Daddy-Long-Legs/Letter 52

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15th May

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Is it good manners when you get into a car just to stare straight ahead and not see anybody else?

A very beautiful lady in a very beautiful velvet dress got into the car today, and without the slightest expression sat for fifteen minutes and looked at a sign advertising suspenders. It doesn't seem polite to ignore everybody else as though you were the only important person present. Anyway, you miss a lot. While she was absorbing that silly sign, I was studying a whole car full of interesting human beings.

The accompanying illustration is hereby reproduced for the first time. It looks like a spider on the end of a string, but it isn't at all; it's a picture of me learning to swim in the tank in the gymnasium.

The instructor hooks a rope into a ring in the back of my belt, and runs it through a pulley in the ceiling. It would be a beautiful system if one had perfect confidence in the probity of one's instructor. I'm always afraid, though, that she will let the rope get slack, so I keep one anxious eye on her and swim with the other, and with this divided interest I do not make the progress that I otherwise might.

Very miscellaneous weather we're having of late. It was raining when I commenced and now the sun is shining. Sallie and I are going out to play tennis--thereby gaining exemption from Gym.


A week later

I should have finished this letter long ago, but I didn't. You don't mind, do you, Daddy, if I'm not very regular? I really do love to write to you; it gives me such a respectable feeling of having some family. Would you like me to tell you something? You are not the only man to whom I write letters. There are two others! I have been receiving beautiful long letters this winter from Master Jervie (with typewritten envelopes so Julia won't recognize the writing). Did you ever hear anything so shocking? And every week or so a very scrawly epistle, usually on yellow tablet paper, arrives from Princeton. All of which I answer with business-like promptness. So you see--I am not so different from other girls--I get letters, too.

Did I tell you that I have been elected a member of the Senior Dramatic Club? Very recherche organization. Only seventy-five members out of one thousand. Do you think as a consistent Socialist that I ought to belong?

What do you suppose is at present engaging my attention in sociology? I am writing (figurez vous!) a paper on the Care of Dependent Children. The Professor shuffled up his subjects and dealt them out promiscuously, and that fell to me. C'est drole ca n'est pas?

There goes the gong for dinner. I'll post this as I pass the box.

Affectionately,

J.