So Candy wrote to Albert in a letter that
“I am — very grateful to my parents who have abandoned me at the Pony’s Home.
Thanks to that, I could meet you!”
As mentioned in Part 1, in the old Candy Candy novel, Candy had ended her last letter to Albert “with love”, but in Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS) she ended her letter “with love and gratitude”.
Some people argued that Candy had changed in CCFS. Her love to Albert remained fraternal (if not paternal) because she had gratitude for him this time. Therefore, the way they interpreted her lines above was that she was grateful to have met Albert because he had later adopted her into his big family.
What do you think?
While it’s true that he had adopted her, I don’t agree with the above interpretation. I strongly believe Candy meant her first encounter with Albert — meeting her prince on Pony’s Hill (she had thus named him “Prince on the Hill”).
The following image (downloaded from http://m.facebook.com/williamalbertandrew.principe) captures that particular encounter perfectly, drawn by the artist of the Candy Candy manga Yumiko Igarashi (see her signature at the bottom right corner).
In CCFS, Albert told Candy that back then it was by chance that he had stumbled upon her favorite refuge, Pony’s Hill, and found her crying so desperately. The following is again from spoilers when Albert reminisced the moment he had first met the crybaby:
When a little girl came climbing up the hill fast like a bullet with her lips pursed in a frown —
Candy, it was you.
I remember. At that time you were struggling to hold back your tears.
I saw it.
You were struggling not to cry until you were on the hill, until you were alone.
I was touched to see it.
I had never seen someone cry in such a wonderful degree. It was also my first time to hear such an honest crying.
And such a charming smile.
— I spoke to you before I knew it.
Likewise, at the end of the manga, he simply repeated his line to her from many years ago, “you’re prettier when you smile than when you cry”. I bet Candy had never told anyone about this particular phrase. Hence, when Albert used it again, she knew the hidden meaning right away. Who else knew this other than her? So he must be that teenager dressed in Scottish kilt.
At any rate, both versions show that Albert remembered the details very well, which means that he had never forgotten that little crybaby either.
What about Candy? I have explained in a previous post that her memory of Prince on the Hill had affected her very much. Of course she had not forgotten her prince.
Moreover, she was fully aware that Albert didn’t treat her as his daughter. He wrote to her,
“… ‘Adopted daughter’ also sounds unbearable to me. Even though you won’t see it, I’m sensitive. (Don’t laugh)…”
Not only that, he confessed in his letter that he had rather continued living with her in that tiny apartment, so he had chosen to cover up his recovery so that he could stay longer:
“… Candy, also I didn’t want to get away from that heart-warming life… ”
Have you ever heard of this line? “If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.” (unknown quote)
In the manga, Albert recovered soon after Candy’s birthday (in early May) and he didn’t leave her until a very cold winter night. In other words, he had enjoyed her company a lot.
Finally, the fact that Candy kept referring to Albert as her prince speaks volumes. Hence, when she wrote that she was grateful to have met Albert, either she was flirting with him or she wanted him to know that he was very special to her. I will elaborate on that later. Please stay tuned.