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DEAR ANNIE

  • 語言:英文
  • 字數: 15,098
電子書定價:NT$ 150
電子書售價:NT$ 30

本書為流動版面EPUB,適合用 mooInk、手機、平板及電腦閱讀。

ANNIE HEMPSTEAD lived on a large family canvas, being the eldest of six children. There was only one boy. The mother was long since dead. If one can imagine the Hempstead family, the head of which was the Reverend Silas, pastor of the Orthodox Church in Lynn Corners, as being the subject of a mild study in village history, the high light would probably fall upon Imogen, the youngest daughter. As for Annie, she would apparently supply only a part of the background.
This afternoon in late July, Annie was out in the front yard of the parsonage, assisting her brother Benny to rake hay. Benny had not cut it. Annie had hired a man, although the Hempsteads could not afford to hire a man, but she had said to Benny, “Benny, you can rake the hay and get it into the barn if Jim Mullins cuts it, can’t you?” And Benny had smiled and nodded acquiescence. Benny Hemp-stead always smiled and nodded acquiescence, but there was in him the strange persistency of a willow bough, the persistency of pliability, which is the most unconquerable of all. Benny swayed gracefully in response to all the wishes of others, but always he remained in his own inadequate attitude toward life.
Now he was raking to as little purpose as he could and rake at all. The clover-tops, the timothy grass, and the buttercups moved before his rake in a faint foam of gold and green and rose, but his sister Annie raised whirlwinds with hers. The Hempstead yard was large and deep, and had two great squares given over to wild growths on either side of the gravel walk, which was bordered with shrubs, flowering in their turn, like a class of children at school saying their lessons. The spring shrubs had all spelled out their floral recitations, of course, but great clumps of peonies were spreading wide skirts of gigantic bloom, like dancers courtesying low on the stage of summer, and shafts of green-white Yucca lilies and Japan lilies and clove-pinks still remained in their school of bloom.
Benny often stood still, wiped his forehead, leaned on his rake, and inhaled the bouquet of sweet scents, but Annie raked with never-ceasing energy. Annie was small and slender and wiry, and moved with angular grace, her thin, peaked elbows showing beneath the sleeves of her pink gingham dress, her thin knees outlining beneath the scanty folds of the skirt. Her neck was long, her shoulder-blades troubled the back of her blouse at every movement. She was a creature full of ostentatious joints, but the joints were delicate and rhythmical and charming. Annie had a charming face, too. It was thin and sun-burnt, but still charming, with a sweet, eager, intent-to-please outlook upon life. This last was the real attitude of Annie’s mind; it was, in fact, Annie. She was intent to please from her toes to the crown of her brown head. She radiated good will and loving-kindness as fervently as a lily in the border radiated perfume.
It was very warm, and the northwest sky had a threatening mountain of clouds. Occasionally Annie glanced at it and raked the faster, and thought complacently of the water-proof covers in the little barn. This hay was valuable for the Reverend Silas’s horse.

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    DEAR ANNIE