was studying a whole car full of interestinghuman beings. the accompanying illustration is hereby reproducedfor the first time. it looks like a spider on the end of a string, but it isn't at all;it's a picture of me learning to swim in the tank in the gymnasium.the instructor hooks a rope into a ring in the back of my belt, and runs it through apulley in the ceiling. it would be a beautiful system if one hadperfect confidence in the probity of one's instructor.i'm always afraid, though, that she will let the rope get slack, so i keep one anxiouseye on her and swim with the other, and with this divided interest i do not make the progressthat i otherwise might.
very miscellaneous weather we're having oflate. it was raining when i commenced and now thesun is shining. sallie and i are going out to play tennisâ€”therebygaining exemption from gym. a week lateri should have finished this letter long ago, but i didn't. you don't mind, do you, daddy,if i'm not very regular? i really do love to write to you; it givesme such a respectable feeling of having some family.would you like me to tell you something? you are not the only man to whom i write letters.there are two others! i have been receiving beautiful long lettersthis winter from master jervie (with typewritten
envelopes so julia won't recognize the writing).did you ever hear anything so shocking? and every week or so a very scrawly epistle,usually on yellow tablet paper, arrives from princeton.all of which i answer with business-like promptness. so you seeâ€”i am not so different from othergirlsâ€”i get letters, too. did i tell you that i have been elected amember of the senior dramatic club? very recherche organization.only seventy-five members out of one thousand. do you think as a consistent socialist thati ought to belong? what do you suppose is at present engagingmy attention in sociology? i am writing (figurez vous!) a paper on the care of dependent children.the professor shuffled up his subjects and
dealt them out promiscuously, and that fellto me. c'est drole ca n'est pas?there goes the gong for dinner. i'll post this as i pass the box.affectionately, j.4th june dear daddy,very busy timeâ€”commencement in ten days, examinations tomorrow; lots of studying, lotsof packing, and the outdoor world so lovely that it hurts you to stay inside.but never mind, vacation's coming. julia is going abroad this summerâ€”it makesthe fourth time. no doubt about it, daddy, goods are not distributedevenly.
sallie, as usual, goes to the adirondacks.and what do you think i am going to do? you may have three guesses. lock willow?wrong. the adirondacks with sallie?wrong. (i'll never attempt that again; i was discouragedlast year.) can't you guess anything else? you're not very inventive.i'll tell you, daddy, if you'll promise not to make a lot of objections.i warn your secretary in advance that my mind is made up.i am going to spend the summer at the seaside with a mrs. charles paterson and tutor herdaughter who is to enter college in the autumn. i met her through the mcbrides, and she isa very charming woman.
i am to give lessons in english and latinto the younger daughter, too, but i shall have a little time to myself, and i shallbe earning fifty dollars a month! doesn't that impress you as a perfectly exorbitantamount? she offered it; i should have blushed to askfor more than twenty-five. i finish at magnolia (that's where she lives)the first of september, and shall probably spend the remaining three weeks at lock willowâ€”ishould like to see the semples again and all the friendly animals.how does my programme strike you, daddy? i am getting quite independent, you see.you have put me on my feet and i think i can almost walk alone by now.princeton commencement and our examinations
exactly coincideâ€”which is an awful blow.sallie and i did so want to get away in time for it, but of course that is utterly impossible.goodbye, daddy. have a nice summer and come back in the autumnrested and ready for another year of work. (that's what you ought to be writing to me!)i haven't any idea what you do in the summer, or how you amuse yourself.i can't visualize your surroundings. do you play golf or hunt or ride horsebackor just sit in the sun and meditate? anyway, whatever it is, have a good time anddon't forget judy. 10th junedear daddy, this is the hardest letter i ever wrote, buti have decided what i must do, and there isn't
going to be any turning back.it is very sweet and generous and dear of you to wish to send me to europe this summerâ€”forthe moment i was intoxicated by the idea; but sober second thoughts said no.it would be rather illogical of me to refuse to take your money for college, and then useit instead just for amusement! you mustn't get me used to too many luxuries.one doesn't miss what one has never had; but it's awfully hard going without things afterone has commenced thinking they are hisâ€”hers (english language needs another pronoun) bynatural right. living with sallie and julia is an awful strainon my stoical philosophy. they have both had things from the time theywere babies; they accept happiness as a matter
of course. the world, they think, owes themeverything they want. maybe the world doesâ€”in any case, it seemsto acknowledge the debt and pay up. but as for me, it owes me nothing, and distinctlytold me so in the beginning. i have no right to borrow on credit, for there will come atime when the world will repudiate my claim. i seem to be floundering in a sea of metaphorâ€”buti hope you grasp my meaning? anyway, i have a very strong feeling thatthe only honest thing for me to do is to teach this summer and begin to support myself.magnolia, four days lateri'd got just that much written, whenâ€”what do you think happened?the maid arrived with master jervie's card.
he is going abroad too this summer; not withjulia and her family, but entirely by himself i told him that you had invited me to go witha lady who is chaperoning a party of girls. he knows about you, daddy.that is, he knows that my father and mother are dead, and that a kind gentleman is sendingme to college; i simply didn't have the courage to tell him about the john grier home andall the rest. he thinks that you are my guardian and a perfectlylegitimate old family friend. i have never told him that i didn't know youâ€”thatwould seem too queer! anyway, he insisted on my going to europe.he said that it was a necessary part of my education and that i mustn't think of refusing.also, that he would be in paris at the same
time, and that we would run away from thechaperon occasionally and have dinner together at nice, funny, foreign restaurants.well, daddy, it did appeal to me! i almost weakened; if he hadn't been so dictatorial,maybe i should have entirely weakened. i can be enticed step by step, but i won'tbe forced. he said i was a silly, foolish, irrational,quixotic, idiotic, stubborn child (those are a few of his abusive adjectives; the restescape me), and that i didn't know what was good for me; i ought to let older people judge.we almost quarrelledâ€”i am not sure but that we entirely did!in any case, i packed my trunk fast and came up here.i thought i'd better see my bridges in flames
behind me before i finished writing to you.they are entirely reduced to ashes now. here i am at cliff top (the name of mrs. paterson'scottage) with my trunk unpacked and florence (the little one) already struggling with firstdeclension nouns. and it bids fair to be a struggle!she is a most uncommonly spoiled child; i shall have to teach her first how to studyâ€”shehas never in her life concentrated on anything more difficult than ice-cream soda water.we use a quiet corner of the cliffs for a schoolroomâ€”mrs. paterson wishes me to keepthem out of doorsâ€”and i will say that i find it difficult to concentrate with theblue sea before me and ships a-sailing by! and when i think i might be on one, sailingoff to foreign landsâ€”but i won't let myself
think of anything but latin grammar.the prepositions a or ab, absque, coram, cum, de e or ex, prae, pro, sine, tenus, in, subter,sub and super govern the ablative. so you see, daddy, i am already plunged intowork with my eyes persistently set against temptation.don't be cross with me, please, and don't think that i do not appreciate your kindness,for i doâ€”alwaysâ€”always. the only way i can ever repay you is by turningout a very useful citizen (are women citizens? i don't suppose they are.) anyway, a veryuseful person. and when you look at me you can say, 'i gavethat very useful person to the world.' that sounds well, doesn't it, daddy?but i don't wish to mislead you. the feeling
often comes over me that i am not at all remarkable;it is fun to plan a career, but in all probability i shan't turn out a bit different from anyother ordinary person. i may end by marrying an undertaker and beingan inspiration to him in his work. 19th augustdear daddy-long-legs, my window looks out on the loveliest landscapeâ€”ocean-scape,ratherâ€”nothing but water and rocks. the summer goes.i spend the morning with latin and english and algebra and my two stupid girls.i don't know how marion is ever going to get into college, or stay in after she gets there.and as for florence, she is hopelessâ€”but oh! such a little beauty.i don't suppose it matters in the least whether
they are stupid or not so long as they arepretty? one can't help thinking, though, how theirconversation will bore their husbands, unless they are fortunate enough to obtain stupidhusbands. i suppose that's quite possible; the worldseems to be filled with stupid men; i've met a number this summer.in the afternoon we take a walk on the cliffs, or swim, if the tide is right.i can swim in salt water with the utmost ease you see my education is already being putto use! a letter comes from mr. jervis pendleton inparis, rather a short concise letter; i'm not quite forgiven yet for refusing to followhis advice.
however, if he gets back in time, he willsee me for a few days at lock willow before college opens, and if i am very nice and sweetand docile, i shall (i am led to infer) be received into favour again.also a letter from sallie. she wants me to come to their camp for twoweeks in september. must i ask your permission, or haven't i yetarrived at the place where i can do as i please? yes, i am sure i haveâ€”i'm a senior, youknow. having worked all summer, i feel like takinga little healthful recreation; i want to see the adirondacks; i want to see sallie; i wantto see sallie's brotherâ€”he's going to teach me to canoeâ€”and (we come to my chief motive,which is mean) i want master jervie to arrive
at lock willow and find me not there.i must show him that he can't dictate to me. no one can dictate to me but you, daddyâ€”andyou can't always! i'm off for the woods.judy camp mcbride,6th september dear daddy,your letter didn't come in time (i am pleased to say). if you wish your instructions tobe obeyed, you must have your secretary transmit them in less than two weeks.as you observe, i am here, and have been for five days.the woods are fine, and so is the camp, and so is the weather, and so are the mcbrides,and so is the whole world.
i'm very happy!there's jimmie calling for me to come canoeing. goodbyeâ€”sorry to have disobeyed, but whyare you so persistent about not wanting me to play a little?when i've worked all the summer i deserve two weeks.you are awfully dog-in-the-mangerish. howeverâ€”i love you still, daddy, in spiteof all your faults. judyend of section vii section viiisenior year 3rd october dear daddy-long-legs,back at college and a seniorâ€”also editor of the monthly.it doesn't seem possible, does it, that so
sophisticated a person, just four years ago,was an inmate of the john grier home? we do arrive fast in america!what do you think of this? a note from master jervie directed to lockwillow and forwarded here. he's sorry, but he finds that he can't getup there this autumn; he has accepted an invitation to go yachting with some friends.hopes i've had a nice summer and am enjoying the country.and he knew all the time that i was with the mcbrides, for julia told him so!you men ought to leave intrigue to women; you haven't a light enough touch.julia has a trunkful of the most ravishing new clothesâ€”an evening gown of rainbow libertycrepe that would be fitting raiment for the
angels in paradise.and i thought that my own clothes this year were unprecedentedly (is there such a word?)beautiful. i copied mrs. paterson's wardrobe with theaid of a cheap dressmaker, and though the gowns didn't turn out quite twins of the originals,i was entirely happy until julia unpacked. but nowâ€”i live to see paris!dear daddy, aren't you glad you're not a girl? i suppose you think that the fuss we makeover clothes is too absolutely silly? it is.no doubt about it. but it's entirely your fault.did you ever hear about the learned herr professor who regarded unnecessary adornment with contemptand favoured sensible, utilitarian clothes
for women?his wife, who was an obliging creature, adopted 'dress reform.'and what do you think he did? he eloped with a chorus girl.yours ever, the chamber-maid in our corridor wears bluechecked gingham aprons. i am going to get her some brown ones instead,and sink the blue ones in the bottom of the lake.i have a reminiscent chill every time i look at them.17th november dear daddy-long-legs,such a blight has fallen over my literary career.i don't know whether to tell you or not, but
i would like some sympathyâ€”silent sympathy,please; don't re-open the wound by referring to it in your next letter.i've been writing a book, all last winter in the evenings, and all the summer when iwasn't teaching latin to my two stupid children. i just finished it before college opened andsent it to a publisher. he kept it two months, and i was certain hewas going to take it; but yesterday morning an express parcel came (thirty cents due)and there it was back again with a letter from the publisher, a very nice, fatherlyletterâ€”but frank! he said he saw from the address that i wasstill at college, and if i would accept some advice, he would suggest that i put all ofmy energy into my lessons and wait until i
graduated before beginning to write.he enclosed his reader's opinion. here it is:'plot highly improbable. characterization exaggerated.conversation unnatural. a good deal of humour but not always in thebest of taste. tell her to keep on trying, and in time she may produce a real book.'not on the whole flattering, is it, daddy? and i thought i was making a notable additionto american literature. i did truly.i was planning to surprise you by writing a great novel before i graduated. i collectedthe material for it while i was at julia's last christmas. but i dare say the editoris right.
probably two weeks was not enough in whichto observe the manners and customs of a great city.i took it walking with me yesterday afternoon, and when i came to the gas house, i went inand asked the engineer if i might borrow his furnace.he politely opened the door, and with my own hands i chucked it in.i felt as though i had cremated my only child! i went to bed last night utterly dejected;i thought i was never going to amount to anything, and that you had thrown away your money fornothing. but what do you think?i woke up this morning with a beautiful new plot in my head, and i've been going aboutall day planning my characters, just as happy
as i could be.no one can ever accuse me of being a pessimist! if i had a husband and twelve children swallowedby an earthquake one day, i'd bob up smilingly the next morning and commence to look foranother set. 14th decemberdear daddy-long-legs, i dreamed the funniest dream last night.i thought i went into a book store and the clerk brought me a new book named the lifeand letters of judy abbott. i could see it perfectly plainlyâ€”red clothbinding with a picture of the john grier home on the cover, and my portrait for a frontispiecewith, 'very truly yours, judy abbott,' written below.but just as i was turning to the end to read
the inscription on my tombstone, i woke up.it was very annoying! i almost found out whom i'm going to marryand when i'm going to die. don't you think it would be interesting ifyou really could read the story of your lifeâ€”written perfectly truthfully by an omniscient author?and suppose you could only read it on this condition:that you would never forget it, but would have to go through life knowing ahead of timeexactly how everything you did would turn out, and foreseeing to the exact hour thetime when you would die. how many people do you suppose would havethe courage to read it then? or how many could suppress their curiosity sufficiently to escapefrom reading it, even at the price of having
to live without hope and without surprises?life is monotonous enough at best; you have to eat and sleep about so often.but imagine how deadly monotonous it would be if nothing unexpected could happen betweenmeals. mercy!daddy, there's a blot, but i'm on the third page and i can't begin a new sheet.i'm going on with biology again this yearâ€”very interesting subject; we're studying the alimentarysystem at present. you should see how sweet a cross-section ofthe duodenum of a cat is under the microscope. also we've arrived at philosophyâ€”interestingbut evanescent. i prefer biology where you can pin the subjectunder discussion to a board. there's another!
and another!this pen is weeping copiously. please excuse its tears.do you believe in free will? i doâ€”unreservedly.i don't agree at all with the philosophers who think that every action is the absolutelyinevitable and automatic resultant of an aggregation of remote causes. that's the most immoraldoctrine i ever heardâ€”nobody would be to blame for anything.if a man believed in fatalism, he would naturally just sit down and say, 'the lord's will bedone,' and continue to sit until he fell over dead.i believe absolutely in my own free will and my own power to accomplishâ€”and that is thebelief that moves mountains.
you watch me become a great author!i have four chapters of my new book finished and five more drafted.this is a very abstruse letterâ€”does your head ache, daddy?i think we'll stop now and make some fudge. i'm sorry i can't send you a piece; it willbe unusually good, for we're going to make it with real cream and three butter balls.yours affectionately, we're having fancy dancing in gymnasium class.you can see by the accompanying picture how much we look like a real ballet.the one at the end accomplishing a graceful pirouette is meâ€”i mean i.26th december my dear, dear, daddy,haven't you any sense?
don't you know that you mustn't give one girlseventeen christmas presents? i'm a socialist, please remember; do you wishto turn me into a plutocrat? think how embarrassing it would be if we shouldever quarrel! i should have to engage a moving-van to returnyour gifts. i am sorry that the necktie i sent was sowobbly; i knit it with my own hands (as you doubtless discovered from internal evidence).you will have to wear it on cold days and keep your coat buttoned up tight.thank you, daddy, a thousand times. i think you're the sweetest man that everlivedâ€”and the foolishest! judyhere's a four-leaf clover from camp mcbride
to bring you good luck for the new year.9th january do you wish to do something, daddy, that willensure your eternal salvation? there is a family here who are in awfullydesperate straits. a mother and father and four visible childrenâ€”thetwo older boys have disappeared into the world to make their fortune and have not sent anyof it back. the father worked in a glass factory and gotconsumptionâ€”it's awfully unhealthy workâ€”and now has been sent away to a hospital.that took all their savings, and the support of the family falls upon the oldest daughter,who is twenty-four. she dressmakes for $1.50 a day (when she can get it) and embroiderscentrepieces in the evening.
the mother isn't very strong and is extremelyineffectual and pious. she sits with her hands folded, a pictureof patient resignation, while the daughter kills herself with overwork and responsibilityand worry; she doesn't see how they are going to get through the rest of the winterâ€”andi don't either. one hundred dollars would buy some coal andsome shoes for three children so that they could go to school, and give a little marginso that she needn't worry herself to death when a few days pass and she doesn't get work.you are the richest man i know. don't you suppose you could spare one hundreddollars? that girl deserves help a lot more than iever did. i wouldn't ask it except for the
girl; i don't care much what happens to themotherâ€”she is such a jelly-fish. the way people are for ever rolling theireyes to heaven and saying, 'perhaps it's all for the best,' when they are perfectly deadsure it's not, makes me enraged. humility or resignation or whatever you chooseto call it, is simply impotent inertia. i'm for a more militant religion!we are getting the most dreadful lessons in philosophyâ€”all of schopenhauer for tomorrow.the professor doesn't seem to realize that we are taking any other subject.he's a queer old duck; he goes about with his head in the clouds and blinks dazedlywhen occasionally he strikes solid earth. he tries to lighten his lectures with an occasionalwitticismâ€”and we do our best to smile, but
i assure you his jokes are no laughing matter.he spends his entire time between classes in trying to figure out whether matter reallyexists or whether he only thinks it exists. i'm sure my sewing girl hasn't any doubt butthat it exists! where do you think my new novel is?in the waste-basket. i can see myself that it's no good on earth, and when a loving authorrealizes that, what would be the judgment of a critical public?later i address you, daddy, from a bed of pain.for two days i've been laid up with swollen tonsils; i can just swallow hot milk, andthat is all. 'what were your parents thinking of not to have those tonsils out when youwere a baby?' the doctor wished to know.
i'm sure i haven't an idea, but i doubt ifthey were thinking much about me. next morningi just read this over before sealing it. i don't know why i cast such a misty atmosphereover life. i hasten to assure you that i am young andhappy and exuberant; and i trust you are the same.youth has nothing to do with birthdays, only with alivedness of spirit, so even if yourhair is grey, daddy, you can still be a boy. 12th jan.dear mr. philanthropist, your cheque for my family came yesterday.thank you so much! i cut gymnasium and took it down to them rightafter luncheon, and you should have seen the
girl's face!she was so surprised and happy and relieved that she looked almost young; and she's onlytwenty-four. isn't it pitiful? anyway, she feels now as though all the goodthings were coming together. she has steady work ahead for two monthsâ€”someone'sgetting married, and there's a trousseau to make.'thank the good lord!' cried the mother, when she grasped the fact that that small pieceof paper was one hundred dollars. 'it wasn't the good lord at all,' said i,'it was daddy-long-legs.' (mr. smith, i called you.)'but it was the good lord who put it in his mind,' said she.'not at all!
i put it in his mind myself,' said i.but anyway, daddy, i trust the good lord will reward you suitably.you deserve ten thousand years out of purgatory. yours most gratefully,judy abbott 15th feb.may it please your most excellent majesty: this morning i did eat my breakfast upon acold turkey pie and a goose, and i did send for a cup of tee (a china drink) of whichi had never drank before. don't be nervous, daddyâ€”i haven't lost mymind; i'm merely quoting sam'l pepys. we're reading him in connection with englishhistory, original sources. sallie and julia and i converse now in thelanguage of 1660.
listen to this:'i went to charing cross to see major harrison hanged, drawn and quartered:he looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition.'and this: 'dined with my lady who is in handsome mourningfor her brother who died yesterday of spotted fever.'seems a little early to commence entertaining, doesn't it?a friend of pepys devised a very cunning manner whereby the king might pay his debts out ofthe sale to poor people of old decayed provisions. what do you, a reformer, think of that?i don't believe we're so bad today as the newspapers make out.samuel was as excited about his clothes as
any girl; he spent five times as much on dressas his wifeâ€”that appears to have been the golden age of husbands.isn't this a touching entry? you see he really was honest.'today came home my fine camlett cloak with gold buttons, which cost me much money, andi pray god to make me able to pay for it.' excuse me for being so full of pepys; i'mwriting a special topic on him. what do you think, daddy?the self-government association has abolished the ten o'clock rule.we can keep our lights all night if we choose, the only requirement being that we do notdisturb othersâ€”we are not supposed to entertain on a large scale.the result is a beautiful commentary on human
nature.now that we may stay up as long as we choose, we no longer choose.our heads begin to nod at nine o'clock, and by nine-thirty the pen drops from our nervelessgrasp. it's nine-thirty now. good night.sunday just back from churchâ€”preacher from georgia.we must take care, he says, not to develop our intellects at the expense of our emotionalnaturesâ€”but methought it was a poor, dry sermon (pepys again). it doesn't matter whatpart of the united states or canada they come from, or what denomination they are, we alwaysget the same sermon. why on earth don't they go to men's collegesand urge the students not to allow their manly
natures to be crushed out by too much mentalapplication? it's a beautiful dayâ€”frozen and icy andclear. as soon as dinner is over, sallie and juliaand marty keene and eleanor pratt (friends of mine, but you don't know them) and i aregoing to put on short skirts and walk 'cross country to crystal spring farm and have afried chicken and waffle supper, and then have mr. crystal spring drive us home in hisbuckboard. we are supposed to be inside the campus atseven, but we are going to stretch a point tonight and make it eight.farewell, kind sir. i have the honour of subscribing myself,your most loyall, dutifull, faithfull and
obedient servant,j. abbott march fifthdear mr. trustee, tomorrow is the first wednesday in the monthâ€”aweary day for the john grier home. how relieved they'll be when five o'clockcomes and you pat them on the head and take yourselves off!did you (individually) ever pat me on the head, daddy?i don't believe soâ€”my memory seems to be concerned only with fat trustees.give the home my love, pleaseâ€”my truly love. i have quite a feeling of tenderness for itas i look back through a haze of four years. when i first came to college i felt quiteresentful because i'd been robbed of the normal
kind of childhood that the other girls hadhad; but now, i don't feel that way in the least.i regard it as a very unusual adventure. it gives me a sort of vantage point from whichto stand aside and look at life. emerging full grown, i get a perspective onthe world, that other people who have been brought up in the thick of things entirelylack. i know lots of girls (julia, for instance)who never know that they are happy. they are so accustomed to the feeling thattheir senses are deadened to it; but as for meâ€”i am perfectly sure every moment of mylife that i am happy. and i'm going to keep on being, no matterwhat unpleasant things turn up.
i'm going to regard them (even toothaches)as interesting experiences, and be glad to know what they feel like. 'whatever sky'sabove me, i've a heart for any fate.' however, daddy, don't take this new affectionfor the j.g.h. too literally.if i have five children, like rousseau, i shan't leave them on the steps of a foundlingasylum in order to insure their being brought up simply.give my kindest regards to mrs. lippett (that, i think, is truthful; love would be a littlestrong) and don't forget to tell her what a beautiful nature i've developed.affectionately, judylock willow,
4th aprildear daddy, do you observe the postmark?sallie and i are embellishing lock willow with our presence during the easter vacation.we decided that the best thing we could do with our ten days was to come where it isquiet. our nerves had got to the point where theywouldn't stand another meal in fergussen. dining in a room with four hundred girls isan ordeal when you are tired. there is so much noise that you can't hearthe girls across the table speak unless they make their hands into a megaphone and shout.that is the truth. we are tramping over the hills and readingand writing, and having a nice, restful time.
we climbed to the top of 'sky hill' this morningwhere master jervie and i once cooked supperâ€”it doesn't seem possible that it was nearly twoyears ago. i could still see the place where the smokeof our fire blackened the rock. it is funny how certain places get connectedwith certain people, and you never go back without thinking of them.i was quite lonely without himâ€”for two minutes. what do you think is my latest activity, daddy?you will begin to believe that i am incorrigibleâ€”i am writing a book.i started it three weeks ago and am eating it up in chunks.i've caught the secret. master jervie and that editor man were right; you are most convincingwhen you write about the things you know.
and this time it is about something that ido knowâ€”exhaustively. guess where it's laid?in the john grier home! and it's good, daddy, i actually believe itisâ€”just about the tiny little things that happened every day.i'm a realist now. i've abandoned romanticism; i shall go backto it later though, when my own adventurous future begins.this new book is going to get itself finishedâ€”and published!you see if it doesn't. if you just want a thing hard enough and keep on trying, youdo get it in the end. i've been trying for four years to get a letterfrom youâ€”and i haven't given up hope yet.
goodbye, daddy dear,(i like to call you daddy dear; it's so alliterative.) ps.i forgot to tell you the farm news, but it's very distressing. skip this postscript ifyou don't want your sensibilities all wrought up.poor old grove is dead. he got so that he couldn't chew and they hadto shoot him. nine chickens were killed by a weasel or askunk or a rat last week. one of the cows is sick, and we had to havethe veterinary surgeon out from bonnyrigg four corners.amasai stayed up all night to give her linseed oil and whisky.but we have an awful suspicion that the poor
sick cow got nothing but linseed oil.sentimental tommy (the tortoise-shell cat) has disappeared; we are afraid he has beencaught in a trap. there are lots of troubles in the world!17th may dear daddy-long-legs,this is going to be extremely short because my shoulder aches at the sight of a pen.lecture notes all day, immortal novel all evening, make too much writing.commencement three weeks from next wednesday. i think you might come and make my acquaintanceâ€”ishall hate you if you don't! julia's inviting master jervie, he being her family, and sallie'sinviting jimmie mcb., he being her family, but who is there for me to invite? just youand lippett, and i don't want her.
please come.yours, with love and writer's cramp. judyend of section viii section ixgraduate lock willow,19th june dear daddy-long-legs,i'm educated! my diploma is in the bottom bureau drawerwith my two best dresses. commencement was as usual, with a few showersat vital moments. thank you for your rosebuds.they were lovely. master jervie and master jimmie both gaveme roses, too, but i left theirs in the bath
tub and carried yours in the class procession.here i am at lock willow for the summerâ€”for ever maybe.the board is cheap; the surroundings quiet and conducive to a literary life.what more does a struggling author wish? i am mad about my book.i think of it every waking moment, and dream of it at night.all i want is peace and quiet and lots of time to work (interspersed with nourishingmeals). master jervie is coming up for a week or soin august, and jimmie mcbride is going to drop in sometime through the summer.he's connected with a bond house now, and goes about the country selling bonds to banks.he's going to combine the 'farmers' national'
at the corners and me on the same trip.you see that lock willow isn't entirely lacking in society.i'd be expecting to have you come motoring throughâ€”only i know now that that is hopeless.when you wouldn't come to my commencement, i tore you from my heart and buried you forever. judy abbott, a.b.24th july dearest daddy-long-legs,isn't it fun to workâ€”or don't you ever do it?it's especially fun when your kind of work is the thing you'd rather do more than anythingelse in the world. i've been writing as fast as my pen wouldgo every day this summer, and my only quarrel
with life is that the days aren't long enoughto write all the beautiful and valuable and entertaining thoughts i'm thinking.i've finished the second draft of my book and am going to begin the third tomorrow morningat half-past seven. it's the sweetest book you ever sawâ€”it is,truly. i think of nothing else.i can barely wait in the morning to dress and eat before beginning; then i write andwrite and write till suddenly i'm so tired that i'm limp all over.then i go out with colin (the new sheep dog) and romp through the fields and get a freshsupply of ideas for the next day. it's the most beautiful book you ever sawâ€”oh,pardonâ€”i said that before.
you don't think me conceited, do you, daddydear? i'm not, really, only just now i'm in theenthusiastic stage. maybe later on i'll get cold and criticaland sniffy. no, i'm sure i won't! this time i've writtena real book. just wait till you see it.i'll try for a minute to talk about something else.i never told you, did i, that amasai and carrie got married last may?they are still working here, but so far as i can see it has spoiled them both.she used to laugh when he tramped in mud or dropped ashes on the floor, but nowâ€”youshould hear her scold!
and she doesn't curl her hair any longer.amasai, who used to be so obliging about beating rugs and carrying wood, grumbles if you suggestsuch a thing. also his neckties are quite dingyâ€”blackand brown, where they used to be scarlet and purple.i've determined never to marry. it's a deteriorating process, evidently.there isn't much of any farm news. the animals are all in the best of health.the pigs are unusually fat, the cows seem contented and the hens are laying well.are you interested in poultry? if so, let me recommend that invaluable littlework, 200 eggs per hen per year. i am thinking of starting an incubator nextspring and raising broilers. you see i'm settled
at lock willow permanently.i have decided to stay until i've written 114 novels like anthony trollope's mother.then i shall have completed my life work and can retire and travel.mr. james mcbride spent last sunday with us. fried chicken and ice-cream for dinner, bothof which he appeared to appreciate. i was awfully glad to see him; he broughta momentary reminder that the world at large exists.poor jimmie is having a hard time peddling his bonds. the 'farmers' national' at thecorners wouldn't have anything to do with them in spite of the fact that they pay sixper cent. interest and sometimes seven.i think he'll end up by going home to worcester
and taking a job in his father's factory.he's too open and confiding and kind-hearted ever to make a successful financier.but to be the manager of a flourishing overall factory is a very desirable position, don'tyou think? just now he turns up his nose at overalls,but he'll come to them. i hope you appreciate the fact that this isa long letter from a person with writer's cramp.but i still love you, daddy dear, and i'm very happy.with beautiful scenery all about, and lots to eat and a comfortable four-post bed anda ream of blank paper and a pint of inkâ€”what more does one want in the world?yours as always,
the postman arrives with some more news.we are to expect master jervie on friday next to spend a week.that's a very pleasant prospectâ€”only i am afraid my poor book will suffer.master jervie is very demanding. 27th augustdear daddy-long-legs, where are you, i wonder?i never know what part of the world you are in, but i hope you're not in new york duringthis awful weather. i hope you're on a mountain peak (but notin switzerland; somewhere nearer) looking at the snow and thinking about me.please be thinking about me. i'm quite lonely and i want to be thoughtabout.
oh, daddy, i wish i knew you!then when we were unhappy we could cheer each other up.i don't think i can stand much more of lock willow.i'm thinking of moving. sallie is going to do settlement work in bostonnext winter. don't you think it would be nice for me to go with her, then we could havea studio together? i would write while she settled and we couldbe together in the evenings. evenings are very long when there's no onebut the semples and carrie and amasai to talk to.i know in advance that you won't like my studio idea.i can read your secretary's letter now:
'miss jerusha abbott.'dear madam, 'mr. smith prefers that you remain at lockwillow. 'yours truly,'elmer h. griggs.' i hate your secretary.i am certain that a man named elmer h. griggs must be horrid.but truly, daddy, i think i shall have to go to boston.i can't stay here. if something doesn't happen soon, i shallthrow myself into the silo pit out of sheer desperation.mercy! but it's hot. all the grass is burnt up and the brooks aredry and the roads are dusty.
it hasn't rained for weeks and weeks.this letter sounds as though i had hydrophobia, but i haven't. i just want some family.goodbye, my dearest daddy. i wish i knew you.judy lock willow,19th september dear daddy,something has happened and i need advice. i need it from you, and from nobody else inthe world. wouldn't it be possible for me to see you?it's so much easier to talk than to write; and i'm afraid your secretary might open theletter. i'm very unhappy.lock willow,
3rd octoberdear daddy-long-legs, your note written in your own handâ€”and apretty wobbly hand!â€”came this morning. i am so sorry that you have been ill; i wouldn'thave bothered you with my affairs if i had known.yes, i will tell you the trouble, but it's sort of complicated to write, and very private.please don't keep this letter, but burn it. before i beginâ€”here's a cheque for one thousanddollars. it seems funny, doesn't it, for me to be sendinga cheque to you? where do you think i got it?i've sold my story, daddy. it's going to be published serially in sevenparts, and then in a book!
you might think i'd be wild with joy, buti'm not. i'm entirely apathetic.of course i'm glad to begin paying youâ€”i owe you over two thousand more.it's coming in instalments. now don't be horrid, please, about takingit, because it makes me happy to return it. i owe you a great deal more than the meremoney, and the rest i will continue to pay all my life in gratitude and affection.and now, daddy, about the other thing; please give me your most worldly advice, whetheryou think i'll like it or not. you know that i've always had a very specialfeeling towards you; you sort of represented my whole family; but you won't mind, willyou, if i tell you that i have a very much
more special feeling for another man? youcan probably guess without much trouble who he is.i suspect that my letters have been very full of master jervie for a very long time.i wish i could make you understand what he is like and how entirely companionable weare. we think the same about everythingâ€”i amafraid i have a tendency to make over my ideas to match his!but he is almost always right; he ought to be, you know, for he has fourteen years' startof me. in other ways, though, he's just an overgrownboy, and he does need looking afterâ€”he hasn't any sense about wearing rubbers when it rains.he and i always think the same things are
funny, and that is such a lot; it's dreadfulwhen two people's senses of humour are antagonistic. i don't believe there's any bridging thatgulf! and he isâ€”oh, well!he is just himself, and i miss him, and miss him, and miss him.the whole world seems empty and aching. i hate the moonlight because it's beautifuland he isn't here to see it with me. but maybe you've loved somebody, too, and you know?if you have, i don't need to explain; if you haven't, i can't explain.anyway, that's the way i feelâ€”and i've refused to marry him.i didn't tell him why; i was just dumb and miserable.i couldn't think of anything to say.
and now he has gone away imagining that iwant to marry jimmie mcbrideâ€”i don't in the least, i wouldn't think of marrying jimmie;he isn't grown up enough. but master jervie and i got into a dreadfulmuddle of misunderstanding and we both hurt each other's feelings.the reason i sent him away was not because i didn't care for him, but because i caredfor him so much. i was afraid he would regret it in the futureâ€”andi couldn't stand that! it didn't seem right for a person of my lackof antecedents to marry into any such family as his.i never told him about the orphan asylum, and i hated to explain that i didn't knowwho i was.
i may be dreadful, you know.and his family are proudâ€”and i'm proud, too!also, i felt sort of bound to you. after having been educated to be a writer,i must at least try to be one; it would scarcely be fair to accept your education and thengo off and not use it. but now that i am going to be able to payback the money, i feel that i have partially discharged that debtâ€”besides, i supposei could keep on being a writer even if i did marry.the two professions are not necessarily exclusive. i've been thinking very hard about it.of course he is a socialist, and he has unconventional ideas; maybe he wouldn't mind marrying intothe proletariat so much as some men might.
perhaps when two people are exactly in accord,and always happy when together and lonely when apart, they ought not to let anythingin the world stand between them. of course i want to believe that!but i'd like to get your unemotional opinion. you probably belong to a family also, andwill look at it from a worldly point of view and not just a sympathetic, human point ofviewâ€”so you see how brave i am to lay it before you.suppose i go to him and explain that the trouble isn't jimmie, but is the john grier homeâ€”wouldthat be a dreadful thing for me to do? it would take a great deal of courage.i'd almost rather be miserable for the rest of my life.this happened nearly two months ago; i haven't
heard a word from him since he was here.i was just getting sort of acclimated to the feeling of a broken heart, when a letter camefrom julia that stirred me all up again. she saidâ€”very casuallyâ€”that 'uncle jervis'had been caught out all night in a storm when he was hunting in canada, and had been illever since with pneumonia. and i never knew it.i was feeling hurt because he had just disappeared into blankness without a word.i think he's pretty unhappy, and i know i am!what seems to you the right thing for me to do?judy 6th octoberdearest daddy-long-legs,
yes, certainly i'll comeâ€”at half-past fournext wednesday afternoon. of course i can find the way.i've been in new york three times and am not quite a baby.i can't believe that i am really going to see youâ€”i've been just thinking you so longthat it hardly seems as though you are a tangible flesh-and-blood person.you are awfully good, daddy, to bother yourself with me, when you're not strong.take care and don't catch cold. these fall rains are very damp.affectionately, i've just had an awful thought.have you a butler? i'm afraid of butlers, and if one opens thedoor i shall faint upon the step.
what can i say to him?you didn't tell me your name. shall i ask for mr. smith?thursday morning my very dearest master-jervie-daddy-long-legspendleton-smith, did you sleep last night?i didn't. not a single wink. i was too amazed and excited and bewilderedand happy. i don't believe i ever shall sleep againâ€”oreat either. but i hope you slept; you must, you know,because then you will get well faster and can come to me.dear man, i can't bear to think how ill you've beenâ€”and all the time i never knew it.when the doctor came down yesterday to put
me in the cab, he told me that for three daysthey gave you up. oh, dearest, if that had happened, the lightwould have gone out of the world for me. i suppose that some day in the far futureâ€”oneof us must leave the other; but at least we shall have had our happiness and there willbe memories to live with. i meant to cheer you upâ€”and instead i haveto cheer myself. for in spite of being happier than i everdreamed i could be, i'm also soberer. the fear that something may happen rests likea shadow on my heart. always before i could be frivolous and care-freeand unconcerned, because i had nothing precious to lose.but nowâ€”i shall have a great big worry all
the rest of my life.whenever you are away from me i shall be thinking of all the automobiles that can run over you,or the sign-boards that can fall on your head, or the dreadful, squirmy germs that you maybe swallowing. my peace of mind is gone for everâ€”but anyway,i never cared much for just plain peace. please get wellâ€”fastâ€”fastâ€”fast.i want to have you close by where i can touch you and make sure you are tangible.such a little half hour we had together! i'm afraid maybe i dreamed it.if i were only a member of your family (a very distant fourth cousin) then i could comeand visit you every day, and read aloud and plump up your pillow and smooth out thosetwo little wrinkles in your forehead and make
the corners of your mouth turn up in a nicecheerful smile. but you are cheerful again, aren't you?you were yesterday before i left. the doctor said i must be a good nurse, thatyou looked ten years younger. i hope that being in love doesn't make every one ten yearsyounger. will you still care for me, darling, if i turn out to be only eleven?yesterday was the most wonderful day that could ever happen.if i live to be ninety-nine i shall never forget the tiniest detail.the girl that left lock willow at dawn was a very different person from the one who cameback at night. mrs. semple called me at half-past four.i started wide awake in the darkness and the
first thought that popped into my head was,'i am going to see daddy-long-legs!' i ate breakfast in the kitchen by candle-light,and then drove the five miles to the station through the most glorious october colouring.the sun came up on the way, and the swamp maples and dogwood glowed crimson and orangeand the stone walls and cornfields sparkled with hoar frost; the air was keen and clearand full of promise. i knew something was going to happen.all the way in the train the rails kept singing, 'you're going to see daddy-long-legs.' itmade me feel secure. i had such faith in daddy's ability to setthings right. and i knew that somewhere another manâ€”dearerthan daddyâ€”was wanting to see me, and somehow
i had a feeling that before the journey endedi should meet him, too. and you see!when i came to the house on madison avenue it looked so big and brown and forbiddingthat i didn't dare go in, so i walked around the block to get up my courage.but i needn't have been a bit afraid; your butler is such a nice, fatherly old man thathe made me feel at home at once. 'is this miss abbott?' he said to me, andi said, 'yes,' so i didn't have to ask for mr. smith after all.he told me to wait in the drawing-room. it was a very sombre, magnificent, man's sortof room. i sat down on the edge of a big upholsteredchair and kept saying to myself:
'i'm going to see daddy-long-legs! i'm goingto see daddy-long-legs!' then presently the man came back and askedme please to step up to the library. i was so excited that really and truly myfeet would hardly take me up. outside the door he turned and whispered,'he's been very ill, miss. this is the first day he's been allowed to sit up.you'll not stay long enough to excite him?' i knew from the way he said it that he lovedyouâ€”an i think he's an old dear! then he knocked and said, 'miss abbott,' andi went in and the door closed behind me. it was so dim coming in from the brightlylighted hall that for a moment i could scarcely make out anything; then i saw a big easy chairbefore the fire and a shining tea table with
a smaller chair beside it. and i realizedthat a man was sitting in the big chair propped up by pillows with a rug over his knees.before i could stop him he roseâ€”rather shakilyâ€”and steadied himself by the back of the chairand just looked at me without a word. and thenâ€”and thenâ€”i saw it was you!but even with that i didn't understand. i thought daddy had had you come there tomeet me or a surprise. then you laughed and held out your hand andsaid, 'dear little judy, couldn't you guess that i was daddy-long-legs?'in an instant it flashed over me. oh, but i have been stupid!a hundred little things might have told me, if i had had any wits.i wouldn't make a very good detective, would
i, daddy?jervie? what must i call you?just plain jervie sounds disrespectful, and i can't be disrespectful to you!it was a very sweet half hour before your doctor came and sent me away. i was so dazedwhen i got to the station that i almost took a train for st louis.and you were pretty dazed, too. you forgot to give me any tea.but we're both very, very happy, aren't we? i drove back to lock willow in the dark butoh, how the stars were shining! and this morning i've been out with colinvisiting all the places that you and i went to together, and remembering what you saidand how you looked. the woods today are burnished
bronze and the air is full of frost. it'sclimbing weather. i wish you were here to climb the hills withme. i am missing you dreadfully, jervie dear,but it's a happy kind of missing; we'll be together soon.we belong to each other now really and truly, no make-believe. doesn't it seem queer forme to belong to someone at last? it seems very, very sweet.and i shall never let you be sorry for a single instant.yours, for ever and ever, this is the first love-letter i ever wrote.isn't it funny that i know how? end of section ixend of daddy-long-legs
by jean websterMy Little Pony The Dazzlings Coloring Pages