Drawing Daddy-Long-Legs Out
The date is November 15th in the story, and just before sealing one of those required letters to send to her 'creepy-crawling,' benefactor, Daddy-Long-Legs, Jerusha suddenly adds:
PS. I know I'm not to expect any letters in return, and I've been warned not to bother you with questions, but tell me, Daddy, just this once - are you awfully old or just a little old? And are you perfectly bald or just a little bald? It is very difficult thinking about you in the abstract like a theorem in geometry.Time passes, and no response, leaving Jerusha to complain:
Given a tall rich man who hates girls, but is very generous to one quite impertinent girl, what does he look like?
You never answered my question and it was very important.
ARE YOU BALD?
I have it planned exactly what you look like - very satisfactorily - until I reach the top of your head, and then I AM stuck. I can't decide whether you have white hair or black hair or sort of sprinkly grey hair or maybe none at all.
Here is your portrait:
But the problem is, shall I add some hair?Jerusha is clearly attempting to draw him out . . . so to speak.
Would you like to know what colour your eyes are? They're grey, and your eyebrows stick out like a porch roof (beetling, they're called in novels), and your mouth is a straight line with a tendency to turn down at the corners. Oh, you see, I know! You're a snappy old thing with a temper.
Labels: Literary Criticism