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chapter 1 Blue Wednesday on the first

Wednesday of every month the trustees of

the john grier orphanage came to visit

Jerusha Abbott hated these days than

most she was the oldest orphan in the

home she had the responsibility to make

sure everything was completely clean she

also had to clean every one of the 97

orphans today was one of those days now

the day was over and she was sitting

down thinking about the day mrs. lippett

the matron had kept Jerusha busy all day


Jerusha looked out the window and

watched the trusty driving through the

orphanage gates she was dreaming of

driving away in a similar car when she

heard a familiar voice Jerusha you have

to go to the office now it was Tommy

Dillon he was another orphan in the home

a feeling of panic went through

jerusha's body what did I do wrong

she thought weren't the sandwiches tasty

enough Oh was one of the orphans rude

she was walking to mrs. lippett office

when she saw the back of a man


he cast a shadow on the hall he had very

long legs and arms and his shadow looked

just like a daddy longlegs spider

Jerusha entered the office mrs. lippett

immediately spoke Jerusha I have news

for you

did you see the gentleman who has just


I only saw his bag Jerusha replied he is

one of our most important trustees he

told me not to tell you his name he

doesn't want you to know it why is she

telling me this Jerusha thought to


mrs. Lippett continued do you remember

Charles Benton and Henry freeze well

this gentleman sent them and other boys

to college until now he has only chosen

boys he does not really like girls

however at the meeting today you were

discussed now you are too old to stay at

the orphanage normally you would be

expected to work but considering your

excellent grades especially in English

this gentleman has offered to send you

to college

Jerusha was stunned to college she said

yes this gentleman thinks you have great

talent and wants you to become a writer

he will pay your board and tuition for

four years he will also give you an

allowance of $35 a month in return you

must write a letter every month telling

him of your progress the letters will be

written to mr. John Smith it is not his

real name he will not write back to you

so don't ask him any questions you must

always remember to have a respectful


Jerusha didn't know what to say she was

full of excitement she just said yes

thank you ma'am

then she left the room 215 Ferguson Hall

September 24th dear kind trustee who

sends orphans to college I am finally

here at college I am so amazed by

everything here I still get lost

whenever I go out later I will give you

a better description of the place

I don't begin classes until Monday but I

wanted to write a letter immediately

I've never written many letters before

so it seems strange to be writing one

now before I left yesterday morning mrs.

Lippett told me to always be very

respectful to you but how can I be when

I don't know you

I only know three things about you one

you are tall too

you are rich three you hate girls why do

I have to call you mr. John Smith if I

called you dear mr. girl hater or dear

mr. rich man that wouldn't be very nice

but what about dear daddy-longlegs do

you mind I hope it's all right with you

it's just a private pet name we won't

tell mrs. Lippett there goes the evening

bell lights out good night daddy

longlegs yours most respectfully Jerusha


chapter to college begins October 1st

dear daddy-longlegs I am so happy to be

here I love you for sending me here it

is an amazing place my room is high in a

tower there are two girls here with me

one is Sally McBride who has red hair

and it turned up nose the other is Julia

Rutledge Pendleton she comes from one of

the wealthiest families in New York I am

so happy to have my own room

after having had to share one with many

others this letter will be very short

today I'm hoping to get onto the

basketball team I know I'm not tall but

I am very quick I can move faster than

any of the other girls I'll write you a

longer letter next time

wish me luck for the basketball team

your's always

Jerusha Abbott October 10th dear


i furnished my room I bought some yellow

curtains Brown Christians a mahogany

desk a cane chair and a brown rug it

looks so much better now I really like

where I am living I really like Sallie

McBride but I don't like Julia Rutledge

Pendleton she never makes an effort to

be friendly to me I am studying many

things like geometry physiology French

Latin and English which is my favorite

in fact for my last English paper my

teacher said it was amazingly original

isn't that great considering I grew up

in a place which does not encourage

originality I know I shouldn't say bad

things about the orphanage you know no

one knows I grew up in an orphanage

I don't want to be different from any of

the other girls although I told Sallie

McBride that my mother and father are

dead I told her a kind old gentleman is

sending me to college now that's true

isn't it oh by the

I've also changed my name to Judy so

please call me Judy from now on yours

ever Judy formerly Jerusha Abbott

October 25th dear daddy-longlegs hooray

I got onto the basketball team Julia

Pendleton didn't however I have bruises

all over my body I love college so much

everything is just getting better and

better I know I am not supposed to ask

you any questions but I have just one

what is a tall rich generous man who

hates girls look like please answer this

question it is important to me yours

Judy Abbott December 19th dear

daddy-longlegs you never answered my

question are you bald I have an idea of

what you look like except your head I

can't decide whether you have black hair

white hair or salt-and-pepper hair maybe

you have none at all

I made a portrait of you I think you

look like this ad picture you seem to be

just an angry old man there are so many

books that I need to read all of the

other girls have read all of the books I

need to read Christmas holidays begin

next week another girl and I will be the

only one staying behind I plan to do

lots of feeding for the whole three

weeks of it it will be wonderful your's

always Judy PS please tell me what you

look like

ask your secretary to send a telegram

with either one mr. Smith is quite bold

or two mr. Smith is not bold or three

mr. Smith has white hair exact date

unknown dear daddy-longlegs it is

snowing here and everything is blanketed

in white thank you for the Christmas

present the five gold pieces were a big

surprise as

especially considering that you have

done so much for me do you want to know

what I bought I bought a silver watch so

I will always be on time 500 sheets of

yellow manuscript paper for when I

become an author a dictionary of

synonyms to improve my vocabulary thank

you so much for all of these presents

the holidays will be over in two days it

will be good to see everyone it has

become a little lonely here thank you

for everything you have done for me

yours with love Judy PS I hope you don't

mind me sending love I need someone to

love and you are the only person I know

of Sunday dear daddy-longlegs first I

have some great news Jerusha Abbott has

become an author my poem from my tower

will appear in the February monthly I

will send you a copy of it isn't that

great I've been doing so many other

things as well I've learned how to skate

I can now skate around without falling


also in gym I can slide down a rope from

the top of the gym and I learned to

vault a bar three feet and six inches

high it was very scary at first but now

I do everything very easily well I have

some bad news too I hope you are in a

good mood

I failed mathematics and Latin but I'm

being tutored in them now please forgive

me I promise I will not fail again I've

learned so many other things and I've

read seventeen novels and lots of poetry

mathematics and Latin aren't everything

yours Judy may 27 the air daddy-longlegs

I just received a letter from mrs.

Lippett she told me I could go back to

the orphanage and work during this

summer I hate the John Grier home I

would prefer to die yours most honestly

Jerusha Abbott

Chapter three master jervie May

thirtieth dear daddy-longlegs this

campus is gorgeous in May everything is

in bloom everyone is outside enjoying

the fine weather we have examinations

soon but no one is thinking about them

vacation will be here soon

I am so happy too I am going to work

really hard this summer and become a

great author I have some other news for

you I have been spending time with a

very nice man he is a man of superior


he is mr. Jervis Pendleton of the house

of Julia he is her very tall uncle he

was in town on business and decided to

visit Julia but she was in class and

asked me to walk around the campus with

him he is not like the other Pendleton's

at all he is such a kind man he is tall

and thin with the funniest smile I felt

very comfortable with him we walked all

around the campus and then had tea and

muffins and marmalade and ice-cream and

cake at the college in it was the best

time but then he had to run and catch

his train

Julia was angry with me for taking him

the whole time it seems he is an

extremely wealthy uncle and this morning

Julia Sally and myself all received

surprises a box of chocolates each I

really don't feel like an orphan anymore

your's always Judy June 9th dear

daddy-longlegs my examinations are

finally over

I am excited about spending three months

on a farm thank you so much for sending

me there instead of the orphanage I've

never been on a farm before but I know I

will love luck willow yours ever Judy


Saturday night dear daddy-longlegs

I am here at the farm it is the most

wonderful heavenly place I really like

mr. and mrs. Semple they are the owners

of the farm tonight we had ham eggs

biscuits honey

jelly cake pie pickles cheese and tea we

all talked so much

it's 8:30 p.m. now I can't wait to go

and explore tomorrow good night Judy

July 12th

dear daddy-longlegs how does your

secretary know about luck willow it's

very strange because mr. Jervis

Pendleton used to own the farm what a


then he gave the farm to mrs. simple who

was once his nurse she often talks about

how sweet master jervie used to be it is

my job to collect the eggs yesterday I

fell off a beam trying to collect the

eggs there are so many chickens pigs and

turkeys here there are five calves that

I have named Sylvia

Sally Julia Judy and daddy longlegs I

hope you don't mind daddy longlegs looks

like this I would love to send you some

doughnuts that I have made your's always

Judy September 25th dear daddy-longlegs

I am finally a sophomore I returned last

Friday I was very sad to leave lock

willow but it is good to return to

something familiar some changes have

taken place I'm rooming with Sallie and

Julia we each have our own little rooms

and we share a setting this year sally

is running for class president I think

that she is going to win I've also

started studying chemistry I still don't

know much about it it's the most unusual

subject I'm learning so much daddy and

it's all thanks to you your affectionate

orphan J Abbott chapter 4 independent


March 24th dear daddy-longlegs so many

good things have happened to me I am

sure that I don't deserve everything I

have I have great news I won the short

story contest that the monthly holds

every year there is a 25 dollar prize

and it's mine I still can't believe it

what is even more special is that

usually the winners are seniors but I am

only a sophomore

maybe I will become a successful author

after all I have some other great news


next Friday Julia Sally and I are going

to New York we are going to stay in a

hotel and go shopping on Saturday we are

going to see Hamlet at the theater with

master jervie I am so excited about it

that I can hardly sleep it will be the

first time I have stayed in a hotel or

gone to the theatre my head is spinning

from the excitement I'm really looking

forward to seeing the play especially

because we've been studying it in class

and I know all of the lines yours ever

Judy April 7th dear daddy-longlegs I am

here in New York I am amazed at

everything I see everything is so

wonderful but so confusing at the same

time I can't describe everything to you

but I guess you already know you live

here in New York anyway

Julia and I went shopping today I saw

the most gorgeous hats and Julia tried

on so many of them in the end she bought

the loveliest - I think it is amazing

that she can buy any hat she wants

without worrying about how much it cost

we also met master jervie on Saturday

afternoon he took us to a very nice


I ordered fish but I didn't know which

fork to use I accidentally used the

wrong one but the waiter was very kind

he gave me another one

after we ate our meal we went to the

theatre it was truly amazing I still

remember every detail the actors and

actresses were marvelous oh one more


Master jervie gave us each a beautiful

bunch of flowers there were lilies of

the valley and violets isn't he the

kindest man I'm starting to like men

more and more because of him yours with

love Judy may 4th dear daddy-longlegs

we had a sports day last Saturday it

started out with a very cheerful parade

but Sally and I weren't in the parade

we were waiting to take part in our

events and guess what

we both won Sally won the pole vaulting

event and I won the 50-yard sprint eight

seconds it was all very exciting and we

felt so good at the end of the day

everyone was very tired and so we all

went to bed very early that night I love

you always

Judy June 4th dear daddy I have been

very busy these days studying for my

examinations may begin tomorrow the

weather here is so beautiful that it is

very difficult to stay inside but I must

continue to study hard

once the examinations are finished our

vacation will be here I can't wait

can you guess what I'm planning to do

this vacation lock willow Sally and her

family nope I am going to the seaside to

tutor a girl and her younger sister I

will teach them English and Latin each

month I will be earning fifty dollars

please don't object to my plan I am

becoming very independent thanks to you

I hope that you have a wonderful summer


your's always Judy June 10th

dear daddy this is a very difficult

letter for me to write to you you have

given me a wonderful opportunity but I

feel that it is my responsibility to

start supporting myself this summer

instead of you sending me to Europe I

feel very strongly about this it is so

kind of you to offer me such an

opportunity though four days later I was

about to post this letter to you when I

met master jervie he has invited me to

Europe as well he said it was an

important part of my education I almost

said yes but one thing stopped me he was

almost trying to force me to go

I refuse to be forced to do anything I

want to make my own decisions

independently to repay you for your

kindness I will become a wise and

independent woman yours ever Judy

chapter five the surprising truth June


dear daddy-longlegs can you believe this

I can't I have finally finished college

and received my degree thank you so much

for the roses that you sent me I carried

them in the graduation procession now I

am at lock willow doing nothing but

writing my book Master jervie is coming

to lock willow sometime in August I wish

you would come but I know that will

never happen Judy Abbott Bachelor of

Arts July 24th dearest daddy-longlegs

I have had such a wonderful summer I

have been writing as much as possible I

just wish that each day were longer then

I could write even more this is going to

be a real book daddy I'm so excited

about this one I have such a wonderful

place to work here at lock willow I have

the best scenery in the

world lots of food a wonderful bed and

all the paper and ink I need I think I'm

the luckiest girl in the world still

wishing I could meet you Judy September

19th dear daddy I need your advice on

quite a serious topic I would rather see

you to talk to you about it I'm worried

that your secretary will read this

letter and I want to keep it private

please let me come and see you

I am very unhappy right now Judy October

3rd dear daddy-longlegs I just received

your message I'm so sorry to hear that

you have been ill I wish I had known

before I bothered you with my problem I

will tell you my problem in this letter

but please burn it after you read it

however before I tell you I'm sending

you a check for $1,000 I sold my book it

will really mean a lot to me if you take

this cheque I already owe you so much

which I will only ever be able to repay

with my affection and gratitude this is

just a small token of how appreciative

of you I am here is my problem

you know that I have always cared very

deeply for you but now there is another

man who I care for even more he is

master jervie I know you don't know him

but I wish you did

he is so kind and generous and we get on

extremely well together we always laugh

about the same things when I'm not with

him I miss him more than anything else

in the world have you ever loved anyone

unless you have you can't know how I

feel I truly care for him but I have

refused to marry him I couldn't tell him

I am an orphan and I feel that someone

like me has no right to marry into a

family like his if he married me he

would regret it I could never explain my

reasons to him that was about two months


I've been heartbroken ever since then I

haven't heard from him at all but Julia

told me that he was very sick with


I guess he's very unhappy what do you

think I should do a very confused

judi October 6th dearest daddy-longlegs

I'm excited to finally have the chance

to meet you

half past for next Wednesday afternoon I

won't forget I've been in New York three

times now so I'll be able to find the

way I can't believe that I'm going to

meet you I've thought about you for such

a long time that you seemed hardly real

thank you for letting me visit you when

you are not that well affectionately

Jerusha Thursday morning my very dearest

master jervie daddy-longlegs Pendleton

Smith I can hardly sleep these days

because I'm so happy and excited yet I

feel terrible that you have been so sick

please get better really fast I'm

worried that I only dreamed what

happened yesterday we only had 30

minutes together but I will remember

every detail

I am a very different girl now compared

to the girl who left lock willow

yesterday morning I got up early

yesterday ate breakfast by candlelight

and took the train to New York the whole

time I was singing to myself you're

going to see daddy longlegs I came to

your house but I was almost too afraid

to go in your Butler was very kind to me

when I entered your home

I waited excitedly in the drawing room

then your Butler showed me into your

room it was quite dark so I couldn't see

very well at first I first noticed the

fire in the fireplace I looked over and

saw a large chair a man was sitting

there I looked more closely and realized

it was you I thought that it was a joke

that Daddy was playing you started

laughing at that moment and asked my

dear Judy didn't you guess that I was

daddy longlegs I couldn't say anything

at that moment so many things went

through my mind I thought of so many

clues that could have told me that daddy

was you what shall I call you now daddy

Gervais Derby please let me know our 30

minutes together passed by too quickly I

wanted to stay longer but your doctor

wouldn't let me my trip back to lock

willow was a strange one

I was in a daze the whole way but I am

so happy I miss you so much but I know

we will be together soon we belong to

each other now I feel so happy that I

finally belong to someone I will always

do my best to make you happy I am yours

forever Judy PS I have never written a

love letter before but isn't it strange

that I know how

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