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Did you ever see this campus? (That is merelya rhetorical question. Don't let it annoy you.) It isa heavenly spot in May. All the shrubs are in blossom and the trees are the loveliest young green— even the old pines look fresh and new. The grass is dotted with yellow dandelions and hundreds of girls in blue and white and pink dresses. Everybody is joyous and carefree, for vacation's coming, and with that to look forward to, examinations don't count.
Isn't that a happy frame of mind to be in? And oh. Daddy! I'm the happiest of all! Because I'm not in the asylum any more; and I'm not anybody's nursemaid or typist or bookkeeper (I should have been, you know, except for you).
I started to tell you about the campus. I wish you'd, come for a little visit and let me walk you about.
Oh, I'm fine at showing people about. I've done it all my life at the asylum, and I've been doing it all day here. I have honestly. And a Man, too!
That's a great experience. I never talked to a man before (except occasional Trustees, and they don't count). Pardon, Daddy. I don't mean to hurt your feelings when I abuse Trustees. I don't consider that you really belong among them. You just tumbled onto the Board by chance. The Trustee, as such, is fat and pompous and benevolent. He
pats one on the head and wears a gold watch chain. That looks like a June bug, but is meant to be a portrait of any Trustee except you.
However — to go on: I have been walking and talking and having tea with a man. And with a very superior man — with Mr. Jervis Pendleton of the House of Julia; her uncle, in short (in long, perhaps I ought to say; he's as tall as you). Being in town on business, he decided to run out to the college and call on his niece. He's her father's youngest brother, but she doesn't know him very intimately. It seems he glanced at her when she was a baby, decided he didn't like her, and has never noticed her since.
Anyway, there he was, sitting in the reception room very proper with his hat and stick and gloves beside him; and Julia and Sallie with seventh-hour recitations that they couldn't cut. So Julia ran into my room and begged me to walk him about the campus and then deliver him to her when the seventh hour was over. I said I would, obligingly but unenthusiastically, because I don't care much for Pendletons.
But he turned out to be a sweet lamb. He's a real human being — not a Pendleton at all. We had a beautiful time; I've longed for an uncle ever since. Do you mind pretending you're my uncle?
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 and the funniest smile that never quite comes through but just wrinkles up the corners of his mouth. And he has a way of making you feel right off as though you'd known him a long time. He's very companionable.
We walked all over the campus from the quadrangle to the athletic grounds; then he said he felt weak and must have some tea. He proposed that we go to College Inn — it's just off the campus by the — pine walk. I said we ought to go back for Julia and Sallie, but he said he didn't like to have his niece drink too much tea; it made her nervous. So we just ran away and had tea and muffins and marmalade and ice-cream and cake at a nice little table out on the balcony. The inn was quite conveniently empty, this being the end of the month and allowances low.
We had the jolliest time! But he had to run for his train the minute he got back and he hardly saw Julia at all. She was furious with me for talking him off; it seems he's an unusually rich and desirable uncle. It relieved my mind to find he was
rich, for the tea and things cost sixty cents apiece. I make you my compliments.
P.S. I looked in the glass this morning and found a perfectly new dimple that I'd never seen before. It's very curious. Where do you suppose it came from?
June 9th. DearDaddy-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 from the 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 go up and down my back. I feel as though I must run faster and faster and keep looking over my shoulder to make sure 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?No, I am sure not. I am entirely grown up. Hooray! I leave you now to pack a trunk, and three
boxes of tea-kettles and dishes and sofa cushions and books.
Yours ever, Judy.
Lock Willow Farm, Saturday night.
I've only just come and I'm not unpacked, but I can't wait to tell you how much I like farms. This is a heavenly, heavenly, heavenly spot! The house is square and old. A hundred years or so. It has a veranda on the side and a sweet porch in front. It stands on the top of a hill and looks way off over miles of green meadows to another line of hills.
The people are Mr. and Mrs. Semple and a hired girl and two hired men. The hired people eat in the kitchen, and the Semples and Judy in the dining-room. We had ham and eggs and biscuits and honey and jelly-cake and pie and pickles and cheese and tea for supper — 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 seem very funny to them.
The room I occupy is big and square and empty, with adorable old-fashioned furniture. And a big square mahogany table — I'm going to spend the
summer with my elbows spread out on it, writing a novel.
Lock Willow, July 12th.
How did your secretary come to know about Lock Willow? That isn't a rhetorical question. I am awfully curious to know. For listen to 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 talks about what a sweet little boy he used to be. She has one of his baby curls put away in a box, and it's red — or at least reddish!
Since she discovered that I know him — I have risen very much in her opinion. Knowing a member of the Pendleton family is the best introduction one can have at Lock Willow. And the cream of the whole family is Master Jervie — I am pleased to say that Julia belongs to 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. 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 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 Jervie fell off that very same beam and scratched this very same knee. The scenery around here is perfectly beautiful.
I haven't had time yet to begin my immortal novel; the farm keeps me too busy.
Yours always, Judy.
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'd promised to pick some blackberries for supper, so I went off and left the sheet lying on the table, and when I came back today, what do you think I found sitting in the middle of 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.
This is Sunday ernoon.
Sir, I remain,
I was weighed yesterday on the flour scales in the general store at the Corners. I've gained nine pounds! Let me recommend Lock Willow as a health resort.
Yours ever, Judy.
September 25th. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
Behold me — a Sophomore! I came up last Friday, sorry to leave Lock Willow, but glad to see the campus again. It is a pleasant sensation to come back to something familiar. I am beginning to feel at home in college, and in command of the situa-
tion; I am beginning, in fact, to feel at home in the world — as though I really belonged in it and had not just crept in.
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 bedrooms — voila5!
Sallie and I decided last spring that we should like to room together, and Julia made up her mind to stay with Sallie — why, I can't imagine, for they are not a bit alike. Anyway, here we are. Think of Jerusha Abbott, late of the John Grier Home for Orphans, rooming with a Pendleton!
Sallie is running for class president, and unless all signs fail, she is going to be elected. Such an atmosphere of intrigue — you should see what politicians we are! Oh, I tell you, Daddy, when we women get our rights, 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.
Yours in politics, J. Abbott.
October 17th. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
Supposing the swimming tank in the gymnasium
5 voila! — ôð. òóò îòàê! — çä. òàê-òî!
were filled full of lemon jelly, could a person trying to swim manage to keep on top or would he sink?
We were having jelly for dessert, when the question came up. We discussed it heatedly for half an hour and it's still unsettled. Sallie thinks that she 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?
Did I ever tell you about the election? It happened three weeks ago, but so fast do we live, that three weeks is ancient history. Sallie was elected and we had a torchlight parade with transparencies saying, "McBride Forever," and a band consisting of fourteen pieces (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 mes compliments,
Je suis Votre Judy6.
6 Bonne nuit, cher Daddy. Acceptez mes compliments, tres respectueux, je suis votre. — ôð. íà äîáðàí³÷, äîðîãèé äÿäå÷êî. Ïðèì³òü ìî¿ çàïåâíåííÿ ãëèáîêî¿ ïîâàãè äî âàñ. Çàëèøàþñü âàøà ... — ñïîêîéíîé íî÷è, äîðîãîé äÿäþøêà. Ïðèìèòå ìîè çàâåðåíèÿ â ãëóáîêîì ê âàì óâàæåíèè. Îñòàþñü âàøà ...
November 12th. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
We beat the Freshmen at basketball yesterday. Of course, we're pleased — 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 my life, except at Lock Willow, and the Semples were grownup and old and don't count. But the McBrides have a houseful of children (anyway two or three) and a mother and father and grandmother, and an Angora cat. It's a perfectly complete family. I'm terribly excited at the prospect.
Seventh hour — I must run to rehearsal. I'm to be in the Thanksgiving theatricals. A prince in a tower with a velvet tunic and yellow curls. Isn't that a fun?
Yours, J. A.
I meant to write to you before and thank you for your Christmas check, but life in the McBride
household is very busy, and I don't seem able to find two minutes to spend at a desk.
I've been having the most beautiful vacation visiting Sallie. She lives in a big old-fashioned brick house — exactly the kind of house that I used to look at so curiously when I was in the John Grier Home, and wonder what it could be like inside. I never expected to see with my own eyes —but here I am! Everything is so comfortable and restful and homelike; I walk from room to room and drink in the furnishings.
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 brother who always forgets to wipe his feet, and a big, good-looking brother named Jimmie, who is a Junior at Princeton.
We have the jolliest times at the table — everybody laughs 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.
Two days after Christmas, they gave a dance at their own house for ME.
It was the first really true ball I ever attended — college doesn't count where we dance with girls. I had a new white evening gown (your Christmas present — many thanks) and long white gloves and white satin slippers. The only drawback to my per-
feet, utter, absolute happiness 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 Abbot
P. S. Would you be terribly displeased, Daddy, if I didn't turn out to be a Great Author after all, but just a Plain Girl?
6.30, Saturday. DearDaddy,
We started to walk to town to-day, but mercy! how it poured. I like winter to be winter with snow instead rain.
Julia's desirable uncle called again this afternoon .— and brought a five-pound box of chocolates. There are advantages you see about rooming with Julia.
Our innocent chat appeared to amuse him and he waited for the next train in order to take tea in the study. And an awful lot of trouble we had getting permission. It's hard enough entertaining fathers and grandfathers, but uncles are a step worse.
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 at
Lock Willow, and we had a beautiful gossipy time about the Semples and the horses and cows and chickens. All the horses that he used to know are dead, except Grove, who was a baby colt at the time of his last visit — and poor Grove now is so old he can just limp about the pasture.
He wanted to know a lot of things about the life of the farm and I did my best to satisfy his curiosity.
I called him "Master Jervie" to his face, but he didn't appear to be insulted. Julia says that 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.
Mercy! how it keeps pouring. We shall have to swim to chapel to-night.
Yours ever, Judy.
March 5th. 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 clamor! It's an intoxicating, exhilarating, calling noise. You want to close your books and be off over the hills to race with the wind.
I never told you about examinations. I passed everything with the utmost ease — I know the se-
cret now, and am never going to flunk again. I shan't be able to graduate with honors though, because of that beastly Latin prose and geometry Freshman year. But I don't care.
Speaking of classics, have you ever read "Hamlet"? If you haven't, do it right off. It's perfectly exciting. I've been hearing about Shakespeare all my life, but I had no idea he really wrote so well; I always suspected him of going largely on his reputation.
March 24th. Maybe the 25th.
I don't believe I can be going to Heaven — 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 prise) that the Monthly holds every year. And she a Sophomore! The contestants are mostly Seniors. When I saw my name posted, I couldn't quite believe it was true. Maybe I am going to be an author after all. I wish Mrs. Lippett hadn't given me such a silly name — it sounds like an authoress's, doesn't it?
Also I have been chosen for the spring dramat-
4 — 6-302
ics — "As You Like It"7 out of doors. I am going to be Celia, own cousin to Rosalind.
And lastly: Julia and Sallie and I are going to New York next Friday to do some spring shopping and stay all night and go to the theater the next day 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 the Martha Washington Hotel.
Did you ever hear of anything so exciting? I've never been in a hotel in my life, nor in a theater; except once when the Catholic Church had a festival and invited the orphans, but that wasn't a real play and it doesn't count.
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.
This is a very entertaining world.
Yours ever, Judy.
April 7th. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
Mercy! Isn't New York big? Worcester is noth-
7 As You Like It "ßê âàì öå ñïîäîáàºòüñÿ" — êîìåä³ÿ Ó. Øåêñï³ðà. — "Êàê âàì ýòî ïîíðàâèòñÿ" — êîìåäèÿ Ó. Øåêñïèðà. 50
ing 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 of it. I can't begin to tell you all the amazing things 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.
And after we'd finished our shopping, we met Master Jervie at Sherry's. I suppose you've been in Sherry's? Picture that, then picture the dining-room of the John Grier Home with its oil-cloth-covered tables, and white crockery that you can't break, and wooden-handled knives and forks; and fancy the way I felt!
I ate my fish with the wrong fork, but the waiter very kindly gave me another so that nobody noticed.
And after luncheon we went to the theater — it was dazzling, marvelous, unbelievable — I dream about it every night.
Isn't Shakespeare wonderful?
"Hamlet" is so much better on the stage than when we analyze it in class; I appreciated it before, but now, dear me!
I think, if you don't mind, that I'd rather be an actress than a writer. Wouldn't you like me to leave
college and go into a dramatic school? And then I'll send you a box for all my performances, and smile at you across the footlights.
We came back Saturday night and had our dinner in the train, at little tables with pink lamps and negro waiters. I never heard of meals being served in trains before, and I thoughtlessly 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 to me.
"Not till I came to college, and then it was only, 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 surprised — and I'm surprised most of the time. It's a dizzying experience, Daddy, to pass eighteen years in the John Grier Home, and then 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 with the other girls.
I forgot to tell you about our flowers. Master Jervie gave us each a big bunch of violets and lil-ies-of-the-valley. Wasn't that sweet of him? I never used to care much for men —judging by Trustees — but I'm changing my mind.
Yours always, Judy.
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, the Seniors carrying blue and gold Japanese umbrellas, and the Juniors white and yellow banners. Our class had crimson balloons — very fetching, especially as they were always getting loose and floating off — and the Freshmen wore green tissue-paper hats with long ribbons. Also we had a band in blue uniforms hired from town. Also about a dozen funny people, like clowns in a circus, to keep the spectators entertained between events.
Julia was dressed as a fat country man with a linen duster and whiskers and baggy umbrella. Patsy Moriarty (Patricia, really. Did you ever hear such a name?) who is tall and thin was Julia's wife in an 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 display so much comedy spirit — begging Master Jervie's pardon; I don't consider him a true Pendleton though 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
Judy Wins the Fifty Yard Dash
the running broad jump and lost; but Sallie won the pole-vaulting (seven feet three inches) and I won the fifty-yard dash (eight seconds).
I was pretty panting at the end, but it was great fun, with the whole class waving balloons and cheering and yelling:
What's the matter with Judy Abbott?
She's all right.
Who's all right?
That, Daddy, is true fame. Then trotting back to the dressing tent and being rubbed down with alcohol and having a 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 most gets the athletic cup for the year. The Seniors won it this year, with seven events to their credit. The athletic association gave a dinner in the sport hall to all of the winners. We had fried soft-shell crabs,
and chocolate ice-cream molded in the shape of basket balls.
I sat up half of last night reading "Jane Eyre." I can't see how any girl could have written such 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 Jane's troubles in the charity school, I got so angry that I 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'm not intimating that the John Grier Home was like the Lowood Institute. We had plenty to eat and plenty to wear, sufficient water 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-cream on Sundays, and even that was regular. In all the eighteen years I was there I only had one adventure — when the woodshed burned.
You know, Daddy, I think that the most necessary quality for any person to have is imagination. It makes people able to put themselves in other people's places. It makes them kind and sympathetic and understanding. It ought to be cultivated in children. But the John Grier Home instantly stamped out the slightest flicker that appeared.
Wait until you see the orphan asylum that I'm
going to be the head of! It's my favorite play at night before I go to sleep. I plan it out to the littlest detail — the meals and clothes and study and amusements and 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 many troubles 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 going to let them have any cares until they grow up.
Good-by, nice Mr. Man, Judy.
June 2d. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
You will never guess the nice thing that has happened.
The McBrides have asked me to spend the summer at their camp in the Adirondacksl They belong to a sort of club on a lovely little lake in the middle of the woods. The different members have houses made of logs dotted about among the trees, and they go canoeing on the lake, and take long walks through trails to other camps, and have dances once a week in the club house — Jimmie McBride is going to have a college friend visiting
him part of the summer, so you see we shall have 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 you know that I'm invited for the summer.
Yours, In a very contented frame of mind,
June 5th. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
Your secretary man has just written to me saying that Mr. Smith prefers that I should not accept Mrs. McBride's invitation, but should return to Lock Willow the same as last summer.
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 and 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 companion for 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 got our reading finished in the summer; 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. It's going to be such a nice, healthy summer exercising out of doors every minute. Jimmie McBride is going to teach me how to ride horseback and paddle a canoe, and how to shoot and — oh, lots of things I ought to know. It's the kind of nice, jolly, care-free time that 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 great author, writing to you. It's just Judy — a girl.
June 9th. Mr. John Smith,
Sir: Yours of the 7th inst. at hand. In accor-58
dance with the instructions received through your secretary, I leave on Friday next to spend the summer at Lock Willow Farm.
I hope always to remain, (Miss) Jerusha Abbott.
Lock Willow Farm. August Third.
It has been nearly two months since I wrote, which wasn't nice of me, I know, but I haven't loved you much this summer — 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 all matters, but I couldn't see any reason. It was so distinctly the best thing that could have happened to me. If I had been Daddy, and you had been Judy, I should have said, "Bless you, my child, run along and have a good time; see lots of new people and learn lots of new things; live out of doors, and get strong and well and rested 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 those beastly 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, detailed letters without ever expecting any answer. You're living up to your side of the bargain — I'm being educated — 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 made up — 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 feeling awfully 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 ordered by an arbitrary, peremptory, unreasonable, omnipotent, invisible Providence, still, when a man has been as kind and generous and thoughtful as you have so far been toward me, I suppose he has a right to be an arbitrary, peremptory, unreasonable, invisible Providence if he chooses, and so — 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!
However — we will draw a veil over that and begin again.
I've been writing this summer; four short stories finished and sent to four different magazines. So you see I'm trying to be an author. I have a work-room fixed in a corner of the attic where Master Jervie used to have his rainy-day playroom.
I'll write a nicer letter in a few days and tell you all the farm news.
We need rain.
Yours as ever, Judy.
August 10th. Mr. Daddy-Long-Legs,
Sir: I address you from the second crotch in the willow tree by the pool in the pasture. I've been here for an hour.
If you are in that dreadful New York, I wish I could send you some of this lovely, breezy, sunshiny sight. The country is Heaven after a week of rain.
During our week of rain I sat up in the attic and had an orgy of reading. Stevenson, mostly. He himself is more entertaining than any of the characters in his books. 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 his heroes makes me wild. I want to see the tropics. I want to see the whole world. I am going to some day — I am, really, Daddy, when I get to be a great author, or artist, or actress, or playwright — or whatever sort of a great person I turn out to be. I have a terrible wanderthirst; the very sight of 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.
Good night, Judy.
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 Berk-shires, and is tired and wants to rest on a nice quiet farm — if he climbs out at her doorstep some night will she have a room ready for him? Maybe he'll stay one week, or maybe two, or maybe three; he'll see how restful it is when he gets here.
Such a state of excitement as we are in! The whole house is being cleaned and all the curtains
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washed. I am driving to the Corners this morning to get some new oil cloth for the entry, and two cans of brown floor paint for the hall and back stairs. Mrs. Dowd is engaged to come to-morrow to wash the windows. You might think, from this account of our activities, that the house was not already cleaned; but I assure you it was! Whatever Mrs. Semple's faults, she is a HOUSEKEEPER.
But isn't it just like a man, Daddy? He doesn't give the slightest hint as to whether he will land on the door-step to-day, or two weeks from to-day. We shall live in a permanent breathlessness until he comes — and if he doesn't hurry, the cleaning may all have to be done over again.
There's Amasai waiting below with the cart and Grove. I drive alone — but if you could see old Grove, you wouldn't be worried as to my safety.
With my hand on my heart — farewell.
P. S. Isn't that a nice ending? I got it out of Stevenson's letters.
Good morning again! I didn't get this enveloped yesterday before the postman came, so I'll add some more.
No sign yet of Master Jervie. But you should see how clean our house is — and with what anxiety we wipe our feet before we step in!
I hope he'll come soon; I am longing for some one to talk to. Mrs. Semple, to tell you the truth, gets sort of monotonous. She never lets ideas interrupt the easy flow of 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 know what I mean. It's exactly the same as at the John Grier Home. Our ideas there were bounded by the four sides of the iron fence, only I didn't mind it so much because I was younger and was so awfully busy. By the time I'd got all my beds made and my babies' faces washed and had gone to school and come home and had washed their faces again and darned their stockings and mended Freddie Perkins's trousers (he tore them every day of his life) and learned my lessons in between — I was ready to go to bed, and I didn't notice any 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.
Yours always, Judy.
Well, Daddy, Master Jervie's here. And such a nice time as we're having! At least I am, and I think he is, too — he has been here ten days and he doesn't show any sings of going. The way Mrs. Semple spoils that man is scandalous. If she indulged him as much when he was a baby 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, or — when it rains or is cold — in the best parlor. He just picks out the spot he wants to eat in and Carrie trots after him with the table.
He is an awfully companionable sort of man, though you would never believe it to see him casually; he looks at first glance like a true Pendleton, but he isn't in the least. He is just as simple and unaffected and sweet as he can be — that seems a funny way to describe a man, but it's true.
It's awfully funny to think of that great, big, long-legged man (he's nearly as long-legged as you, Daddy) ever sitting in Mrs. Semple's lap and having his face washed.
We went for a long walk this morning and got caught in a storm. Our clothes were wet through before we reached home — but our spirits not even
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damp. You should have seen Mrs. Semple's face when we dripped into her kitchen.
"Oh, Master Jervie — 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 thought that 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.
It's Sunday night now, about eleven o'clock. We've had a hard day to-day fishing and driving, and 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.
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 you in New York — I should think he might; you must move in about the same social circles, and you are both interested in reforms and things — but I couldn't, for I don't know your real name.
It's the silliest thing I ever heard of, not to know your name. Mrs. Lippett warned me that you were eccentric. I should think so!
September 10th. DearDaddy,
He has gone, and we are missing him! When you get accustomed to people or places or ways of living, and then have them suddenly taken away, it does leave an awfully empty, gnawing sort of sensation.
College opens in two weeks and I shall be glad to begin work again. I have worked quite a lot this summer though — six short stories and seven poems. Those I sent to the magazines all came back without much delay. But I don't mind. It's good practice. Master Jervie read them — he brought in the mail, so I couldn't help his knowing — and he said they were dreadfid. 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 did —just a little sketch laid in college — he said wasn't bad; and he had it typewritten and I sent it to a magazine. They've had it two weeks; maybe they're thinking it over.
You should see the sky! There's the strangest orange-colored light over everything. We're going to have a storm.
Daddy! Daddy! What do you think? The postman has just come with two letters.
1st. — My story is accepted. $ 50.
Alors/8 I'm an AUTHOR.
2d. — A letter from the college secretary — I'm to have a scholarship for two years that will cover board and tuition. It was founded by an alumna for marked knowledge of English with general excellency in other subjects. 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 my Freshman bad work in mathematics 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 or tutoring or something.
I'm crazy to go back and begin work.
Author of "When the Sophomores
Won the Game." For sale at all
news stands, price ten cents.
8 Alors! — ôð. Îòæå! — Èòàê! 68
Back at college again and an upper classman. Our study is better than ever this year — faces the South with two huge windows — and oh! so furnished. Julia, with an unlimited allowance, arrived two days early and was attacked with a fever of settling.
We have new wall paper and Oriental rugs and mahogany chairs — not painted mahogany which made us sufficiently happy last year, but real. It's very gorgeous, but I don't feel as though I belonged in it; I'm nervous all the time for fear I'll get an ink spot in the wrong place.
And, Daddy, I found your letter waiting for me — pardon — I mean your secretary's.
Will you kindly give me a comprehensible reason 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 accepted it — and I am not going to change! That sounds a little impertinent, but I don't mean it so.
I suppose you feel that when you set out to educate me, you'd like to finish the work, and have me get a diploma, at the end.
But look at it just a second from my point of view. I shall owe my education to you just as much as 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 want to 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 have to spend one-half of the rest of it.
I hope you understand my position and won't be angry. The allowance I shall still most gratefully accept. It requires an allowance to live up to Julia and her furniture! I wish, that she had been brought up in simpler tastes, or else that she were not my room-mate.
Good-night, Daddy dear, and don't be annoyed because your chick is wanting to earn for herself.
September 30th. DearDaddy,
Are you still referring to that scholarship? I never knew a man so obstinate and stubborn and unreasonable, and bull-doggish, and unable-to-see-other-people's-points-of-view as you.
You prefer that I should not be accepting favors from strangers.
Strangers! — And what are you, pray?
Is there any one 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 sensible person
and had written nice, cheering, fatherly letters to your little Judy, and had come occasionally and patted her on the head, and had said you were glad she was such a good girl. — Then, perhaps, she wouldn't have ignored you in your old age, but would have obeyed your slightest wish like the dutiful daughter she was meant to be.
I refuse, sir, to give up the scholarship; and if you make any more fuss, I won't accept the monthly allowance either, but will wear myself into a nervous wreck tutoring stupid Freshmen.
That is my ultimatum!
And listen — I have a further thought. Since you are so afraid that by taking this scholarship, I am depriving some one else of an education, I know a way out. You can apply the money that you would have spent for me, toward educating some other little 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 any better than me.
Completely and Irrevocably
November 9th. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs.
Julia Pendleton has invited me to visit her for 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 me — she seems to be getting quite fond of me of late. I should, to tell the truth, very much prefer going to Same'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 masse9, and also I'd have to get a lot of new clothes — so, Daddy, dear, if you write that you would prefer having me remain quietly at college, I will bow to your wishes with my usual sweet obedience.
Yours always, Judy.
December 7th. GearDaddy-Long-Legs,
Thank you for permission to visit Julia — 1 take it that silence means consent.
Such a social whirl we've been having! The founder's dance came last week — this was the first year that any of us could attend; only upper classmen being allowed!
I invited Jimmie McBride, and Sallie invited his room-mate at Princeton, who visited them last sum-
9 En masse — ôð. óñ³õ ðàçîì — âñåõ â ñáîðå. 72
mer at their camp — an awfully nice man with red hair — and Julia invited a man from New York, not very exciting, but socially irreproachable.
However — our guests came Friday afternoon in time for tea in the Senior corridor, and then dashed down to-the hotel for dinner. The hotel was so full that they slept in rows on the billiard tables, they say. Jimmie McBride says that the next time he is called to a social event in this college, he is going to bring one of their Adirondack tents and pitch it on the campus.
The next morning we had a joyful club concert — and who 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 disturbed at first at the prospect of facing one thousand girls; but they got acclimated very quickly. Our two Princeton men had a beautiful time — at least 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 me to tell you a secret that I've lately discovered? And will you promise not to think me vain? Then listen:
I am, really. I'd be an awful idiot not to know it with three looking-glasses in the room.
A Friend. P. S. This is one of those wicked anonymous letters you read about in novels.
December 20th. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
I've just a moment, because I must attend two classes, pack a trunk and a suitcase, and catch the four o'clock train — but I couldn't go without sending a word to let you know how much I appreciate my Christmas box.
Good-by, and a very merry Christmas.
Yours always, Judy.
I meant to write to you from the city, Daddy, but New York is an engrossing place.
1 had an interesting — and illuminating — time, but I'm glad I don't belong in such a family! The material atmosphere of that house was crushing; 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 beautifully dressed and low-voiced and well-bred, but it's the truth, Daddy, I never heard
one word of real talk from the time we arrived until we left. I don't think an idea ever entered the front door.
I only saw Master Jervie once when he called at tea lime, and then I didn't have a chance to speak to him alone: it was sort of disappointing after our nice time last summer. I don't think he cares much for his relatives — and I am sure they don't care much for him! Julia's mother says he's unbalanced.
I've seen a lot of theaters and hotels and beautiful houses. I'm still pretty breathless but I am glad to get back to college and my books — I believe that I really am a 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 keep you alive mentally, and then when you mind gets tired, you have the sport hall and outdoor athletics.
Yours ever, Judy.
DearD. 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 soon when examinations are over. It is not only necessary that I pass, but pass WELL. I have a scholarship to live up to.
Yours, studying hard,
My Dear Mr. Smith,
You will be pleased to hear that I passed successfully my mid-year examinations, and am now beginning work in the new semester.
I am attending the gymnasium very regularly of late. It is equipped with a very beautiful swimming tank of cement and marble, the gift of a former graduate. My room-mate, Miss McBride, has given me her bathing-suit (it shrank so that she can no longer wear it) and I am about to begin swimming lessons.
The weather of late has been ideal — bright sunshine and clouds interspersed with a few welcome snow-storms. I and my companions have enjoyed our walks to and from classes — particularly from.
Trusting, my dear Mr. Smith, that this will find you in your usual good health
Most cordially yours,
April 24th. 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 Friday — but he chose a most unsuitable time, for Sallie and 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 ball game, if you please! I didn't ask you if I might go, because I had a feeling that your secretary would say no. But it was entirely regular; we had leave-of-absence from college, and Mrs. McBride chaperoned us. We had a charming time — but I shall have to omit details; they are too many and complicated.
May 15th. Dear-Daddy-Long-Legs,
The accompanying illustration is hereby reproduced for 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 a pulley in the ceiling. It would be a beautiful system if one had perfect confidence in the honesty of one's instructor. I'm always afraid, though, that she will let the rope get slack, so I keep one anxious eye on
her and swim with the other, and with this divided interest I do not make the progress that I otherwise might.
Very changeable weather we're having of late. It was raining
when I began and now the sun is shining. Sallie
and I are going out to play tennis.
A week later.
I should have finished this letter long ago, but 1 didn't. You don't mind, do you, Daddy, if I'm not very regular? I really do love to write to you; it gives me 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 letters this 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 poorly written epistle, usually on yellow tablet paper, arrives from Princeton. All of which I answer with business-like promptness. So you see — I am not so different from other girls — I get mail, too.
Did I tell you that I have been elected a member of the Senior Dramatic Club? Very recherche
organization. Only seventy-five members out of one thousand. Do you think as a consistent Socialist that I ought to belong?
There goes the gong for dinner. I'll mail this as I pass the letter-box.
June 4th. DearDaddy,
Very busy time — commencement in ten days, examinations — to-morrow; lots of studying, lots of packing, and the outdoors world so lovely that it hurts you to stay inside.
But never mind, vacation's coming.
I am going to spend the summer at the seaside with Mrs. Charles Paterson and teach her daughter who is to enter college in the autumn. I met her through the McBrides, and she is a very charming woman. I am to give lessons in English and Latin to the younger daughter, too, but I shall have a little time to myself, and I shall be earning fifty dollars a month! Doesn't that impress you as a perfectly big amount? She offered it; I should have blushed to ask 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 Willow. I should
like to see the Semples again and all the friendly animals.
How does my program 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.
Good-by, Daddy. Have a nice summer and come back in the autumn rested and ready for another year of work. (That's what you ought to be writing to me!) I haven't an idea what you do in the summer, or how you amuse yourself.
Anyway, whatever it is, have a good time and don't forget Judy.
June Tenth. Dear Daddy,
This is the hardest letter I ever wrote, but I 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 summer — for a 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 use it instead just for amusement! You mustn't get me used to too many luxuries.
Magnolia, Four days later.
I'd got just that much written, when — what do you think happened? The maid arrived with Master Jervie's card. He is going abroad too this summer; not with Julia and her family but entirely by himself. I told him that you had invited me to go with a 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 sending me to college; I simply didn't have the courage to tell him about the John Grier Home and all the rest. He thinks that you are my guardian and a perfectly legitimate old family friend. I have never told him that I didn't know you — that would 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 the chaperon occasionally and have dinner together at nice, 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 tempted step by step, but I won't be forced. He said I was a silly, foolish, irrational, quixotic, idiotic, stubborn child (those are a few of his abusive adjectives; the rest escape me) and that I didn't know what was good for me; I ought to let older people judge. We almost quarreled — I am not sure but that we entirely did!
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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. Here I am at Cliff Top (the name of Mrs. Paterson's cottage) with my trunk unpacked and Florence (the little one) already struggling with first declension 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 study — she has never in her life concentrated on anything more difficult than ice-cream and soda water.
So you see, Daddy, I am already plunged into work 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 do — always — always. The only way I can ever repay you is by turning out a Very Useful Person. And when you look at me you can say, "I gave that 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 any other ordinary person. I may end by marrying an undertaker and being an inspiration to him in his work.
Yours ever, Judy.
August 19th. DearDaddy-Long-Legs,
My window looks out on the loveliest landscape — oceanscape rather — nothing but water and rocks.
The summer goes. I spend the morning with Latin and English and Algebra and my two stupid girls.
A letter came from Mr. Jervie Pendleton in Paris, rather a short, expressive letter; I'm not quite forgiven yet for refusing to follow his advice. However, if he gets back in time, he will see me for a few days at Lock Willow before college opens, and if I am very nice and sweet, and docile, I shall be received into favor again.
Also a letter from Sallie. She wants me to come to their camp for two weeks in September. Must I ask your permission, or haven't I yet arrived at the place where I can do as I please! Yes, I am sure I have — I'm a Senior, you know. Having worked all summer I feel like taking a little healthful recreation; I want to see Sallie; I want to see Sallie's brother — he's going to teach me to canoe — 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. Daddy — and you can't always!
Camp McBride, September 6th.
Your letter didn't come in time (I am pleased to say). If you wish your instructions to be 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. Good-by — sorry to have disobeyed, but why are you so persistent about not wanting me to play a little? When I've worked all summer I deserve two weeks.
You are awfully dog-in-the-mangerish.
However — I love you still, Daddy, in spite of all your faults.
October 3rd. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
Back at college and a Senior — 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!
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