Remember Judy Abbott and Master Jervie from “Daddy-Long-Legs” by Jean Webster? Judy grew up in an orphanage just like Candy, and it was called John Grier Home. Unlike Pony’s Home though, John Grier Home was in much more miserable conditions, and the lady in charge was cold and stern. Hence, Judy loathed going back to John Grier Home.
However, there’s a sequel to “Daddy-Long-Legs” called “Dear Enemy”. On the first page it was a letter from Sallie to Judy (Sallie was Judy’s best friend):
“Do I understand that Jervis has given you, for a Christmas present, the making over of the John Grier Home… that you have chosen me to disburse the money?…”
I’m currently reading “Dear Enemy”, and Judy had chosen Sallie to take charge of the orphanage and discern the priorities, replacing the previous superintendent who had done a poor job raising the orphans. The project started in early Spring after that Christmas.
I found that although Judy didn’t want to return to the orphanage, she actually was more than positive and enthusiastic about her loving husband’s proposal to rebuild/renovate the orphanage where she had grown up. As I read along, I realized his Christmas present for his young wife required hundreds and hundreds of dollars for various improvements necessary to upgrade the orphanage. Come to think of it, people back then were talking about spending cents and few dollars for boarding needs.
So it seems that the author of Candy Candy, Mizuki, borrowed another idea again from Jean Webster. In Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS), Albert bought the land from Mr. Cartwright and also financed the reconstruction of Pony’s Home. I don’t know if Albert followed Master Jervie’s example to become the president of the orphanage as well. 🙂
Anyway, besides Candy’s letter to Archie around the year of 1918 that talked about the reconstruction, in Candy’s recollection at present time (1930s) she wrote,
The old Pony’s Home…
It has been extended and altered. What has not changed is just the small church.
Thanks to Granduncle William, they could take over the land from Mr Cartwright too.
I wish I could be of more help to Miss Pony and Miss Lane, but for now…more than anything HE wants me to be always by his side and I don’t want to be away from him either.
Therefore, the entire orphanage had been overhauled, except the chapel. Once again, this seems to support my arguments that Candy didn’t stay long at Pony’s Home after the reconstruction. Why? I’m inclined to believe she left because she was getting married. Her husband wanted her always by his side, and she didn’t want to leave him either.
As a side note, I have a feeling that her husband had already planned to go somewhere far away (possibly leaving the country) in the near future, and Candy would follow him. Thus, she couldn’t come back Pony’s Home as frequently as she would like.
At any rate, don’t you think buying the land plus the extensive reconstruction was a very generous gift from Albert? When I first read about this from the spoilers, I was quite surprised that Miss Pony and Sister Lane would accept a donation of such magnitude from Albert. Yes, he was legally related to Candy, but still that involved lots of money. Why would two normally modest women, Miss Pony and Sister Lane, say yes to Albert? They had been operating the orphanage on their own all these years, right? Unless… unless this was actually a present to Candy, and Candy ‘hired’ her foster mothers to continue their good cause?
However, isn’t it odd that Candy was willing to receive this substantial gift from Albert?
Remember that Candy had always wanted to find her own path and support herself? Even after knowing Albert’s true identity, she could have stayed in Chicago as the adopted daughter of the powerful Uncle William, but she would rather lead a rural life by returning to Pony’s Home and working for Dr. Martin in a small village.
One plausible reason is that Pony’s Home / Pony’s Hill meant so much to Candy. Her heart was forever tied to Pony’s Home plus the welfare of the orphans growing up in the orphanage. Since Candy’s happiness mattered to Albert (he said so to her in his letter), he would do anything to please her. Not to mention that this Pony’s Home / Pony’s Hill might be significant to Albert himself too. Therefore, similar to Jervis and Judy in “Daddy-Long-Legs”, Albert likely presented this reconstruction project as a Christmas gift to Candy.
Nonetheless, unlike Judy Abbott who had married the very rich man Jervis Pendleton, Candy was merely Albert’s legal daughter. Since the adoption, he had done all he could to support Candy financially, but she had chosen to be independent. Hence, Candy wouldn’t casually receive monetary gifts from anyone. To me, the fact that she accepted this huge present from Albert speaks volumes.
What exactly was her relationship with Albert then? 😉
One might argue that a father could buy whatever he liked for his daughter. However, we know that Albert didn’t treat Candy as his daughter, and to her, he was her Prince on the Hill. Besides, Albert had plainly said he didn’t want people to think she was his sister and openly expressed his displeasure about her calling him ‘father’ (though she was probably just teasing him as usual).
Furthermore, if they were only friends, isn’t it more reasonable for Candy and her foster mothers to repay Albert somehow, for example, in several installments over the years?
Therefore, I suppose Albert and Candy were in a steady relationship by then. Albert paid for everything, and Candy became the new landowner. Now that she owned Pony’s Home and the land, including her favorite Pony’s Hill, her foster mothers could raise the orphans without financial burden. Do you think that Candy was aware that she was going to leave (get married), and with this settled, she could leave with peace of mind? 😉
Is that why Candy used the word “us” when writing to Archie (again quoted from the spoilers):
Now the Pony’s Home is under extension and alteration.
Mr Cartwright, the land owner sold us the land at a favorable price. Miss Pony and Miss Lane are greatly pleased that now they can bring up children at ease!
It was thanks to Granduncle William.
Granduncle also kindly advised us to build a new house but they declined, saying they can’t take advantage of his kindness too much. …
To the two kind ladies, owning the land was already too good to be true, and the extension and reconstruction was a bonus. They couldn’t possibly accept the proposal of building a new house, even though Albert was more than able to afford that, for Candy’s sake.
Do you think he planned to propose to her after the reconstruction was complete? Or had he proposed to her already? 😛
Last but not the least, can you imagine how Albert’s relatives, in particular his aunt and the Leagans, would respond to this news? After all, they had always despised Candy’s lowly origin. Wasn’t the adoption of this orphan girl bad enough? But now their young family patriarch was going to spend a large sum of money (possibly out of his own pocket?) on expanding and remodeling a remote orphanage, which was certainly not a business investment. Note that in CCFS Albert was known to be a capable business man, so he was no fool in terms of money. Plus, actions speak louder than words, so what were his actions telling people? Can’t you see it was nothing less than an open declaration of love to Candy?
- that she was so important to him that he was willing to use his power to make her happy
- that he wasn’t ashamed of her background whatsoever, and he loved her for who she was
- that he didn’t care what others would think of him, and nobody, not even his aunt, could alter his decision
Once again, this is solely my interpretation of the CCFS spoilers. What do you think? 🙂
Note: the above picture was illustrated by the manga artist, Igarashi (see her signature at the bottom right corner), downloaded from the Facebook page, Candy & Albert World.