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Oct 14 2014

A generous present

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.

Albert and CandyAt 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?

  1. that she was so important to him that he was willing to use his power to make her happy
  2. that he wasn’t ashamed of her background whatsoever, and he loved her for who she was
  3. 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.

10 comments

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  1. antlay31

    Non Ms Puddle les années ne sont pas inscrites, mais ceux sont des fans de Terry qui ont établi une chronologie à partir des différentes lettres de CCFS, cela correspond à peu près à la votre.

    1. Ms Puddle

      I see… So they were just guesses! 😉

  2. antlay31

    Sur des spoilers en France la lettre de Candy à Archibald aurait été écrite vers 1920 et le décès de Suzana en 1923 (Notice nécrologique volume II page 281) Quoi qu’il en soit 1918 ou 1920 Candy écrit : “He wants me to be always by his side and I don’t want to be away from him either”
    On sait que Terry est resté avec Suzana jusqu’à sa mort.
    Donc en 1918 ou 1920 de qui Candy parle t-elle ? Cela ne peux pas être Terry donc il ne peut s’ agir que d’Albert !

    1. Ms Puddle

      Interesting, Antlay! Is it clearly written in CCFS that Susanna died in 1923? Or Candy wrote to Archie in 1920?
      In the spoilers we have the years weren’t clear at all. So far I was only guessing the years based on the hints in Candy’s letters or recollection. Sigh.

  3. Quevivacandy

    What? Is there a sequel? I didn’t know that! I have to read it. 😀 thanks for the data.

    About CC, I always have thought Mizuki based the story on DLL so if in the sequel it says Jervis bought the orphanage as present to Judy, and they were already married, it’s so easy to think the same about C&A. but I don’t think they were already married at the grand opening but in a secret relation. (yep, TGO happened before the reconstruction)

    I Used to think Albert bought the lands because Mr Cartwright had financial crisis and had to sell them, but now, it doesn’t seem that way. It was a present to Candy because he loves her and wants to make her happy.

    I also agree with you why Candy left Pony’s Home, it was because she was getting married. There is no other reason to do it.

    I’m thinking about the new house… If Candy accepted the land, why not a new house if she was going to live there for a ‘long time’? If so, surely he would persuaded her to build it. I guess it didn’t happen because she already knew she will leaving soon (getting married) so left that decision on her foster mothers and they, declined. What do you think about it?

    1. Ms Puddle

      Yes QuevivaCandy!! There’s a sequel, in which Sallie McBride was the main character. She wrote many, many letters to Judy, reporting the progress of the reform or lots of problems in the orphanage, and sometimes Sallie wrote to others as well.

      We could tell from the letters that Judy and Jervis were happily married, and she followed her husband to various business trips. Yet, Judy almost always responded with cheques of hundreds of dollars from Jervis to upgrade the orphanage.

      I’ve always thought for a lady to accept a huge monetary gift from a man says a lot about their relationship. So, like you, I believe Candy and Albert were a couple already, and that was why she accepted his present and also persuaded her foster mothers to do so such that she could leave Pony’s Home with peace of mind. About building a new house, that was probably Albert’s original intention, but perhaps it involved way more money, so as you said, since Candy wouldn’t be staying, Miss Pony and Sister Lane didn’t want to take advantage of Albert’s kindness. 🙂

  4. Reeka

    Ms Puddle! This whole post is beautiful. I’m on my way to meet a friend and I’m having teary eyes now. I truly can feel Albert’s love through your words.

    I’ll talk to you again later in a much much longer comment. I won’t fail you!

    1. Ms Puddle

      Hello Reeka! Glad you found the post beautiful! I hope your friend didn’t worry too much about your teary eyes though. 😛 Anyway, thank you so much for your encouragement. This was the post in my mind when I was writing the previous post. You see I couldn’t possibly fit everything in one post, and I need to organize my thoughts and plan ahead. 🙂

      Looking forward to reading a long comment from you, Reeka! 🙂

  5. EnakaT

    Hm, the term ‘us’ sounds like they’re already a couple…when did Albert propose to Candy? Perhaps BEFORE or AFTER the reconstruction. ; )

    That Albert’s good deed reminds me of an actor Mr. Jet Li who married an actress. [ I know they’re not CC related, but it’s the generosity that hit me lol. I find JL another example of Albert’s good deed. ] When they were steady boyfriend + girlfriend back then, his wife had troubles with her business. Like Candy, the Pony’s Home was important to her, same with JL’s wife, her business was important to her. Probably a family business which her father started. Mr. Jet Li was already a popular actor, and apparently very wealthy out of his great movies. He loves this woman so much he was willing to help her by offering his money in order to save her business. He wanted her to be happy. Her business was saved. After few months later, they got married. Would you believe Jet Li was SO shy, he courted his wife by telephone??? : D It’s still sweet, though

    So I believe that Albert was already in love with Candy before this reconstruction occurred. And then, he’d propose to her to become his wife maybe after the reconstruction, jmo ; ) Lucky Candy.

    Plus, I agree with you on those 3 you mentioned! : D

    1. Ms Puddle

      Hi EnakaT, since I don’t know the original text in Japanese, from the spoilers it does seem the word “us” implies that Candy and Albert were already a couple. 😛 About when he proposed to her, we can only guess. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing the real story of Jet Li with us. That was so sweet of him, and in fact, a man won’t spend his hard-earned money just on anyone, right? And for a woman to accept a man’s money it also means a lot.

      Yes Candy was lucky indeed to have Albert always supporting her and put her happiness before his. Thanks for reading the post, EnakaT! Have a good day! 😀

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