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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 like farms. 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't draw and a sweet porch in front. The picture really doesn't do it justice--those things that look like feather dusters are maple trees, and the prickly ones that border the drive are murmuring pines and hemlocks. It stands on the top of a hill and looks way off 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 is just on the crest of one wave. The barns used to be across the road where they obstructed the view, but a kind flash of lightning came from heaven and burnt them down.

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 are backed by an all-inclusive ignorance.

The room marked with a cross is not where the murder was committed, but the one that I occupy. It's big and square and empty, with adorable old-fashioned furniture and windows that have to be propped up on sticks and green shades trimmed with gold that fall down if you touch them. And a big square mahogany table-- I'm going to 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's 8.30 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 I deserve. I must be a very, very, VERY good person to pay. 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 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 is 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 Jervis-- 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 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 Jervie fell 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 of wooded 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 stone with 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 better to pay. We have six calves; and I've chosen the names for all of them.

1. Sylvia, because she was born in the woods.

2. Lesbia, after the Lesbia in Catullus.

3. Sallie.

4. Julia--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 this--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, Judy

PS. 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'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.

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 (or maybe Ionic--I always get them mixed).

A nice sleepy sermon with everybody drowsily waving palm-leaf fans, and the only sound, aside from the minister, the buzzing of locusts in the trees outside. I didn't wake up till I found myself on my feet singing the hymn, and then I was awfully sorry I hadn't listened to the sermon; I should like 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 toys And 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 religion with the Semples. Their God (whom they have inherited intact from 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 imaginative and forgiving and understanding--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 so-- and they are horribly troubled. They think I am blasphemous-- 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 and shaved, has just driven off with Carrie (hired girl) in a big hat trimmed with red roses and 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 ostensibly to 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 which I found in the attic. It's entitled, On the Trail, and sprawled across 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 had been ill, when he was about eleven years old; and he left On the Trail behind. It looks well read--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 lives--not a grown man with a silk hat and walking stick, but a nice, dirty, tousle-headed boy who clatters up the stairs with an awful racket, and leaves the screen doors open, and is always asking for cookies. (And getting them, too, if I know Mrs. Semple!) He seems to have been an adventurous little soul-- and brave and truthful. I'm sorry to think 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 and ate 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, Judy

柳树农场
周六晚

最最亲爱的长腿叔叔:

我才刚到农场,行李都还没打开,但已经迫不及待的想要跟你说我有多爱农场.这里美得简直就像是天堂!天堂!天堂!房子是四方形的,如下图.而且很老.大约有一百年吧.屋旁有露台,但是我不会画,屋前还有一个很棒的走廊.我画的一点也不传神,那些看起来像像羽毛掸子的是枫树,路两旁尖尖的树是窸窣的松树和铁杉.房子位于一个小山丘上,放眼望去是绵延的绿色草原和一排小山丘.

这是康乃狄克州的地形图,一连串如波浪的高低起伏小山丘,柳树农场就在其中一个坡顶上.谷仓原本在路的对面,挡住了视野.某天一道来自天堂的闪电打中它,烧成了平地.

农场有山普夫妇,他们雇用了两名男性一名女性.受雇的人在厨房吃饭,山普夫妇和茱蒂在餐厅吃饭.我们晚餐吃了火腿,鸡蛋,英式松饼,蜂蜜,果冻蛋糕,派,醃黄瓜,乳酪和茶,配上说不完的话.我从来没有这么开心过,我所说的每一件事似乎都很有趣,我想因为我从没有去过乡村,我的问题显得我很无知.

图中有一个打叉的房间并不是命案现场,而是我的房间.房间大大的,方方的,空空的,有迷人的复古家具,用木棍撑开的窗户,以及一碰就掉下来的金色滚边的绿色窗帘.还有一张大大的方型桃花木书桌.我整个夏天都要伏案写作,进行我的小说.

喔,Daddy,我实在好兴奋,等不及天一亮就出去探险一番.现在才八点半,我已经打算吹熄蜡烛睡觉去.农场的人五点起床.你有听过这么好玩的事吗?我不敢相信这真的是茱蒂.你和上帝所给予我的,远超过我应得的.我必须做一个非常非常非常好的人才足以回报.我会的,你等著看吧.

晚安,
茱蒂

PS.你真该听听青蛙的歌声和猪叫声,你还该看看这新月,我从右肩望出去就瞧见了.

柳树农场
七月十二日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

你的秘书怎么会知道柳树农场呢?(这不是一个修辞的问题.我真的很好奇.)因为,听好了:农场以前的主人是哲维潘得敦先生,现在他把农场送给山普夫妇,山普太太是他小时候的褓姆.你有听过这么好玩的巧合吗?她依然称他为“哲维少爷”,而且还说他小时候有多讨人喜欢.她有一繓他小时候的卷发,收起来放在盒子里,他的头发是红色的,至少看起来是红的.

自从她发现我认识他之后,我在她心目中的地位立刻大大的提高了.认识潘得敦家族的成员,在农场这是最佳的自我介绍.哲维少爷是全家的精华人物,很开心的在此宣布茱莉亚属于不优秀的分枝.

农场的生活一天比一天有趣.昨天我坐了干草马车.我们有三只大猪和九只小猪,你真该看看他们的吃相,毕竟他们是猪啊.我们有一望无际的小鸡,鸭,火鸡和珠鸡.(注)当你可以住在农场,但却住在都市时,你一定开心不起来.

注:珠鸡让我想到我买的标裕的珍珠嫩鸡,不知道是不是同一种.猪则让我想到当时他们应该没有瘦肉精这种东西或问题吧?!

找鸡蛋是每日差事.昨天我从谷仓阁楼的一根柱子上跌下来,在我想要爬过一个被一只黑色母鸡偷走的巢时.我带着擦伤的膝盖进屋,山普太太一边帮我擦上金镂梅药膏并包扎起来,一边喋喋不休的说,“天啊!天啊!这好像才是昨天的事,哲维少爷也从同一根柱子上跌下来过,连膝盖擦伤的地方都一样.”

农场周围的景色是如此美丽.有一个山谷,一条河,还有无数的森林山丘,远方一座高高的蓝色山脉,美得让人心都要化了.

我们两周捣一次奶油.奶油放在一个春屋里,那是一栋石砌的房子,屋底有一条小河通过.这附近有一些农夫有奶油分离器,但我们不时兴这些时髦的玩意儿.也许在桶子捣奶油有点麻烦,但油质比较好所以值得.我们有六只小牛,我帮他们一一取了名字.

1. 西维亚,因为她是在森林出生的.(注1)

2. 雷斯比亚,以开德拉斯的笔名雷斯比亚命名.(注2)

3. 莎莉

4. 茱莉亚 - 一只有斑点的,不起眼的动物

5. 茱蒂 - 以我命名.

6. 长腿叔叔 - 你不会介意吧,Daddy?他是纯种泽西牛,性格讨喜.他的长相如下图.你可以发现他是多么的适合这个字.(注3)

注1:原文是Sylvia,有森林的意思.

注2:开德拉斯原文是Catullus,全名是Gaius Valerius Catullus(西元前82-52),罗马诗人.

注3:茱蒂画一只腿很长的小牛.

我还没有空开始我的不朽钜著,农场生活好忙碌.

永远的,
茱蒂

PS 我己经学会做甜甜圈

PS2 如果你想养鸡,容我推荐霸夫欧平顿鸡,他们的羽毛里没有刺.

PS3 真希望可以寄一小块我昨天捣的奶油给你.我是优秀的捣奶油女工.(注)

PS4 以下是一张洁若沙爱柏小姐的图片,未来的大作家,正在赶牛回家的路上.

周日
亲爱的长腿叔叔:

跟你说一件很有趣的事.昨天下午当我开始要写信给你时,才写了开头“亲爱的长腿叔叔”,突然想起来我答应要去摘一些黑莓晚餐时吃,所以我把信纸摊在桌上就出去了,当我今天开始要写信时,你知道信纸中间坐了只什么吗?一只真正的“长腿叔叔”蜘蛛!

我轻轻的抓住一只脚把它拎起来,放到窗外去.我怎么样也不会伤害任何一只,因为他们让我想到你.

今晨我们坐马车到城里的教堂.那是一间小巧可爱的,滚着白边的教堂,教堂前方是一个小尖塔和三根圆柱

牧师的讲道很美好,所以大家都一边听一边昏昏欲睡的摇着手中的棕榈叶扇子.除了牧师的声音外,只有外面树上吵闹的蝉声了.当我站起来唱圣歌时,我才发现我醒了.很懊恼没有听到讲道,因为我很想知道写了以下这段圣歌的人的心理状况.

来吧!离开你的玩乐和世俗的玩具
加入天堂般的喜乐
不然,亲爱的朋友,一个很长的道别
我要离开你,让你沈下地狱

我发现和山普夫妇讨论宗教不是一个安全的话题.他们的神(原封不动的继承自他们遥远的清教徒祖先)是一个心胸狭窄,没有理性,不公不平,恶毒,爱记恨,顽固的人.感谢上天我没有从任何人身上继承任何的神.我可以自由的想像我的神.他是一个充满仁慈,富有同情心,想像力丰富,心胸宽大而且善解人意的神,而且他还有幽默感.(注)

注:不知道茱蒂这段神的描述会不会得罪谁厚...

我好喜欢山普夫妇.他们的行为远远优于他们的理论.他们比他们信仰的神还要优秀.我这么跟他们说了,但却把他们吓坏了.他们觉得我对神明不敬,我觉得他们才对神明不敬.从此我们不再谈论宗教的话题.

现在是周日午后.

阿马萨(农场的男工)系著一条紫色的领带,手上是一双亮黄色的鹿皮手套,满脸通红而且刚刮过胡子.他和凯丽(农场的女仆)驾着马车出门.她带着一顶大大的有着玫瑰滚边的宽边帽,穿着一件蓝色的棉布洋装,头发卷卷的.阿马萨整个早上都在洗马车,而凯丽待在家没去教堂.表面上说要煮晚饭,实际上在烫她的棉布洋装.

再过两分钟等这封信写完了,我要好好的去读一本在阁楼发现的书.书名是“在路上”,内文前页有一个小男孩用好玩的潦草笔迹写着:

哲维潘得敦
如果本书四处游荡

赏它一记耳光然后把它送回家

他十一岁那年,因为生病来农场住了一个夏天,回家的时候没有把书带走.书看起来有被好好的读过,常常出现他脏兮兮的小手的笔迹.合楼角落有一个水车,一个风车,还有一些弓和箭.山普太太常提到他,我开始相信他真的存在 - 不是一个带着丝质帽子和走路手扙的人,而是一个可爱的,脏兮兮的,头发乱乱的小男孩,上楼梯时轻快的脚步声咚咚咚的很吵人,总是忘了关纱门,老吵着要吃饼干.(而且从没被拒绝,根据我对山普太太的了解.)看起来他以前有着充满冒险精神的小灵魂 - 既大胆又真实.我替他身为潘得敦家的一员感到遗憾,他应该是来自更棒的家庭.

明天要打谷;有一台蒸汽机和三个工人会过来.

在此很遗憾的跟你报告一只叫金凤花(注)的母牛(雷斯比亚的妈妈)做了一件很丢脸的事.星期五晚上她跑进果园吃了树下的苹果,一直吃一直吃,吃到苹果快从她的头顶满出来.有整整两天金凤花醉到不省牛事.我说的句句实言.你有听过这么丢脸的事吗?

充满感情的孤儿
茱蒂爱珀

PS 第一章有印第安人(注2).第二章是抢匪.那第三章是谁呢?我好紧张.红鹰(注2)跳离地面二十英呎,灰飞烟灭了.这是“在路上”内文前页的标题.茱蒂和哲维玩得挺开心的,不是吗?

注:这只母牛的英文原名是 Buttercup,放狗去查发现是一种叫毛莨的植物,也译做金凤花,我决定帮这母牛取一个比较台的名字.

注2:原文Indians也有可能是印度人,但我直觉是印第安人,因为红鹰Red Hawk听起来比较像是印第安人的名字.

九月十五日
亲爱的Daddy:

昨天我用镇上的杂货店量面粉的秤量体重.我已经重了九磅.(约四公斤).容我向你推荐最佳的健康养生村:柳树农场.

永远的,
茱蒂