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長腿叔叔 (48)

March Fifth

Dear Mr. Trustee,

Tomorrow 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 (individually) ever pat me on the head, Daddy? I don't believe so—my memory seems to be concerned only with fat Trustees.



明天是本月的第一個星期三 - 一個令人疲倦的日子.五點鐘到來時,當你們拍拍孤兒院小孩的頭然後離去時,小孩們會大大的鬆口氣.你曾經拍過我的頭嗎,Daddy?我覺得沒有 - 我的記憶似乎只侷限在胖胖的理事身上.

Give the Home my love, please—my TRULY love. I have quite a feeling of tenderness for it as I look back through a haze of four years. When I first came to college I felt quite resentful because I'd been robbed of the normal kind of childhood that the other girls had had; but now, I don't feel that way in the least. I regard it as a very unusual adventure. It gives me a sort of vantage point from which to stand aside and look at life. Emerging full grown, I get a perspective on the world, that other people who have been brought up in the thick of things entirely lack.


I know lots of girls (Julia, for instance) who never know that they are happy. They are so accustomed to the feeling that their senses are deadened to it; but as for me—I am perfectly sure every moment of my life that I am happy. And I'm going to keep on being, no matter what unpleasant things turn up. I'm going to regard them (even toothaches) as interesting experiences, and be glad to know what they feel like. 'Whatever sky's above me, I've a heart for any fate.'

我認識很多女孩(例如茱莉亞)從來不知道自己是幸福的.她們是如此的習慣於幸福,以至於對幸福麻木;至於我 - 我深信生命中的每一刻都是幸福的.而且我要繼續幸福下去,不管有什麼不愉快的事發生.我要把不愉快的事情(即使是牙痛)當成有趣的經驗,而且慶幸知道不愉快是什麼感覺.“不管頭上的天空如何,我有心接受任何命運.”

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 foundling 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 I've developed.









4th April

Dear Daddy,

Do you observe the postmark? Sallie and I are embellishing 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.

我們走路,閱讀,寫字,享受愉快放鬆的時光.今天我們爬上天空之丘,哲維少爺和我曾在那兒煮過晚飯 - 想不到那已經是兩年前的事了.我還可以看到被我們用煙燻黑的石頭.有些地方總是跟某些人有關聯,當你再度造訪時,總是會想起那些人.沒有他在我感到有點孤單 - 兩分鐘而已.

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 abandoned romanticism; I shall go back to it later though, when my own adventurous future begins.

知道我最近在忙什麼嗎?你一定會覺得我很無可救藥 - 我在寫一本書.三個禮拜前開始寫的,而且進度驚人.哲維少爺和那位男編輯說的沒錯:寫自己熟悉的東西最能令人信服.這次我寫的是我熟悉的東西 - 非常的熟悉.猜猜看故事的背景在哪裏?在孤兒院.而且我真的覺得寫得不錯,我寫的是那些每天發生的小事.現在的我是一個實際主義者.我已經放棄浪漫主義,不過當我未來的人生冒險展開時,我應該會再轉回去浪漫主義.

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.

Goodbye, Daddy dear,

(I like to call you Daddy dear; it's so alliterative.)



這本書一定會寫完而且出版.你等著看吧.如果你非常想要達成某個目標,而且努力的朝目標前進,最後你一定會達到的.我已經努力了好幾年希望能收到一封你的信 - 而我還沒有放棄希望.

再見,Daddy dear.

(我喜歡叫你Daddy dear,因為有押頭韻,很好聽啊.)




PS. I forgot to tell you the farm news, but it's very distressing. Skip this postscript if you don't want your sensibilities all wrought up.

Poor old Grove is dead. He got so that 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 Corners. 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 disappeared; we are afraid he has been caught in a trap.

There are lots of troubles in the world!

PS    忘了跟你提農場的事,雖然很令人沮喪.如果你不希望心情不好,或許應該略過以下不讀.






註:茱蒂用 he 來指憂鬱湯米,事實上三花貓都是女的,男的是基因異常,可見得茱蒂沒有我懂貓.(抬頭插腰)有注意到三花貓的英文名字是 tortoise-shell嗎?是玳瑁殼的意思喔.

涉嫌偷吃雞的黃鼠狼的英文是 weasel




Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel


涉嫌偷吃雞的臭鼬英文是 skunk

Image from: http://www.mycountrycritters.com/



ps 本週五會刊出完結篇


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