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Daddy-long-legs(Chapter38)

2006-09-08 21:02

  December 14th December

  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 Abbott. I could see it perfectly plainly—— red cloth binding 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 whom I'm going to marry and when I'm 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 you suppose would have the courage to read it then? or how many could suppress their curiosity sufficiently 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 I'm 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 alimentary system at present. You should see how sweet a cross-section of the duodenum of a cat is under the microscope.

  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 automatic resultant of an aggregation of remote causes. That's the most immoral doctrine I ever heard—— nobody would be to blame for anything. If a man believed 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 five 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

  PS. 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 at the end accomplishing a graceful pirouette is me——I mean I. 26th December 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 Socialist, 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.

  I am sorry that the necktie I sent was so wobbly; I knit it with my own hands (as you doubtless discovered from internal evidence). You will have to wear it on cold days and keep your coat buttoned up tight.

  Thank you, Daddy, a thousand times. I think you're the sweetest man that ever lived——and the foolishest! Judy

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

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