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Full text of "Daddy-Long-Legs"

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'Daddy 

BY JEAN WEBSTER 

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Daddy Long-Legs 

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 
enthusiasm. 

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. 



JEAN WEBSTER 




GROSSET & DUNLAE 

Fublishers 

NEW YORK 



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 



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Introduction 11 

Blue Wednesday «... 21 

The Letters of Miss Jerusha Abbott 

to Mr. Daddy-Long-Legs Smith 31 



Introduction 

JEAN WEBSTER 

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- 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
repUed, "Webster." 

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 

[12] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[-5] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
scrap basket. 

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 

1^4] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

whom she often invited to call on her when they were 
freed, jestingly warning them that her silver was but 
"plate." 

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 

Us] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[i6] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[^7] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 

[18] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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). 



[^9] 



''Blue Wednesday 



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 

[21] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[22] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Je-TU-sha Ab-bott 
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. 

[25] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Mrs. Lippett in the office^ 
And I think she^s mad. 
Ah-a-men! 

Tommy piously intoned, but his accent was not 
entirely malicious. Even the most hardened little 
orphan felt sympathy for an erring sister who was 
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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
for visitors. 

"Sit down, Jerusha, I have something to say to 
you." 

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." 

[^5] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[26] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
cussed." 

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 
record. 

*'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.' " 

[=7] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Jerusha's guilty expression this time was not as- 
sumed. 

"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 

[28] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
sers." 

The door closed behind her, and Mrs. Lippett 
watched it with dropped jaw, her peroration in midair. 

130] 



THE LETTERS OF 

MISS JERUSHA ABBOTT 

to 

MR. DADDY-LONG-LEGS SMITH 



2 1 5 Fergussen Hall, 
September 24th. 
Dear Kind-Trustee-Who-Sends-Orphans-to-College^ 

Here I am! I traveled yesterday for four hours in 
a train. It's a funny sensation isn't it? I never rode in 
one before. 

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- 
quainted. 

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 

[55] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
Dear Clothes-Pole. 

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 

[34] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 

Jerusha Abbott. 

To Mr, Daddy-Long-Legs Smith 



[35] 



October 1st. 
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. 

[36] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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? 

Tuesday. 

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 

[37] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Fm due at the athletic field in gymnasium clothes. 
Don't you hope I'll make the team? 

Yours always, 

Jerusha Abbott. 

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? 



[?^j 



October 10th. 
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 

{39] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
cones. 

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 
being educated. 

Jerusha Abbott. 

P.S. I hope you never touch alcohol. Daddy? 
It does dreadful things to your liver. 



un 



Wednesday. 
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 
plain. 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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.) 

Friday. 

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 

[43] 



AUY ORPHAN 



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 

[44] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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! 

Yours ever, 
Judy Abbott. 
(Nee Jerusha.) 



Saturday morning. 

I've just been reading this letter over and it sounds 
pretty un-cheerful. But can't you guess that I have 

[45] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

a special topic due Monday morning and a review 
in geometry and a very sneezy cold? 

Sunday. 

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. 



[46] 



October 25th. 
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 /( 
Basket Ball 

U7^ 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
November. 

Yours most loquaciously, 

Judy Abbott. 



[m 



November 15th. 
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 
trapezoids. 

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- 

[49] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
hams. 

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. 



[50] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
front 

J. Abbott. 

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 
look like? 

R.S.V.P. 

[31] 



December 19th. 



Dear Daddy -Long-Legs, 



You never answered my question and it was very 
important. 
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 
some hair? 

Would you like to know what 
color your eyes are? 




[52] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 
(Chapel bell.) 

9.45 P.M. 

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 

[55] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
ter.) 



[54] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 



Saturday. 

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. 

Sunday. 

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. 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 

[53] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 

or 

Mr. Smith is not bald, 

or 

Mr. Smith has white hair. 

And you can deduct the twenty-five cents out of 

my allowance. 

Good-by till January — and a merry Christmas! 



[56] 



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. 

[57] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
soon.) 

VL A dictionary of synonyms. (To enlarge the 
author's vocabulary.) 

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 

[55] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
composite family.? 

And now, shall I tell you about my vacation, or are 
you only interested in my education as such? I hope 
you appreciate the delicate shade of meaning in "as 
such." It is the latest 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. 

[59] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[60] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

[6i] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
February. 

Yours with love, 

Judy. 

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. 



[62] 



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 
examinations. 

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 

[63] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 

Judy Abbott. 



[64] 



Sunday. 
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 
humor first. 

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 

[65] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 

Judy. 

[66] 



NEWS of the MONTH 



She receives 

and 5k<dS 
man^ tears 



Jud^ learns 
to sKate 




8ut promises 
to study 

HARD 




f T 



[67J 



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- 

[68] 



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, 

Judy. 



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- 
ments. 

I will write a respectable letter when it's over. To- 
night I have a pressing engagement with the Ablative 
Absolute. 

Yours — in evident haste, 

J. A. 
[6p] 



March 26th. 
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 
Duty. 

I don't know a single thing about you. I don't even 
know your name. It is very uninspiring writing to a 
Thing. I haven't a doubt but that you throw my 
letters into the waste-basket without reading them. 
Hereafter I shall write only about work. 

My reexaminations in Latin and geometry came 
last week. I passed them both and am now free from 
conditions. 

Yours truly, 
Jerusha Abbott. 



[70] 



April 2d. 
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 
forgive me. 

Here is a picture of the way I look, with a bandage 
tied around my head in rabbit's ears. 




[7/] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 

Judy Abbott. 



[7^] 



The Infirmary. 

April 4th. 

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. 

[75] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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? 

Yours forever, 

Judy. 



[7^] 



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 
would collect. 

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 
the rest? 

Looking back dispassionately after a period of time, 

[75] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
them. 

[7^] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 
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- 

[77] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[78] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
ing process! 

But this didn't end the day. There's worse to come. 

It rained so we couldn't play golf, but had to go to 
gymnasium instead. The girl 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 

[79] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
requires spirit. 

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 
win. 

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. 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 

Answer soon. 



[80] 



May 27th. 
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, 

Jerusha Abbott. 



[8i] 



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. 



He did! 



Au revotr, 
Je vous aime heaucoup, 

Judy. 



[82] 



May 30th. 

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. 

[83] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Fm sorry I ever made faces behind the Trustees' 
backs. 

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 
sun shines. 

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, 
Daddy? 

I started to tell you about the campus. I wish you'd 
come for a little visit and let me walk you about and 
say: 

"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 
new infirmary." 

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. 

[84] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

[85] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
her since. 

Anyway, there he was, sitting in the reception room 
very proper with his hat and stick and gloves beside 
him; and Julia and Sallie with seventh-hour recitations 
that they couldn't cut. So 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, 

[86] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
companionable. 

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. 

[87] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

Judy. 

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? 



188] 



June 9th. 
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 

{89] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 
P. S. Here is my physiology exam. Do you think 
you could have passed? 



[90] 



Lock Willow Farm, 

Saturday night. 
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 

[91] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Good night, 

Judy. 

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. 



[93] 



Lock Willow, 

July 12th. 
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 
reddish! 

Since she discovered that I know him, I have risen 
very much in her opinion. Knowing a member of the 
Pendleton family is the best introduction one can 
have at Lock Willow. And the cream of the whole 
family is Master Jervie — I am pleased to say that Julia 
belongs to an inferior branch. 

The farm gets more and more entertaining. I rode 

[94] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
farm. 

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. 

[95] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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

2. Lesbia, after the Lesbia in Catullus. 

3. Sallie. 

4. Julia — a spotted, nondescript animaL 

5. Judy, after me. 

6. Daddy-Long-Legs. Yovi don't mind, do you. 




{96] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Daddy? He's pure Jersey and has a sweet disposition. 
He looks like this — ^you can see how appropriate the 
name is. 

I haven't had time yet to begin my immortal novel; 
the farm keeps me too busy. 

Yours always, 

Judy. 



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 
pin feathers. 

P.S. (3)1 wish I could send you a pat of the nice, 
fresh butter I churned yesterday. I'm a fine dairy- 
maid! 

P.S. (4) This is a picture of Miss Jerusha Abbott, 
the future great author, driving home the cows. 



2>\r(i'i<l 





^Jrn 







[97] 



Sunday. 
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs, 

Isn't it funny? I started to write to you yesterday 
afternoon, but as far as I got was the heading, "Dear 
Daddy-Long-Legs," and then I remembered I'd 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 
you. 

[9^1 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[99] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
sation. 

This is Sunday afternoon. 

Amasai (hired man) in a purple tie and some bright 
yellow buckskin gloves, very red and shaved, has just 
driven off with Carrie (hired girl) in a big hat 
trimmed with red roses and a blue muslin dress and 
her hair curled as tight as it will curl. Amasai spent 
all the morning washing the buggy; and Carrie stayed 
home from church ostensibly to cook the dinner, but 
really to iron the muslin dress. 

In two minutes more when this letter is finished I 
am going to settle down to a book which I found in 
the attic. It's entitled, "On the Trail," and sprawled 
across the front page in a funny little-boy hand: 

Jervis Pendleton 
If this book should ever roam, 
Box its ears and send it home. 

He spent the summer here once after he had been 
ill, when he was about eleven years old; and he left 
"On the Trail" behind. It looks well read — ^the marks 

[lOo] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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? 

Sir, 
I remain, 
Your affectionate orphan, 

Judy Abbott. 

[lOl] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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? 



[^02] 



September 15th. 
Dear Daddy, 

I was weighed yesterday on the flour scales in the 
general store at the Comers. I've gained nine pounds! 
Let me recommend Lock Willow as a health resort. 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 





[^03] 



September 25th. 
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs, 

Behold me — a Sophomore! I came up last Friday, 
sorry to leave Lock Willow, but glad to see the 
campus again. It is a pleasant sensation to come back 
to something familiar. I am beginning to feel at home 
in college, and in command of the 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! 




[104] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Also French. 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

If this keeps up many years longer, I shall become 
quite intelligent. 

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 
next president. 

Yours in politics, 

I. Abbott. 



[106] 



October 17th. 
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 
our table. 

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 
you? 

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 

[107] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

reflecting your back? The more one thinks about 
this problem, the more puzzling it becomes. You can 
see with what deep philosophical reflection we engage 
our leisure! 

Did I ever tell you about the election? It happened 
three weeks ago, but so fast 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). 



f 



P ^ BVB R, 




[io8] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

We're very important persons now in "258." Julia 
and I come in for a great deal of reflected glory. It's 
quite a social strain to be living in the same house with 
a president. 
Bonne nuit, cher Daddy. 

Acceptez mes cojnpliments, 

Tres respectueux, 

Je mis, 
Votre Judy. 



[lop] 



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? 

Yours, 

J.A. 

[no] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Saturday. 

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 
eyes. 



U^^] 



"Stone Gate," 
Worcester, Mass., 

December 31st. 
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. 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
again. 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Yours ever, 
Judy Abbott. 

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? 



[114 



6.30, Saturday. 
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- 

["5] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
the pasture. 

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." 

\ir6] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 




i^n] 



Jan. 20th. 
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 
it. 

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, 

[ii8] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
time. 

Au] 'wiedersehen 
Cher Daddy 
Vax tihi! 
Judy. 

P.S. There's one thing I'm perfectly sure of. Fm 
not a Chinaman. 



["?] 



February 4th. 
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." 

[120] 




It's the e^ri^f biVd 
thM c^icbccthetbo 



"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 

[121] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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? 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 



[122] 



March 5th. 
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 
wind. 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
barn window. 

Both sides insist that they won. I think we did, 
don't you? Because we caught them before they got 
back to the campus. Anyway, all nineteen of us 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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
English classics.) 

Speaking of classics, have you ever read "Hamlet"? 
If you haven't, do it right off. It's perfectly corking, 
I've been hearing about Shakespeare all 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- 
ment. 

At present I'm Ophelia — and such a sensible 

U^5] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 

Ophelia, 
Queen of Denmark. 



[126] 



March 24th. 
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 
happened. 

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 

[j27l 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
count. 

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 
scarcely sleep. 

Good-by, Daddy. 

This is a very entertaining world. 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 

P.S. I've just looked at the calendar. It's the 28th. 

Another postscript. 

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? 

[128] 



April 7th. 

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^ 

[I2C^] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
every night. 

Isn't Shakespeare wonderful? 

"Hamlet" is so much better on the stage than when 
we analyze it in class; I appreciated it before, but now, 
dear me! 

I think, if you don't mind, that I'd rather be an 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
to me. 

"In a village," said I, meekly to Julia. 

"But didn't you ever travel?" said she to me. 

"Not till I came to college, and then it was only a 
hundred and sixty miles and we didn't eat," said I 
to her. 

She's getting quite interested in me, because I say 
such funny things. I try hard not to, but they do pop 
out when I'm surprised — and I'm surprised most of 
the time. It's a dizzying experience, Daddy, to pass 
eighteen years in the John Grier Home, and then 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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Yours always, 

Judy. 



[^5-] 



April 10th. 
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. 

Sincerely yours, 
Jerusha Abbott, 



[^33] 



April 11th. 

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- 
book. 

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 

[^34] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 
Judy. 

U35] 



May 4th. 
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 
events. 

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 

U36] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
and yelHng: 

What's the matter with Judy Abbott? 
She's all right. 
Who's all right? 
Judy Ab-bott! 

That, Daddy, is true fame. Then trotting back to 
the dressing tent and being rubbed down with alcohol 
and 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- 

[^38] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[139] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
times bad. 

But anyway, they are going to be happy. I think 
that every one, no matter how many troubles he may 
have when he grows up, ought to have a happy 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 
grow up. 

(There goes the chapel bell — I'll finish this letter 
sometime.) 



[140 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Thursday. 

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?" 





[^4^] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Saturday morning. 

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, 

Judy. 



IhA 



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 
verbiage. 

I. We had written examinations this week in: 

A. Chemistry. 

B. History. 

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. 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Judy. 



[^44] 



June 2d. 
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs, 

You will never guess the nice thing that has hap- 
pened. 

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- 
mas. 

Please excuse this being short. It isn't a real letter; 
it's just to let you know that I'm disposed of for the 
summer. 

Yours, 

In a very contented frame of mind, 

Judy. 



June 5th. 
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 
know asylum-keeping. 

There aren't any girls our age at the camp, and 
Mrs. McBride wants me for a companion for Sallie. 
We are planning to do a lot of reading together. We 
are going to read all of the books for next year's 
Enghsh and Sociology. The Professor said it would 
be a great help if we would get our reading finished in 

[146] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 



1^47] 



June 9th. 
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 
Willow Farm. 

I hope always to remain, 
(Miss) Jerusha Abbott. 



[148] 



Lock Willow Farm. 

August Third. 
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 
work." 

But not at all! Just a curt line from your secretary 
ordering me to Lock Willow. 

It's the impersonality of your commands that hurts 

[^49] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
again. 

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, 

Judy. 



[-5/] 



August 10th. 
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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

{^54} 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
tons. 

[^55] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
covered. 

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 
used up. 

Good night, 

Judy. 



[^56] 




Friday. 

Good morning! Here is some news! What do you 
think? You'd never, never, never guess who's coming 
to Lock Willow. A letter to Mrs. Semple from Mr. 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

[^58] 




With my hand on my heart — farewell. 



Judy. 



P. S. Isn't that a nice ending? I got it out of Steven- 
son's letters. 



Saturday. 

Good morning again! I didn't get this enveloped 
yesterday before the postman came, so I'll add some 
more. We have one mail a day at twelve o'clock. 
Rural 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 

[^59] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

{i6o] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
guage. 

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. 

Yours always, 

Judy. 

P.S. The lettuce hasn't done at all well this year. 
It was so dry early in the season. 



\i6il 



August 25th. 

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 

{162] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 — 

[765] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 



there's an astonishing amount of life in old Grove. 
We fed him on oats for three days, and he shied at a 
calf and almost ran away with me. 




Wednesday. 

We climbed Sky Hill Monday afternoon. That's 
a mountain near here; not an awfully high mountain, 
perhaps — no snow on the summit — but at least you 
are pretty breathless when you reach the top. The 
lower slopes are covered with woods, but the top is 
just piled rocks and open moor. We stayed up for 
the sunset and built a fire and cooked our supper. 

[164] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
knows. 

We went for a long tramp this morning and got 
caught in a storm. Our clothes were drenched before 
we reached home — but our spirits not even damp. 
You should have seen Mrs. Semple's face when we 
dripped into her kitchen. 

"Oh, Master Jervie — Miss Judy! You are soaked 
through. Dear! Dear! What shall I do? That nice 
new coat is perfectly ruined." 

She was awfully funny; you would have thought 
that we were ten years old, and she a distracted 
mother. I was afraid for a while that we weren't 
going to get any jam for tea. 

Saturday. 

I started this letter ages ago, but I haven't had a 
second to finish it. 

[^65] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Isn't this a nice thought from Stevenson? 

The world is so full of a number of things, 
I am sure we should all be as happy as kings. 

It's true, you know. The world is full of happiness, 
and plenty to go round, if you are only willing to take 
the kind that comes your way. The whole secret is in 
being pliable. In the country, especially, there are 
such a lot of entertaining things. I can walk over 
everybody's land, and look at everybody's view, and 
dabble in everybody's brook; and enjoy it just as much 
as though I owned the land — and with no taxes to 
pay! 

• • • • • 

It's Sunday night now, about eleven o'clock, and I 
am supposed to be getting some beauty sleep, but I 
had black coffee for dinner, so — no beauty sleep for 
me! 

This morning, said Mrs. Semple to Mr. Pendleton, 
with a very determined accent: 

"We have to leave here at a quarter past ten in order 
to get to church by eleven." 

"Very well, Lizzie," said Master Jervie, "you have 
the surrey ready, and if I'm not dressed, just go on 
without waiting." 

"We'U wait," said she. 

[i66] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

"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 
went fishing. 

It discommoded the household dreadfully, because 
Lock Willow of a Sunday dines at two. But he 
ordered dinner at seven — he orders meals whenever 
he chooses; you would think the place were a 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 
funny? 

And poor Mrs. Semple believes that people who go 
fishing on Sundays, go afterwards to a sizzling hot 
hell! She is awfully troubled to think that she didn't 
train him better when he was small and helpless and 
she had the chance. Besides — she wished to show him 
off in church. 

Anyway, we had our fishing (he caught four little 
ones) and we cooked them on a camp-fire for lunch. 
They kept falling off our spiked sticks into the fire, so 
they tasted a little ashy, but we ate them. We got 

[167] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

home at four and went driving at five and had dinner 
at seven, and at ten I was sent to bed — and here I am, 
writing to you. 
I am getting a little sleepy though. 

Good night. 

Here is a picture of the one fish I caught. 



^^- 




^:^7>^^3rf 




[i68] 




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. 

[169] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Pendleton if he knew you in New York — I should 
think he might; you must move in about the same 
exalted social circles, and you are both interested in 
reforms and things — but I couldn't, for I don't know 
your real name. 

It's the silliest thing I ever heard of, not to know 
your name. Mrs. Lippett warned me that you were 
eccentric. I should think so! 

Affectionately, 

JXJDY. 

P. S. On reading this over, I find that it isn't all 
Stevenson. There are one or two glancing references 
to Master Jervie. 



[770] 



September 10th. 
Dear Daddy, 

He has gone, and we are missing him! When you 
get accustomed to people or places or ways of living, 
and then have them suddenly snatched away, it does 
leave an awfully empty, gnawing sort of sensation. 
Pm finding Mrs. Semple's conversation pretty un- 
seasoned food. 

College opens in two weeks and I shall be glad to 
begin work again. I have worked quite a lot this 
summer though — six short stories and seven poems. 
Those I sent to the magazines all came back with the 
most courteous promptitude. But I don't mind. It's 
good practice. Master Jervie read them — he brought 
in the 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- 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
waves. 

A storm is awfully disturbing in the country. You 
are always having to think of so many things that are 
out of doors and getting spoiled. 

Thursday. 

Daddy! Daddy! What do you think? The postman 
has just come with two letters. 
ist. — My story is accepted. $50. 
Alorsf Fm an AUTHOR. 

[772] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Yours ever, 
Jerusha Abbott, 

Author of, "When the Sophomores 
Won the Game." For sale at all 
news stands, price ten cents. 



lm\ 



September 26th. 
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 

U74] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
of it. 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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). 

Affectionately, 

Judy. 



[iy6] 



September 30th. 
Dear Daddy, 

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 
from strangers. 

Strangers! — And what are you, pray? 

Is there any one in the world that I know less? I 
shouldn't recognize you if I met you 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. 
Smith. 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
me. 

I trust that your secretary won't be hurt because I 
pay so httle attention to the suggestions offered in his 

[775] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 
Yours, 

With a Mind, 

Completely and Irrevocably and 

World-without-End Made-up. 

Jerusha Abbott. 



[^79] 



November 9th. 
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 
coats! 

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 

[j8o] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
docility. 

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 
mammal, 










DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Yours always, 

Judy. 



[182] 



December 7th. 
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 
being allowed. 

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 
extent. 

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. 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
campus. 

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 
know! 

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- 

[184] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
dollars. 

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 
details! 

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- 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
Shakespeare's plays.) 

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'm pretty. 

I am, really. I'd be an awful idiot not to know it 
with three looking-glasses in the room. 

A Friend. 

P.S. This is one of those wicked anonymous letters 
you read about in novels. 



[i86] 



December 20th. 
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 
Christmas box. 

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. 

Yours always, 

Judy. 

P. S. I am sending a slight token, too. Do you think 
you would like her if you knew her? 



January 11th. 

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 
door. 

Mrs. Pendleton never thinks of anything but jewels 
and dressmakers and social engagements. She did seem 

[i88] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
and me. 

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 

[189] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
witticisms! 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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? 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 

P. S. It's raining cats and dogs to-night. Two 
puppies and a kitten have just landed on the window- 
siU. 



[191] 



Dear ComradCy 

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- 
forms. 

Yours, with fraternal love, 

Judy. 

Monday, 3d hour. 



[ip2] 



February 11th. 
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, 

J. A. 



[^93] 



March 5th. 
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. 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
lessons. 

We had delicious pink ice-cream for dessert last 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
dyes. 

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, 

I remain. 
Most cordially yours, 

Jerusha Abbott. 



[196] 



April 24th. 
Dear Daddy, 

Spring has come again! You should see how lovely 
the campus is. I think you might come and look at it 
for yourself. Master Jervie dropped in again last 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. 

Saturday. 

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 

[^97] 




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- 

U9S] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Affectionately, 
Judy. 



/I 



This is"R€>LVj'9 
Kitten. V(ou C9n see 
f/om the picture bow 



[199] 



May 15th. 
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 

\_200'\ 




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 

[201] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 
too. 

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 
belong? 

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, 
ffest pas? 

There goes the gong for dinner. I'll mail this as I 
pass the chute. 

Affectionately, 

J- 



[202] 



June 4th. 
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 

[203] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
tvi^enty-five. 

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 
now. 

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 
forget Judy. 

[204] 



June Tenth. 
Dear Daddy, 

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 

[20^] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

beginning. I have no right to borrow on credit, for 
there will come a time when the World will repudiate 
my claim. 

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 
myself. 

Magnolia, * 
Four days later. 

I'd got just that much written, when — what do you 
think happened? The maid arrived with Master 
Jervie's card. He is going abroad too this summer; not 
with Julia and her family but entirely by himself. I 
told him that you had invited me to go with a lady 
who is chaperoning a party of girls. He knows about 
you, Daddy. That is, he knows that my father and 
mother are dead, and that a kind gentleman is sending 
me to college; I simply didn't have the courage to tell 
him about the John Grier Home and all the rest. He 
thinks that you are my guardian and a perfectly 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 

[206] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[20J] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

— 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. 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 

[208] 



August 19th. 
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! 

[209] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Judy. 



[2101 



Dear Daddy, 



Camp McBride, 
September 6th. 



Your letter didn't come in time (I am pleased to 
say). If you wish your instructions to be obeyed, you 
must have your secretary transmit them in less than 
two weeks. As you observe, I am here, and have been 
for five days. 

The woods are fine, and so is the camp, and so is 
the weather, and so are the McBrides, and so is the 
whole world. 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] 
your faults. 

Judy. 

[211] 



October 3rd. 
Dear Daddy -Long-Legs, 

Back at college and a Senior — also editor of the 
Monthly, It doesn't seem possible, does it, that so 
sophisticated a person, just four years ago, was an in- 
mate of the John Grier Home? We do arrive fast in 
America! 

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 
touch. 

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- 

[212] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
Paris! 

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. 

Yours ever, 

Judy. 

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. 



November 17th. 
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 
letter. 

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 
book." 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Affectionately, 

Judy. 



December 14th. 
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 

[216] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
sheet. 

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- 
scope. 

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- 

[2iy] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Yours affectionately, 

Judy. 

- - ^/ 

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 

[218] 



December 26th. 

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. 



d 





VAN 



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 
tight. 

[2ip] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Thank you, Daddy, a thousand times. I think 
you're the sweetest man that ever lived — ^and the f ool- 
ishest! 

Judy. 

Here's a four-leaf clover from Camp McBride to 
bring you good luck for the New Year. 



f 220] 



January 9th. 

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 

[227] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

[222] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

Vm sure my sewing girl hasn't any doubt but that 
it exists! 

Where do you think my new novel is? In the waste 
basket. I can see myself that it's no good on earth, and 
when a loving author realizes that, what "would be the 
judgment of a critical public? 

Later. 

I address you, Daddy, from a bed of pain. For two 
days I've been laid up with swollen tonsils; I can just 
swallow hot milk, 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. 

Yours, 
J. A. 
Next morning. 

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 
a bo}^-. 

Affectionately, 

Judy. 
[223.] 



Jan. 12th. 
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," 
said she. 

"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, 

Judy Abbott. 

[22^] 



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- 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 

Sunday. 

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 

[226] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
servant, 

J. Abbott. 



[227] 



March 5th. 
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. 

[228] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
simply. 

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 
developed. 

Affectionately, 

Judy. 



[22p] 



Lock Willow. 

April 4th. 
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. 

[230] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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.) 

Affectionately, 

Judy. 

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. 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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! 



[232] 



May 17th. 
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- 
ing. 

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. 

Judy. 



[^33] 



Lock Willow. 

June 19th. 
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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 



[=35] 



July 24th. 
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- 
ing. 

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 
before. 

[236] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 
evidently. 

There isn't much of any farm news. The animals 
are all in the best of health. The pigs are unusually 
fat, the cows seem contented and the hens are laying 
well. Are you interested in poultry? If so, let me 
recommend that invaluable 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 

[257] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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, 

Judy. 

[238] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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. 



[2^p] 



August 27 th. 
Dear Daddy-Long-Legs^ 

Where are you, I wonder? 

I never know what part of the world you are in, 
but I hope you're not in New York 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: 

[240] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

''Miss Jerusha Abbott. 

"Dear Madam, 
"Mr. Smith prefers that you remain at Lock Wil- 
low. 

"Yours truly, 
"Elmer H. Griggs." 

I hate your secretary. I am certain that a man 
named Elmer H. Griggs must be horrid. But truly, 
Daddy, I think I shall have to go to Boston. I can't 
stay here. If something doesn't happen soon, I 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. 

Judy. 



[241] 



Lock Willow, 

September 19th. 
Dear Daddy, 

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. 

Judy. 

P. S. I'm very unhappy, 



[242] 



Lock Willow, 

October 3d. 
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, 

[^43] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[^44] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
marry him. 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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- 
sive. 

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 

[246] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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? 

Judy. 



[^47] 



October 6th. 
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 
person. 

You are awfully good, Daddy, to bother yourself 
with me, when you're not strong. Take care and don't 
catch cold. These fall rains are very damp. 

Affectionately, 

Judy. 

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. 
Smith? 

[248] 



Thursday Morning. 

My very dearest Master-] ervie-Daddy -Long-Legs- 
Pendleton-Smitby 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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? 

[2^0] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 

[^5 1] 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
see Daddy-Long-Legs!" 

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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
Daddy-Long-Legs? " 

In an instant it flashed over me. Oh, but I have been 
stupid! A hundred little things might have told me, if 
I had had any wits. I wouldn't make a very good 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 



DADDY-LONG-LEGS 

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 
instant. 

Yours, forever and ever, 

Judy. 

P. S. This is the first love letter I ever wrote. Isn't 
it funny that I know how.^ 



[^54] 



Seventeen 

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 
Clematis. 

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.