When writing Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS), Mizuki mainly used the epistolary format for the second half of Volume 2 and the epilogue (filled with many letters to and from Candy). Therefore, to better understand the story, we need to rely on our knowledge of the manga version unless it’s clearly written otherwise in CCFS. Together with Candy’s retrospection, we can link pieces together from her various letters in CCFS to “re-construct” the Rockstown episode.
In the manga (see more details in Part 4), Candy longed to see Albert again, so much so that she went to an unknown place called Rockstown just because this was where his parcel came from. (Again, please read the manga strip from right to left, top to bottom. See the name “Ardlay” on the parcel? That’s why I chose this name for my fanfics. 😛 )
Candy probably asked Dr. Martin for a short break, which he likely let her have it right away. Thus, Candy took a train to Rockstown, wearing the spring coat that Albert had mailed to her. Not only that, she brought with her a portrait of Albert, not the poor one she had attempted herself, but the better one that Dr. Martin had drawn for her earlier. Then, as soon as she arrived at the tiny town, without finding a place to rest first, she went straight to the post office, carrying her suitcase and holding a portrait of Albert in her hand. Logically, at least one person in the post office must have seen him.
Don’t you think she couldn’t wait to track him down? 😉
Before I continue, I’d like to quote Vera’s comment first. Vera believed that Candy was upset during Albert’s absence not really because he had disappeared in her life. Candy should have expected that this would eventually take place one day, so Vera thought that Candy shed many tears and wanted to find Albert was because Candy had realized her strong feelings for him were not brotherly anymore. In other words, Candy was afraid of losing him because he didn’t know he was more than a big brother to Candy now. Vera, please let me know if I have understood you correctly. Thanks to Evelyn for her translation too! ❤ ❤
Regardless of our interpretation, it’s undeniable that Candy couldn’t sleep well during those days, missing Albert a lot. At least that’s the case in the manga. 😉
How about CCFS? As I have mentioned before, unlike the manga, in CCFS Albert didn’t inform Candy of his recovery in his departure note. I don’t understand why Mizuki made this change, but Reeka figured Albert didn’t want to hurt Candy even more. See her comment if you’re interested. 🙂
What we know is that on P. 239 of CCFS Vol 2, when Candy in her 30s spotted Albert’s portrait (the one drawn by Dr. Martin) in her damascene jewelry box, a smile naturally appeared on her face. She then recalled her own childish portrait, done for the purpose of finding Albert, who had suddenly disappeared. So far this is the same as described in the manga, but there’s something new. Candy continued to tell us what had happened to that childish drawing some time later, and I believe this is what made her smile from the heart. She said Granduncle William liked (desired) this particular drawing badly (which can also mean violently, severely, terribly, dreadfully, etc.).
This is not unlike English. Sometimes we use adjectives or adverbs with negative connotation for emphasis effect. For example, I miss her terribly or he wants it so badly, etc. Back to Candy’s case, she said Granduncle William liked her poor drawing badly, and he put it in his office for display. (To read my interpretation regarding this childish drawing, please go to my old post, Candy’s drawing of Albert. 🙂 ) We don’t know when exactly this happened, but from Candy’s recollection, she was told that George appraised her drawing with a serious face but in a colloquial tone, saying, “It’s a masterpiece beyond price, possibly…”
So George left his remark hanging in the air. I think Candy wasn’t there when this took place, and Albert probably related it to her afterwards. 😉 Anyway, I gather it was between George and his young boss. You see? George must have understood what this childish drawing was all about, don’t you agree? 😛 😉
Come to think of it, although Candy was able to smile about this whole incident at present, it wasn’t really a fond memory to her. She went on to describe her unhappy experience in the days after Albert’s disappearance. First, she hadn’t expected that he would vanish, and believing that he was still amnesiac, he wasn’t yet fully recovered in her standard (literally, she wrote that his physical condition isn’t perfect, 体調も万全ではない, using present tense). This is my interpretation, so please correct me if you think I’m wrong. 🙂
For this reason, Candy frantically tried to track his whereabouts in an aimless manner (あてのないまま必死で捜した). Aimless? Because she had no idea how or where to find him. In addition, she felt like her chest was crushed every day (CCFS Vol 2, P. 240): 胸が押しつぶされそうだった每日ーーー。
That sounds pretty serious. Do you think Candy has exaggerated her anxiety? 🙄
She then remembered his sandwich proposal. Since she had been completely honest with him, being able to share her portion of the “sandwich” and holding nothing back, she was obviously upset that he didn’t tell her anything before leaving her for good. She wrote “What happened to him?” 身に何が起こったのだろう。
At the end of her recollection on P. 240, she said
I found this sentence difficult to translate word for word, so I have rephrased it to “How many nights did I spend, feeling anxious and restless…?” or “How many restless nights did I spend in anxiety…?”
Some people have brushed off the significance of this period, reasoning that Candy, being a kind soul, couldn’t sleep much because she was worrying about her sick brother. But come on… Even though Albert was amnesiac, he wasn’t the same vulnerable and helpless patient in “Room 0” anymore. He was a big guy, a grown-up who was more than capable to take care of himself. Why did Candy want to find him so desperately? What did she want when she did track him down? Ask him to come back to her? But really, why? 😮 In CCFS, Candy also went to Rockstown to look for Albert (she told Terry’s mother later in a letter that she was looking for a missing person who had helped her a lot). Although it’s not obvious why Candy went to that small town, we assume it was because of Albert’s parcel as explained in the manga.
Moreover, to worry about someone day after day? 😕 For how long? Weeks? Months? Not just a few days for sure… though in CCFS it doesn’t tell us how long this had lasted, we know Candy had lost count of the sleepless nights. In the manga, Albert left on a cold winter night, and Candy didn’t see him again until spring (possibly mid-spring when the flowers were blooming in Lakewood and ladies could wear short sleeves).
Compared to Daddy-Long-Legs, Judy Abbott hadn’t seen Master Jervie for at least two months. By the time she met her Daddy in New York, she was deeply in love with Master Jervie already. She just didn’t know they were the same person.
Similarly, Candy had developed inexplicably strong feelings for Albert during his absence and pined for him for a considerable time. When George instructed her to find her guardian in Lakewood, her heart was preoccupied by her ex-roommate, a vagabond missing in her life. She just didn’t know that he was actually her adoptive father, let alone her Prince on the Hill. I’ll elaborate more in Part 6. Thank you for reading till the end ❣ ❣ 😀