Box 12-405 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN, B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Aug 5 1910
To: Calvin McQuesten Glenhurst, Saskatchewan
From: [Gravenhurst, Ontario]
My dear Calvin,
Yesterday afternoon Marion Robinson arrived, she wrote us from Beaverton, so replied at once for her to spend a few days with us, as Ruby is specially well just now, for the last week fever very low only 99 to-day and she enjoys all her meals. Unfortunately the worst weather, it came with Marion, strong winds, torrents of rain last night and raining most of to-day, which makes it miserable for sitting out on the verandah and prevents us doing any thing. Before that Tom and I had been enjoying the boat and it is disappointing for his holidays to be spent cooped up in the house, but we must not complain when R. is so much better. If that fever only would not return! 1
I have been praying specially that God would glorify Himself by healing her by His miraculous power. I had written Miss Ambrose to ask what Ethel thought; as E. is away Willie Ambrose wrote me, that the climate was beneficial, but they were a race of blood-suckers (this is the universal report) Ethel stayed on a ranch, poor food and cooking and they robbed you whenever possible, a wretched desert and a wearisome journey, but Mr. Cook, who has just come from there does not seem to think so much of the journey. I am waiting to see how R. keeps this month and will then talk to the doctor. Tom thinks if R. wants to go, there is nothing else to be done and I must say; I dread the misery for her of another winter in Canada. 2
On Tuesday we thought we would take trip round Gull Lake up here, so in the afternoon, Mary, Edna, Tom and I walked over to Gull Lake and took a motor boat and went all round the Lake, it is really quite a pretty sail, you wind about through one or two little lakes besides Gull Lake for over an hour, and they only charge a dollar for the boat load. Then Tom treated the girls to ice cream and we walked home again. Marion and Ruby are talking away on the verandah, and Tom and Edna have walked up to the village, anything for a change, tho' it blows and rains sometimes. Tom and E. keep the house in a hubbub, scrapping like two children, but it amuses her. Mrs. Parfitt brought us a basket of early apples, very sour but lovely in apple sauce. I wish we could send you some.
We hear that Logie Macdonnell came home to his Aunt's at Fergus to die of tuberculosis, but last account says he is better; a younger brother is in Toronto Asylum, but Dr. Clark says he will be all right again, just over studied. Jean McK. Says he is immensely tall, Logie was off too for awhile, and his wife, while at college Really the world just seems made up of poor weak people.
It was sad the sudden death of Andrew Gunn, did not know him, but Lina G. always thought so much of him and his wife such a dear little woman, a sister of Mrs. Jolin McKay who sat in front of you, I think, at Central church, Toronto.
Whilst we are away Tom has been about a little, went up to the Golf grounds, says the young men are just a dreadful set, "such muffs," not one he can make a friend. I was always afraid of that and felt rather sorry for that reason to have him come to Hamilton. It was the same in your father's day, and we got into a way of living by ourselves, which is a bad thing. You see, Hamilton is altogether commercial, having no seats of learning.3
Yesterday R. received a magazine sent by Mrs. Hendrie, it was kind of her. Hilda had a letter from Mr. Murray, he told us Dr. & Mrs. F. had been invited by Mrs. Colt Moody to visit them in Muskoka. Lorna wrote Edna from Winnipeg, where she spent three weeks before going on to Regina, Jimmie has the promise of being sent to "one of the nicest towns in the West," but cannot speak of it yet. Hubert means to go West too. Dorothy Hobson is expected to live, terribly cut up in abdomen, bowels punctured.
Marion R. is just going, Tom taking her in the bus, am so glad. Ruby has kept so well all the time, had such a good sleep again last night. Marion is such a dear little girl. So nice she was able to come and we to have her. I meant to say, that Hilda is much better now, getting quite rested, it was the great heat of June and worry about R. but the cool weather and R. being better is making another girl of her. Edna got weighed yesterday and with coat on weighs 137 1/2 about 135 I should say. Isn't she a stouty? Mary looks well, but cannot get fat. Tom weighed 202 1/2. Hope you will escape any further storms. Glad you had a visit from Mr. Munro it would be a little break. With fondest love.
Your loving mother
1 For more information on Ruby's illness, Consumption (tuberculosis), see W6135, and for Ruby's biographical sketch, click on "Family" on the Home Page, and then on her picture.
2 The McQuesten family considered sending Ruby to Arizona and several letters discuss this subject, see W-MCP6-1.386, W-MCP6-1.415, W-MCP6-1.416, W-MCP6-1.418, W-MCP6-1.419, W-MCP6-1.417. Ruby did not go to Arizona, but died in a cottage on the Hamilton Mountain on April 9, 1911.
3 Tom is likely referring to the Hamilton Golf and Country Club. A "Muff" is someone who is clumsy, a stumble or fumble, and Mary's remark that Hamilton being "altogether commercial, having no seats of learning" was likely the inspiration for Tom and the McQuestens who worked so hard to bring McMaster to Hamilton. Note Tom's words when McMaster had finally been established in Hamilton, see W7085, W7095.