長腿叔叔 (52 – 完)Thursday Morning
My Very Dearest Master-Jervie-Daddy-Long-Legs Pendleton-Smith,
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.
你昨天有睡嗎？我整晚都沒有閤眼．我太意外，太激動，太不知所措，太開心了．我覺得我可能永遠也無法入眠了 － 或是吃東西．但我希望你有睡覺，你一定要的，你知道嗎？因為這樣你才可以快點好起來然後來找我．
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.
天啊，我無法想像你生了這麼重的病 － 而且我一點都不知情．當昨天醫生下樓送我上車時，他說有三天的時間他們對你不抱希望了．喔，親愛的，如果那真的發生，我的世界的燈光會永遠熄滅．我想在未來的某一天 － 我們總有一方要離開另一方；但至少我們應該擁有我們的幸福，帶著回憶活下去．
I meant to cheer you up—and instead I have to cheer myself. For in spite of being happier than I ever dreamed I could be, I'm also soberer. The fear that something may happen 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 automobiles 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 for ever—but anyway, I never cared much for just plain peace.
原本打算寫信讓你開心的 － 結果我卻得讓自己開心起來．儘管我從沒想過自己可以如此快樂，但另一方面我卻是非常清醒的．對未來的恐懼在我心上投下一道陰影．在此之前我是如此的傻氣，自由自在，蠻不在乎，因為我沒有任何珍貴的東西可以失去．但是現在 － 終其一生我都有一個非常巨大的擔心．當你不在我身邊的時候，我會擔心你可能會被車撞到，或是被掉下來的招牌砸到頭，或是吃下某種可怕的細菌．我寧靜的思緒再也回不來了 － 反正我向來也不在乎單調的寧靜．
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 together! 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 corners of your mouth turn up in a nice cheerful smile. But you are cheerful again, aren't you? You were yesterday before I left. The doctor said I must be a good nurse, that you looked ten years younger. I hope that being in love doesn't make every one ten years younger. Will you still care for me, darling, if I turn out to be only eleven?
Yesterday was the most wonderful day that could ever happen. If I live to be ninety-nine I shall never forget the tiniest detail. The girl that left Lock Willow 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 breakfast in the kitchen by candle-light, and then drove the five miles to the station through the most glorious October colouring. 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!
昨天是有史以來最棒的一天．如果我能活到九十九歲，我也不會忘記任何最小的細節．那個在清晨離開柳樹農場的女孩，晚上回去時已經變成一個截然不同的人了．山普太太在清晨四點半把我叫醒．在黑暗中我頭腦異常清醒，第一個想法是：我要和長腿叔叔見面了！我在廚房就著燭光吃早餐，然後乘馬車走了五公里路到車站，就著最燦爛的十月晨光．太陽在半路升起，楓樹和茱萸散發出紅橘的光芒，石牆和玉米田有點點白霜；空氣冷冽清新充滿希望．我感覺到某事就要發生．搭火車時，鐵軌一路唱著：妳要去見長腿叔叔了．“那帶給我安全感．我對長腿叔叔的能力有信心．而且我知道在某個地方有另一個男人 － 比長腿叔叔更親愛的男人 － 想要見我，而且不知怎麼的，我覺得在紐約之旅結束前我也會見到他．你瞧，我真的見到他了．
When I came to the house on Madison Avenue it looked so big and brown and forbidding that I didn't dare go in, so I walked around the block to get up my courage. But I needn't have been a bit afraid; your butler is such a nice, fatherly old man that he made me feel at home at once. 'Is this Miss Abbott?' he said to me, and I said, 'Yes,' so I didn't have to ask for Mr. Smith after all. He told me to wait in the drawing-room. It was a very sombre, 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!
不久管家回來要我上樓到書房去．我興奮到兩腳幾乎拖不動身體．在書房門外他轉身跟我說，“他最近病得很重，小姐．今天是他第一次被允許坐起來．請不要停留太久，以免他過於激動．”從他說話的方式我知道他是愛你的 － 他真是一個老好人．
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 anything; 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. Before I could stop him he rose—rather shakily—and steadied himself by the back of the chair and just looked at me without a word. And then—and then—I saw it was you! But even with that I didn't understand. I thought Daddy had had you come there to meet me or a surprise.
乍從明亮的走廊進到昏暗的書房，有一會我什麼也看不清；然後我看到壁爐前有一張大椅子，一張發亮的茶几，以及旁邊的一把小椅子．接著我看到一個男人坐在大椅子上，背後有枕頭墊著，腿上蓋著毯子．在我可以阻止他之前，他站起來了 － 不穩的 － 他抓著椅背好穩住自己，不發一言的看著我．然後 － 然後 － 我看到你．但是我很不解．我以為長腿叔叔叫你去那兒見我，好給我一個大驚喜．
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 detective, 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 today are burnished bronze and the air is full of frost. It's CLIMBING weather. I wish you were here to climb the hills with me. I am missing you dreadfully, Jervie dear, but it's a happy kind of missing; we'll be together soon. We belong to each other now really and truly, no make-believe. Doesn't it seem queer for me to belong to someone at last? It seems very, very sweet.
And I shall never let you be sorry for a single instant.
Yours, for ever and ever,
PS. This is the first love-letter I ever wrote. Isn't it funny that I know how?
茱萸 dogwood 有白色和粉紅色
Image from: http://treesbook.net/tag/camphor-tree