字体设置:

2nd June 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 Adirondacks! 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 disposed of for the summer. Yours, In a VERY contented frame of mind, Judy

5th June 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 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 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 would get 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, for their house is made of rubber. When they have a lot of company, they just sprinkle tents about in the woods and turn the boys outside. 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.

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 Friday next 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'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 yo 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 picked up and moved about by an arbitrary, peremptory, unreasonable, omnipotent, invisible Providence, still, when a man has been as kind and generous and thoughtful as you have heretofore been towards 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 and 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 workroom fixed in a corner of the attic where Master Jervie used to have his rainy-day playroom. It's in a cool, breezy corner with two dormer windows, 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 August Mr. 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 comfortable crotch, 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 been having a dreadful time with my heroine--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 Heaven--do you remember Mr. Kellogg that I told you about last summer?--the minister of the little white church at the Corners. Well, the poor old soul is dead--last winter of pneumonia. I went half a dozen times to hear him preach and got very well acquainted with his theology. He believed to the end exactly the same things he started with. It seems to me that a man who can think straight along for forty-seven years without changing a single idea ought to be kept in a cabinet as a curiosity. I hope he is enjoying his harp and golden crown; 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 reading--Stevenson, mostly. He himself is more entertaining than any of the characters in his books; I dare say he made 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 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.'

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 to the 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 eight came back. We don't want to accuse anyone unjustly, but we 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 yellow-- a very ugly colour, but he says it will wear.

The Brewers have company this week; Mrs. Brewer's sister and two nieces from Ohio.

One of our Rhode Island Reds only brought off 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 Bonnyrigg Four Corners drank every drop of Jamaica ginger they had in stock--seven dollars' worth--before he was discovered.

Old Ira Hatch has rheumatism and can't work any more; he never saved his money when he was earning good wages, so now he has to live on the town.

There's to be an ice-cream social at the schoolhouse next 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, Judy

Friday

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, 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 flutter as we are in! The whole house is being cleaned and all the curtains washed. I am driving to the Corners this morning to get some new oilcloth for the entry, and two cans of brown floor paint for the hall and back stairs. Mrs. Dowd is engaged to come tomorrow to wash the 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 already immaculate; but I assure you it was! Whatever Mrs. Semple's limitations, she is a 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 two weeks from today. We shall live in a perpetual 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 buckboard and Grover. 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. 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 cents an errand. Yesterday he brought me some shoe-strings and 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 the Great 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 bother to write; I'll hear it anyway.

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 someone to talk to. Mrs. Semple, to tell you the truth, gets rather 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. Nothing else occurs to me at the moment--I'll try to write a longer letter next time. Yours always, Judy

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, too--he has 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 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 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 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. He's extremely nice with the farmers around here; he meets them in a sort of man-to-man fashion 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 rather amazing. He wears knickerbockers and pleated jackets and white flannels and riding clothes with puffed trousers. Whenever he comes down in anything new, Mrs. Semple, beaming with pride, walks around and views him from every angle, and urges him to be careful where he sits down; she is so afraid 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-legged as 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, and I've learned to fish with funny little flies made of feathers. Also to shoot with a rifle and a revolver. Also to ride horseback--there's an astonishing amount of life in old Grove. We fed him on oats for three days, and he shied at a calf and almost ran away with me.

Wednesday

We climbed Sky Hill Monday afternoon. That's a mountain near here; not an awfully high mountain, perhaps--no snow on the summit--but at least you are pretty breathless when you reach the top. The lower slopes are covered with woods, but the top is just piled rocks and open moor. We stayed up for the sunset and built a fire and cooked our supper. Master Jervie did the cooking; he said he knew how better than me and he did, too, because he's used to camping. Then we came down by moonlight, and, when we reached the wood trail where it was dark, by the light of an electric bulb that he had in 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 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.

Saturday

I started this letter ages ago, but I haven't had 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 plenty to go round, if you are only willing to take the kind that comes your way. The whole secret is in being PLIABLE. In the country, especially, there are such a lot of entertaining things. I can walk over everybody's land, and look at everybody's view, and dabble in everybody's brook; and enjoy it just as much as though I owned the land--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, so--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 ten in order to get to church by eleven.'

'Very well, Lizzie,' said Master Jervie, 'you have 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 keep the horses standing too long.'

Then while she was dressing, he told Carrie to pack up a lunch, and he told me to scramble into my walking clothes; and we slipped out the back way and went fishing.

It discommoded the household dreadfully, because Lock Willow of a Sunday dines at two. But he ordered dinner at seven--he orders meals whenever he chooses; you would think the place were a restaurant-- and that kept Carrie and Amasai from going driving. But he said it was all the better because it wasn't proper for them to go driving without a chaperon; and anyway, he wanted the horses himself 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 to a sizzling hot hell! She is awfully troubled to think that she didn't train him better when he was small and helpless and she had the chance. Besides--she wished to show him off in church.

Anyway, we had our fishing (he caught four little 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, but we ate them. We got home at four and went driving at five 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. 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 written when you were a boy? Stevenson only got thirty pounds for the serial rights--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 of Stevenson; 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 you in New York--I should think he might; you must move in about the same exalted 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! 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 places or ways of living, and then have them snatched away, it does leave an awfully empty, gnawing sort of sensation. I'm finding Mrs. Semple's conversation pretty unseasoned food.

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 with the most courteous promptitude. But I don't mind. It's good practice. Master Jervie read them--he brought in the post, so I couldn't help his knowing--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 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 queerest orange-coloured light over everything. We're going to have a storm.

It commenced just that moment with tremendously big drops and all the shutters banging. I had to run to close the windows, while Carrie flew to the attic with an armful of milk pans to put under the places where the roof leaks and then, just as I was resuming my pen, I remembered that I'd left a cushion and rug and hat and Matthew Arnold's poems under a tree in the orchard, so I dashed out to get them, all quite soaked. The red cover of the poems had run into the inside; 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 many things that are out of doors and getting spoiled.

Thursday

Daddy! 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 that will cover board and tuition. It was founded for 'marked proficiency in English 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 my Freshman 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 or tutoring 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.

六月二日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

你绝猜不到发生了什么好事.

麦克白家邀请我去他们家在阿帝朗德克斯的露营地过暑假.他们家是森林中一个可爱的小湖的某个俱乐部的成员.不同的成员拥有座落在林中的小木屋,大家在湖上划独木舟,从一个营地健行到另一个,每周在俱乐部跳一次舞 - 吉米麦克白的一个大学同学会来找他,可想而知我们会有蛮多男士可以共舞的.

麦克白太太邀请我去,她真是一个好人,不是吗?看起来我去麦克白家过耶诞时,她对我留下不错的印象.

请原谅这封信的简短.这并不算是一封信,只是让你知道我如何安排暑假.

非常满足的,
茱蒂

六月五日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

你的男秘书写信来说:史密斯先生希望妳不要接受麦克白太太的邀请,同时他希望妳如同去年夏天一样去柳树农场过暑假.

为什么?为什么?为什么,Daddy?

你不了解这件事的重要性.麦克白太太真心且真正的希望我去.我一点儿都不会造成他们的麻烦.相反的,我还可以帮上忙.他们不会带很多佣人去,而莎莉和我可以一起做好多有用的事.那是一个绝佳的机会让我学习如何打理一个家庭的家事.这是每个女人都必须会做的事,而我只知道如何打理孤儿院的家事.

营地里没有任何和我同龄的女孩,所以麦克白太太非常希望我可以去和莎莉作伴.我们计划要一起读好多书.我们要把明年的英文课和社会学的书先全部读过.教授说如果我们可以在暑假先把书读完,那是最好不过的事,而且如果我们一起读一起讨论,读书效果绝对会好很多.

光是和莎莉的母亲共居一室便是一种教育.她是这个世上最有趣,最令人感到愉快,最迷人的女士.她无所不知.想想看我和丽柏太太度过多少个暑假,以及我如何欣赏这两位女士之间的差异.你不需要害怕他们家会挤不下,因为他们的房子是橡胶做的.当他们有很多访客时,他们就在林中多搭几座帐篷,然后把男生赶到外面.那会是个每一分钟都很棒,很健康的夏日经验.吉米麦克白要教我如何骑马,划独木舟和射击 - 喔,好多我应该知道的事.那会是我从未拥有过的开心快活无忧无虑的时光;而且我认为每个女孩一生至少要有一回这样的时光.当然我会听你的话,但是求求你让我去吧,Daddy.我从没有如此的想要一件东西.

这不是洁若莎爱柏,未来的大作家,在写信给你.这只是茱蒂 - 一个女孩.

六月九日

强史密斯先生:

先生,接获你的第七道指示.顺从你透过你的秘书所传递的指示,我会在下周五出发前往柳树农过暑假.

希望我永远是,
洁若莎爱柏(小姐)
       
注:唉,长腿叔叔怎么这么狠心的拒绝茱蒂的请求啊?!真是太狠心了!

柳树农场

八月三日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

距离上一封信已经有两个月了.我知道我不该这样,但是这个暑假我并没有很爱你 - 你瞧,我是坦白的.

你无法想像放弃麦克白家的帐篷我有多失望.我当然知道你是我的监护人,而且所有的事情我都得尊重你的想法,但我却找不到任何理由.那是一件确确实实的好事.如果我是你,而你是我,我会说:去吧,我的孩子,去享受那快乐的时光;去认识很多新朋友和新事物;住在户外,锻炼身体,认真读了一年书之后,妳需要好好的休息.“

但事实完全相反.只有来自你的秘书一行礼貌的措词,命令我去柳树农场.

让我觉得受伤的是你不近人情的指示.如果你对我的感觉,有我对你的感觉的千万分之一,你会偶尔捎给我一些亲手写的讯息,而不是透过那可恶的打字机.如果有最最微小的暗示让我知道你在乎我,我会愿意做任何事取悦你.

我知道我的责任是好好的写信,交待学习与生活细节,而且永远都别奢望会得到你的回信.这件交易你是完全占上风的那一方 - 送我来受教育这件交易 - 而且我想你觉得我并没有遵守我的交易规则.

但是,Daddy,这是一件好难的交易,真的好难好难.我好孤单.你是我唯一在乎的人,但你却是这么的模糊不清.你只是一个我想像出来的人物 - 而且真实的你可能跟我所想像的完全不同.不过你的确有捎来过一次讯息,当我住院时.现在在我觉得自己被世界遗忘时,我就拿出你的卡片来读.

我想我还没有告诉你我想说的话,如下.

虽然我还是觉得很受伤,因为被一个专制的,武断的,无理的,万能的,看不见的天神操纵是很不光彩的;但是,当有一个人对我仁慈,大方,体贴如你,我想他有权选择做一个专制的,武断的,无理的,万能的,看不见的天神.所以,我会原谅你,并且再度开心起来.不过每当莎莉写信来说他们在营区有多开心时,我还是无法开心的读她的信.

总之,这件事就此打住,让我们重新开始.

这个暑假我一直不断的在写作;已完成四篇短故事并寄给四家杂志社.你瞧,我很努力的在成为作家.阁楼一角是我的工作室,以前那儿是哲维少爷雨天的游戏间.那是一个凉风徐徐的角落,有两扇天窗(图),一棵住着一家子松鼠住在一个洞的枫树遮住了夏日艳阳.

我会再好好的写一封信,跟你报告农场的大小事.

我们需要雨.

一如以往的,
茱蒂

八月十日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

先生:我从草原池塘边柳树上的第二根树枝写信给你.树下有一只青蛙在呱呱叫,一只蝗虫在我头上方鼓譟,还有两只小鸟沿着树干跳上跳下的.我已经在这儿待了一小时,这是一根很棒的树枝,尤其是我在背后放了两个靠枕的情况下.我带着一支笔和一个写字板爬上来,希望写一个不朽的故事,但女主角的部份让我窒碍难行 - 我没有办法要求她照我的方式去做;所以我暂时放弃她,转而写信给你.(不过也起不了多少调剂的作用,因为我也无法要求你照我的方式去做.)

如果你现在身处于可怕的纽约,那我希望我可以送你一些这儿美丽的,凉风徐徐的阳光景致.在下了一周的雨之后,这儿简直就是天堂.

说到天堂,你记得去年暑假我跟你提过的克罗格先生吗?就是柯尔奈尔镇上的白色小教堂的牧师.老先生去年过世了 - 因为肺炎.我去听过他的讲道几次,对他的宗教理论非常熟悉.他认为人生的尽头和起头是完全一样的.我觉得一个活了四十七年却没有改变过任何想法的人,值得被装在盒子里加以珍藏.我希望他快乐的享受他的竖琴和金色皇冠;他是那么的肯定可以上天堂.有一个新来的年青人,非常的积极上进,接手他的位子.信徒们充满疑惑,尤其是迪肯康明斯带领的那群.看来教堂好像要分裂了.在这个地方,我们并不在乎宗教方面的创新.

上周的雨天,我待在阁楼沈溺于阅读中 - 大部份的时间在读史帝文生.他本人比他书中的任何人都还要有意思;我敢说他把自己化身为那种在书里面看起来会很棒的男主角;你不认为他把他父亲留给他的一万英磅,拿去买了一艘游艇,航行到南方的海洋,是一件再完美不过的事吗?他用生活实践他的冒险信念.如果我的父亲有留下一万英磅给我,我也会做相同的事.

周四黄昏,坐在门口阶梯上

不知道要在这封信中放入什么消息.茱蒂最近变得很哲学,她希望大量讨论世事,而不是描述生活细节.不过如果你坚持要知道些什么消息,那么如下.

上周二我们的九只小猪越过小河逃跑了,只有八只回家.我们不想不公平的指控任何人,但怀疑寡妇道德(注)多了一只不该属于她的小猪.

注:寡妇道德的原文是 Widow Dowd,也只能这样翻了啊,不然勒?

威佛先生把他的谷仓和两个粮糟刷上鲜艳的南瓜色油漆 - 一个非常难看的颜色,但他坚持日子久了会褪色.

布鲁尔家本周有访客:布鲁尔太太的妹妹和两个外娚从俄亥俄州来访.

有一只罗德岛红鸡从十五个鸡蛋中只孵出三只小鸡.我们想不出哪里不对劲.依我之见,罗德岛红鸡不是优秀的品种,我个人偏好霸夫欧平顿鸡种.

柯尔奈尔镇上邮局的新员工把库存的牙买加姜酒(注)喝得一滴不剩 - 价值七美元 - 在他东窗事发前.

注:查据维基百科牙买加姜酒的酒精浓度高达70-80%,这位新员工真是好样的.

艾拉海契老先生得了风湿,再也无法上工了;当他收入好时他从没存过一毛钱,所以现在他得住到镇上去.

下周六晚上这儿的学校有冰淇淋聚会.欢迎你带家人前来参加.

我用二十五分钱在邮局买了一顶新帽子.以下是我最新的自画像,在我去耙稻草的路上.

天色渐黑快看不到我写的字了,而且可报告的都已报告完毕.

晚安,
茱蒂

周五

早安.有新消息可以报告了.你知道吗?你绝对绝对猜不到谁要来柳树农场.潘得敦先生捎来一封信给山普太太.他正在开车越过柏克邵途中,他很疲倦,想找个安静的农场休息 - 如果他在某个晚上出现在她门口,她会为他备好一间房吗?也许他会待个一周,也许两周,或许三周,视他到达时的疲惫程度而定.

我们都兴奋极了.整间房子正在被彻底打扫中,所有窗帘清洗中.我待会要驾马车去柯尔奈尔为农场入口处买新的油布,还要买两罐咖啡色地板漆用来漆走廊和后面的楼梯.道德太太明天要来帮忙洗窗户(在这紧急时刻,我们只得抛弃对于她平白多了一只小猪的怀疑).从我们的忙碌状况来判断,也许你会觉得房子其实并非时时一尘不染.那你就错了,不管山普太太的极限何在,她毕竟是个不折不扣的家庭主妇啊!

你不觉得男人就是这样吗,Daddy?他没有投下任何可供参考的暗示,我们完全不知道他会是在今天,或是两个月后出现在门口.在他到达之前,我们是无法轻松呼吸的 - 而且如果他再不快点来,我们可能得从头再打扫一遍.

阿马萨,老马葛列佛及马车在楼下等我.我要独自驾车进镇上去 - 不过如果你看到葛列佛有多老的话,你是不会担心我的安全的.

我的手放在心上 - 再会了

茱蒂

PS 这不是很棒的结语吗?我从史帝文生的信学来的.

周六

再一次的跟你说早安.昨天邮差来之前这封信还没装入信封,所以我要再补充一些.我们每天收到一次邮件,在中午十二点时.在乡村收邮件对农夫是一件大事.我们的邮差并不是只有帮我们送信而已,他还会帮我们到镇上跑腿办事,一件事收费五分钱.昨天他帮我买了鞋带和一罐冷霜(我鼻子被晒到脱皮,所以才买了帽子),一条蓝色领带,和一罐黑鞋油,全部只收十分钱.这是一件不平常的好买卖,基于我的订单规模不小的缘故.

同时,他还会顺道告诉我们这伟大的世界最近的大新闻.在他送信的路线上有好几户人家有订报,他一边跑步送信一边读报(注),然后把新闻口述给没订报的人家听.所以如果美日爆发战争,或是总统被暗杀,或是洛克斐勒先生捐了一百万给孤儿院,不需你告知我也会知道.

注:我觉得这位邮差去参加马拉松一定名列前芧.

还没有哲维少爷到达的迹象.但是你真该看看我们的房子有多干净 - 以及每次进屋前我们是多么焦虑的在擦脚.

我希望他快点来;我渴望有交谈的对象.老实说,山普太太蛮单调乏味的.在她的谈话中,她从不让任何新想法打断她简单的思绪.这是这个地方的人有趣之处.这个山丘是他们的全世界.他们见不多也识不广,和孤儿院一模一样.在那儿我们的想法被孤儿院四周围起来的篱笆排除在外;只不过当时我并不是那么在意,因为我年纪还小,而且非常忙碌.在我把所有的床铺整理好,把我负责的小孩的脸洗干净,然后他们上学去,回到院里,再次帮他们洗脸,补他们的袜子,缝佛莱迪的裤子(他每天都把裤子弄破),在这当中抽空读书之后 - 我已经只想上床睡觉,完全没有意识到我所缺乏的社交互动.但是在一个话多的大学待了两年后,我真的想念那儿的话多;而且我会乐于见到跟我说相同语言的人.

我相信这回我真的是写完这封信了,Daddy.此刻没有任何其他的事情发生 - 下次我会写一封长信.

永远的,
茱蒂

PS 今年的莴苣收成一点也不好,因为雨水少的缘故.

八月二十五日

哲维少爷来了.我们共度开心的时光.至少我是这么觉得的,我想他也是 - 他已经来十天了,还没有任何离开的迹象.山普太太宠那个男人的方式真是令人难为情啊!如果他小时候山普太太就是这么的纵容他,真不知道他是如何长成一个好人的.


他和我在屋侧走廊的一张小桌子吃饭,有时候在树下 - 下雨或天冷的时候 - 我们在草原最棒的区域吃饭.他随心所欲的挑出想要吃饭的地方,凯莉得拎着桌子在他身后小跑步跟着.如果那是件讨人厌的差事,而且她得把菜搬到老远的地方,她就会在糖罐下发现一块钱.

他是一个很好相处的人,不过你初见他时不会这么觉得.他给人的第一印象是非常潘得敦的,但实际上他一点也不.他简单,自然,讨人喜欢 - 虽然这样子描写一个男人好像挺滑稽的,但他真的是一个这样子的人.他对这附近的农夫都非常好;他用一种男人对男人的方式和他们互动,让他们立刻便卸下防备.一开始他们对他是有所保留的.他们不喜欢他的穿着.我觉得他的穿着蛮有意思的.他穿灯笼裤,打折外套,法兰绒长裤,骑马装和泡泡裤.每回他穿着新衣服出现,山普太太总是露出骄傲的笑容,绕着他转的打量他;每当他要坐下时,她总是不厌其烦的提醒他小心别弄脏衣服;他被她烦死了,总是跟她说:

“妳去忙吧,丽姿,妳管不动我了,我已经长大了.”

想到这个长腿的高个子男人(他的腿几乎和你一样长,Daddy),以前曾经是坐在山普太太腿上的被擦脸的小男孩就觉得很有趣.当你看到她的腿时,那可就更有趣了.她现在大腿是以前的两倍粗,还有三个下巴.但他说她以前可是又瘦又结实又敏捷,跑得比他还快呢!

我们做了好多的冒险.我们探索乡村,我用滑稽的羽毛钓钩学钓鱼,用来福枪和手枪学打猎.我还学骑马 - 没想到老马葛列佛力气还挺惊人的.我们喂牠吃三天的燕麦,牠被一头小牛吓到,带着我和牠一起逃跑.

周三

周一下午我们爬上天空之丘.那是一座靠近这儿的山,也许不高 - 山顶没有积雪 - 但是山顶的景色很迷人.山顶下的斜坡被树木覆蓋,但山顶是开濶的草原和岩石堆.我们在上面等日落,升起了火煮晚饭.哲维少爷负责煮;他说他比我懂烹饪,而且他真的比我懂,因为他常去露营.我们就著月光下山,到达树林中的小路时天色已暗,我们就着他的手电筒的亮光前进(注).好有趣.他一路上不停的说笑,说了好多有趣的事情.他读过所有我读过的书,还有读过很多我没读过的.他的博学多闻令人吃惊.

注:原文的手电筒是 an electric bulb,我在想是不是应该翻译成手电筒呢,但那时已经有手电筒了吗?维基百科说手电筒发明于1896年,本书出版于1912,所以大胆假设an electric bulb是手电筒.

今天早上我们去健行,却被大雨困住.到家时我们的衣服都湿透了(注),但我们的精神却一点湿气也没沾上.当我们湿淋淋的一路滴著水进去厨房时,你真该看看山普太太的表情.

注:这种被雨困住的情节,最适合拿来写罗曼史了.

“喔,哲维少爷 - 茱蒂小姐!瞧你们湿成这样!我该拿你们怎么办啊?那件漂亮的新大衣看来是报销了.”

她真是有意思极了;你会以为我们只有十岁,而她是一个抓狂的妈妈.有那么一会我还担心她会罚我们没有果酱好配茶呢!

周六

我好久以前就开始写这封信,但一直没有时间写完.

史帝文生的想法很棒,不是吗?

这个世界充满许多事物,

我相信我们都该如国王般开心.

这是真的,你知道的.这个世界真是充满乐趣,而且有那么多地方可以去,如果你愿意的话.唯一的秘诀是要有弹性.尤其是在这乡间,有这么多值得一看的地方.我可以穿越任何人的土地,欣赏任何人家的风景,在任何人家的小溪玩水;开心的享受这一切,仿佛这土地属于我一般 - 而且还不用付税.

现在是周日晚,快要十一点,我应该去睡美容觉,但晚餐喝了黑咖啡,所以 - 没有美容觉了.

今早山普太太用很坚定的语气跟潘得敦先生说:

“我们得在十点一刻出门,才能在十一点之前到教堂.”

“好的,丽姿,”哲维少爷说.“妳把马车备好,如果我还没有准备好,你们就先去不用等我.”

“我们会等你的,”她说.

“随便妳,”他说.“不过别让马站太久.”

然后当她在换衣服时,他要凯莉包一些午餐,叫我去换外出服;接着我们便从后门溜去钓鱼了.

他的习惯造成柳树农场的不便,因为周日我们都两点用餐.但他却要求在七点吃晚餐 - 他随心所欲的选择吃饭的时间;你会以为柳树农场是家餐厅 - 他让凯莉和阿马萨忙得团团转.但他说这样才好,他们可以理直气壮的一起外出;而且他要用马,因为他要带我驾马车.你有听过这么好玩的事吗?

可怜的山普太太深信周日去钓鱼的人以后会下火热的地狱.她非常自责没有把哲维少爷教好,在他还幼小无助,而她尚有机会的时候.况且 -她想要带他去教堂炫耀一番.

总之,我们去钓了鱼(他钓到四条小鱼),我们就著营火把鱼烤来当午餐吃了.鱼一直从叉子上掉到火堆里,所以吃起来灰灰的,但我们还是把鱼都吃了.我们四点到家,五点驾马车出游,七点吃晚餐,十点我被赶上床,所以此刻我正在写信给你.

不过我有点困了.

晚安

这是我抓到的其中一条鱼,我画的.(注)

注:茱蒂画了一只乌龟.

嗨,长腿船长:(注)

注:原文 ship ahoy的ship 是船,ahoy 则是hail,是打招呼的意思.所以ship ahoy是船员彼此打招呼的措词.

停船!上绳!悠厚厚,来瓶兰姆酒吧!(注1)猜猜看我最近在读哪本书?过去两天我们的对话充满海洋及海盗术语.金银岛真有意思.你有读过吗?作者写这本书时你还是小孩吗?(注2)这本书的版权史帝文生只卖了三十英磅 - 我想就算是大作家也赚不了什么钱.也许我会去当老师.

注1:原文的avast, belay都是航海用语.Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum则是金银岛原著小说海盗的口头禅.

注2:金银岛出版于1883,本书出版于1912.

请原谅我的信中充满史帝文生,目前我满脑子都被他占据.柳树农场的书房有他的书.

这封信我已经写了两周,我想应该有够长了.别说我没有详尽的报告细节,Daddy.真希望你也在这里;我们一定可以共度许多开心的时光.我希望我的朋友可以互相认识.我想问潘得敦先生是否认识也住在纽约的你 - 我觉得他应该认识你;你们一定有在相同的社交圈走动,而且你们都热衷于改革那一类的事物 - 但是我无法问他,因为我不知道你的真名.

不知道你的名字这件事,是我听过最傻的事.丽柏太太有警告过我,说你很古怪.我想她是对她.

爱你的,

茱蒂

PS 再读了一次这封信,发现并不尽然全是史帝文生.有一回,或两回,不经意的提到了哲维少爷.

九月十日

亲爱的Daddy:

他离开了,我们都很想念他.当你习惯了某些人,地方或生活方式,然后离开了他们,总是会留下一些糟糕的,空洞的,啃蚀人心的感觉.我发现山普太太的谈话好像是没有加调味料的食物.

再两周就开学了,回到学校读书是件开心的事.不过这个夏天我也是孜孜不倦的在工作著 - 六个短篇故事加上七首诗.我全寄去给杂志社,但收到了最有礼的拒绝.不过我不在乎.那是很好的练习.哲维少爷读了我全部的作品 - 是他把邮件拿进来的,所以无法不让他知道 - 而且他说我的作品很糟.从我的作品中他完全不知道我在写些什么.(哲维少爷是不让礼貌干预真相的.)但我写的最后那个作品 - 背景是在学校 - 他说还不错,而且用打字机打出来,然后我寄去给一家杂志社.他们已经收到两周了,也许他们有在考虑接受我的文章.

你真该看看这里的天空!最诡异的橘光笼罩一切.一场暴风雨即将来临.

巨大的雨滴开始落下,所有的百叶窗都在碰碰作响.我得去把窗户关起来,而凯莉抱着一堆装牛奶的锅子飞奔到阁楼,把锅子放在漏水的地方接水.正当我再度提起笔时,忽然想到我把一个抱枕,一条毯子和马修阿诺的诗集留在果园的一颗树下,所以我冲出去拿,不过全部的东西都湿透了.诗集的红色封面浸到书里;以后多佛海滩都会泡在粉红色的海浪中了.

乡村的暴风雨是非常扰人的.有那么多放在户外的东西因为风吹雨淋而遭受破坏.

星期四

Daddy! Daddy! 你知道吗?刚才邮差送了两封信来.

第一封:我的故事被接受了,稿费五十元.

所以我是个作家了.

第二封来自学校秘书,通知我获得一份为期两年的奖学金,包含食宿和学费.奖学金的发起人是一位校友,对象是“英文出色且各科成积亦优”的学生,而我获得了.我在离开学校前申请的,但完全没想到我会得到这份奖学金,因为我的大一数学和拉丁文成绩很糟.看起来我已经弥补了我的坏记录.我好开心喔,Daddy,因为我不再是你的大负担了.以后我只需要每月的零用钱,而且或许我可以借由当家教来赚取零用钱.

我好期待回到学校开始读书.

永远的,

洁若莎爱柏

“当大二生赢得比赛”的作者.书报摊均售,每份十分钱.