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长腿叔叔(节选) Daddy-Long-Legs(Excerpt)(2)

d then drove the five miles to the station through the most glorious October colouring. The sun came up on the way, and the 7)swamp maples and 8)dogwood glowed 9)crimson and orange and the stone walls and 10)cornfields sparkled with 11)hoar frost; the air was 12)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 13)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 14)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 15)drawing-room. It was a very 16)sombre, magnificent, man’s sort of room. I sat down on the edge of a big 17)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 18)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 19)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 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 20)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 21)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 22)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 have ever written. Isn’t it funny that I knew how?


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