Let me first express my appreciation to those who have left encouraging comments to my last post, Lost in translation (Part 1). My current job can be demanding sometimes, and due to my bad habits and posture (sitting at my office desk) I ended up hurting my lower back. 🙁 Yet, while I was forced to rest I re-read some of the comments and a new idea formed in my head for the second post — how Candy evolved from teasing Albert to calling him Little Bert. Throughout this post, you will see some keywords highlighted with colors. The same colors mean they are the same words or they share the same roots.
To recap, in her letter to Georges, she told Georges (as though he wasn’t already aware of her behaviour) she treated Albert as an old man on purpose by calling him 「大おじ~さま!」(“Graaaandpa!” ). She didn’t see anything wrong with this; she claimed it was time for her to pay him back (get even with him)
As explained before, Albert must have asked Candy (if not begged her) to forgive him, again and again, but I suppose she was unrelenting. Why? Because after his confession on Pony’s Hill, Albert replied to Candy’s letter, telling her that he wouldn’t blame her for being angry at him, and after jeering that their story was like a cheap novel, he wrote (as before, please feel free to click on the links for your interest):
The Japanese fan who gave us the spoilers translated this「大おじ~さま!」as “Graaanduncle!”, but you can probably see, in Japanese this is actually the same as the one in the letter to Georges. Yet, it’s alright because what matters is that it’s not a real word, but a combination of two words with some exaggeration (more details in the previous post).
Here is my attempt to translate the above:
That explains why I’ve been patiently tolerating your calling me “Graaaandpa!” with an air of profound respect and also your occasionally treating me like a terribly old man.
Don’t you think Candy was on the verge of being mean? 🤔 Imagine how his business partners would have reacted if they had witnessed the powerful president being humiliated by a young lady.
However, anger is sometimes caused by one’s unfulfilled desires. Albert’s willingness to confess implied that he had seen through Candy; her strange behavior had essentially betrayed her true feelings for him. On a fine spring day, he put his work in Chicago aside and went all the way to Pony’s Home to come clean. (In his letter he mentioned that he had originally planned to spend some time with her after the confession.) Not only Candy burst into tears of joy, he also had moist eyes. I will discuss more of their reactions in another post. Right now, let’s look at how she replied to his letter:
This time Candy made yet another new title for Albert, a mixture of 王子さま(prince) , おじいさん (grandpa) and 大おじさま (granduncle). In fact, all these titles sound quite similar, one we pronounce the AWE sound longer and the other it’s the JI sound that should be longer. Here, Candy essentially elongated both AWE and JI sounds, forming a funny title (which the Japanese fan translated to “Prince-Graaandpa”).
Here is my translation:
From now on, I wonder if I shall call you “Prince-Graaandpa”. I’d like you to tolerate this (if possible), haa!
Here Candy made her request using a very polite form but in a bantering tone. Later, near the end of her letter, she cast a spell on her prince, asking him to come on her birthday to spend time with her. Albert had to decline because he was too busy. Instead, he invited her to come to Chicago, and before he ended his very long reply, in which he had written in detail about his runaway incident and his impressions of the little crybaby, he wrote:
I’ve emphasized the words 丘の上の王子さま above, which literally means Prince on the Hill. What did Albert say? The direct translation is:
I can tolerate anything but this Prince on the Hill. Can you please stop calling me that?
Unlike Candy in her previous letter, Albert made his request in a casual, familiar tone (common between friends who know each other well). Yes, the nuance is lost in translation. 🙁
After receiving this lengthy and heartfelt letter, Candy replied to accept his invitation to have her birthday party in Chicago. In this brief reply Candy was quite emotional, and she declared (note that in Japanese they rather use names than the pronoun “you”; for example, here Candy directly used Albert’s name even though she was writing to him):
From now on I will never call you “Graaaandpa!” again. I will not make Albert-san tolerate anymore! Albert-san has become more and more close to me.
Grammatically Candy used the negative form of “call” and the causative form of “tolerate”, so I translated to “make <somebody> tolerate”, but you can also interpret this as “let <somebody> tolerate”. Since Candy sounded determined, I picked my first choice. You know what, her promise reminds me of Judy’s words in her last letter to Master Jervie in Daddy-long-legs. Judy wrote, “And I shall never let you be sorry for a single instant.” I wonder if Nagita (Mizuki) was inspired by this particular letter in Daddy-long-legs? 🤔
But the letter that follows this emotional letter is another letter from Candy, a long one this time mainly about the details of her birthday in Chicago. Near the end she was being playful again, asking Albert whether she should call him father. I have written a post about this letter, and you might want to read Candy and Prince on the Hill.
Hence, no doubt Albert had been wrong about his claim that he could bear anything but the title “Prince on the Hill”. We can tell that the appellation 父上さま (which means father, especially used in samurai families prior to the Meiji period, so rarely used nowadays except probably when joking) must have got on his nerves that he retorted with an urgent note in a vexed tone (in fact a bit demanding). When I get to this letter I will explain more. In short, he explicitly reminded Candy’s earlier promise to him by asking her a rhetorical question:
Do you think Candy had forgotten her resolve not to provoke Albert again? I don’t think so. After all, the way she had worded her promise suggested her firm determination. She didn’t behave exactly like her old self, but she could have avoided asking this unpleasant question, right? For your interest, I’ve discussed the possible reasons behind her unexpected setback in Candy and Prince on the Hill (Part 2). At any rate, Albert further indicated how he absolutely disliked being called “a father”. (I honestly don’t understand why some people still insist he was a father figure to Candy. 😛 )
Anyway, we don’t know how Candy felt upon reading this, because Albert’s another long letter follows this note, in which he opened up even more about himself and signed as Bert. Candy’s response was basically a request for him to talk to her in person. Then it comes my favorite letter in the epilogue, where Candy could hardly contain her joy, describing her day trip to Lakewood with none other than Albert. She wrote to him afterwards,
This is my attempt to translate the sentence above:
Little Bert… I’m so extremely happy that you let me know this given name!
If you look up the Japanese adjective ちっちゃな, you will know it often associates with little kids, tiny things, cute babies, tiny insects, or anything that’s very small. We read that Albert told Candy only Rosemary had called him that, and now that he told her, she could also use this nickname ちっちゃなバート (Little Bert) — put yourself in Candy’s shoes and imagine a handsome man over six feet tall, the heir to a prestigious family, telling you that “No, don’t call me father, but you can call me Little Bert.” 😀
I don’t think this meant Albert regarded Candy as his sister, like some people said. On the contrary, he took the initiative to be more intimate with her by letting her address him with the name given by his beloved sister, and note that nobody else was given such privilege. As Candy was indisputably overjoyed, she must have understood his intentions. In English, the nuance is somewhat lost, because Candy used すごく twice in a row to express the extent of her bliss, which by itself already has one of the following meanings: very, really, extremely, tremendously, etc. 😄 Later in the letter she continued to describe her feelings during the day trip, and if you like, you can read my series Overwhelmed with Emotions.
More importantly, this letter is where Candy made another declaration. She promised Albert that this would be the last time she called him Prince on the Hill and Granduncle William; to me, the second promise essentially signifies the end of their adoptive relationship.
Now, I’m with Prince on the Hill (I’m sorry! This is the last time)
And with Granduncle William (This is also the last time)
Is that why Candy called the patriarch in the family picture (when she was in her 30s) Granduncle William(!)? 😆 We see that Candy happily called Albert “Little Bert” again and again in her last letter to him, even wishing Little Bert the most fantastic dream. Remember, she signed this letter with love and gratitude. Things had changed, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Gone was the lady who deliberately hurt the young heir’s feelings. Now that Candy had written a love letter to Albert 💌, in which she indicated he was no longer her prince or adoptive father but only Albert (Little Bert), she would likely keep her promise not to make him tolerate anything again. 🙂