LOCK WILLOW FARM
It has been nearly two months since I wrote, which wasn't nice of me, I know, but I haven't loved you much this summer — you see I'm being frank!
You can't imagine how disappointed I was at having to give up the McBrides' camp. Of course I know that you're my guardian, and that I have to regard your wishes in all matters, but I couldn't see any reason. It was so distinctly the best thing that could have happened to me. If I had been Daddy, and you had been Judy, I should have said,
'Bless you my child, run along and have a good time; see lots of new people and learn lots of new things; live out of doors, and get strong and well and rested for a year of hard work.'
But not at all! Just a curt line from your secretary ordering me to Lock Willow.
It's the impersonality of your commands that hurts my feelings. It seems as though, if you felt the tiniest little bit for me the way I feel for you, you'd sometimes send me a message that you'd written with your own hand, instead of those beastly typewritten secretary's notes. If there were the slightest hint that you cared, I'd do anything on earth to please you.
I know that I was to write nice, long, detailed letters without ever expecting any answer. You're living up to your side of the bargain — I'm being educated — and I suppose you're thinking I'm not living up to mine!
But, Daddy, it is a hard bargain. It is, really. I'm so awfully lonely. You are the only person I have to care for, and you are so shadowy. You're just an imaginary man that I've made up — and probably the real you isn't a bit like my imaginary you. But you did once, when I was ill in the infirmary, send me a message, and now, when I am feeling awfully forgotten, I get out your card and read it over.
I don't think I am telling you at all what I started to say, which was this:
Although my feelings are still hurt, for it is very humiliating to be picked up and moved about by an arbitrary, peremptory, unreasonable, omnipotent, invisible Providence, still, when a man has been as kind and generous and thoughtful as you have heretofore been towards me, I suppose he has a right to be an arbitrary, peremptory, unreasonable, invisible Providence if he chooses, and so — I'll forgive you and be cheerful again. But I still don't enjoy getting Sallie's letters about the good times they are having in camp!
However — we will draw a veil over that and begin again.
I've been writing and writing this summer; four short stories finished and sent to four different magazines. So you see I'm trying to be an author. I have a workroom fixed in a corner of the attic where Master Jervie used to have his rainy-day playroom. It's in a cool, breezy corner with two dormer windows, and shaded by a maple tree with a family of red squirrels living in a hole.
I'll write a nicer letter in a few days and tell you all the farm news.
We need rain.
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