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Daddy-long-legs(Chapter27)

2006-09-08 20:59

  December 7th December

  Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

  Thank you for permission to visit Julia——I take it that silence means consent.

  Such a social whirl as we've been having! The Founder's dance came last week——this was the first year that any of us could attend; only upper classmen being allowed.

  I invited Jimmie McBride, and Sallie invited his room-mate at Princeton, who visited them last summer at their camp——an awfully nice man with red hair——and Julia invited a man from New York, not very exciting, but socially irreproachable. He is connected with the De la Mater Chichesters. Perhaps that means something to you? It doesn't illuminate me to any extent.

  However——our guests came Friday afternoon in time for tea in the senior corridor, and then dashed down to the hotel for dinner. The hotel was so full that they slept in rows on the billiard tables, they say. Jimmie McBride says that the next time he is bidden to a social event in this college, he is going to bring one of their Adirondack tents and pitch it on the campus.

  At seven-thirty they came back for the President's reception and dance. Our functions commence early! We had the men's cards all made out ahead of time, and after every dance, we'd leave them in groups, under the letter that stood for their names, so that they could be readily found by their next partners. Jimmie McBride, for example, would stand patiently under 'M' until he was claimed. (At least, he ought to have stood patiently, but he kept wandering off and getting mixed with 'R's' and 'S's' and all sorts of letters.) I found him a very difficult guest; he was sulky because he had only three dances with me. He said he was bashful about dancing with girls he didn't know!

  The next morning we had a glee club concert——and who do you think wrote the funny new song composed for the occasion? It's the truth. She did. Oh, I tell you, Daddy, your little foundling is getting to be quite a prominent person!

  Anyway, our gay two days were great fun, and I think the men enjoyed it. Some of them were awfully perturbed at first at the prospect of facing one thousand girls; but they got acclimated very quickly. Our two Princeton men had a beautiful time——at least they politely said they had, and they've invited us to their dance next spring. We've accepted, so please don't object, Daddy dear.

  Julia and Sallie and I all had new dresses. Do you want to hear about them? Julia's was cream satin and gold embroidery and she wore purple orchids. It was a DREAM and came from Paris, and cost a million dollars.

  Sallie's was pale blue trimmed with Persian embroidery, and went beautifully with red hair. It didn't cost quite a million, but was just as effective as Julia's.

  Mine was pale pink crepe de chine trimmed with ecru lace and rose satin. And I carried crimson roses which J. McB. sent (Sallie having told him what colour to get). And we all had satin slippers and silk stockings and chiffon scarfs to match.

  You must be deeply impressed by these millinery details.

  One can't help thinking, Daddy, what a colourless life a man is forced to lead, when one reflects that chiffon and Venetian point and hand embroidery and Irish crochet are to him mere empty words. Whereas a woman——whether she is interested in babies or microbes or husbands or poetry or servants or parallelograms or gardens or Plato or bridge——is fundamentally and always interested in clothes.

  It's the one touch of nature that makes the whole world kin. (That isn't original. I got it out of one of Shakespeare's plays).

  However, to resume. Do you want me to tell you a secret that I've lately discovered? And will you promise not to think me vain? Then listen:

  I'm pretty.

  I am, really. I'd be an awful idiot not to know it with three looking-glasses in the room.

  A Friend

  PS. This is one of those wicked anonymous letters you read about in novels. 20th December Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

  I've just a moment, because I must attend two classes, pack a trunk and a suit-case, and catch the four-o'clock train——but I couldn't go without sending a word to let you know how much I appreciate my Christmas box.

  I love the furs and the necklace and the Liberty scarf and the gloves and handkerchiefs and books and purse——and most of all I love you! But Daddy, you have no business to spoil me this way. I'm only human—— and a girl at that. How can I keep my mind sternly fixed on a studious career, when you deflect me with such worldly frivolities?

  I have strong suspicions now as to which one of the John Grier Trustees used to give the Christmas tree and the Sunday ice-cream. He was nameless, but by his works I know him! You deserve to be happy for all the good things you do.

  Goodbye, and a very merry Christmas.

  Yours always,Judy

  PS. I am sending a slight token, too. Do you think you would like her if you knew her?

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