نزدیک تعطیلات کریسمسکتاب: بابا لنگ دراز / فصل 3
نزدیک تعطیلات کریسمس
- زمان مطالعه 31 دقیقه
- سطح سخت
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
Towards the end of the Christmas vacation. Exact date unknown
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-corns. It’s late afternoon–the sun is just setting (a cold yellow colour) 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! I’m 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 in time.
II. Matthew Arnold’s poems.
III. A hot water bottle.
IV. A steamer rug. (My tower is cold.)
V. Five hundred sheets of yellow manuscript paper. (I’m going to commence being an author pretty soon.)
VI. A dictionary of synonyms. (To enlarge the author’s vocabulary.)
VII. (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 instructor begins every other sentence), I am very much obliged for my seven presents. I’m pretending to myself that they came in a box from my family in California. The watch is from father, the rug from mother, the hot water bottle from grandmother who is always worrying for fear I shall catch cold in this climate–and the yellow paper from my little brother Harry. My sister Isabel gave me the silk stockings, and Aunt Susan the Matthew Arnold poems; Uncle Harry (little Harry is named after him) gave me the dictionary. He wanted to send chocolates, 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 Sallie 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 rolled into one. Leonora and I and two Sophomores have walked ‘cross country every pleasant day and explored the whole neighbourhood, dressed in short skirts and knit jackets and caps, and carrying shiny sticks to whack things with. Once we walked into town–four miles–and stopped at a restaurant where the college girls go for dinner. Broiled lobster (35 cents), and for dessert, buckwheat cakes and maple syrup (15 cents). Nourishing and cheap.
It was such a lark! Especially for me, because it was so awfully different from the asylum–I feel like an escaped convict every time I leave the campus. Before I thought, I started to tell the others what an experience I was having. The cat was almost out of the bag when I grabbed it by its tail and pulled it back. It’s awfully hard for me not to tell everything I know. I’m 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 door-knobs all thoroughly sticky, we organized a procession and still in our caps and aprons, each carrying a big fork or spoon or frying pan, we marched through the empty corridors to the officers’ parlour, 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 sucking 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.
Goodbye, and thank you for thinking of me–I should be perfectly happy except for one little threatening cloud on the horizon. Examinations come in February. Yours with love, Judy PS. 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, because I can’t love her.
On the Eve
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–I’m 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 hesitation. 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 solid hour. She got started on the subject of family, and I COULDN’T switch her off. She wanted to know what my mother’s maiden name was–did you ever hear such an impertinent question to ask of a person from a foundling asylum? I didn’t have the courage to say I didn’t know, so I just miserably plumped on the first name I could think of, and that was Montgomery. Then she wanted to know whether I belonged to the Massachusetts Montgomerys or the Virginia Montgomerys.
Her mother was a Rutherford. The family came over in the ark, and were connected by marriage with Henry the VIII. 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 tonight, but I’m too sleepy–and scared.
The Freshman’s lot is not a happy one. Yours, about to be examined, Judy Abbott
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 humour 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 honour for a Freshman. My English instructor stopped me on the way out from chapel last night, and said it was a charming piece of work except for the sixth line, which had too many feet. I will send you a copy in case you care to read it.
Let me see if I can’t think of something else pleasant–Oh, yes! I’m learning to skate, and can glide about quite respectably all by myself. Also I’ve learned how to slide down a rope from the roof of the gymnasium, and I can vault a bar three feet and six inches high–I hope shortly to pull up to four feet.
We had a very inspiring sermon this morning preached by the Bishop of Alabama. His text was: `Judge not that ye be not judged.’ It was about the necessity of overlooking mistakes in others, and not discouraging people by harsh judgments. I wish you might have heard it.
This is the sunniest, most blinding winter afternoon, with icicles dripping from the fir trees and all the world bending under a weight of snow–except me, and I’m bending under a weight of sorrow.
Now for the news–courage, Judy!–you must tell.
Are you SURELY in a good humour? I failed in mathematics and Latin prose. I am tutoring in them, and will take another examination next month. I’m sorry if you’re disappointed, but otherwise I don’t care a bit because I’ve learned such a lot of things not mentioned in the catalogue. I’ve 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 Lockhart’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, I’m much more intelligent than if I’d just stuck to Latin. Will you forgive me this once if I promise never to fail again? Yours in sackcloth, Judy Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
This is an extra letter in the middle of the month because I’m rather lonely tonight. It’s awfully stormy. 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 tonight 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? Sallie has one and
Julia and Leonora each two, and they were all comparing them tonight. 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 yesterday, 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
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 re-examination 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 fragments.
I will write a respectable letter when it’s over. Tonight I have a pressing engagement with the Ablative Absolute. Yours–in evident haste J. A.
Mr. D.-L.-L. Smith,
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 Trustees, and the reason you are educating me is, not because 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 re-examinations in Latin and geometry came last week. I passed them both and am now free from conditions. Yours truly, Jerusha Abbott
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 sickening for tonsillitis and grippe and lots of things mixed. I’m 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.
Doesn’t that arouse your sympathy? I am having sublingual gland swelling. And I’ve been studying physiology all the year without ever hearing of sublingual glands. How futile a thing is education!
I can’t write any more; I get rather shaky when I sit up too long. Please forgive me for being impertinent and ungrateful. I was badly brought up. Yours with love, Judy Abbott THE INFIRMARY 4th April
Yesterday evening just towards 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 message 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 keeping in a safe with red tape around them–only please take out that dreadful one and burn it up. I’d hate to think that you ever read it over.
Thank you for making a very sick, cross, miserable Freshman cheerful. Probably you have lots of loving family and friends, and you don’t know what it feels like to be alone. But I do.
Goodbye–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 for ever, Judy
8th hour, Monday
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 hop toad season opened we used to form a collection of toads and keep them in those window holes; and occasionally they would spill over into the laundry, causing a very pleasurable commotion on wash days. We were severely punished for our activities in this direction, but in spite of all discouragement the toads would collect.
And one day–well, I won’t bore you with particulars–but somehow, one of the fattest, biggest, JUCIEST 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, I will say that punishment was merited, and–if I remember rightly–adequate.
I don’t know why I am in such a reminiscent mood except that spring and the reappearance of toads always 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 favourite 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 Heathcliff?
I couldn’t do it, and I’m quite young and never outside the John Grier Asylum–I’ve 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.
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. Sallie 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 creatures. 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 shoestring while I was hurrying to dress and dropped my collar button down my neck. I was late for breakfast and also for first-hour recitation. I forgot to take any blotting paper and my fountain pen leaked. In trigonometry the Professor and I had a disagreement touching a little matter of logarithms. On looking it up, I find that she was right. We had mutton stew and pie-plant for lunch–hate ‘em both; they taste like the asylum. The post brought me nothing but bills (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 today?
That is a poem. I don’t know who wrote it or what it means. It was simply printed out on the blackboard when we arrived and we were ordered to comment upon it. When I read the first verse I thought I had an idea–The Mighty Merchant was a divinity who distributes blessings in return for virtuous deeds–but when I got to the second verse and found him twirling 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 wearing 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 flavoured with vanilla). We were kept in chapel twenty minutes later than usual to listen to a speech about womanly women. And then–just as I was settling down with a sigh of well-earned relief to The Portrait of a Lady, a girl named Ackerly, a dough-faced, deadly, unintermittently stupid girl, who sits next to me in Latin because her name begins with A (I wish Mrs. Lippett had named me Zabriski), came to ask if Monday’s lesson commenced at paragraph 69 or 70, and stayed ONE HOUR. She has just gone.
Did you ever hear of such a discouraging series of events? It isn’t the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laugh–I really think that 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 Julia wears silk stockings and centipedes drop off the wall. Yours ever, Judy Answer soon.
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.
I’d rather die than go back.
Yours most truthfully, Jerusha Abbott
Vous etes un brick!
Je suis tres heureuse about the farm, parceque je n’ai jamais been on a farm dans ma vie and I’d hate to retoumer chez John Grier, et wash dishes tout l’ete. There would be danger of quelque chose affreuse happening, parceque j’ai perdue ma humilite d’autre fois et j’ai peur that I would just break out quelque jour et smash every cup and saucer dans la maison.
Pardon brievete et paper. Je ne peux pas send des mes nouvelles parceque je suis dans French class et j’ai peur que Monsieur le Professeur is going to call on me tout de suite.
He did! Au revoir, je vous aime beaucoup. Judy
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 carefree, for vacation’s coming, and with that to look forward to, examinations don’t count.
Isn’t that a happy frame of mind to be in? And oh, Daddy! I’m the happiest of all! Because I’m not in the asylum any more; and I’m not anybody’s nursemaid or 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.
I’m sorry I ever made faces behind the Trustees’ backs.
I’m going to be good and sweet and kind to everybody because I’m so happy. And this summer I’m going to write and write and write and begin to be a great author. Isn’t that an exalted stand to take? Oh, I’m 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 disappointment 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 gymnasium, and the Tudor Romanesque beside it is the new infirmary.’
Oh, I’m fine at showing people about. I’ve done it all my life at the asylum, and I’ve been doing it all day here. I have honestly.
And a Man, too!
That’s a great experience. I never talked to a man before (except occasional Trustees, and they don’t count). Pardon, Daddy, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings when I abuse Trustees. I don’t consider that you really belong among them. You just tumbled on to 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.
I have been walking and talking and having tea with a man. And with a very superior man–with Mr. Jervis Pendleton of the House of Julia; her uncle, in short (in long, perhaps I ought to say; he’s as tall as you.) Being in town on business, he decided to run out to the college and call on his niece. He’s her father’s youngest brother, but she doesn’t know him very intimately. It seems he glanced at her when she was a baby, decided he didn’t like her, and has never noticed her since.
Anyway, there he was, sitting in the reception room very proper with his hat and stick and gloves beside him; and Julia and Sallie with seventh-hour recitations that they couldn’t cut. So Julia 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 beautiful time; I’ve longed for an uncle ever since. Do you mind pretending you’re my uncle? I believe they’re superior to grandmothers.
Mr. Pendleton reminded me a little of you, Daddy, as you were twenty years ago. You see I know you intimately, even if we haven’t ever met!
He’s tall and thinnish with a dark face all over lines, and the funniest underneath smile that never quite comes through but just wrinkles up the corners of his mouth. And he has a way of making you feel right off as though you’d known him a long time. He’s very companionable.
We walked all over the campus from the quadrangle to the athletic grounds; then he said he felt weak and must have some tea. He proposed that we go to College Inn–it’s just off the campus by the pine walk. I said we ought to go back for Julia and Sallie, but he said he didn’t like to have his 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 jolliest time! But he had to run for his train the minute he got back and he barely saw Julia at all. She was furious with me for taking him off; it seems he’s an unusually rich and desirable uncle. It relieved my mind to find he was rich, for the tea and things cost sixty cents apiece.
This morning (it’s Monday now) three boxes of chocolates came by express for Julia and Sallie and me. What do you think of that? To be getting candy from a man!
I begin to feel like a girl instead of a foundling.
I wish you’d come and have tea some day and let me see if I like you. But wouldn’t it be dreadful if I didn’t? However, I know I should.
Bien! I make you my compliments. `Jamais je ne t’oublierai.’ Judy
PS. 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?
Happy day! I’ve just finished my last examination Physiology. And now:
Three months on a farm!
I don’t know what kind of a thing a farm is. I’ve never been on one in my life. I’ve never even looked at one (except from the car window), but I know I’m going to love it, and I’m going to love being FREE.
I am not used even yet to being outside the John Grier Home. Whenever I think of it excited little thrills 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 for ever, so far as I am concerned, and the Semples aren’t expected to overlook my moral welfare, are they? No, I am sure not. I am entirely grown up. Hooray!
I leave you now to pack a trunk, and three boxes of teakettles and dishes and sofa cushions and books. Yours ever, Judy
PS. Here is my physiology exam. Do you think you could have passed?
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