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BY JEAN WEBSTER
j4u/i^ C^ r>ZXK ENEMY
By JEAN WEBSTER
This is the appealing, unforgettable
story of "Judy," who grows up to seven-
teen in the John Greer Home For Or-
phans. Then a wealthy unknown, in
reality one of the directors of the home,
sends her to college, with plenty of pretty
clothes and pocket money, and Judy
takes to good times and culture with
Her letters to "Daddy Long-Legs,"
her unknown benefactor — kindle the
romance of his life and hers. When the
wealthy unknown falls in love with the
adorable Judy, now a cultured young
lady, she too discovers that he is some-
thing more than just a mysterious bene-
factor — a very human and lovable man.
GROSSET & DUNLAP Publishers
New York 10, N. Y.
GROSSET & DUNLAE
Copyright, 191 2, by
TfeE Century Coa^pany
Copyright, 1940, by
Jean McKinney Conner
Copyright, 191 2, by
The Curtis PuBusHiNG Company
All rights reserved. This bookj or parts
thereof y must not be reproduced in any
form ivithout permission of the publisher.
BOSTON PilBMC LIBRARy
larr wtth d. APPLBTON-oBimrRT oomi>A]S y
£«XNIED IN U^^
Blue Wednesday «... 21
The Letters of Miss Jerusha Abbott
to Mr. Daddy-Long-Legs Smith 31
Being descended from illustrious people has its ob-
vious disadvantages. One of these is the difficulty of
winning recognition for one's work entirely apart
from consideration of the conspicuous name of one's
ancestors. Jean Webster had the distinction of be-
longing to a famous family, but she constantly felt
that such an inheritance stood in the way of achieving
on her own merits. Her mother, Annie Clemens, was
a niece of Mark Twain and her father, Charles Luther
Webster, was a member of the publishing firm to
which Mark Twain once belonged. Bom and reared
in a literary atmosphere of this sort, she rather natu-
rally came by the gift of telling a good story, and of
course the quality of humor which permeates her
writing was inherent in her. Her mother was a south-
emer and her father a New Englander of British and
German lineage. Among her eminent forebears were
also Daniel Boone and Eli Whitney.
Jean Webster's real name was Alice Jane Chandler
Webster, the Jane being after Mark Twain's mother.
When she went to college, her room-mate's name was
also Alice, so Miss Webster was asked to take her
second name. But since to her Jane seemed a little old-
fashioned, she changed it to Jean and ever after went
by that name. She was bom in Fredonia, New York,
July 24, 1876, and her early school days were spent
there. Later she attended Lady Jane Grey School at
Binghamton, New York, from which she was gradu-
ated in 1896. At Vassar College, where she took her
degree in 190 1, she proved herself an able student but
a poor speller. Once upon being asked by a horrified
teacher, "On what authority do you spell thus?" she
She learned early to write easily and well. At college
she majored in English and economics and there began
to fit herself for a literary career. While a student, she
was not only correspondent for Poughkeepsie news-
papers but also a contributor of stories to the Vasstrr
Miscellany. Her work in economics meant visits to
institutions for delinquent and destitute children —
visits which impressed her greatly and directed her
imagination in her writing. Once while writing for
the newspaper, her imagination quite ran away with
her, and she converted some fanciful information into
a practical joke which nearly cost her the job.
She had great difficulty in getting her earliest stories
recognized, but once she had succeeded her fame
rapidly grew. After being graduated from college, she
became an independent writer, and her first venture
was to pubhsh a collection of stories which she had
written as a student. The book bore the title When
Fatty Went to College, and began the famous Patty
series which remains unmatched in this field.
Miss Webster traveled widely, spending much time
in Italy where during donkey rides in the mountains
she found the setting for Jerry Junior, Her Italian ex-
periences resulted also in The Wheat Princess which
she is said to have written while living with some nuns
in a convent in the Sabine Mountains. But her hap-
piest and most productive days were probably spent
in an old house at 55 West Tenth Street, New York,
for here she came in touch with life in Greenwich
Village where the social workers came to know her
and to love her.
During these days she was an indefatigable worker,
and the charm of her stories is due quite as much to
her ardor for application as to innate ability. She
spent long periods in writing her stories and then cut
them down to desired length. Concerning her at the
beginning of her Hterary career in New York one
critic said: "She was a sane and hopeful realist on her
way, it was predicted, to leadership, and was already
felt indirectly as a humanitarian. Her literary disci-
pline was diligent and practical; she experienced di-
rectly, wrote profusely, and cut ruthlessly." This last
fact is illustrated by the story of the Itahan boy who
used to work about Miss Webster's home and with
whom she used to enjoy talking in his native language.
Upon being asked if he had read Daddy -Long-Legs,
he repHed that he had, but it was discovered that he
really had read what the author had thrown into the
Of course Daddy -Long-Legs was inspired by Miss
Webster's love for children which was the basis for
her serious and critical interest in humanity. The
charm and friendliness of her personaUty carried great
influence to positions of importance which she con-
stantly held. Her particular interest was in improving
life in orphanages, a concern which is manifest in Dear
Enevty, and she likewise served on special committees
having to do with children and prison reform. Her
work among the prisoners at Sing Sing is particularly
creditable. Here she made friends with the prisoners
whom she often invited to call on her when they were
freed, jestingly warning them that her silver was but
On September 7, 19 15, Miss Webster was married
to Glenn Ford McICinney, a lawyer, after which her
life alternated between her Central Park home in New
York and a country estate in Tyringham, Massachu-
setts, where she and her husband enjoyed the mutual
hobby of raising ducks and pheasants. Her promising
career was not destined to continue, however, for she
died on June 11, 19 16, less than a year after her mar-
riage, and a day or two after the birth of her infant
daughter. In her memory there were appropriately
endowed a room at the Girls' Service League in New
York and a bed at the County branch of the New York
Orthopedic Hospital near White Plains.
The following passages help to make an interesting
picture of the character and habits of Jean Webster:
Jean Webster was in no sense a reformer. Daddy-
Long-Legs was the spontaneous creation of her brain,
inspired, no doubt, by her passionate love for children.
As a play, even more than in book form, it did more
good than a thousand tracts in pointing the need of
institutional reforms. Its effect was so immediate and
so widespread that the author found herself at the
center of a reform movement. As a result she wrote
her last published work, Dear Enemy, which, beneath
the light, engaging love-story that plays about the
surface, presents the last word in the care of depend-
ent children — a book destined to do more effective
service in behalf of these unfortunates than all the
treatises yet published. Such is the magic of person-
ality when combined with a seeing eye and a singing
pen. The names of her characters, whimsically
enough, she usually chose from the telephone-book,
but the characters themselves, were always taken from
life both in her fiction and in her play-writing.
She had evolved a thorough technic; she was master
of the tools she wrought with; and at the time of her
death she lacked only complete maturity of mind and
experience to achieve the great things she was poten-
tially capable of. As it is, what she left us will stand
the test of time, I believe, as the best of its kind.
Only a few intimates know of the wide benefac-
tions and the generous giving of time and thought
that filled the days of her busy life. But those who
have caught in her writings the friendliness and good
humor of her attitude toward life will not be surprised
to know that she lived as she wrote. And there is
poignant pathos in the fact that this sturdy optimist
who did so much in her later years for the cause of
childhood should at the last have given her life for a
little child. [D. Z. D. in The Century Magazine^ No-
vember, 19 16.]
It is a matter of opinion whether her writer's art
was more effective in the form of the novel or the
form of the play. But certain it is that she was crafts-
man enough to convert the one medium into the other,
and with a skill that showed mastery of both. It is
true that the dramatic form came to her mind the
more quickly for she had been a close student of the
technique of the drama, and it was her custom, at least
in her later work, to first cast her plot as a play, and
then convert it into the novel. It is in this wise that
Daddy -Long-Legs was fashioned.
It has been said of a distinguished modem that he
was too self-conscious to find the straight path to the
heart of a friend. The converse of this almost epito-
mizes Jean Webster's habit of thought, and habit of
action. Whatever her plan or purpose, whether it was
in work or friendship, the straight path without
shadow of self -consciousness was the one she followed.
And it was this characteristic that made those who
knew her best feel that all the work she had done thus
far was constructive and substantial, but that the
straight path led to wider fields, and that her next ten
years would have revealed the real purpose to which
she had directed herself.
To transilluminate the commonplace of life so that
faith, hope, and love shone through was Jean Webster's
special gift. Her dailyness revealed this, whether it
was in starting the machinery of her household; in
giving counsel to varied types of friends, for she dom-
inated whatever group she stayed among; in further-
ing some alleviation of another's sorrow, or securing
an adjustment for better ways in social conditions, her
vision carried through any darkness, and in every
situation she saw that this age-long trinity linked to-
gether made for the largest happiness to the greatest
number. In short, her philosophy of life. [Elizabeth
Gushing in The Vassar Quarterly, November, 19 16.]
The following sonnet in memory of Jean Webster
appeared in The Century Magazine, November, 19 16.
TO J. W.
Ruth Comfort Mitchell
Jean Webster went in golden glowing June,
Upon a full-pulsed, warm-breathed, vital day,
With rich achievement luring her to stay.
Putting her keen, kind pen aside too soon
In the ripe promise of her ardent noon.
Yet, sturdy-souled and whimsical and gay,
I think she would have chosen it that way,
On the high-hill note of her life's clear tune.
And while gray hearts grow green again with mirth,
And wakened joy and beauty go to find
The small, blue-ginghamed lonely ones of earth,
While charm and cheer and color work their will
In the glad gospel that she left behind,
She will be living, laughing with us still.
JEAN Webster's works
When Patty Went to College, 1903.
The Wheat Princess, 1905.
Jerry Junior, 1907.
The Four-Pools Mystery, 1908.
Much Ado About Peter, 1909.
Just Patty, 191 1.
Daddy -Long-Legs, 1 9 1 2 .
Asa (a play), 19 14.
Dear Enemy, 1915.
Pipes of Palestrina (an unpublished comedy).
The first Wednesday in every month was a Per-
fectly Awful Day — a day to be awaited with dread,
endured with courage and forgotten with haste.
Every floor must be spotless, every chair dustless, and
every bed without a wrinkle. Ninety-seven squirming
little orphans must be scrubbed and combed and but-
toned into freshly starched ginghams; and all ninety-
seven reminded of their manners, and told to say,
"Yes, sir," "No, sir," whenever a Trustee spoke.
It was a distressing time; and poor Jerusha Abbott,
being the oldest orphan, had to bear the brunt of it.
But this particular first Wednesday, like its predeces-
sors, finally dragged itself to a close. Jerusha escaped
from the pantry where she had been making sand-
wiches for the asylum's guests, and turned upstairs
to accomplish her regular work. Her special care was
room F, where eleven little tots, from four to seven,
occupied eleven little cots set in a row. Jerusha as-
sembled her charges, straightened their rumpled
frocks, wiped their noses, and started them in an
orderly and willing line toward the dining-room to
engage themselves for a blessed half hour with bread
and milk and prune pudding.
Then she dropped down on the window seat and
leaned throbbing temples against the cool glass. She
had been on her feet since five that morning, doing
everybody's bidding, scolded and hurried by a nervous
matron. Mrs. Lippett, behind the scenes, did not al-
ways maintain that calm and pompous dignity with
which she faced an audience of Trustees and lady
visitors. Jerusha gazed out across a broad stretch of
frozen lawn, beyond the tall iron paling that marked
the confines of the asylum, down undulating ridges
sprinkled with country estates, to the spires of the
village rising from the midst of bare trees.
The day was ended — quite successfully, so far as
she knew. The Trustees and the visiting committee
had made their rounds, and read their reports, and
drunk their tea, and now were hurrying home to their
own cheerful firesides, to forget their bothersome little
charges for another month. Jerusha leaned forward
watching with curiosity — and a touch of wistfulness
— the stream of carriages and automobiles that rolled
out of the asylum gates. In imagination she followed
first one equipage then another to the big houses
dotted along the hillside. She pictured herself in a fur
coat and a velvet hat trimmed with feathers leaning
back in the seat and nonchalantly murmuring "Home"
to the driver. But on the door-sill of her home the
picture grew blurred.
Jerusha had an imagination — an imagination, Mrs.
Lippett told her, that would get her into trouble if she
didn't take care — but keen as it was, it could not carry
her beyond the front porch of the houses she would
enter. Poor, eager, adventurous little Jerusha, in all
her seventeen years, had never stepped inside an ordi-
nary house; she could not picture the daily routine of
those other human beings who carried on their lives
undiscommoded by orphans.
You are ivan-ted
In the of-fice,
And I think you'd
Better hurry up!
Tommy Dillon who had joined the choir, came
singing up the stairs and down the corridor, his chant
growing louder as he approached room F. Jerusha
wrenched herself from the window and refaced the
troubles of life.
"Who wants me?" she cut into Tommy's chant
with a note of sharp anxiety.
Mrs. Lippett in the office^
And I think she^s mad.
Tommy piously intoned, but his accent was not
entirely malicious. Even the most hardened little
orphan felt sympathy for an erring sister who was
summoned to the office to face an annoyed matron;
and Tommy liked Jerusha even if she did sometimes
jerk him by the arm and nearly scrub his nose off.
Jerusha went without comment, but with two par-
allel lines on her brow. What could have gone wrong,
she wondered. Were the sandwiches not thin enough?
Were there shells in the nut cakes? Had a lady visitor
seen the hole in Susie Hawthorn's stocking? Had —
O horrors! — one of the cherubic little babes in her
own room F "sassed" a Trustee?
The long lower hall had not been lighted, and as she
came downstairs, a last Trustee stood, on the point of
departure, in the open door that led to the porte-
cochere. Jerusha caught only a fleeting impression of
the man — and the impression consisted entirely of tall-
ness. He was waving his arm toward an automobile
waiting in the curved drive. As it sprang into motion
and approached, head on for an instant, the glaring
headlights threw his shadow sharply against the wall
inside. The shadow pictured grotesquely elongated
legs and arms that ran along the floor and up the wall
of the corridor. It looked, for all the world, Hke a
huge, wavering daddy-long-legs.
Jerusha's anxious frown gave place to quick laugh-
ter. She was by nature a sunny soul, and had always
snatched the tiniest excuse to be amused. If one could
derive any sort of entertainment out of the oppressive
fact of a Trustee, it was something unexpected to the
good. She advanced to the office quite cheered by
the tiny episode, and presented a smiling face to Mrs.
Lippett. To her surprise the matron was also, if not
exactly smiling, at least appreciably affable; she wore
an expression almost as pleasant as the one she donned
"Sit down, Jerusha, I have something to say to
Jerusha dropped into the nearest chair and waited
with a touch of breathlessness. iVn automobile flashed
past the window; Mrs. Lippett glanced after it.
"Did you notice the gentleman who has just gone?"
"I saw his back."
"He is one of our most affluential Trustees, and has
given large sums of money toward the asylum's sup-
port. I am not at Hberty to mention his name; he ex-
pressly stipulated that he was to remain unknown."
Jerusha's eyes widened slightly; she was not ac-
customed to being summoned to the office to discuss
the eccentricities of Trustees with the matron.
"This gentleman has taken an interest in several of
our boys. You remember Charles Benton and Henry
Freize? They were both sent through college by Mr.
— er — this Trustee, and both have repaid with hard
work and success the money that was so generously
expended. Other payment the gentleman does not
wish. Heretofore his philanthropies have been di-
rected solely toward the boys; I have never been able
to interest him in the slightest degree in any of the
girls in the institution, no matter how deserving. He
does not, I may tell you, care for girls."
"No, m.a'am," Jerusha murmured, since some reply
seemed to be expected at this point.
"To-day at the regular meeting, the question of
your future was brought up."
Mrs. Lippett allowed a moment of silence to fall,
then resumed in a slow, placid manner extremely try-
ing to her hearer's suddenly tightened nerves.
"Usually, as you know, the children are not kept
after they are sixteen, but an exception was made in
your case. You had finished our school at fourteen,
and having done so well in your studies — not always,
I must say, in your conduct — it was determined to
let you go on in the village high school. Now you are
finishing that, and of course the asylum cannot be re-
sponsible any longer for your support. As it is, you
have had two years more than most."
Mrs. Lippett overlooked the fact that Jerusha had
w^orked hard for her board during those two years,
that the convenience of the asylum had come first
and her education second; that on days like the present
she was kept at home to scrub.
"As I say, the question of your future was brought
up and your record was discussed — ^thoroughly dis-
Mrs. Lippett brought accusing eyes to bear upon
the prisoner in the dock, and the prisoner looked
guilty because it seemed to be expected — ^not because
she could remember any strikingly black pages in her
*'Of course the usual disposition of one in your
place would be to put you in a position where you
could begin to work, but you have done well in school
in certain branches; it seems that your work in English
has even been brilliant. Miss Pritchard who is on our
visiting committee is also on the school board; she
has been talking with your rhetoric teacher, and made
a speech in your favor. She also read aloud an essay
that you had written entitled, *Blue Wednesday.' "
Jerusha's guilty expression this time was not as-
"It seemed to me that you showed Kttle gratitude
in holding up to ridicule the institution that has done
so much for you. Had you not managed to be funny
I doubt if you would have been forgiven. But fortu-
nately for you, Mr. , that is, the gentleman who
has just gone — appears to have an immoderate sense of
humor. On the strength of that impertinent paper, he
has offered to send you to college."
"To college?" Jerusha's eyes grew big.
Mrs. Lippett nodded.
"He waited to discuss the terms with me. They are
unusual. The gentleman, I may say, is erratic. He
believes that you have originality, and he is planning
to educate you to become a writer."
"A writer?" Jerusha's mind was numbed. She
could only repeat Mrs. Lippett's words.
"That is his wish. Whether anything will come of
it, the future will show. He is giving you a very
liberal allowance, almost, for a girl who has never had
any experience in taking care of money, too liberal.
But he planned the matter in detail, and I did not feel
free to make any suggestions. You are to remain here
through the summer, and Miss Pritchard has kindly
offered to superintend your outfit. Your board and
tuition will be paid directly to the college, and you
will receive in addition during the four years you are
there, an allowance of thirty-five dollars a month.
This will enable you to enter on the same standing as
the other students. The money will be sent to you by
the gentleman's private secretary once a month, and
in return, you will write a letter of acknowledgment
once a month. That is — ^you are not to thank him for
the money; he doesn't care to have that mentioned,
but you are to write a letter telling of the progress in
your studies and the details of your daily Hfe. Just
such a letter as you would write to your parents if
they were living.
"These letters will be addressed to Mr. John Smith
and will be sent in care of the secretary. The gentle-
man's name is not John Smith, but he prefers to re-
main unknown. To you he will never be anything
but John Smith. His reason in requiring the letters
is that he thinks nothing so fosters facility in literary
expression as letter-writing. Since you have no family
with whom to correspond, he desires you to write
in this way; also, he wishes to keep track of your
progress. He will never answer your letters, nor in
the slightest particular take any notice of them. He
detests letter-writing, and does not wish you to be-
come a burden. If any point should ever arise where
an answer would seem to be imperative — such as in
the event of your being expelled, which I trust will
not occur — ^you may correspond with Mr. Griggs, his
secretary. These monthly letters are absolutely ob-
ligatory on your part; they are the only payment
that Mr. Smith requires, so you must be as punctilious
in sending them as though it were a bill that you were
paying. I hope that they will always be respectful in
tone and will reflect credit on your training. You
must remember that you are writing to a Trustee of
the John Grier Home."
Jerusha's eyes longingly sought the door. Her head
was in a whirl of excitement, and she wished only to
escape from Mrs. Lippett's platitudes, and think. She
rose and took a tentative step backwards. Mrs. Lip-
pett detained her with a gesture; it was an oratorical
opportunity not to be slighted.
"I trust that you are properly grateful for this very
rare good fortune that has befallen you? Not many
girls in your position ever have such an opportunity
to rise in the world. You must always remember — "
"I — ye§, ma'am, thank you. I think, if that's all, I
must go and sew a patch on Freddie Perkins's trou-
The door closed behind her, and Mrs. Lippett
watched it with dropped jaw, her peroration in midair.
THE LETTERS OF
MISS JERUSHA ABBOTT
MR. DADDY-LONG-LEGS SMITH
2 1 5 Fergussen Hall,
Here I am! I traveled yesterday for four hours in
a train. It's a funny sensation isn't it? I never rode in
College is the biggest, most bewildering place — I
get lost whenever I leave my room. I will write you a
description later when I'm feeling less muddled; also
I will tell you about my lessons. Classes don't begin
until Monday morning, and this is Saturday night.
But I wanted to write a letter first just to get ac-
It seems queer to be writing letters to somebody
you don't know. It seems queer for me to be writing
letters at all — I've never written more than three or
four in my life, so please overlook it if these are not
a model kind.
Before leaving yesterday morning, Mrs. Lippett and
I had a very serious talk. She told me how to behave
all the rest of my life, and especially how to behave
toward the kind gentleman who is doing so much
for me. I must take care to be Very Respectful.
But how can one be very respectful to a person who
wishes to be called John Smith? Why couldn't you
have picked out a name with a Httle personality? I
might as well write letters to Dear Hitching-Post or
I have been thinking about you a great deal this
summer; having somebody take an interest in me after
all these years, makes me feel as though I had found
a sort of family. It seems as though I belonged to
somebody now, and it's a very comfortable sensation.
I must say, however, that when I think about you,
my imagination has very little to work upon. There
are just three things that I know:
L You are tail.
IL You are rich.
IIL You hate girls.
I suppose I might call you Dear Mr. Girl-Hater.
Only that's sort of insulting to me. Or Dear Mr. Rich-
Man, but that's insulting to you, as though money
were the only important thing about you. Besides,
being rich is such a very external quality. Maybe you
won't stay rich all your life; lots of very clever men
get smashed up in Wall Street. But at least you will
stay tall all your life! So I've decided to call you Dear
Daddy-Long-Legs. I hope you won't mind. It's just
a private pet name — ^we v^on't tell Mrs. Lippett.
The ten o'clock bell is going to ring in two minutes.
Our day is divided into sections by bells. We eat and
sleep and study by bells. It's very enlivening; I feel
like a fire horse all of the time. There it goes! Lights
out. Good night.
Observe with what precision I obey rules — due to
my training in the John Grier Home.
Yours most respectfully,
To Mr, Daddy-Long-Legs Smith
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
I love college and I love you for sending me — ^I'm
very, very happy, and so excited every moment of the
time that I can scarcely sleep. You can't imagine how
different it is from the John Grier Home. I never
dreamed there was such a place in the world. I'm
feeling sorry for everybody who isn't a girl and who
can't come here; I am sure the college you attended
when you were a boy couldn't have been so nice.
My room is up in a tower that used to be the con-
tagious ward before they built the new infirmary.
There are three other girls on the same floor of the
tower — a Senior who wears spectacles and is always
asking us please to be a little more quiet, and two
Freshmen named Sallie McBride and Julia Rutledge
Pendleton. Sallie has red hair and a turn-up nose and
is quite friendly; Julia comes from one of the first
families in New York and hasn't noticed me yet.
They room together and the Senior and I have singles.
Usually Freshmen can't get singles; they are very
scarce, but I got one without even asking. I suppose
the registrar didn't think it v^ould be right to ask a
properly brought-up girl to room with a foundling.
You see there are advantages!
My room is on the northwest corner with two
windows and a view. After you've lived in a ward
for eighteen years with twenty room-mates, it is rest-
ful to be alone. This is the first chance I've ever had
to get acquainted with Jerusha Abbott. I think I'm
going to like her.
Do you think you are?
They are organizing the Freshman basket-ball team
and there's just a chance that I shall make it. I'm little
of course, but terribly quick and wiry and tough.
While the others are hopping about in the air, I can
dodge under their feet and grab the ball. It's loads of
fun practising — out in the athletic field in the after-
noon with the trees all red and yellow and the air full
of the smell of burning leaves, and everybody laugh-
ing and shouting. These are the happiest girls I ever
saw — and I am the happiest of all!
I meant to write a long letter and tell you all the
things I'm learning (Mrs. Lippett said you wanted to
know) but yth hour has just rung, and in ten minutes
Fm due at the athletic field in gymnasium clothes.
Don't you hope I'll make the team?
P.S. (9 o'clock.)
Sallie McBride just poked her head in at my door.
This is what she said:
"Fm so homesick that I simply can't stand it. Do
you feel that way?"
I smiled a little and said no, I thought I could pull
through. At least homesickness is one disease that
Fve escaped! I never heard of anybody being asylum-
sick, did you?
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Did you ever hear of Michael Angelo?
He was a famous artist who lived in Italy in the
Middle Ages. Everybody in English Literature
seemed to know about him and the whole class
laughed because I thought he was an archangel. He
sounds like an archangel, doesn't he? The trouble
with college is that you are expected to know such
a lot of things you've never learned. It's very embar-
rassing at times. But now, when the girls talk about
things that I never heard of, I just keep still and look
them up in the encyclopedia.
I made an awful mistake the first day. Somebody
mentioned Maurice Maeterlinck, and I asked if she
was a Freshman. That joke has gone all over college.
But anyway, I'm just as bright in class as any of the
others — and brighter than some of them!
Do you care to know how I've furnished my room?
It's a symphony in brown and yellow. The wall was
tinted buff, and I've bought yellow denim curtains and
cushions and a mahogany desk (second hand for three
dollars) and a rattan chair and a brown rug with an
ink spot in the middle. I stand the chair over the spot.
The windows are up high; you can't look out from
an ordinary seat. But I unscrewed the looking-glass
from the back of the bureau, upholstered the top, and
moved it up against the window. It's just the right
height for a window seat. You pull out the drawers
like steps and walk up. Very comfortable!
SalHe McBride helped me choose the things at the
Senior auction. She has lived in a house all her life
and knows about furnishing. You can't imagine what
fun it is to shop and pay with a real five-dollar bill
and get some change — ^when you've never had more
than a nickel in your life. I assure you, Daddy dear,
I do appreciate that allowance.
Sallie is the most entertaining person in the world —
and Julia Rutledge Pendleton the least so. It's queer
what a mixture the registrar can make in the matter
of room-mates. Sallie thinks everything is funny —
even flunking — and Julia is bored at everything. She
never makes the slightest effort to be amiable. She
beheves that if you are a Pendleton, that fact alone
admits you to heaven without any further examina-
tion. Julia and I were bom to be enemies.
And now I suppose you've been waiting very im-
patiently to hear what I am learning?
L Latin: Second Punic war. Hannibal and his
forces pitched camp at Lake Trasimenus last night.
They prepared an ambuscade for the Romans, and
a battle took place at the fourth watch this morning.
Romans in retreat.
IL French: 24 pages of the "Three Musketeers"
and third conjugation, irregular verbs.
IIL Geometry: Finished cylinders; now doing
IV. English: Studying exposition. My style im-
proves daily in clearness and brevity.
V. Physiology: Reached the digestive system. Bile
and the pancreas next time. Yours, on the way to
P.S. I hope you never touch alcohol. Daddy?
It does dreadful things to your liver.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Fve changed my name.
I'm still "Jerusha" in the catalogue, but I'm "Judy"
every place else. It's sort of too bad, isn't it, to have
to give yourself the only pet name you ever had?
I didn't quite make up the Judy though. That's what
Freddie Perkins used to call me before he could talk
I wish Mrs. Lippett would use a little more ingenu-
ity about choosing babies' names. She gets the last
names out of the telephone book — you'll find Abbott
on the first page — and she picks the Christian names
up anywhere; she got Jerusha from a tombstone. I've
always hated it; but I rather like Judy. It's such a silly
name. It belongs to the kind of girl I'm not — a sweet
little blue-eyed thing, petted and spoiled by all the
family, who romps her way through life without any
cares. Wouldn't it be nice to be like that? Whatever
faults I may have, no one can ever accuse me of having
been spoiled by my family! But it's sort of fun to
pretend I've been. In the future please always address
me as Judy.
Do you want to know something? I have three
pairs of kid gloves. I've had kid mittens before from
the Christmas tree, but never real kid gloves with five
fingers. I take them out and try them on every little
while. It's all I can do not to wear them to classes.
(Dinner bell. Good-by.)
What do you think, Daddy? The English instruc-
tor said that my last paper shows an unusual amount
of originality. She did, truly. Those were her words.
It doesn't seem possible, does it, considering the eight-
een years of training that I've had? The aim of the
John Grier Home (as you doubtless know and heart-
ily approve of) is to turn the ninety-seven orphans
into ninety-seven twins.
The unusual artistic ability which I exhibit, was
developed at an early age through drawing chalk pic-
tures of Mrs. Lippett on the woodshed door.
I hope that I don't hurt your feeHngs when I criti-
cize the home of my youth? But you have the upper
hand, you know, for if I become too impertinent, you
can always stop payment on your checks. That isn't
Rear Elevation. Fyont Elevation
a very polite thing to say — ^but you can't expect me
to have any manners; a foundling asylum isn't a young
ladies' finishing school.
You know, Daddy, it isn't the work that is going
to be hard in college. It's the play. Half the time I
don't know what the girls are talking about; their
jokes seem to relate to a past that every one but me
has shared. I'm a foreigner in the world and I don't
understand the language. It's a miserable feeling. I've
had it all my life. At the high school the girls would
stand in groups and just look at me. I was queer and
different and everybody knew it. I could feel "John
Grier Home" written on my face. And then a few
charitable ones would make a point of coming up and
saying something polite. / hated every one of them —
the charitable ones most of all.
Nobody here knows that I was brought up in an
asylum. I told SaUie McBride that my mother and
father were dead, and that a kind old gentleman was
sending me to college — ^which is entirely true so far
as it goes. I don't want you to think I am a coward,
but I do want to be like the other girls, and that
Dreadful Home looming over my childhood is the one
great big difference. If I can turn my back on that
and shut out the remembrance, I think I might be
just as desirable as any other girl. I don't believe
there's any real, underneath difference, do you?
Anyway, Sallie McBride likes me!
I've just been reading this letter over and it sounds
pretty un-cheerful. But can't you guess that I have
a special topic due Monday morning and a review
in geometry and a very sneezy cold?
I forgot to mail this yesterday so I will add an in-
dignant postscript. We had a bishop this morning,
and ivhat do you think he said?
"The most beneficent promise made us in the Bible
is this, 'The poor ye have always with you.' They
were put here in order to keep us charitable."
The poor, please observe, being a sort of useful
domestic animal. If I hadn't grown into such a perfect
lady, I should have gone up after service and told
him what I thought.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs y
I've made the basket-ball team and you ought to
see the bruise on my left shoulder. It's blue and ma-
hogany with little streaks of orange. Julia Pendleton
tried for the team, but she didn't make it. Hooray!
You see what a mean disposition I have.
College gets nicer and nicer. I like the girls and
the teachers and the classes and the campus and the
Ju d \^ a t /(
things to eat. We have ice-cream twice a week and
we never have corn-meal mush.
You only wanted to hear from me once a month,
didn't you? And I've been peppering you w4th letters
every few days! But I've been so excited about all
these new adventures that I Trmst talk to somebody;
and you're the only one I know. Please excuse my
exuberance; I'll settle pretty soon. If my letters bore
you, you can always toss them into the waste-basket.
I promise not to write another till the middle of
Yours most loquaciously,
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Listen to what I've learned to-day:
The area of the convex surface of the frustum of a
regular pyramid is half the product of the sum of the
perimeters of its bases by the altitude of either of its
It doesn't sound true, but it is — ^I can prove it!
You've never heard about my clothes, have you,
Daddy? Six dresses, all new and beautiful and bought
for me — not handed down from somebody bigger.
Perhaps you don't realize what a climax that marks
in the career of an orphan? You gave them to me,
and I am very, very, very much obliged. It's a fine
thing to be educated — ^but nothing compared to the
dizzying experience of owning six new dresses. Miss
Pritchard who is on the visiting committee picked
them out — not Mrs. Lippett, thank goodness. I have
an evening dress, pink mull over silk (I'm perfectly
beautiful in that), and a blue church dress, and a din-
ner dress of red veiling with Oriental trimming
(makes me look like a Gipsy) and another of rose-
colored challis, and a gray street suit, and an every-
day dress for classes. That wouldn't be an awfully
big wardrobe for Julia Rutledge Pendleton, perhaps,
but for Jerusha Abbott — Oh, my!
I suppose you're thinking now what a frivolous,
shallow, little beast she is, and what a waste of money
to educate a girl?
But, Daddy, if you'd been dressed in checked ging-
hams all your life, you'd appreciate how I feel. And
when I started to the high school, I entered upon
another period even worse than the checked ging-
The poor box.
You can't know how I dreaded appearing in school
in those miserable poor-box dresses. I was perfectly
sure to be put down in class next to the girl who first
owned my dress, and she would whisper and giggle
and point it out to the others. The bitterness of
wearing your enemies' cast-off clothes eats into your
soul. If I wore silk stockings for the rest of my life,
I don't beheve I could obliterate the scar.
LATEST WAR BULLETIN!
News from the scene of Action.
At the fourth watch on Thursday the 13th of No-
vember, Hannibal routed the advance guard of the
Romans and led the Carthaginian forces over the
mountains into the plains of Casilinum. A cohort of
light armed Numidians engaged the infantry of Quin-
tus Fabius Maximus. Two battles and light skirmish-
ing. Romans repulsed with heavy losses.
I have the honor of being,
Your special correspondent from the
P.S. I know Fm not to expect any letters in return,
and I've been warned not to bother you with ques-
tions, but tell me. Daddy, just this once — ^are you
awfully old or just a little old? And are you perfectly
bald or just a little bald? It is very difficult thinking
about you in the abstract like a theorem in geometry.
Given a tall rich man who hates girls, but is very
generous to one quite impertinent girl, what does he
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
You never answered my question and it was very
ARE YOU BALD?
I have it planned exactly what
you look like — ^very satisfactorily —
until I reach the top of your head,
and then I am stuck. I can't decide
whether you have white hair or
black hair or sort of sprinkly gray
hair or maybe none at all.
Here is your portl'ait:
But the problem is, shall I add
Would you like to know what
color your eyes are?
They're gray, and your eyebrows stick out like a
porch roof (beetling, they're called in novels) and
your mouth is a straight line with a tendency to turn
down at the comers. Oh, you see, I know! You're a
snappy old thing with a temper.
I have a new unbreakable rule: never, never to
study at night no matter how many written reviews
are coming in the morning. Instead, I read just plain
books — I have to, you know, because there are eight-
een blank years behind me. You wouldn't believe,
Daddy, what an abyss of ignorance my mind is; I am
just realizing the depths myself. The things that most
girls with a properly assorted family and a home and
friends and a library know by absorption, I have never
heard of. For example:
I never read "Mother Goose" or "David Copper-
field" or 'Ivanhoe" or "Cinderella" or "Blue Beard"
or "Robinson Crusoe" or "Jane Eyre" or "AHce in
Wonderland" or a word of Rudyard Kipling. I didn't
know that Henry the Eighth was married more than
once or that Shelley was a poet. I didn't know that
people used to be monkeys and that the Garden of
Eden was a beautiful myth. I didn't know that R.L.S.
stood for Robert Louis Stevenson or that George Eliot
was a lady. I had never seen a picture of the "Mona
Lisa" and (it's true but you won't believe it) I had
never heard of Sherlock Holmes.
Now, I know all of these things and a lot of others
besides, but you can see how much I need to catch
up. And oh, but it's fun! I look forward all day to
evening, and then I put an "engaged" on the door
and get into my nice red bath robe and furry slippers
and pile all the cushions behind me on the couch and
light the brass student lamp at my elbow, and read and
read and read. One book isn't enough. I have four
going at once. Just now, they're Tennyson's poems
and "Vanity Fair" and Kipling's "Plain Tales" and
— don't laugh — "Little Women." I find that I am the
only girl in college who wasn't brought up on "Little
Women." I haven't told anybody though (that would
stamp me as queer). I just quietly went and bought
it with $1.12 of my last month's allowance; and the
next time somebody mentions pickled limes, I'll know
what she is talking about!
(Ten o'clock bell. This is a very interrupted let-
I have the honor to report fresh explorations in the
field of geometry. On Friday last we abandoned our
former works in parallelopipeds and proceeded to
truncated prisms. We are finding the road rough
and very uphill.
The Christmas holidays begin next week and the
trunks are up. The corridors are so cluttered that you
can hardly get through, and everybody is so bubbling
over with excitement that studying is getting left out.
I'm going to have a beautiful time in vacation; there's
another Freshman who lives in Texas staying behind,
and we are planning to take long walks and — if there's
any ice — learn to skate. Then there is still the whole
library to be read — and three empty weeks to do it in!
Good-by, Daddy, I hope that you are feeling as
happy as I am.
P. S. Don't forget to answer my question. If you
don't want the trouble of writing, have your secretary
telegraph. He can just say:
Mr. Smith is quite bald,
Mr. Smith is not bald,
Mr. Smith has white hair.
And you can deduct the twenty-five cents out of
Good-by till January — and a merry Christmas!
Toward the end of
the Christmas vacation.
Exact date unknown.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Is it snowing where you are? All the world that I
see from my tower is draped in white and the flakes
are coming down as big as pop-corn. It's late after-
noon — ^the sun is just setting (a cold yellow color)
behind some colder violet hills, and I am up in my
window seat using the last light to write to you.
Your five gold pieces were a surprise! Fm not used
to receiving Christmas presents. You have already
given me such lots of things — everything I have, you
know — that I don't quite feel that I deserve extras.
But I like them just the same. Do you want to know
what I bought with my money?
I. A silver watch in a leather case to wear on my
wrist and get me to recitations on time.
II. Matthew Arnold's poems.
III. A hot water bottle.
IV. A steamer rug. (My tower is cold.)
V. Five hundred sheets of yellow manuscript pa-
per. (Fm going to commence being an author pretty
VL A dictionary of synonyms. (To enlarge the
Vn. (I don't much like to confess this last item,
but I will.) A pair of silk stockings.
And now, Daddy, never say I don't tell all!
It was a very low motive, if you must know it,
that prompted the silk stockings. Julia Pendleton
comes into my room to do geometry, and she sits
cross legged on the couch and wears silk stockings
every night. But just wait — as soon as she gets back
from vacation I shall go in and sit on her couch in
my silk stockings. You see. Daddy, the miserable
creature that I am — ^but at least I'm honest; and you
knew already, from my asylum record, that I wasn't
perfect, didn't you?
To recapitulate (that's the way the English instruc-
tor begins every other sentence), I am very much
obliged for my seven presents. I'm pretending to my-
self that they came in a box from my family in Cali-
fornia. The watch is from father, the rug from
mother, the hot water bottle from grandmother —
who is always worrying for fear I shall catch cold in
this climate — and the yellow paper from my little
brother Harry. My sister Isobel gave me the silk
stockings, and Aunt Susan the Matthew Arnold
poems; Uncle Harry (little Harry is named for him)
gave me the dictionary. He wanted to send choco-
lates, but I insisted on synonyms.
You don't object, do you, to playing the part of a
And now, shall I tell you about my vacation, or are
you only interested in my education as such? I hope
you appreciate the delicate shade of meaning in "as
such." It is the latest addition to my vocabulary.
The girl from Texas is named Leonora Fenton.
(Almost as funny as Jerusha, isn't it? ) I like her, but
not so much as SaUie McBride; I shall never like any
one so much as Sallie — except you. I must always like
you the best of all, because you're my whole family
roiled into one. Leonora and I and two Sophomores
have walked 'cross country every pleasant day and
explored the whole neighborhood, dressed in short
skirts and knit jackets and caps, and carrying shinny
sticks to whack things with. Once we walked into
town — four miles — and stopped at a restaurant where
the college girls go for dinner. Broiled lobster (35
cents) and for dessert, buckwheat cakes and maple
syrup (15 cents). Nourishing and cheap.
It was such a lark! Especially for me, because it
was so awfully different from the asylum — ^I feel like
an escaped convict every time I leave the campus.
Before I thought, I started to tell the others what an
experience I was having. The cat was almost out of
the bag when I grabbed it by its tail and pulled it
back. It's awfully hard for me not to tell everything
I know. Fm a very confiding soul by nature; if I
didn't have you to tell things to, I'd burst.
We had a molasses candy pull last Friday evening,
given by the house matron of Fergussen to the left-
behinds in the other halls. There were twenty-two of
us altogether, Freshmen and Sophomores and Juniors
and Seniors all united in amicable accord. The
kitchen is huge, with copper pots and kettles hanging
in rows on the stone wall — the littlest casserole among
them about the size of a wash boiler. Four hundred
girls live in Fergussen. The chef, in a white cap and
apron, fetched out twenty-two other white caps and
aprons — I can't imagine where he got so many — and
we all turned ourselves into cooks.
It was great fun, though I have seen better candy.
When it was finally finished, and ourselves and the
kitchen and the doorknobs all thoroughly sticky, we
organized a procession and still in our caps and aprons,
each carrying a big fork or spoon or frying pan, we
marched through the empty corridors to the officers'
parlor where half-a-dozen professors and instructors
were passing a tranquil evening. We serenaded them
with college songs and offered refreshments. They
accepted politely but dubiously. We left them suck-
ing chunks of molasses candy, sticky and speechless.
So you see, Daddy, my education progresses!
Don't you really think that I ought to be an artist
instead of an author?
Vacation will be over in two days and I shall be
glad to see the girls again. My tower is just a trifle
lonely; when nine people occupy a house that was
built for four hundred, they do rattle around a bit.
Eleven pages — poor Daddy, you must be tired! I
meant this to be just a short little thank-you note —
but when I get started I seem to have a ready pen.
Good-by, and thank you for thinking of me — ^I
should be perfectly happy except for one little threat-
ening cloud on the horizon. Examinations come in
Yours with love,
P. S. Maybe it isn't proper to send love? If it isn't,
please excuse. But I must love somebody and there's
only you and Mrs. Lippett to choose between, so you
see — ^you'll have to put up with it, Daddy dear, be-
cause I can't love her.
On the Eve.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
You should see the way this college is studying!
We've forgotten we ever had a vacation. Fifty-seven
irregular verbs have I introduced to my brain in the
past four days — Fm only hoping they'll stay till after
Some of the girls sell their text-books when they're
through with them, but I intend to keep mine. Then
after I've graduated I shall have my whole education
in a row in the bookcase, and when I need to use
any detail, I can turn to it without the slightest hesita-
tion. So much easier and more accurate than trying to
keep it in your head.
Julia Pendleton dropped in this evening to pay a
social call, and stayed a soHd hour. She got started on
the subject of family, and I couldnh switch her off.
She wanted to know what my mother's maiden name
was — did you ever hear such an impertinent question
to ask of a person from a foundling asylum? I didn't
have the courage to say I didn't know, so I just mis-
erably plumped on the first name I could think of, and
that was Montgomery. Then she wanted to know
whether I belonged to the Massachusetts Montgom-
erys or the Virginia Montgomerys.
Her mother was a Rutherford. The family came
over in the ark, and were connected by marriage with
Henry the VIIL On her father's side they date back
further than Adam. On the topmost branches of her
family tree there's a superior breed of monkeys, with
very fine silky hair and extra long tails.
I meant to write you a nice, cheerful, entertaining
letter to-night, but I'm too sleepy — and scared. The
Freshman's lot is not a happy one.
Yours, about to be examined,
Dearest Daddy -Long-Legs,
I have some awful, awful, awful news to tell you,
but I won't begin with it; I'll try to get you in a good
Jerusha Abbott has commenced to be an author.
A poem entitled, "From my Tower," appears in the
February Monthly — on the first page, which is a very
great honor for a Freshman. My English instructor
stopped me on the way out from chapel last night,
and said it was a charming piece of work except for
the sixth line, which had too many feet. I will send
you a copy in case you care to read it.
Let me see if I can't think of something else pleasant
— Oh, yes! I'm learning to skate, and can glide about
quite respectably all by myself. Also I've learned how
to slide down a rope from the roof of the gymnasium,
and I can vault a bar three feet and six inches high —
I hope shortly to pull up to four feet.
We had a very inspiring sermon this morning
preached by the Bishop of Alabama. His text was:
"Judge not that ye be not judged." It was about
the necessity of overlooking mistakes in others, and
not discouraging people by harsh judgments. I wish
you might have heard it.
This is the sunniest, most blinding winter afternoon,
with icicles dripping from the fir trees and all the
world bending under a weight of snow — except me,
and Fm bending under a weight of sorrow.
Now for the news — courage, Judy! — you must tell.
Are you surely in a good humor? I flunked mathe-
matics and Latin prose. I am tutoring in them, and
will take another examination next month. Fm sorry
if you're disappointed, but otherwise I don't care a
bit because Fve learned such a lot of things not men-
tioned in the catalogue. Fve read seventeen novels
and bushels of poetry — really necessary novels like
"Vanity Fair" and "Richard Feverel" and "Alice in
Wonderland." Also Emerson's "Essays" and Lock-
hart's "Life of Scott" and the first volume of Gibbon's
"Roman Empire" and half of Benvenuto Cellini's
"Life" — ^wasn't he entertaining? He used to saunter
out and casually kill a man before breakfast.
So you see, Daddy, Fm much more intelligent than
if Fd just stuck to Latin. Will you forgive me this
once if I promise never to flunk again?
Yours in sackcloth,
NEWS of the MONTH
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
This is an extra letter in the middle of the month
because Vm sort of lonely tonight. It's awfully-
stormy; the snow is beating against my tower. All
the lights are out on the campus, but I drank black
coffee and I can't go to sleep.
I had a supper party this evening consisting of Sallie
and Julia and Leonora Fenton — and sardines and
toasted muffins and salad and fudge and coffee. Julia
said she'd had a good time, but Sallie stayed to help
wash the dishes.
I might, very usefully, put some time on Latin
to-night — ^but, there's no doubt about it, I'm a very
languid Latin scholar. We've finished Livy and De
Senectute and are now engaged with De Amicitia
(pronounced Damn Icitia).
Should you mind, just for a little while, pretending
you are my grandmother? SalHe has one and Julia
and Leonora each two, and they were all comparing
them to-night. I can't think of anything I'd rather
have; it's such a respectable relationship. So, if you
really don't object — ^When I went into town yester-
day, I saw the sweetest cap of Cluny lace trimmed
with lavender ribbon. I am going to make you a
present of it on your eighty-third birthday.
That's the clock in the chapel tower striking twelve.
I believe I am sleepy after all.
Good night, Granny.
I love you dearly,
The Ides of March.
Dear D. L. L.,
I am studying Latin prose composition. I have been
studying it. I shall be studying it. I shall be about to
have been studying it. My reexamination comes the
7th hour next Tuesday, and I am going to pass or
BUST. So you may expect to hear from me next,
whole and happy and free from conditions, or in frag-
I will write a respectable letter when it's over. To-
night I have a pressing engagement with the Ablative
Yours — in evident haste,
Mr, D, L. L. S7mth,
Sir: You never answer any questions; you never
show the slightest interest in anything I do. You are
probably the horridest one of all those horrid Trus-
tees, and the reason you are educating me is, not be-
cause you care a bit about me, but from a sense of
I don't know a single thing about you. I don't even
know your name. It is very uninspiring writing to a
Thing. I haven't a doubt but that you throw my
letters into the waste-basket without reading them.
Hereafter I shall write only about work.
My reexaminations in Latin and geometry came
last week. I passed them both and am now free from
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
I am a BEAST.
Please forget about that dreadful letter I sent you
last week — I was feeling terribly lonely and miserable
and sore-throaty the night I wrote. I didn't know it,
but I was just coming down with tonsillitis and grippe
and lots of things mixed. Fm in the infirmary now,
and have been here for six days; this is the first time
they would let me sit up and have a pen and paper.
The head nurse is very bossy. But I've been thinking
about it all the time and I shan't get well until you
Here is a picture of the way I look, with a bandage
tied around my head in rabbit's ears.
Doesn't that arouse your sympathy? I am having
sublingual gland swelling. And IVe been studying
physiology all the year without ever hearing of sub-
lingual glands. How futile a thing is education!
I can't write any more; I get sort of shaky when I
sit up too long. Please forgive me for being im-
pertinent and ungrateful. I was badly brought up.
Yours with love,
Dearest Daddy -Long-Legs,
Yesterday evening just toward dark, when I was
sitting up in bed looking out at the rain and feeling
awfully bored with life in a great institution, the nurse
appeared with a long white box addressed to me, and
filled with the loveliest pink rosebuds. And much
nicer still, it contained a card with a very polite mes-
sage written in a funny little uphill back hand (but
one which shows a great deal of character). Thank
you, Daddy, a thousand times. Your flowers make
the first real, true present I ever received in my life.
If you want to know what a baby I am, I lay down
and cried because I was so happy.
Now that I am sure you read my letters, I'll make
them much more interesting, so they'll be worth keep-
ing in a safe with red tape around them — only please
take out that dreadful one and burn it up. I'd hate to
think that you ever read it over.
Thank you for making a very sick, cross, miserable
Freshman cheerful. Probably you have lots of loving
family and friends, and you don't know what it feels
like to be alone. But I do.
Good-by — I'll promise never to be horrid again,
because now I know you're a real person; also I'll
promise never to bother you with any more questions.
Do you still hate girls?
8th hour, Monday.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
I hope you aren't the Trustee who sat on the toad?
It went off — I was told — with quite a pop, so probably
he was a fatter Trustee.
Do you remember the little dugout places with
gratings over them by the laundry windows in the
John Grier Home? Every spring when the hoptoad
season opened we used to form a collection of toads
and keep them in those window holes; and occasion-
ally they would spill over into the laundry, causing
a very pleasurable commotion on wash days. We
were severely punished for our activities in this di-
rection, but in spite of all discouragement the toads
And one day — well, I won't bore you with particu-
lars — but somehow, one of the fattest, biggest, juiciest
toads got into one of those big leather arm chairs in the
Trustees' room, and that afternoon at the Trustees'
meeting — But I dare say you were there and recall
Looking back dispassionately after a period of time,
I will say that punishment was merited, and — ^if I re-
member rightly — adequate.
I don't know why I am in such a reminiscent mood
except that spring and the reappearance of toads al-
ways awakens the old acquisitive instinct. The only
thing that keeps me from starting a collection is the
fact that no rule exists against it.
After chapel, Thursday.
What do you think is my favorite book? Just now,
I mean; I change every three days. "Wuthering
Heights." Emily Bronte was quite young when she
wrote it, and had never been outside of Haworth
churchyard. She had never known any men in her
life; how could she imagine a man like Heathcliffe?
I couldn't do it, and Fm quite young and never
outside the John Grier Asylum — Fve had every
chance in the world. Sometimes a dreadful fear comes
over me that I'm not a genius. Will you be awfully
disappointed, Daddy, if I don't turn out to be a great
author? In the spring when everything is so beautiful
and green and budding, I feel like turning my back on
lessons, and running away to play with the weather.
There are such lots of adventures out in the fields!
It's much more entertaining to live books than to write
Ow ! ! ! ! ! !
That was a shriek which brought Sallie and Julia
and (for a disgusted moment) the Senior from across
the hall. It was caused by a centipede like this:
only worse. Just as I had finished the last sentence and
was thinking what to say next — plump! — it fell off the
ceiling and landed at my side. I tipped two cups off
the tea table in trying to get away. SaHie whacked it
with the back of my hair brush — which I shall never
be able to use again — and killed the front end, but the
rear fifty feet ran under the bureau and escaped.
This dormitory, owing to its age and ivy-covered
walls, is full of centipedes. They are dreadful crea-
tures. I'd rather find a tiger under the bed.
Friday, 9.30 p.m.
Such a lot of troubles! I didn't hear the rising bell
this morning, then I broke my shoe-string while I was
hurrying to dress and dropped my collar button down
my neck. I was late for breakfast and also for first-
hour recitation. I forgot to take any blotting paper
and my fountain pen leaked. In trigonometry the
Professor and I had a disagreement touching a little
matter of logarithms. On looking it up, I find that she
was right. We had mutton stew and pie-plant for
lunch — ^hate 'em both; they taste like the asylum.
Nothing but bills in my mail (though I must say that
I never do get anything else; my family are not the
kind that write). In English class this afternoon we
had an unexpected written lesson. This was it:
I asked no other thing,
No other was denied.
I offered Being for it;
The mighty merchant smiled.
Brazil? He twirled a button
Without a glance my way:
But, madam, is there nothing else
That we can show to-day?
That is a poem. I don't know who wrote it or what
it means. It was simply printed out on the blackboard
when we arrived and we were ordered to comment
upon it. When I read the first verse I thought I had
an idea — The Mighty Merchant was a divinity who
distributes blessings in return for virtuous deeds — ^but
when I got to the second verse and found him twirl-
ing a button, it seemed a blasphemous supposition, and
I hastily changed my mind. The rest of the class was
in the same predicament; and there we sat for three
quarters of an hour with blank paper and equally
blank minds. Getting an education is an awfully wear-
But this didn't end the day. There's worse to come.
It rained so we couldn't play golf, but had to go to
gymnasium instead. The girl next to me banged my
elbow with an Indian club. I got home to find that
the box with my new blue spring dress had come, and
the skirt was so tight that I couldn't sit down. Friday
is sweeping day, and the maid had mixed all the papers
on my desk. We had tombstone for dessert (milk and
gelatin flavored with vanilla). We were kept in
chapel twenty minutes later than usual to listen to a
speech about womanly women. And then — just as I
was settling down with a sigh of well-earned relief to
"The Portrait of a Lady," a girl named Ackerly, a
dough-faced, deadly, unintermittently stupid girl, who
sits next to me in Latin because her name begins with A
(I wish Mrs. Lippett had named me Zabriski), came
to ask if Monday's lesson commenced at paragraph 69
or 70, and stayed ONE HOUR. She has just gone.
Did you ever hear of such a discouraging series of
events? It isn't the big troubles in life that require
character. Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a
crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty
hazards of the day with a laugh — I really think that
It's the kind of character that I am going to develop.
I am going to pretend that all life is just a game which
I must play as skilfully and fairly as I can. If I lose,
I am going to shrug my shoulders and laugh — also if I
Anyway, I am going to be a sport. You will never
hear me complain again. Daddy dear, because JuHa
wears silk stockings and centipedes drop off the wall.
Daddy -Long-Legs, Esq.
Dear Sir: I am in receipt of a letter from Mrs.
Lippett. She hopes that I am doing well in deportment
and studies. Since I probably have no place to go this
summer, she will let me come back to the asylum and
work for my board until college opens.
I HATE THE JOHN GRIER HOME.
Fd rather die than go back.
Yours most truthfully,
Cher Daddy 'Jambes-Longes,
Vous etes un brick!
]e suis tres heureuse about the farm, parsque je n^ai
jamais been on a farm dans ma vie and I'd hate to
retourner chez John Grier, et wash dishes tout Vete,
There would be danger of quelque chose affreuse hap-
pening, parsque fai perdue via humilite d" autre fois et
fat peur that I would just break out quelque jour et
smash every cup and saucer dans la maison.
Pardon brievete et paper. ]e ne peux pas send des
mes nouvelles parseque je suis dans French class et fai
peur que Monsieur le Professeur is going to call on me
tout de suite.
Je vous aime heaucoup,
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Did you ever see this campus? (That is merely a
rhetorical question. Don't let it annoy you.) It is a
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 care-
free, 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 nurse-
maid or typewriter or bookkeeper (I should have
been, you know, except for you).
I'm sorry now for all my past badnesses.
I'm sorry I was ever impertinent to Mrs. Lippett.
I'm sorry I ever slapped Freddie Perkins.
I'm sorry I ever filled the sugar bowl with salt.
Fm sorry I ever made faces behind the Trustees'
Fm going to be good and sweet and kind to every-
body because Fm so happy. And this summer Fm
going to write and write and write and begin to be a
great author. Isn't that an exalted stand to take? Oh,
Fm developing a beautiful character! It droops a bit
under cold and frost, but it does grow fast when the
That's the way with everybody. I don't agree with
the theory that adversity and sorrow and disappoint-
ment develop moral strength. The happy people are
the ones who are bubbling over with kindliness. I
have no faith in misanthropes. (Fine word! Just
learned it.) You are not a misanthrope, are you,
I started to tell you about the campus. I wish you'd
come for a little visit and let me walk you about and
"That is the library. This is the gas plant. Daddy
dear. The Gothic building on your left is the gym-
nasium, and the Tudor Romanesque beside it is the
Oh, Fm 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 resume:
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
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 JuHa dashed 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 beau-
tiful time; I've longed for an uncle ever since. Do you
mind pretending you're my uncle? I beHeve they're
superior to grandmothers.
Mr. Pendleton reminded me a little of you. Daddy,
as you were twenty years ago. You see I know you
intimately, even if we haven't ever met!
He's tall and thinnish with a dark face all over lines,
and the funniest underneath 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
We walked all over the campus from the quad-
rangle 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 JuHa and Sallie,
but he said he didn't like to have his nieces drink too
much tea; it made them 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 jolHest time! But he had to run for his
train the minute he got back and he barely saw JuHa
at all. She was furious with me for taking 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.
This morning (it's Monday now) three boxes of
chocolates came by express for Julia and Sallie and me.
What do you think of that? To be getting candy
from a man!
I begin to feel like a girl instead of a foundling.
I wish you'd come and take tea some day and le'
me see if I like you. But wouldn't it be dreadful if 1
didn't? However, I know I should.
Bienf I make you my compliments.
'^]anms je ne f oublierair
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?
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Happy day! I've just finished my last examination
— Physiology. And now:
Three months on a farm!
I don't know what kind of a thing a farm is. I've
never been on one in my life. I've never even looked
at one (except from the car window), but I know Fm
going to love it, and I'm going to love being ^ree.
I am not used even yet to being outside the John
Grier Home. Whenever I think of it excited Httle
thrills chase 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?
Your nominal authority doesn't annoy me in the
least; you are too far away to do any harm. Mrs.
Lippett is dead forever, so far as I am concerned, and
the Semples aren't expected to overlook my moral
welfare, are they? No, I am sure not. I am entirely
grown up. Hooray!
I leave you now to pack a trunk, and three boxes of
teakettles and dishes and sofa cushions and books.
P. S. Here is my physiology exam. Do you think
you could have passed?
Lock Willow Farm,
Dearest Daddy -Long-Legs y
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 ap-
pears to be funny. I suppose it is because Fve 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 — Fm going to spend the summer with my el-
bows spread out on it, writing a novel.
Oh, Daddy, Fm 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 Rvt. 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. Fm going to be. You'll see.
P.S. 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.
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's red — or at least
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 and guinea fovi^ls. You must
be mad to live in a city when you might live on a
It is my daily business to hunt the eggs. I fell off a
beam in the bam 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
take care of cream raised in pans, but it's enough
better to pay. We have six calves; and I've chosen the
names for all of them.
1. Sylvia, because she was bom in the woods.
2. Lesbia, after the Lesbia in Catullus.
4. Julia — a spotted, nondescript animaL
5. Judy, after me.
6. Daddy-Long-Legs. Yovi 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
I haven't had time yet to begin my immortal novel;
the farm keeps me too busy.
P.S. I've learned to make doughnuts.
P.S. (2) If you are thinking of raising chickens, let
me recommend Buff Orpingtons. They haven't any
P.S. (3)1 wish I could send you a pat of the nice,
fresh butter I churned yesterday. I'm a fine dairy-
P.S. (4) This is a picture of Miss Jerusha Abbott,
the future great author, driving home the cows.
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 prom-
ised to pick some blackberries for supper, so I went oif
and left the sheet lying on the table, and when I came
back to-day, 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
We hitched up the spring wagon this morning and
drove to the Center to church. It's a sweet Httle 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 out-
side. 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 in-
tact from their remote Puritan ancestors) is a narrow,
irrational, unjust, mean, revengeful, bigoted Person.
Thank heaven I don't inherit any 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 humor.
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 conver-
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:
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 comer
of the attic there is a water wheel and a windmill and
some bows and arrows. Mrs. Semple talks so con-
stantly 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. Vm 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 dis-
graceful thing. She got into the orchard Friday eve-
ning 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?
Your affectionate orphan,
P.S. 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?
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.
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 situation; I am be-
ginning, in fact, to feel at home in the world — as
though I really belonged in it and had not just crept
in on sufferance.
I don't suppose you understand in the least what I
am trying to say. A person important enough to be a
Trustee can't appreciate the feelings of a person un-
important enough to be a foundHng.
And now. Daddy, listen to this. Whom do you
think I am rooming with? Sallie McBride and Juha
Rutledge Pendleton. It's the truth. We have a study
and three Httle bedrooms — voila!
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; but the Pendletons are naturally conservative
and inimical (fine word! ) to change. Anyway, here
we are. Think of Jerusha Abbott, late of the John
Grier Home for Orphans, rooming with a Pendleton.
This is a democratic country.
Sallie is running for class president, and unless all
signs fail, she is going to be elected. Such an atmos-
phere 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.
I am beginning chemistry, a most unusual study.
I've never seen anything like it before. Molecules and
Atoms are the material employed, but I'll be in a posi-
tion to discuss them more definitely next month.
I am also taking argumentation and logic.
Also history of the whole world.
Also plays of WilHam Shakespeare.
If this keeps up many years longer, I shall become
I should rather have elected economics than French,
but I didn't dare, because I was afraid that unless I re-
elected French, the professor would not let me pass —
as it was, I just managed to squeeze through the June
examination. But I will say that my high-school prep-
aration was not very adequate.
There's one girl in the class who chatters away in
French as fast as she does in English. She went abroad
with her parents when she was a child, and spent three
years in a convent school. You can imagine how bright
she is compared with the rest of us — irregular verbs
are mere playthings. I wish my parents had chucked
me into a French convent when I was little instead of
a foundling asylum. Oh, no, I don't either! Because
then maybe I should never have known you. I'd
rather know you than French.
Good-by, Daddy. I must call on Harriet Martin
now, and, having discussed the chemical situation,
casually drop a few thoughts on the subject of our
Yours in politics,
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Supposing the swimming tank in the gymnasium
were filled full of lemon jelly, could a person trying
to swim manage to keep on top or would he sink?
We were having lemon jelly for dessert, when the
question came up. We discussed it heatedly for half
an hour and it's still unsettled. Sallie thinks 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?
Two other problems are engaging the attention of
I St. What shape are the rooms in an octagon house?
Some of the girls insist that they're square; but I think
they'd have to be shaped like a piece of pie. Don't
2d. Suppose there were a great big hollow sphere
made of looking-glass and you were sitting inside.
Where would it stop reflecting your face and begin
reflecting your back? The more one thinks about
this problem, the more puzzling it becomes. You can
see with what deep philosophical reflection we engage
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. SaUie 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).
P ^ BVB R,
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
Bonne nuit, cher Daddy.
Acceptez mes cojnpliments,
November 12 th.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs^
We beat the Freshmen at basket ball 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 hves 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 grown-up 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! Packing your trunk and
going away is more fun than staying behind. I'm
terribly excited at the prospect.
Seventh hour — I must run to rehearsal. I'm to be
/n the Thanksgiving theatricals. A prince in a tower
with a velvet tunic and yellow curls. Isn't that a lark?
Do you want to know what I look like? Here's a
photograph of all three that Leonora Fenton took.
The light one who is laughing is Sallie, and the tall
one with her nose in the air is Julia, and the little one
with the hair blowing across her face is Judy — she is
really more beautiful than that, but the sun was in her
Dear Daddy -Lo?ig-Legs,
I meant to write to you before and thank you for
your Christmas check, but life in the McBride house-
hold is very absorbing, and I don't seem able to find
two consecutive minutes to spend at a desk.
I bought a new gown — one that I didn't need, but
just wanted. My Christmas present this year is from
Daddy-Long-Legs; my family just sent love.
I've been having the most beautiful vacation visit-
ing Sallie. She lives in a big old-fashioned brick house
with white trimmings set back from the street —
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 rpom and drink in the furnishings.
It is the most perfect house for children to be
brought up in; with shadowy nooks for hide and seek,
and open fireplaces for pop-corn, and an attic to romp
in on rainy days, and slippery banisters with a com-
fortable flat knob at the bottom, and a great big sunny
kitchen, and a nice, fat, sunny cook who has lived in
the family thirteen years and always saves out a piece
of dough for the children to bake. Just the sight of
such a house makes you want to be a child all over
And as for families! I never dreamed they could be
so nice. Sallie has a father and mother and grand-
mother, 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 j oiliest 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. (I dare
say I'm blasphemous; but you'd be, too, if you'd of-
fered as much obligatory thanks as I have.)
Such a lot of things we've done — I can't begin to
tell you about them. Mr. McBride owns a factory,
and Christmas eve he had a tree for the employees'
children. It was in the long packing-room which was
decorated with evergreens and holly. Jimmie McBride
was dressed as Santa Glaus, and Sallie and I helped him
distribute the presents.
Dear me, Daddy, but it was a funny sensation! I
felt as benevolent as a Trustee of the John Grier
Home. I kissed one sweet, sticky little boy — but I
don't think I patted any of them on the head!
And two days after Christmas, they gave a dance
at their own house for ME.
It was the first really true ball I ever 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-
fect, 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.
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?
Dear Daddy ^
We started to walk to town to-day, but mercy!
how it poured. I like winter to be winter with snow
instead of 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 prattle appeared to amuse him and
he waited over a 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; and as for
brothers and cousins, they are next to impossible,
Julia had to swear that he was her uncle before a
notary pubHc and then have the county clerk's certifi-
cate attached. (Don't I know a lot of law?) And
even then I doubt if we could have had our tea if the
Dean had chanced to see how youngish and good-
looking Uncle Jervis is.
Anyway, we had it, with brown bread Swiss cheese
sandwiches. He helped make them and then ate four.
I told him that I had spent last summer at Lock Wil-
low, and we had a beautiful gossipy time about the
Semples and the horses and cows and chickens. Ail
the horses that he used to know are dead, except
Grover, who was a baby colt at the time of his last visit
— and poor Grove now is so old he can just limp about
He asked if they still kept doughnuts in a yellow
crock with a blue plate over it on the bottom shelf
of the pantry — ^and they do! He wanted to know if
there was still a woodchuck's hole under the pile of
rocks in the night pasture — and there is! Amasai
caught a big, fat, gray one there this summer, the
twenty-fifth great-grandson of the one Master Jervie
caught when he was a little boy.
I called him "Master Jer\ae" 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 un-
approachable. But Juha hasn't a bit of tact; and men,
I find, require a great deal. They purr if you rub
them the right way and spit if you don't. (That isn't
a very elegant metaphor. I mean it figuratively.)
We're reading Marie Bashkirtseff's journal. Isn't
it amazing? Listen to this: "Last night I was seized
by a fit of despair that found utterance in moans, and
that finally drove me to throw the dining-room clock
into the sea."
It makes me almost hope Fm not a genius; they must
be very wearing to have about — ^and awfully destruc-
tive to the furniture.
Mercy! how it keeps pouring. We shall have to
swim to chapel to-night.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Did you ever have a sweet baby girl who was stolen
from the cradle in infancy?
Maybe I am she! If we were in a novel, that would
be the denouement, wouldn't it?
It's really awfully queer not to know what one is —
sort of exciting and romantic. There are such a lot
of possibilities. Maybe I'm not American; lots of peo-
ple aren't. I may be straight descended from the an-
cient Romans, or I may be a Viking's daughter, or I
may be the child of a Russian exile and belong by
rights in a Siberian prison, or maybe I'm a Gipsy — ^I
think perhaps I am. I have a very iv under in g spirit,
though I haven't as yet had much chance to develop
Do you know about that one scandalous blot in my
career — the time I ran away from the asylum because
they punished me for stealing cookies? It's down in
the books free for any Trustee to read. But really,
Daddy, what could you expect? When you put a
hungry little nine-year girl in the pantry scouring
knives, with the cookie jar at her elbow, and go off
and leave her alone; and then suddenly pop in again,
wouldn't you expect to find her a bit crumby? And
then when you jerk her by the elbow and box her
ears, and make her leave the table when the pudding
comes, and tell all the other children that it's because
she's a thief, wouldn't you expect her to run away?
I only ran four miles. They caught me and brought
me back; and every day for a week I was tied, like a
naughty puppy, to a stake in the back yard while the
other children were out at recess.
Oh, dear! There's the chapel bell, and after chapel
I have a committee meeting. I'm sorry because I
meant to write you a very entertaining letter this
P.S. There's one thing I'm perfectly sure of. Fm
not a Chinaman.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Jimmie McBride has sent me a Princeton banner as
big as one end of the room; I am very grateful to him
for remembering me, but I don't know what on earth
to do with it. Salhe and JuHa won't let me hang it
up; our room this year is furnished in red, and you
can imagine what an effect we'd have if I added
orange and black. But it's such a nice, warm, thick
felt, I hate to waste it. Would it be very improper
to have it made into a bath robe? My old one shrank
when it was washed.
I've entirely omitted of late telling you what I am
learning, but though you might not imagine it from
my letters, my time is exclusively occupied with
study. It's a very bewildering matter to get educated
in five branches at once.
"The test of true scholarship," says Chemistry Pro-
fessor, "is a painstaking passion for detail."
It's the e^ri^f biVd
"Be careful not to keep your eyes glued to detail,"
says History Professor. "Stand far enough away to
get a perspective on the whole."
You can see with what nicety we have to trim our
sails between chemistry and history. I like the his-
torical method best. If I say that William the Con-
queror came over in 1492, and Columbus discovered
America in iioo or 1066 or whenever it was, that's
a mere detail that the Professor overlooks. It gives
a feeling of security and restfulness to the history
recitation, that is entirely lacking in chemistry.
Sixth-hour bell — I must go to the laboratory and
look into a little matter of acids and salts and alkalis.
I've burned a hole as big as a plate in the front of my
chemistry apron, with hydrochloric acid. If the
theory worked, I ought to be able to neutralize that
hole with good strong ammonia, oughtn't L^
Examinations next week, but who's afraid?
Dear Daddy -Lojtg-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 intoxicat-
ing, exhilarating, calling noise. You want to close
your books and be off over the hills to race with the
We had a paper chase last Saturday over five miles
of squashy 'cross country. The fox (composed of
three girls and a bushel or so of confetti) started half
an hour before the twenty-seven hunters. I was one
of the twenty-seven; eight dropped by the wayside;
we ended nineteen. The trail led over a hill, through
a cornfield, and into a swamp where we had to leap
lightly from hummock to hummock. Of course half
of us went in ankle deep. We kept losing the trail,
and wasted twenty-five minutes over that swamp.
Then up a hill through some woods and in at a bam
window! The bam doors were all locked and the
window was up high and pretty small. I don't call
that fair, do you?
But we didn't go through; we circumnavigated the
bam and picked up the trail where it issued by way of
a low shed roof onto the top of a fence. The fox
thought he had us there, but we fooled him. Then
straight away over two miles of rolling meadow, and
awfully hard to follow, for the confetti was getting
sparse. The rule is that it must be at the most six
feet apart, but they were the longest six feet I ever
saw. Finally, after two hours of steady trotting, we
tracked Monsieur Fox into the kitchen of Crystal
Spring (that's a farm where the girls go in bob sleighs
and hay wagons for chicken and waffle suppers) and
we found the three foxes placidly eating milk and
honey and biscuits. They hadn't thought we would
get that far; they were expecting us to stick in the
Both sides insist that they won. I think we did,
don't you? Because we caught them before they got
back to the campus. Anyway, all nineteen of us set-
tled like locusts over the furniture and clamored for
honey. There wasn't enough to go round, but Mrs.
Crystal Spring (that's our pet name for her; she's by
rights a Johnson) brought up a jar of strawberry jam
and a can of maple syrup — just made last week — ^and
three loaves of brown bread.
We didn't get back to college till half-past six — half
an hour late for dinner — and we went straight in with-
out dressing, and with perfectly unimpaired appetites!
Then we all cut evening chapel, the state of our boots
being enough of an excuse.
I never told you about examinations. I passed
everything with the utmost ease — I know the secret
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. Wot's the hodds so long as you're
'appy? (That's a quotation. I've been reading the
Speaking of classics, have you ever read "Hamlet"?
If you haven't, do it right off. It's perfectly corking,
I've been hearing about Shakespeare all my life, but
I had no idea he really wrote so well; I always sus-
pected him of going largely on his reputation.
I have a beautiful play that I invented a long time
ago when I first learned to read. I put myself to sleep
every night by pretending I'm the person (the most
important person) in the book I'm reading at the mo-
At present I'm Ophelia — and such a sensible
Ophelia! I keep Hamlet amused all the time, and pet
him and scold him and make him wrap up his throat
when he has a cold. I've entirely cured him of being
melancholy. The King and Queen are both dead — an
accident at sea; no funeral necessary — so Hamlet and
I are ruling in Denmark without any bother. We have
the kingdom working beautifully. He takes care of
the governing, and I look after the charities. I have
just founded some first-class orphan asylums. If you
or any of the other Trustees would Hke to visit them,
I shall be pleased to show you through. I think you
might find a great many helpful suggestions.
I remain, sir,
Yours most graciously,
Queen of Denmark.
maybe the 25th.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
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
Jerusha Abbott has won the short-story contest
(a twenty-five dollar prize) 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
tjo be an author after all. I wish Mrs. Lippett hadn't
given me such a silly name — ^it sounds like an author-
ess's, doesn't it?
Also I have been chosen for the spring dramatics —
"As You Like It" out of doors. I am going to be CeHa,
own cousin to Rosalind.
And lastly: JuKa 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 "Mas-
ter 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? Fve 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
And what do you think we're going to see? "Ham-
let." 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
This is a very entertaining world.
P.S. I've just looked at the calendar. It's the 28th.
I saw a street car conductor to-day with one brown
eye and one blue. Wouldn't he make a nice villain
for a detective story?
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Mercy! Isn't New York big? Worcester is nothing
to it. Do you mean to tell me that you actually live
in all that confusion? I don't believe that I shall re-
cover 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 Satur-
day morning. Julia went into the very most gorgeous
place I ever saw, white and gold walls and blue carpets
and blue silk curtains and gilt chairs. A perfectly
beautiful lady with yellow hair and a long black silk
trailing gown came to meet us with a welcoming smile,
I thought we were paying a social call, and started v^
shake hands, but it seems we were only buying hats —
at least Julia was. She sat down in front of a mirror
and tried on a dozen, each lovelier than the last, and
bought the two loveliest of all.
I can't imagine any joy in life greater than sitting
down in front of a mirror and buying any hat you
choose without having first to consider the price!
There's no doubt about it, Daddy; New York would
rapidly undermine this fine, stoical character which
the John Grier Home so patiently built up.
And after we'd finished our shopping, we met Mas-
ter Jervie at Sherry's. I suppose you've been in Sher-
ry's? Picture that, then picture the dining-room of
the John Grier Home with its oilcloth-covered tables,
and white crockery that you ca7t^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
dazzHng, marvelous, unbelievable — I dream about it
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,
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 FU
send you a box for all my performances, and smile
at you across the footlights. Only wear a red rose in
your buttonhole, please, so I'll surely smile at the right
man. It would be an awfully embarrassing mistake
if I picked out the wrong one.
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 inadvertently said so.
"Where on earth were you brought up?" said Julia
"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
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 sud-
denly to be plunged into the WORLD.
But I'm getting acclimated. I don't make such aw-
ful mistakes as I did; and I don't feel uncomfortable
any more with the other girls. I used to squirm when-
ever people looked at me. I felt as though they saw
right through my sham new clothes to the checked
ginghams underneath. But I'm not letting the ging-
hams bother me any more. Sufficient unto yesterday
is the evil thereof.
I forgot to tell you about our flowers. Master Jervie
gave us each a big bunch of violets and lilies-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.
Eleven pages — ^this is a letter! Have courage. Vm
going to stop.
Dear Mr. Rich-Man,
Here's your check for fifty dollars. Thank you
very much, but I do not feel that I can keep it. My
allowance is sufficient to afford all of the hats that I
need. I am sorry that I wrote all that silly stuff about
the millinery shop; it's just that I had never seen any-
thing like it before.
However, I wasn't begging! And I would rather
not accept any more charity than I have to.
Dearest Daddy y
Will you please forgive me for the letter I wrote
you yesterday? After I posted it I was sorry, and
tried to get it back, but that beastly mail clerk
wouldn't give it to me.
It's the middle of the night now; Fve been awake
for hours thinking what a Worm I am — ^what a Thou-
sand-legged Worm — and that's the worst I can say!
I've closed the door very softly into the study so as
not to wake Julia and Sallie, and am sitting up in bed
writing to you on paper torn out of my history note-
I just wanted to tell you that I am sorry I was SO
impolite about your check. I know you meant it
kindly, and I think you're an old dear to take so much
trouble for such a silly thing as a hat. I ought to
have returned it very much more graciously.
But in any case, I had to return it. It's diiferent
with me than with other girls. They can take things
naturally from people. They have fathers and broth-
ers and aunts and uncles; but I can't be on any such
relations with any one. I like to pretend that you
belong to me, just to play with the idea, but of course
I know you don't. I'm alone, really — ^with my back
to the wall fighting the world — and I get sort of gaspy
when I think about it. I put it out of my mind, and
keep on pretending; but don't you see, Daddy? I
can't accept any more money than I have to, because
some day I shall be wanting to pay it back, and even
as great an author as I intend to be, won't be able
to face a perfectly tremendous debt.
I'd love pretty hats and things, but I mustn't mort-
gage the future to pay for them.
You'll forgive me, won't you, for being so rude?
I have an awful habit of writing impulsively when I
first think things, and then posting the letter beyond
recall. But if I sometimes seem thoughtless and un-
grateful, I never mean it. In my heart I thank you
always for the life and freedom and independence
that you have given me. My childhood was just a
long, sullen stretch of revolt, and now I am so happy
every moment of the day that I can't believe it's true.
I feel like a made-up heroine in a story-book.
It's a quarter past two. I'm going to tiptoe out to
the mail chute and get this off now. You'll receive
it in the next mail after the other, so you won't have a
very long time to think bad of me.
Good night, Daddy,
I love you always,
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Field Day last Saturday. It was a very spectacular
occasion. First we had a parade of all the classes, with
everybody dressed in white linen, the Seniors carry-
ing blue and gold Japanese umbrellas, and the Juniors
white and yellow banners. Our class had crimson
balloons — very fetching, especially as they were al-
ways getting loose and floating off — and the Freshmen
wore green tissue-paper hats with long streamers.
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
Julia was dressed as a fat country man with a linen
duster and whiskers and baggy umbrella. Patsy Mori-
arty (Patricia, really. Did you ever hear such a name?
Mrs. Lippett couldn't have done better.) who is tall
and thin was JuKa'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 ex-
tremely well. I never dreamed that a Pendleton could
display so much comedy spirit — begging Master Jer-
vie'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 the
running broad jump and lost; but SalHe won the pole-
vaulting (seven feet tliree 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
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 pro-
fessional. 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 gymnasium to all of
the winners. We had fried soft-shell crabs, and choco-
late ice-cream molded in the shape of basket balls.
I sat up half of last night reading ''J^me Eyre." Are
you old enough, Daddy, to remember sixty years ago?
And if so, did people talk that way?
The haughty Lady Blanche says to the footman,
"Stop your chattering, knave, and do my bidding."
Mr. Rochester talks about the metal welkin when he
means the sky; and as for the mad woman who laughs
like a hyena and sets fire to bed curtains and tears up
wedding veils and bites — it's melodrama of the purest,
but just the same, you read and read and read. I can't
see how any girl could have written such a book,
especially any girl who was brought up in a church-
yard. There's something about those Brontes that
fascinates me. Their books, their lives, their spirit.
Where did they get it? When I was reading about
little Jane's troubles in the charity school, I got so
angry that I had to go out and take a walk. I under-
stood exactly how she felt. Having known Mrs. Lip-
pett, I could see Mr. Brocklehurst.
Don't be outraged, Daddy. I am not intimating
that the John Grier Home was like the Lowood In-
stitute. 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 ab-
solutely 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. We had to get up in the night and dress so as
to be ready in case the house should catch. But it
didn't catch and we went back to bed.
Everybody likes a few surprises; it's a perfectly
natural human craving. But I never had one until
Mrs. Lippett called me to the office to tell me that
Mr. John Smith was going to send me to college.
And then she broke the news so gradually that it just
barely shocked me.
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 understand-
ing. It ought to be cultivated in children. But the
John Grier Home instantly stamped out the slightest
flicker that appeared. Duty was the one quality that
was encouraged. I don't think children ought to
know the meaning of the word; it's odious, detestable.
They ought to do everything from love.
Wait until you see the orphan asylum 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 some-
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 child-
hood to look back upon. And if I ever have any chil-
dren of my own, no matter how unhappy I may be,
I am not going to let them have any cares until they
(There goes the chapel bell — I'll finish this letter
When I came in from Laboratory this afternoon,
I found a squirrel sitting on the tea table helping him-
self to almonds. These are the kind of callers we
entertain now that warm weather has come and the
window stays open —
wiil you have one lump or two?"
Perhaps you think, last night being Friday, with
no classes to-day, that I passed a nice, quiet, readable
evening with the set of Stevenson that I bought with
my prize money? But if so, youVe never attended
a girls' college. Daddy dear. Six friends dropped in
to make fudge, and one of them dropped the fudge —
while it was still liquid — right in the middle of our
best rug. We shall never be able to clean up the mess.
I haven't mentioned any lessons of late; but we are
still having them every day. It's sort of a relief
though, to get away from them and discuss life in the
large — ^rather one-sided discussions that you and I
hold, but that's your own fault. You are welcome to
answer back any time you choose.
I've been writing this letter off and on for three
days, and I fear by now vous etes hien bored!
Good-by, nice Mr. Man,
Mr. Daddy -Long-Legs S?nith.
Sir: Having completed the study of argumentation
and the science of dividing a thesis into heads, I have
decided to adopt the following form for letter-writ-
ing. It contains all necessary facts, but no unnecessary
I. We had written examinations this week in:
11. A new dormitory is being built.
A. Its material is:
(a) red brick.
(b) gray stone.
B. Its capacity will be:
(a) one dean, five instructors.
(b) two hundred girls.
(c) one housekeeper, three cooks, twenty
waitresses, twenty chambermaids.
III. We had junket for dessert to-night.
IV. I am writing a special topic upon the Sources
of Shakespeare's Plays.
V. Lou McMahon slipped and fell this afternoon
at basket ball, and she:
A. Dislocated her shoulder.
B. Bruised her knee.
VL I have a new hat trimmed with:
A. Blue velvet ribbon.
B. Two blue quills.
C. Three red pompons.
VIL It is half-past nine.
VIIL Good night.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
You will never guess the nice thing that has hap-
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 canoe-
ing 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 Christ-
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
In a very contented frame of mind,
Dear Daddy -Lo?2g-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 Wil-
low the same as last summer.
Why, why, ivhy, 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 SalHe 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
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
Enghsh 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, entertain-
ing, 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 crowd-
ing 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 de-
serves 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.
Mr, John S?mth,
Sm: 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
I hope always to remain,
(Miss) Jerusha Abbott.
Lock Willow Farm.
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 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
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 some-
times send me a message that you'd written with your
own hand, instead of those beastly typewritten secre-
tary'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 hke my imaginary you. But you
did once, when I was ill in the infirmary, send m^e a
message, and now, when I am feeling awfully forgot-
ten, 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
humihating to be picked up and moved about by an
arbitrary, peremptory, unreasonable, omnipotent, in-
visible Providence, still, when a man has been as kind
and generous and thoughtful as you have heretofore
been toward me, I suppose he has a right to be an
arbitrary, peremptory, unreasonable, invisible Provi-
dence 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!
Hov^ever — ^v^e will drav^ a veil over that and begin
I've been v^riting and v^riting this summer; four
short stories finished and sent to four different maga-
zines. 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.
It's in a cool, breezy comer with two dormer win-
dows, 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,
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 httle "devil down-heads" darting up and down
the trunk. I've been here for an hour: it's a very com-
fortable 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 caji^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. Kel-
logg that I told you about last summer? — the minister
of the little white church at the Comers. Well, the
poor old soul is dead — ^last winter of pneumonia. I
went haif-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 nev/ young
man, very up and coming, in his place. The congre-
gation is pretty dubious, especially the faction led by
Deacon Cummings. It looks as though there was go-
ing to be an awful split in the church. We don't care
for innovations in religion in this neighborhood.
During our week of rain I sat up in the attic and
had an orgy of reading — Stevenson, mostly. He him-
self 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 thou-
sand 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 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 1
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 temple 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
i.^—^ Vr^ i-~A?
^ T r
to discourse largely of the world in general, instead
of descending to the trivial details of daily life. But
if you ?nust 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 any one 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 color, but he
says it will wear.
The Brewers have company this week; Mrs. Brew-
er'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 opin-
ion, are a very inferior breed. I prefer Buff Orping-
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 dis-
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-ofiice. This is my latest portrait, on my
way to rake the hay.
It's getting too dark to see; anyway, the news is all
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 driv-
ing to the Comers 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 (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 al-
ready 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 to-day, or two weeks from to-day. 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.
P. S. Isn't that a nice ending? I got it out of Steven-
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 deHvery is a blessing to the farmers! Our post-
man not only dehvers 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 bar-
gain, 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 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 lan-
I really believe I've finished, Daddy. Nothing else
occurs to me at the moment — ^I'U try to write a longer
letter next time.
P.S. The lettuce hasn't done at all well this year.
It was so dry early in the season.
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 ate 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. 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 any-
thing 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 ex-
plored 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.
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 Fve ever read, and a lot of others
besides. It's astonishing how many different things he
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.
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
• • • • •
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
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 surrey ready, and if I'm not dressed, just go on
"We'U 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 walk-
ing clothes; and we slipped out the back way and
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 restau-
rant — 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
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.
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 beheve it
pays to be a great author. Maybe I'll teach school.
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!
P. S. On reading this over, I find that it isn't all
Stevenson. There are one or two glancing references
to Master Jervie.
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 snatched away, it does
leave an awfully empty, gnawing sort of sensation.
Pm finding Mrs. Semple's conversation pretty un-
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 mail, 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 type-
written, 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-colored light over everything. We're going to
have a storm.
• • • • •
It commenced just that moment with drops as big
as quarters and all the shutters banging. I had to run
to close windows, while Carrie flew to the attic with
an armful of milk pans to put under the places where
the roofs 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
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.
Daddy! Daddy! What do you think? The postman
has just come with two letters.
ist. — My story is accepted. $50.
Alorsf Fm an AUTHOR.
2d. — ^A letter from the college secretary Fm to have
a scholarship for two years that will cover board and
tuition. It was founded by an alumna for "marked
proficiency in English with general excellency in
other Hues." 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 math, and Latin. But it
seems I've made it up. I am awfully glad, Daddy, be-
cause 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 bact and begin work.
Author of, "When the Sophomores
Won the Game." For sale at all
news stands, price ten cents.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
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. JuHa,
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;
Fm 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 convey to me a comprehensible
reason why I should not accept that scholarship? I
don't understand your objection in the least. But any-
way, 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 put a neat
period, in the shape of 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 expect-
ing to spend the rest of my life in paying my debts,
but now I shall only have to spend one-half of the rest
I hope you understand my position and won't be
cross. The allowance I shall still most gratefully ac-
cept. It requires an allowance to live up to JuHa and
her furniture! I wish that she had been reared to
simpler tastes, or else that she were not my room-mate.
This isn't much of a letter; I meant to have written
a lot — but I've been hemming four window curtains
and three portieres (I'm glad you can't see the length
of the stitches) and polishing a brass desk set with
tooth powder (very uphill work) and sawing off pic-
ture wire with manicure scissors, and unpacking four
boxes of books, and putting away two trunkfuls of
clothes (it doesn't seem believable that Jerusha Abbott
owns two trunks full of clothes, but she does!) and
welcoming back fifty dear friends in between.
Opening day is a joyous occasion!
Good night, Daddy dear, and don't be annoyed be-
cause your chick is wanting to scratch for herself.
She's growing up into an awfully energetic little hen
— ^with a very determined cluck and lots of beauti-
ful feathers (all due to you).
Are you still harping on that scholarship? I never
knew a man so obstinate and stubborn and unreason-
able, and tenacious, and bull-doggish, and unable-to-
see-other-peopleVpoints-of-view as you.
You prefer that I should not be accepting favors
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 on the street.
Now, you see, if you had been a sane, sensible person
and had written nice, cheering, fatherly letters to
your Httle 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
flouted you in your old age, but would have obeyed
your slightest wish like the dutiful daughter she was
meant to be.
Strangers indeed! You live in a glass house, Mr.
And besides, this isn't a favor; it's like a prize — ^I
earned it by hard work. If nobody had been good
enough in English, the committee wouldn't have
awarded the scholarship; some years they don't.
Also — But what's the use of arguing with a man?
You belong, Mr. Smith, to a sex devoid of a sense of
logic. To bring a man into line, there are just two
methods: one must either coax or be disagreeable. I
scorn to coax men for what I wish. Therefore, I
must be disagreeable.
I refuse, sir, to give up the scholarship; and if you
make any more fuss, I won't accept the monthly al-
lowance 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 de-
priving 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
I trust that your secretary won't be hurt because I
pay so httle attention to the suggestions offered in his
letter, but I can't help it if he is. He's a spoiled child,
Daddy. I've meekly given in to his whims heretofore,
but this time I intend to be FIRM,
With a Mind,
Completely and Irrevocably and
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
I started down town to-day to buy a bottle of shoe
blacking and some collars and the material for a new
blouse and a jar of violet cream and a cake of Castile
soap — all very necessary; I couldn't be happy another
day without them — and when I tried to pay the car
fare, I found that I had left my purse in the pocket of
my other coat. So I had to get out and take the next
car, and was late for gymnasium.
It's a dreadful thing to have no memory and two
Julia Pendleton has invited me to visit her for the
Christmas hoHdays. 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 at-
tached to me of late. I should, to tell the truth, very
much prefer going to Sallie's, but Julia asked me first,
so if I go anywhere, it must be to New York instead
of to Worcester. Fm rather awed at the prospect of
meeting Pendletons en masse, and also I'd have to get
a lot of new clothes — so, Daddy dear, if yon write
that you would prefer having me remain quietly at
college, I will bow to your wishes with my usual sweet
Fm engaged at odd moments with the "Life and
Letters of Thomas Huxley" — it makes nice, light read-
ing to pick up between times. Do you know what an
archseopteryx is? It's a bird. And a stereognathus?
Fm not sure myself but I think it's a missing link, like
a bird with teeth or a lizard with wings. No, it isn't
either; I've just looked in the book. It's a mesozoic
I've elected economics this year — ^very illuminating
subject. When I finish that I'm going to take Charity
and Reform; then, Mr. Trustee, I'll know just how an
orphan asylum ought to be run. Don't you think I'd
make an admirable voter if I had my rights? I was
twenty-one last week. This is an awfully wasteful
country to throw away such an honest, educated, con-
scientious, intelligent citizen as I would be.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Thank you for permission to visit Julia — I take it
that silence means consent.
Such a social whirl as weVe been having! The
founder's dance came last week — this was the first
year that any of us could attend; only upper classmen
I invited Jimmie McBride, and Sallie invited his
room-mate at Princeton, who visited them last summer
at their camp — an awfully nice man with red hair —
and Julia invited a man from New York, not very
exciting, but socially irreproachable. He is connected
with the De la Mater Chichesters. Perhaps that means
something to you? It doesn't illuminate me to any
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 bidden
to a social event in this college, he is going to bring
one of their Adirondack tents and pitch it on the
At seven-thirty they came back for the President's
reception and dance. Our functions commence early!
We had the men's cards all made out ahead of time,
and after every dance, v^e'd leave them in groups
under the letter that stood for their names, so that
they could be readily found by their next partners.
Jimmie McBride, for example, v^ould stand patiently
under "M" until he was claimed. (At least, he ought
to have stood patiently, but he kept v^andering off and
getting mixed with "R's" and "S's" and all sorts of
letters.) I found him a very difficult guest; he was
sulky because he had only three dances with me. He
said he was bashful about dancing with girls he didn't
The next morning we had a glee club concert — and
who do you think wrote the funny new song com-
posed for the occasion? It's the truth. She did. Oh, I
tell you. Daddy, your Httle foundling is getting to be
quite a prominent person!
Anyway, our gay two days were great fun, and I
think the men enjoyed it. Some of them were awfully
perturbed at first at the prospect of facing one thou-
sand 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 to hear about them? Julia's was cream satin and
gold embroidery, and she wore purple orchids. It
was a dream and came from Paris, and cost a million
Sallie's was pale blue trimmed with Persian em-
broidery, and went beautifully with red hair. It didn't
cost quite a million, but was just as effective as Julia's.
Mine was pale pink crepe de chine trimmed with
ecru lace and rose satin. And I carried crimson roses
which J. McB. sent (SaHie having told him what color
to get) . And we all had satin slippers and silk stock-
ings and chiffon scarfs to match.
You must be deeply impressed by these millinery
One can't help thinking, Daddy, what a colorless
life a man is forced to lead, when one reflects that
chiffon and Venetian point and hand embroidery and
Irish crochet are to him mere empty words. Whereas
a woman, whether she is interested in babies or mi-
crobes or husbands or poetry or servants or parallelo-
grams or gardens or Plato or bridge — ^is fundamentally
and always interested in clothes.
It's the one touch of nature that makes the whole
world kin. (That isn't original. I got it out of one of
However, to resume. 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.
P.S. This is one of those wicked anonymous letters
you read about in novels.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs^
IVe 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
I love the furs and the necklace and the liberty
scarf and the gloves and handkerchiefs and books and
purse — and most of all I love you! But, Daddy, you
have no business to spoil me this way. I'm only human
— and a girl at that. How can I keep my mind sternly
fixed on a studious career, when you deflect me with
such worldly frivolities?
I have strong suspicions now as to which one of the
John Grier Trustees used to give the Christmas tree
and the Sunday ice-cream. He was nameless, but by
his works I know him! You deserve to be happy for
all the good things you do.
Good-by, and a very merry Christmas.
P. S. I am sending a slight token, too. Do you think
you would like her if you knew her?
I meant to write to you from the city, Daddy, but
New York is an engrossing place.
I had an interesting — and illuminating — time, but
Fm glad I don't belong in such a family! I should
truly rather have the John Grier Home for a back-
ground. Whatever the drawbacks of my bringing up,
there was at least no pretense about it. I know now
what people mean when they say they are weighted
down by Things. 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 furni-
ture was carved and upholstered and gorgeous; the
people I met were beautifully dressed and low-voiced
and weU-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
Mrs. Pendleton never thinks of anything but jewels
and dressmakers and social engagements. She did seem
a different kind of mother from Mrs. McBride! If I
ever marry and have a family, Fm going to make them
as exactly like the McBrides as I can. Not for all the
money in the world would I ever let any children of
mine develop into Pendletons. Maybe it isn't polite
to criticize people youVe been visiting? If it isn't,
please excuse. This is very confidential, between you
I only saw Master Jervie once when he called at tea
time, 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 rela-
tives — and I am sure they don't care much for him!
Julia's mother says he's unbalanced. He's a Socialist
— except, thank Heaven, he doesn't let his hair grow
and wear red ties. She can't imagine where he picked
up his queer ideas; the family have been Church of
England for generations. He throws away his money
on every sort of crazy reform, instead of spending it
on such sensible things as yachts and automobiles and
polo ponies. He does buy candy with it though! He
sent Juha and me each a box for Christmas.
You know, I think I'll be a Socialist, too. You
wouldn't mind, would you. Daddy? They're quite
different from Anarchists; they don't beUeve in blow-
ing people up. Probably I am one by rights; I belong
to the proletariat. I haven't determined yet just which
kind I am going to be. I will look into the subject over
Sunday, and declare my principles in my next.
I've seen loads of theaters and hotels and beautiful
houses. My mind is a confused jumble of onyx and
gilding and mosaic floors and palms. Fm still pretty
breathless but I am glad to get back to college and my
books — I believe that I really am a student; this atmos-
phere 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 your mind gets tired, you
have the gymnasium and outdoor athletics, and always
plenty of congenial friends who are thinking about
the same things you are. We spend a whole evening
in nothing but talk — talk — talk — and go to bed with
a very uplifted feeling as though we had settled per-
manently some pressing world problems. And filling
in every crevice, there is always such a lot of non-
sense — ^just silly jokes about the little things that come
up — but very satisfying. We do appreciate our own
It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most;
it's making a great deal out of the little ones — I've dis-
covered the true secret of happiness. Daddy, and that
IS to live in the now. Not to be forever regretting the
past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most
that you can out of this very instant. It's like farming.
You can have extensive farming and intensive farm-
ing; well, I am going to have intensive living after this.
Fm going to enjoy every second, and Fm going to
know Fm enjoying it while Fm enjoying it. Most
people don't live; they just race. They are trying to
reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the
heat of the going they get so breathless and panting
that they lose all sight of the beautiful, tranquil coun-
try they are passing through; and then the first thing
they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't
make any difference whether they've reached the goal
or not. Fve decided to sit down by the way and pile
up a lot of little happinesses, even if I never become a
Great Author. Did you ever know such a philoso-
pheress as I am developing into?
P. S. It's raining cats and dogs to-night. Two
puppies and a kitten have just landed on the window-
Hooray! Vm a Fabian.
That's a Socialist who's willing to wait. We don't
want the social revolution to come to-morrow morn-
ing; it would be too upsetting. We want it to come
very gradually in the distant future, when we shall
all be prepared and able to sustain the shock.
In the meantime we must be getting ready, by insti-
tuting industrial, educational and orphan-asylum re-
Yours, with fraternal love,
Monday, 3d hour.
Dear D. L. L.,
Don't be insulted because this is so short. It isn't
a letter; it's just a line to say that I'm going to write a
letter pretty 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,
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
President Cuyler made a speech this evening about
the modern generation being flippant and superficial.
He says that we are losing the old ideals of earnest
endeavor and true scholarship; and particularly is this
falling-off noticeable in our disrespectful attitude
toward organized authority. We no longer pay a
seemly deference to our superiors.
I came away from chapel very sober.
Am I too familiar, Daddy? Ought I to treat you
with more dignity and aloofness? — Yes, Fm sure I
ought. I'll begin again.
My dear Mr, Smithy
You will be pleased to hear that I passed success-
fully my mid-year examinations, and am now com-
mencing work in the new semester. I am leaving
chemistry — having completed the course in qualitative
analysis — and am entering upon the study of biology.
I approach this subject with some hesitation, as I un-
derstand that we dissect angleworms and frogs.
An extremely interesting and valuable lecture was
given in the chapel last week upon Roman Remains in
Southern France. I have never listened to a more il-
luminating exposition of the subject.
We are reading Wordsworth's "Tintem Abbey" in
connection with our course in English Literature.
What an exquisite work it is, and how adequately it
embodies his conception of Pantheism! The Romantic
movement of the early part of the last century, ex-
emplified in the works of such poets as Shelley, Byron,
Keats, and Wordsworth, appeals to me very much
more than the Classical period that preceded it. Speak-
ing of poetry, have you ever read that charming little
thing of Tennyson's called "Locksley Hall"?
I am attending gymnasium very regularly of late.
A proctor system has been devised, and failure to com-
ply with the rules causes a great deal of inconvenience.
The gymnasium 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
We had delicious pink ice-cream for dessert last
night. Only vegetable dyes are used in coloring the
food. The college is very much opposed, both from
esthetic and hygienic motives, to the use of aniline
The weather of late has been ideal — ^bright sun-
shine 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,
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 Fri-
day — ^but he chose a most unpropitious time, for Sallie
and Julia and I were just running to catch a train.
And where do you think we were going? To Prince-
ton, 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.
Up before dawn! The night watchman called us —
six of us — and we made coffee in a chafing dish (you
never saw so many grounds! ) and walked two miles
to the top of One Tree Hill to see the sun rise. We
had to scramble up the last slope! The sun almost beat
us! And perhaps you think we didn't bring back ap-
petites to breakfast!
Dear me, Daddy, I seem to have a very ejaculatory
style to-day; this page is peppered vi^ith exclamations.
I meant to have written a lot about the budding
trees and the new cinder path in the athletic field, and
the awful lesson we have in biology for to-morrow,
and the new canoes on the lake, and Catherine Prentiss
who has pneumonia, and Prexy's Angora kitten that
strayed from home and has been boarding in Fergus-
sen Hall for two weeks until a chambermaid reported
it, and about my three new dresses — ^white and pink
and blue polka dots with a hat to match — but I am too
sleepy. I am always making this an excuse, am I not?
But a girls' college is a busy place and we do get tired
by the end of the day! Particularly when the day be-
gins at dawn.
Kitten. V(ou C9n see
f/om the picture bow
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Is it good manners when you get into a car just to
stare straight ahead and not see anybody else?
A very beautiful lady in a very beautiful velvet
dress got into the car to-day, and without the slightest
expression sat for fifteen minutes and looked at a sign
advertising suspenders. It doesn't seem polite to
ignore everybody else as though you were the only
important person present. Anyway, you miss a lot.
While she was absorbing that silly sign, I was studying
a whole car full of interesting human beings.
The accompanying illustration is hereby repro-
duced 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 con-
fidence in the probity 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 prog-
ress that I otherwise might.
Very miscellaneous weather we're having of late. It
was raining when I commenced and now the sun is
shining. Sallie and I are going out to play tennis —
thereby gaining exemption from Gym.
A week later.
I should have finished this letter long ago, but I
didn't. You don't mind, do you, Daddy, if I'm not
very regular? I really do love to write to you; it 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 type-
written envelopes so Julia won't recognize the writ-
ing) . Did you ever hear anything so shocking? And
every week or so a very scrawly epistle, usually on
yellow tablet paper, arrives from Princeton. All of
which I answer with businesslike promptness. So you
see — ^I am not so different from other girls — I get mail,
Did I tell you that I have been elected a member of
the Senior Dramatic Club? Very recherche organiza-
tion. Only seventy-five members out of one thousand.
Do you think as a consistent Socialist that I ought to
What do you suppose is at present engaging my at-
tention in sociology? I am writing (figurez vousl) a
paper on the Care of Dependent Children. The Pro-
fessor shuffled up his subjects and dealt them out
promiscuously, and that fell to me. Cest drole ga,
There goes the gong for dinner. I'll mail this as I
pass the chute.
Dear Daddy ^
Very busy time — commencement in ten days, ex-
aminations to-morrow; lots of studying, lots of pack-
ing, and the outdoors world so lovely that it hurts you
to stay inside.
But never mind, vacation's coming. Julia is going
abroad this summer — ^it makes the fourth time. No
doubt about it. Daddy, goods are not distributed
evenly. Sallie, as usual, goes to the Adirondacks. And
what do you think I am going to do? You may have
three guesses. Lock Willow? Wrong. The Adiron-
dacks with Sallie? Wrong. (I'll never attempt that
again; I was discouraged last year.) Can't you guess
anything else? You're not very inventive. I'll tell
you. Daddy, if you'll promise not to make a lot of ob-
jections. I warn your secretary ahead of time that my
mind is made up.
I am going to spend the summer at the seaside with
a Mrs. Charles Paterson and tutor 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 exorbitant amount?
She offered it; I should have blushed to ask more than
I finish at Magnolia (that's vi^here 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
Princeton commencement and our examinations
exactly coincide — ^which is an awful blow. Sallie and
I did so want to get away in time for it, but of course
that is utterly impossible.
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. I can't visualize your sur-
roundings. Do you play golf or hunt or ride horse-
back or just sit in the sun and meditate?
Anyway, whatever it is, have a good time and don't
This is the hardest letter I ever wrote, but I have de-
cided 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
the 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. One doesn't miss
what one has never had; but it is awfully hard going
without things after one has commenced thinking
they are his — hers (English language needs another
pronoun) by natural right. Living with Sallie and
Julia is an awful strain on my stoical philosophy.
They have both had things from the time they were
babies; they accept happiness as a matter of course.
The World, they think, owes them everything they
want. Maybe the World does — ^in any case, it seems
to acknov/ledge the debt and pay up. But as for me,
it owes me nothing and distinctly told me so in the
beginning. I have no right to borrow on credit, for
there will come a time when the World will repudiate
I seem to be floundering in a sea of metaphor — ^but
I hope you grasp my meaning? Anyway, I have a
very strong feeling that the only honest thing for me
to do is to teach this summer and begin to support
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 legiti-
mate 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, funny, foreign restaurants.
Well, Daddy, it did appeal to me! I almost weak-
ened; if he hadn't been so dictatorial, maybe I should
have entirely weakened. I can be enticed step by step,
but I nvofft be forced. He said I was a silly, foolish, ir-
rational, 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!
In any case, I packed my trunk fast and came up
here. I thought I'd better see my bridges in flames
behind m.e before I finished writing to you. They are
entirely reduced to ashes now. 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 any-
thing more difficult than ice-cream soda water.
We use a quiet corner of the cliffs for a schoolroom
— Mrs. Paterson wishes me to keep them out of doors
— and I will say that 1 find it difficult to concentrate
with the blue sea before me and ships a-sailing by!
And when I think I might be on one, sailing off to
foreign lands — but I "wofi^t let myself think of any-
thing but Latin Grammar.
The prepositions a or ab, absque, coram, cum, de, e
or ex, prae, pro, sine, tenus, in, subter, sub and super
govern the ablative.
So you see. Daddy, I am already plunged 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 Citizen (Are women citi-
zens? I don't suppose they are). Anyway, 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 probabiHty, 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.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
My window looks out on the loveliest landscape —
ocean-scape rather — nothing but water and rocks.
The summer goes. I spend the morning with Latin
and English and Algebra and my two stupid girls. I
don't know how Marion is ever going to get into
college, or stay in after she gets there. And as for
Florence, she is hopeless — but oh! such a little beauty.
I don't suppose it matters in the least whether they are
stupid or not so long as they are pretty? One can't
help thinking though, how their conversation will
bore their husbands, unless they are fortunate enough
to obtain stupid husbands. I suppose that's quite pos-
sible; the world seems to be filled with stupid men;
I've met a number this summer.
In the afternoon we take a walk on the cliffs, or
swim, if the tide is right. I can swim in salt water
with the utmost ease — ^you see my education is already
being put to use!
A letter comes from Mr. Jervis Pendleton in Paris,
rather a short, concise 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 (I am led to
infer) 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 Httle healthful recreation; I want
to see the Adirondacks; 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 frmst show him that he can't dictate to me. No
one can dictate to me but you, Daddy — and you can't
always! I'm off for the woods.
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. Fm 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 Httle?
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 al]
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 in-
mate of the John Grier Home? We do arrive fast in
What do you think of this? A note from Master
Jervie directed to Lock Willow and forwarded here.
He's sorry but he finds that he can't get up there this
autumn; he has accepted an invitation to go yachting
with some friends. Hopes I've had a nice summer and
am enjoying the country.
And he knew all the time that I was with the
McBrides, for Julia told him so! You men ought to
leave intrigue to women; you haven't a light enough
JuHa has a trunkful of the most ravishing new
clothes — an evenmg gown of rainbow Liberty crepe
that would be fitting raiment for the angels in Para-
disc. And I thought that my own clothes this year
were unprecedentedly (is there such a word? ) beauti-
ful. I copied Mrs. Paterson's wardrobe with the aid
of a cheap dressmaker, and though the gowns didn't
turn out quite twins of the originals, I was entirely
happy until Julia unpacked. But now — ^I live to see
Dear Daddy, aren't you glad you're not a girl? I
suppose you think that the fuss we make over clothes
is too absolutely silly? It is. No doubt about it. But
it's entirely your fault.
Did you ever hear about the learned Herr Professor
who regarded unnecessary adornment with contempt,
and favored sensible, utilitarian clothes for women?
His wife, who was an obliging creature, adopted
"dress reform." And what do you think he did? He
eloped with a chorus girl.
P.S. The chamber-maid on our corridor wears blue
checked gingham aprons. I am going to get her some
brown ones instead, and sink the blue ones in the
bottom of the lake. I have a reminiscent chill every
time I look at them.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Such a blight has fallen over my literary career.
I don't know whether to tell you or not, but I would
like some sympathy — silent sympathy, please; don't
reopen the wound by referring to it in your next
I've been writing a book, all last winter in the eve-
nings, and all summer when I wasn't teaching Latin to
my two stupid children. I just finished it before col-
lege opened and sent it to a publisher. He kept it two
months and I was certain he was going to take it; but
yesterday morning an express parcel came (thirty
cents due) and there it was back again with a letter
from the publisher, a very nice, fatherly letter — ^but
frank! He said he saw from the address that I was
still in college, and if I would accept some advice, he
would suggest that I put all of my energy into my
lessons and wait until I graduated before beginning to
write. He enclosed his reader's opinion. Here it is:
"Plot highly improbable. Characterization exag-
gerated. Conversation unnatural. A good deal of hu-
mor but not always in the best of taste. Tell her to
keep on trying, and in time she may produce a real
Not on the whole flattering, is it, Daddy? And I
thought I was making a notable addition to American
literature, I did truly. I v/as planning to surprise you
by writing a great novel before I graduated. I col-
lected the material for it while I was at Julia's last
Christmas. But I dare say the editor is right. Probably
two weeks was not enough in which to observe the
manners and customs of a great city.
I took it walking with me yesterday afternoon, and
when I came to the gas house, I went in and asked the
engineer if I might borrow his furnace. He politely
opened the door, and with my own hands I chucked it
in. I felt as though I had cremated my only child!
I went to bed last night utterly dejected; I thought
I was never going to amount to anything, and that
you had thrown away your money for nothing. But
what do you think? I woke up this morning with a
beautiful new plot in my head, and Fve been going
about all day planning my characters, just as happy
as I could be. No one can ever accuse me of being a
pessimist! If I had a husband and twelve children
swallowed by an earthquake one day, Fd bob up
smiUngly the next morning and commence to look
for another set.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
I dreamed the funniest dream last night. I thought
I went into a book store and the clerk brought me a
new book named "The Life and Letters of Judy Ab-
bott." I could see it perfectly plainly — ^red cloth bind-
ing with a picture of the John Grier Home on the
cover, and my portrait for a frontispiece with, "Very
truly yours, Judy Abbott," written below. But just
as I was turning to the end to read the inscription on
my tombstone, I woke up. It was very annoying!
I almost found out who Fm going to marry and when
Fm going to die.
Don't you think it would be interesting if you really
could read the story of your life — ^written perfectly
truthfully by an omniscient author? And suppose you
could only read it on this condition: that you would
never forget it, but would have to go through life
knowing ahead of time exactly how everything you
did would turn out, and foreseeing to the exact hour
the time when you would die. How many people do
you suppose would have the courage to read it then?
Or how many could suppress their curiosity suffi-
ciently to escape from reading it, even at the price
of having to live without hope and without surprises?
Life is monotonous enough at best; you have to eat
and sleep about so often. But imagine how deadly
monotonous it would be if nothing unexpected could
happen between meals. Mercy! Daddy, there's a blot,
but Fm on the third page and I can't begin a new
I'm going on with biology again this year — ^very
interesting subject; we're studying the aHmentary sys-
tem at present. You should see how sweet a cross-
section of the duodenum of a cat is under the micro-
Also we've arrived at philosophy — ^interesting but
evanescent. I prefer biology where you can pin the
subject under discussion to a board. There's another!
And another! This pen is weeping copiously. Please
excuse its tears.
Do you believe in free will? I do — ^unreservedly.
I don't agree at all with the philosophers who think
that every action is the absolutely inevitable and auto-
matic resultant of an aggregation of remote causes.
That's the most immoral doctrine I ever heard — ^no-
bodv would be to blame for anything. If a man be-
lieved in fatalism, he would naturally just sit down
and say, "The Lord's will be done," and continue to
sit until he fell over dead.
I believe absolutely in my own free will and my
own power to accomplish — and that is the belief that
moves mountains. You watch me become a great
author! I have four chapters of my new book finished
and Evt more drafted.
This is a very abstruse letter — does your head ache,
Daddy? I think we'll stop now and make some fudge.
I'm sorry I can't send you a piece; it will be unusually
good, for we're going to make it with real cream and
three butter balls.
- - ^/
P. S. We're having fancy dancing in gymnasium
class. You can see by the accompanying picture how
much we look like a real ballet. The one on the end
accompHshing a graceful pirouette is me — I mean L
My dear, dear Daddy
Haven't you any sense? Don't you know that you
mustn't give one girl seventeen Christmas presents?
I'm a SociaHst, please remember; do you wish to turn
me into a Plutocrat?
Think how embarrassing it would be if we should
ever quarrel! I should have to engage a moving van
to return your gifts.
I am sorry that the necktie I sent was so wobbly;
I knit it with my own hands (as you doubtless dis-
covered from internal evidence). You will have to
wear it on cold days and keep your coat buttoned up
Thank you, Daddy, a thousand times. I think
you're the sweetest man that ever lived — ^and the f ool-
Here's a four-leaf clover from Camp McBride to
bring you good luck for the New Year.
Do you wish to do something, Daddy, that will
insure your eternal salvation? There is a family here
who are in awfully desperate straits. A mother and
father and four visible children — the two older boys
have disappeared into the world to make their fortune
and have not sent any of it back. The father worked
in a glass factory and got consumption — it's awfully
unhealthy work — and now has been sent away to a
hospital. That took all of their savings, and the sup-
port of the family falls upon the oldest daughter who
is twenty-four. She dressmakes for $1.50 a day (when
she can get it) and embroiders centerpieces in the eve-
ning. The mother isn't very strong and is extremely
ineffectual and pious. She sits with her hands folded,
a picture of patient resignation, while the daughter
kills herself with overwork and responsibility and
worry; she doesn't see how they are going to get
through the rest of the winter — and I don't either.
One hundred dollars would buy some coal and some
shoes for the three children so that they could go to
school, and give a little margin so that she needn't
worry herself to death when a few days pass and she
doesn't get work.
You are the richest man I know. Don't you sup-
pose you could spare one hundred dollars? That girl
deserves help a lot more than I ever did. I wouldn't
ask it except for the girl; I don't care much what hap-
pens to the mother — she is such a jelly-fish.
The way people are forever rolling their eyes to
heaven and saying, "Perhaps it's all for the best,"
when they are perfectly dead sure it's not, makes me
enraged. Humility or resignation or whatever you
choose to call it, is simply impotent inertia. I'm for
a more militant religion!
We are getting the most dreadful lessons in philoso-
phy — all of Schopenhauer for to-morrow. The pro-
fessor doesn't seem to realize that we are taking any
other subject. He's a queer old duck; he goes about
with his head in the clouds and blinks dazedly when
occasionally he strikes solid earth. He tries to lighten
his lectures with an occasional witticism — and we do
our best to smile, but I assure you his jokes are no
laughing matter. He spends his entire time between
classes in trying to figure out whether matter really
exists or whether he only thinks it exists.
Vm sure my sewing girl hasn't any doubt but that
Where do you think my new novel is? In the waste
basket. I can see myself that it's no good on earth, and
when a loving author realizes that, what "would be the
judgment of a critical public?
I address you, Daddy, from a bed of pain. For two
days I've been laid up with swollen tonsils; I can just
swallow hot milk, and that is all. "What were your
parents thinking of not to have those tonsils out when
you were a baby?" the doctor wished to know. I'm
sure I haven't an idea, but I doubt if they were think-
ing much about me.
I just read this over before sealing it. I don't know
lohy I cast such a misty atmosphere over life. I hasten
to assure you that I am young and happy and exuber-
ant; and I trust you are the same. Youth has nothing
to do with birthdays, only with alivedness of spirit,
so even if your hair is gray. Daddy, you can still be
Dear Mr, Philanthropist,
Your check for my family came yesterday. Thank
you so much! I cut gymnasium and took it down to
them right after luncheon, and you should have seen
the girl's face! She was so surprised and happy and
relieved that she looked almost young; and she's only
twenty-four. Isn't it pitiful?
Anyway, she feels now as though all the good
things were coming together. She has steady work
ahead for two months — some one's getting married,
and there's a trousseau to make.
"Thank the good Lord!" cried the mother, when
she grasped the fact that that small piece of paper was
one hundred dollars.
"It wasn't the good Lord at all," said I, "it was
Daddy-Long-Legs." (Mr. Smith, I called you.)
"But it was the good Lord who put it in his mind,"
"Not at all! I put it in his mind myself," said L
But anyway, Daddy, I trust the good Lord will
reward you suitably. You deserve ten thousand years
out of purgatory.
Yours most gratefully,
Feb. 15 th.
May it please Your Most Excellent Majesty:
This morning I did eat my breakfast upon a cold
turkey pie and a goose, and I did send for a cup of tee
(a china drink) of which I had never drank before.
Don't be nervous, Daddy — I haven't lost my mind;
I'm merely quoting Sam'l Pepys. We're reading him
in connection with English History, original sources.
Sallie and Julia and I converse now in the language of
1660. Listen to this:
"I went to Charing Cross to see Major Harrison
hanged, drawn and quartered: he looking as cheerful
as any man could do in that condition." And this:
"Dined with my lady who is in handsome mourning
for her brother who died yesterday of spotted fever."
Seems a little early to commence entertaining,
doesn't it? A friend of Pepys devised a very cunning
manner whereby the king might pay his debts out of
the sale to poor people of old decayed provisions.
What do you, a reformer, think of that? I don't be-
lieve we're so bad to-day as the newspapers make out.
Samuel was as excited about his clothes as any girl;
he spent five times as much on dress as his wife —
that appears to have been the Golden Age of hus-
bands. Isn't this a touching entry? You see he really
was honest. "To-day came home my fine Camlett
cloak with gold buttons, which cost me much money,
and I pray God to make me able to pay for it."
Excuse me for being so full of Pepys; I'm writing
a special topic on him.
What do you think. Daddy? The Self-Govem-
ment Association has abolished the ten-o'clock rule.
We can keep our lights all night if we choose, the
only requirement being that we do not disturb others
— ^we are not supposed to entertain on a large scale.
The result is a beautiful commentary on human na-
ture. Now that we may stay up as long as we choose,
we no longer choose. Our heads begin to nod at nine
o'clock, and by nine-thirty the pen drops from our
nerveless ^rasp. It's nine-thirty now. Good night.
Just back from church — ^preacher from Georgia.
We must take care, he says, not to develop our intel-
lects at the expense of our emotional natures — ^but me-
thought it was a poor, dry sermon (Pepys again). It
doesn't matter what part of the United States or
Canada they come from, or what denomination they
are we always get the same sermon. Why on earth
don't they go to men's colleges and urge the students
not to allow their manly natures to be crushed out by
too much mental application?
It's a beautiful day — frozen and icy and clear. As
soon as dinner is over, Sallie and Julia and Marty
Keen and Eleanor Pratt (friends of mine, but you
don't know them) and I are going to put on short
skirts and walk 'cross country to Crystal Spring Farm
and have a fried chicken and waffle supper, and then
have Mr. Crystal Spring drive us home in his buck-
board. We are supposed to be inside the campus at
seven, but we are going to stretch a point to-night and
make it eight.
Farewell, kind Sir.
I have the honour of subscribing myself,
Your most loyall, dutifull, faithfuU and obedient
Dear Mr. Trustee,
To-morrow is the first Wednesday in the month —
a weary day for the John Grier Home. How relieved
they'll be when five o'clock comes and you pat them
on the head and take yourselves off! Did you (in-
dividually) ever pat me on the head, Daddy? I don't
believe so — my memory seems to be concerned only
with fat Trustees.
Give the Home my love, please — ^my truly love. I
have quite a feeling of tenderness for it as I look back
through a haze of four years. When I first came to
college I felt quite resentful because I'd been robbed
of the normal kind of childhood that the other girls
had had; but now, I don't feel that way in the least.
I regard it as a very unusual adventure. It gives me
a sort of vantage point from which to stand aside and
look at life. Emerging full grown, I get a perspective
on the world, that other people who have been
brought up in the thick of things, entirely lack.
I know lots of girls (Julia, for instance) who never
know that they are happy. They are so accustomed
to the feeling that their senses are deadened to it, but
as for me — I am perfectly sure every moment of my
life that I am happy. And Fm going to keep on being,
no matter what unpleasant things turn up. Fm going
to regard them (even toothaches) as interesting ex-
periences, and be glad to know what they feel like.
"Whatever sky's above me, Fve a heart for any fate."
However, Daddy, don't take this new affection for
the J. G. H. too literally. If I have five children, like
Rousseau, I shan't leave them on the steps of a found-
ling asylum in order to insure their being brought up
Give my kindest regards to Mrs. Lippett (that, I
think, is truthful; love would be a little strong) and
don't forget to tell her what a beautiful nature Fve
Dear Daddy ^
Do you observe the postmark? Sallie and I are em-
bellishing Lock Willow with our presence during the
Easter vacation. We decided that the best thing we
could do with our ten days was to come where it is
quiet. Our nerves had got to the point where they
wouldn't stand another meal in Fergussen. Dining in
a room with four hundred girls is an ordeal when you
are tired. There is so much noise that you can't hear
the girls across the table speak unless they make their
hands into a megaphone and shout. That is the truth.
We are tramping over the hills and reading and
writing, and having a nice, restful time. We climbed
to the top of "Sky Hill" this morning where Master
Jervie and I once cooked supper — it doesn't seem
possible that it was nearly two years ago. I could still
see the place where the smoke of our fire blackened
the rock. It is funny how certain places get connected
with certain people, and you never go back without
thinking of them. I was quite lonely without him —
for two minutes.
What do you think is my latest activity, Daddy?
You will begin to believe that I am incorrigible — I
am writing a book. I started it three weeks ago and
am eating it up in chunks. I've caught the secret.
Master Jervie and that editor man were right; you are
most convincing when you write about the things
you know. And this time it is about something that I
do know — exhaustively. Guess where it's laid? In the
John Grier Home! And it's good, Daddy, I actually
believe it is — just about the tiny little things that
happened every day. I'm a realist now. I've aban-
doned romanticism; I shall go back to it later though,
when my own adventurous future begins.
This new book is going to get itself finished — and
published! You see if it doesn't. If you just want a
thing hard enough and keep on trying, you do get it
in the end. I've been trying for four years to get a
letter from you — and I haven't given up hope yet.
Good-by, Daddy dear.
(I like to call you Daddy dear; it's so alliterative.)
P. S. I forgot to tell you the farm news, but it's
very distressing. Skip this postscript if you don't want
your sensibilities all wrought up.
Poor old Grove is dead. He got so he couldn't
chew and they had to shoot him.
Nine chickens were killed by a weasel or a skunk
or a rat last week.
One of the cows is sick, and we had to have the
veterinary surgeon out from Bonnyrigg Four Cor-
ners. Amasai stayed up all night to give her linseed
oil and whisky. But we have an awful suspicion that
the poor sick cow got nothing but linseed oil.
Sentimental Tommy (the tortoise-shell cat) has dis-
appeared; we are afraid he has been caught in a trap.
There are lots of troubles in the world!
Dear Daddy -Lo?ig-Legs,
This is going to be extremely short because my
shoulder aches at the sight of a pen. Lecture notes all
day, immortal novel all evening makes too much writ-
Commencement three weeks from next Wednes-
day. I think you might come and make my acquaint-
ance — I shall hate you if you don't! Julia's inviting
Master Jervie, he being her family, and SaHie's in-
viting Jimmie McB., he being her family, but who is
there for me to invite? Just you and Mrs. Lippett,
and I don't want her. Please come.
Yours, with love and writer's cramp.
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Tm educated! My diploma is in the bottom bureau
drawer with my two best dresses. Commencement
was as usual, with a few showers at vital moments.
Thank you for your rosebuds. They were lovely.
Master Jervie and Master Jimmie both gave me roses,
too, but I left theirs in the bath tub and carried yours
in the class procession.
Here I am at Lock Willow for the summer — ^for-
ever maybe. The board is cheap; the surroundings
quiet and conducive to a literary life. What more does
a struggling author wish? I am mad about my book.
I think of it every waking moment, and dream of it
at night. All I want is peace and quiet and lots of time
to work (interspersed with nourishing meals) .
Master Jervie is coming up for a week or so in
August, and Jimmie McBride is going to drop in some-
time through the summer. He's connected with a
bond house now, and goes about the country selling
bonds to banks. He's going to combine the "Farmers'
National" at the Corners and me on the same trip.
You see that Lock Willow isn't entirely lacking in
society. Fd be expecting to have you come motoring
through — only I know now that that is hopeless.
When you wouldn't come to my commencement, I
tore you from my heart and buried you forever.
Judy Absott, A.B.
Dearest Daddy -Long-Legs,
Isn't it fun to work — or don't you ever do it? It's
especially fun when your kind of work is the thing
you'd rather do more than anything else in the world.
I've been writing as fast as my pen would go every
day this summer, and my only quarrel with life is
that the days aren't long enough to write all the beau-
tiful and valuable and entertaining thoughts I'm think-
I've finished the second draft of my book and am
going to begin the third to-morrow morning at half-
past seven. It's the sweetest book you ever saw — it
is, truly. I think of nothing else. I can barely wait in
the morning to dress and eat before beginning; then
I write and write and write till suddenly I'm so tired
that I'm limp all over. Then I go out with Colin (the
new sheep dog) and romp through the fields and get
a fresh supply of ideas for the next day. It's the most
beautiful book you ever saw — Oh, pardon — I said that
You don't think me conceited, do you, Daddy dear?
Fm not, really, only just now Fm in the enthusiastic
stage. Maybe later on Fll get cold and critical and
sniffy. No, Fm sure I won't! This time Fve written
a real book. Just wait till you see it.
Fll try for a minute to talk about something else.
I never told you, did I, that Amasai and Carrie got
married last May? They are still working here, but so
far as I can see it has spoiled them both. She used just
to laugh when he tramped in mud or dropped ashes
on the floor, but now — ^you should hear her scold!
And she doesn't curl her hair any longer. Amasai,
who used to be so obliging about beating rugs and
carrying wood, grumbles if you suggest such a thing.
Also his neckties are quite dingy — black and brown,
where they used to be scarlet and purple. Fve deter-
mined never to marry. It's a deteriorating process,
There isn't much of any farm news. The animals
are all in the best of health. The pigs are unusually
fat, the cows seem contented and the hens are laying
well. Are you interested in poultry? If so, let me
recommend that invaluable little work, "200 Eggs per
Hen per Year." I am thinking of starting an incubator
next spring and raising broilers. You see Fm settled
at Lock Willow permanently. I have decided to stay
until Fve written 1 14 novels like Anthony Trollope's
mother. Then I shall have completed my life work
and can retire and travel.
Mr. James McBride spent last Sunday with us.
Fried chicken and ice-cream for dinner, both of which
he appeared to appreciate. I was awfully glad to see
him; he brought a momentary reminder that the world
at large exists. Poor Jimmie is having a hard time
peddling his bonds. The Farmers' National at the
Corners wouldn't have anything to do with them in
spite of the fact that they pay six per cent, interest
and sometimes seven. I think he'll end by going home
to Worcester and taking a job in his father's factory.
He's too open and confiding and kind-hearted ever to
make a successful financier. But to be the manager
of a flourishing overall factory is a very desirable
position, don't you think? Just now he turns up his
nose at overalls, but he'll come to them.
I hope you appreciate the fact that this is a long
letter from a person with writer's cramp. But I still
love you, Daddy dear, and I'm very happy. With
beautiful scenery all about, and lots to eat and a com-
fortable four-post bed and a ream of blank paper and
a pint of ink — ^what more does one want in the world?
Yours, as always,
P. S. The postman arrives with some more news.
We are to expect Master Jervie on Friday next to
spend a week. That's a very pleasant prospect — only
I am afraid my poor book will suffer. Master Jervie
is very demanding.
August 27 th.
Where are you, I wonder?
I never know what part of the world you are in,
but I hope you're not in New York during this awful
weather. I hope you're on a mountain peak (but not
in Switzerland; somewhere nearer) looking at the
snow and thinking about me. Please be thinking about
me. I'm quite lonely and I want to be thought about.
Oh, Daddy, I wish I knew you! Then when we were
unhappy we could cheer each other up.
I don't think I can stand much more of Lock Wil-
low. I'm thinking of moving. Sallie is going to do
settlement work in Boston next winter. Don't you
think it would be nice for me to go with her, then we
could have a studio tos^ether? I could write while she
settled and we could be together in the evenings.
Evenings are very long when there's no one but the
Semples and Carrie and Amasai to talk to. I know
ahead of time that you won't like my studio idea. I
can read your secretary's letter now:
''Miss Jerusha Abbott.
"Mr. Smith prefers that you remain at Lock Wil-
"Elmer H. Griggs."
I hate your secretary. I am certain that a man
named Elmer H. Griggs must be horrid. But truly,
Daddy, I think I shall have to go to Boston. I can't
stay here. If something doesn't happen soon, I shall
throw myself into the silo pit out of sheer desperation.
Mercy! but it's hot. All the grass is burnt up and
the brooks are dry and the roads are dusty. It hasn't
rained for weeks and weeks.
This letter sounds as though I had hydrophobia,
but I haven't. I just want some family.
Good-by, my dearest Daddy.
I wish I knew you.
Something has happened and I need advice. I need
it from you, and from nobody else in the world.
Wouldn't it be possible for me to see you? It's so
much easier to talk than to write; and I'm afraid your
secretary might open the letter.
P. S. I'm very unhappy,
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs,
Your note written in your own hand — and a pretty-
wobbly hand! — came this morning. I am so sorry that
you have been ill; I wouldn't have bothered you with
my affairs if I had known. Yes, I will tell you the
trouble, but it's sort of compUcated to write, and very
private. Please don't keep this letter, but bum it.
Before I begin — here's a check for one thousand
dollars. It seems funny, doesn't it, for me to be send-
ing a check to you? Where do you think I got it?
I've sold my story. Daddy. It's going to be pub-
lished serially in seven parts, and then in a book! You
might think I'd be wild with joy, but I'm not. I'm
entirely apathetic. Of course I'm glad to begin pay-
ing you — I owe you over two thousand more. It's
coming in instalments. Now don't be horrid, please,
about taking it, because it makes me happy to return
it. I owe you a great deal more than the mere money,
and the rest I will continue to pay all my life in
gratitude and affection.
And now, Daddy, about the other thing; please
give me your most worldly advice, whether you think
I'll like it or not.
You know that I've always had a very special feel-
ing toward you; you sort of represented my whole
family; but you won't mind, will you, if I tell you
that I have a very much more special feeling for
another man? You can probably guess without much
trouble who he is. I suspect that my letters have been
very full of Master Jervie for a very long time.
I wish I could make you understand what he is like
and how entirely companionable we are. We think
the same about everything — I am afraid I have a tend-
ency to make over my ideas to match his! But he
is almost always right; he ought to be, you know, for
he has fourteen years' start of me. In other ways,
though, he's just an overgrown boy, and he does need
looking after — he hasn't any sense about wearing
rubbers when it rains. He and I always think the
same things are funny, and that is such a lot; it's dread-
ful when two people's sense of humor are antagonistic.
I don't believe there's any bridging that gulf!
And he is — Oh, well! He is just himself, and I miss
him, and miss him, and miss him. The whole world
seems empty and aching. I hate the moonlight be-
cause it's beautiful and he isn't here to see it with
me. But maybe you've loved somebody, too, and you
know? If you have, I don't need to explain; if you
haven't, I can't explain.
Anyway, that's the way I feel — ^and I've refused to
I didn't tell him why; I was just dumb and miser-
able. I couldn't think of anything to say. And now
he has gone away imagining that I want to marry
Jimmie McBride — I don't in the least, I wouldn't
think of marrying Jimmie; he isn't grown up enough.
But Master Jervie and I got into a dreadful muddle
of misunderstanding, and we both hurt each other's
feelings. The reason I sent him away was not because
I didn't care for him, but because I cared for him so
much. I was afraid he would regret it in the future —
and I couldn't stand that! It didn't seem right for a
person of my lack of antecedents to marry into any
such family as his. I never told him about the orphan
asylum, and I hated to explain that I didn't know who
I was. I may be dreadful, you know. And his family
are proud — and I'm proud, too!
Also, I felt sort of bound to you. After having been
educated to be a writer, I must at least try to be one;
it would scarcely be fair to accept your education
and then go off and not use it. But now that I am
going to be able to pay back the money, I feel that
I have partially discharged that debt — ^besides, I sup-
pose I could keep on being a writer even if I did
marry. The two professions are not necessarily exclu-
Fve been thinking very hard about it. Of course
he is a Socialist, and he has unconventional ideas;
maybe he wouldn't mind marrying into the proletariat
so much as some men might. Perhaps when two peo-
ple are exactly in accord, and always happy when to-
gether and lonely when apart, they ought not to let
anything in the world stand between them. Of course
I want to believe that! But I'd like to get your un-
emotional opinion. You probably belong to a Family
also, and will look at it from a worldly point of view
and not just a sympathetic human point of view — so
you see how brave I am to lay it before you.
Suppose I go to him and explain that the trouble
isn't Jimmie, but is the John Grier Home — would
that be a dreadful thing for me to do? It would take
a great deal of courage. I'd almost rather be miserable
for the rest of my life.
This happened nearly two months ago; I haven't
heard a word from him since he was here. I was just
getting sort of acclimated to the feeling of a broken
heart, when a letter came from Julia that stirred me
all up again. She said — very casually — that "Uncle
Jervis" had been caught out all night in a storm when
he was hunting in Canada, and had been ill ever since
with pneumonia. And I never knew it. I was feeling
hurt because he had just disappeared into blankness
without a word. I think he's pretty unhappy, and I
know I am!
What seems to you the right thing for me to do?
Dearest Daddy -Long-Legs,
Yes, certainly I'll come — at half-past four next
Wednesday afternoon. Of course I can find the way.
I've been in New York three times and am not quite
a baby. I can't believe that I am really going to see
you — I've been just thinking you so long that it hardly
seems as though you are a tangible flesh-and-blood
You are awfully good, Daddy, to bother yourself
with me, when you're not strong. Take care and don't
catch cold. These fall rains are very damp.
P. S. I've just had an awful thought. Have you a
butler? I'm afraid of butlers, and if one opens the door
I shall faint upon the step. What can I say to him?
You didn't tell me your name. Shall I ask for Mr.
My very dearest Master-] ervie-Daddy -Long-Legs-
Did you sleep last night? I didn't. Not a single
wink. I was too amazed and excited and bewildered
and happy. I don't believe I ever shall sleep again —
or eat either. But I hope you slept; you must, you
know, because then you will get well faster and can
come to me.
Dear Man, I can't bear to think how ill you've been
— and all the time I never knew it. When the doctor
came down yesterday to put me in the cab, he told
me that for three days they gave you up. Oh, dearest,
if that had happened, the light would have gone out
of the world for me. I suppose that some day — in the
far future — one of us must leave the other; but at
least we shall have had our happiness and there will
be memories to live with.
I meant to cheer you up — and instead I have to
cheer myself. For in spite of being happier than I
ever dreamed I could be, I'm also soberer. The fear
that something may happen to you rests like a shadow
on my heart. Always before I could be frivolous and
care-free and unconcerned, because I had nothing
precious to lose. But now — I shall have a Great Big
Worry all the rest of my life. Whenever you are
away from me I shall be thinking of all the auto-
mobiles that can run over you, or the sign-boards that
can fall on your head or the dreadful, squirmy germs
that you may be swallowing. My peace of mind is
gone forever — but anyway, I never cared much for
just plain peace.
Please get well — fast — fast — fast. I want to have
you close by where I can touch you and make sure
you are tangible. Such a little half hour we had to-
gether! I'm afraid maybe I dreamed it. If I were only
a member of your family (a very distant fourth
cousin) then I could come and visit you every day,
and read aloud and plump up your pillow and smooth
out those two little wrinkles in your forehead and
make the comers of your mouth turn up in a nice
cheerful smile. But you are cheerful again, aren't
you? You were yesterday before I left. The doctor
said I must be a good nurse, that you looked ten years
younger. I hope that being in love doesn't make every
one ten years younger. Will you still care for me,
darling, if I turn out to be only eleven?
Yesterday was the most wonderful day that could
ever happen. If I live to be ninety-nine I shall never
forget the tiniest detail. The girl that left Lock Wil-
low at dawn was a very different person from the one
who came back at night. Mrs. Semple called me at
half -past four. I started wide awake in the darkness
and the first thought that popped into my head was,
"I am going to see Daddy-Long-Legs!" I ate break-
fast in the kitchen by candle-light, and then drove the
five miles to the station through the most glorious
October coloring. The sun came up on the way, and
the swamp maples and dogwood glowed crimson and
orange and the stone walls and cornfields sparkled
with hoar frost; the air was keen and clear and full of
promise. I knew something was going to happen.
All the way in the train the rails kept singing, "You're
going to see Daddy-Long-Legs." It made me feel
secure. I had such faith in Daddy's ability to set things
right. And I knew that somewhere another man —
dearer than Daddy — ^was wanting to see me, and
somehow I had a feeling that before the journey ended
I should meet him, too. And you see!
When I came to the house on Madison Avenue it
looked so big and brown and forbidding that I didn't
dare go in, so I walked around the block to get up my
courage. But I needn't have been a bit afraid; your
butler is such a nice, fatherly old man that he made me
feel at home at once. "Is this Miss Abbott?" he said to
me, and I said, "Yes," so I didn't have to ask for Mr.
Smith after all. He told me to wait in the drawing-
room. It was a very somber, magnificent, man's sort
of room. I sat down on the edge of a big upholstered
chair and kept saying to myself:
"I'm going to see Daddy-Long-Legs! I'm going to
Then presently the man came back and asked me
please to step up to the library. I was so excited that
really and truly my feet would hardly take me up.
Outside the door he turned and whispered, "He's been
very ill. Miss. This is the first day he's been allowed to
sit up. You'll not stay long enough to excite him?" I
knew from the way he said it that he loved you — ^and
I think he's an old dear!
Then he knocked and said, "Miss Abbott," and I
went in and the door closed behind me.
It was so dim coming in from the brightly lighted
hall that for a moment I could scarcely make out any-
thing; then I saw a big easy chair before the fire and
a shining tea table with a smaller chair beside it. And
I realized that a man was sitting in the big chair
propped up by pillows with a rug over his knees. Be-
fore I could stop him he rose — sort of shakily — and
steadied himself by the back of the chair and just
looked at me without a word. And then — and then —
I saw it was you! But even with that I didn't under-
stand. I thought Daddy had had you come there to
meet me for a surprise.
Then you laughed and held out your hand and said,
"Dear little Judy, couldn't you guess that I was
In an instant it flashed over me. Oh, but I have been
stupid! A hundred little things might have told me, if
I had had any wits. I wouldn't make a very good de-
tective, would I, Daddy? — ^Jervie? What must I call
you? Just plain Jervie sounds disrespectful and I can't
be disrespectful to you!
It was a very sweet half hour before your doctor
came and sent me away. I was so dazed when I got to
the station that I almost took a train for St. Louis. And
you were pretty dazed, too. You forgot to give me
any tea. But we're both very, very happy, aren't we?
I drove back to Lock Willow in the dark — but oh,
how the stars were shining! And this morning I've
been out with Colin visiting all the places that you and
I went to together, and remembering what you said
and how you looked. The woods to-day are bur-
nished bronze and the air is full of frost. It's climbing
weather. I wish you were here to climb the hills with
me. I am missing you dreadfully, Jervie dear, but it's
a happy kind of missing: we'll be together soon. We
belong to each other now really and truly, no make-
believe. Doesn't it seem queer for me to belong to
some one at last? It seems very, very sweet.
And I shall never let you be sorry for a single
Yours, forever and ever,
P. S. This is the first love letter I ever wrote. Isn't
it funny that I know how.^
By BOOTH TARKINGTON
No ONE but the creator of PENROD
could have conceived and portrayed so
intimately and inimitably the love-lorn
Willie Baxter and the shining Lola Prat I,
to say nothing of Jane, — the immortal
Jane, Venjant terrible, — and Genesis,
owner and sometime master of the dog
Beyond question the funniest book of
our generation. Its humor is irresistible,
at times overwhelming, to all but the
luckless William, to whom it seems tragic
rnost of the time.
A book to be read aloud in the bosom
of your family because it is too good to
be unshared by others; full of chuckles,
and reminiscent of the many ecstatic and
despairing moments we have all known
when we were Seventeen.
GROSSET & DUNLAP Publishers
New York 10. N. Y.
Here are the books every boy and girl wants to own, read and read
again for countless years of entertainment. Each of these handsomely
printed and bound editions of modern classics has been designed in an
attractive, large-size format printed in easy-to-read type and wrapped in
a beautiful full color jacket. Originally published at $2.00 or higher,
these famous copyright titles are now available in the Thrushwood
series at only $1.00 each.
BAMBI Felix Salten
BOB, SON OF BATTLE , . , . . Alfred Ollivant
THE SECRET GARDEN Frances Hodgson Burnett
PETER AND WENDY J. M. Barrie
REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM .... Kate Douglas Wiggin
UNDERSTOOD BETSY Dorothy Canfield
HEIDI GROWS UP Charles Tritten
HEIDI'S CHILDREN Charles Tritten
UNCLE REMUS: HIS SONGS AND HIS SAYINGS Joel Chandler Harris
BAMBI'S CHILDREN Felix Salten
THE CALL OF THE WILD Jack London
WHITE FANG Jack London
DADDY LONG LEGS Jean Webster
SEVENTEEN Booth Tarkington
PENROD Booth Tarkington
PENROD JASHBER Booth Tarkington
PENROD AND SAM . Booth Tarkington
THE BIOGRAPHY OF A GRIZZLY .... Ernest Thompson Seton
THE LITTLE SHEPHERD OF KINGDOM COME . . . John Fox, Jr.
BEAUTIFUL JOE Marshall Saunders
GROSSET & DUNLAP I -^^X Publishers New York 10, N.Y.