W-MCP2-4.009 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN, ESQ., B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jul 25 1906
To: Thomas Baker McQuesten 22 Grosvenor St., Toronto, Ontario
From: Bayview Farm, Dorset P.O. Ontario
My darling Tom,
I find it takes so long for a letter to reach its destination that I had better start it to-day. The mail goes from Dorset every day at 2 p.m. by carrier to Baysville-to-day for instance-and to-morrow on to Bracebridge where it meets the train. We are having the most delightful weather, warm enough to be pleasant, for cold weather in these places is miserable. We have taken a boat three evenings. Mr. Sparks gives us one at twice for 20cts. And Ruby and Edna row whilst I steer. They enjoy it very much and I do too, for E. is so much brighter and is getting jolly. She enters into the rowing with spirit. Mr. And Mrs. Johnstone, generally go with us in their canoe, but I think I told you about them. Twice we rowed over to Dorset and back 1/4 mile one way across the Bay. I would not be there for any thing, a little unsafe, with one or two taverns and a big boarding-house close by the wharf where they sit in a row and watch us every minute. There is a Mills family there from Toronto, the father is brother of Prof. Mills of O.A.C. at Guelph. There are two tall sons and we saw a Varsity [?] in their canoe.
On Sabbath Mr. Sparks rowed E. and me over to church. R. went with the Johnstones in the canoe. It was a cloudless sky when we started but whilst in church a great thunderstorm with torrents of rain came on. It lasted till after one o'clock, so we decided that the five of us would go to "the Alvira" the boarding-house for dinner, a very good one too for 25cts. Mr. S. stayed at his son's, who is the Sheriff and Game Warden for this district and puts in telephones. That reminds me, if for any reason you wanted to telegraph me, the message can be telephoned to this house from Dorset. The son also has the telegraph office there, but you cannot telephone here.
The preacher was a student from Queen's, whom I wanted to pound in the back and tell to straighten up. He had another service further on in the afternoon and reach Baysville 26 miles away by evening, driving. The Anglican minister who lives at Baysville has a steam launch.
Last night we explored all round the shore of "Rabbits Bay" and found some water-lilies. There is a picture of "Rabbits Bay" on the folder of G.T.R. of Lake of Bays, we are just at the "The Narrows" said to be the most beautiful part of the lake. It is certainly delightful, every night on the island opposite sings a Whip-poor-will. They say it is a species of hawk which sleeps all day. There are very pretty woods full of berries, but one has always to climb to them. The one draw-back is in walking to any place, so one has to boat.
Was glad to hear from Cal. on Saturday night that he is "feeling fine and fit," he had seen Grey who seems to like it out there but I think it would be a great pity for him to settle there as from what I have heard Macleod will never amount to much. Cal. said he walked up with Grey to his principal's house as G. wanted to return some books, but C. did not go in. The lady asked Grey if the gentleman would come in and have a glass of whiskey. G. replied "good gracious no, he is a clergyman" and Cal. says her husband had come out Macleod three years ago to start afresh, as he had gone to pieces with drink where he was. It does seem as if some women had not one grain of sense, to say nothing of principle.
What a tremendous fortune was Alfred Beit's? These African millionaires seem to have broad minds too. The King, as you said would not come to Canada. It would certainly have been very unwise for more reasons than one, and I am glad that so much useless expenditure is prevented. A letter has just come from Hilda and Ham. Spectator from Mr. Murray telling of your having "completed your third year of law at Toronto University." I fancy this not exactly correct, but I am very glad indeed you passed whatever you tried. I am afraid you have had to endure some very warm weather. Poor little fellow! Well, dearie must close. With fondest love.