W-MCP2-4.016 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Margaret Edna McQuesten
Aug 17 1916
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten Dufferin House, Cacouna, Quebec
From: Rose Cottage, Oakville, Ontario
My dear Calvin,
Have been intending to write for some time but the climate here is as relaxing as Buckingham was stimulating so one doesn't get much done.
Mrs. Mullin was down yesterday and it turned out that she taught one of the daughters of old Mrs. Van Camp who lives nearby at the College in Hamilton. Mrs. Van Camp's daughter, Mrs. McCarthy arrived this morning from Kennebunk Beach and she seems as jolly as Mrs. Landers who lives in Oakville.
Last night Mary and I walked down town with Miss Savage and her sister Annie who has come from Brantford for a week's stay. Annie was telling me that her brother who is known as Dr. Savage is not a doctor as he never passed in Algebra. It seems he managed to go through for medicine although he didn't pass the Algebra on matriculation exam. Algebra seems to be to him what physics was to me. At the practical part Dr. Savage is first-class, at operations and that sort of thing. Miss Savage says he worries over it very much more than people think and it is very trying I'm sure. He may not have had a good teacher in Brantford, that has so much to do with it. Miss Annie Savage taught short-hand at Brantford Ladies' College and Conservatory of Music after college failed until her throat began to bother her and now she has a few pupils at home.
Mrs. Bryant and Helen were here for afternoon tea on Tuesday. Mrs. B. has a position in a library in Philadelphia but Helen is giving up her stenographer's position to take a year at Normal School so as to teach and be able to support her mother.
Douglas Culham is in France now, the others haven't sailed for England yet.
Florence Howell is engaged to a Dr. Simpson in Hamilton and Frances Wardrope is engaged but I don't know who to.
I take great satisfaction in the Daily Light you gave me. The verses are so nicely arranged.
Last night at the at the Savages I was nearly desperate with the smell of carbolic on Ponto. It was suffocating as he's a large dog and it takes considerable to fumigate him, I guess [sic]. They have a hard-wood floor in the drawing-room and hall which Father Savage put down. He seems to be a very handy man.
There is a man across corners who is fond of booze and at night sometimes we have heard a bottle being smashed.
Am writing in Mama's room which is near the street and the sounds are rather distracting, old Mrs. Van Camp was calling at the Howards across the way a little while ago and the former is very deaf.
I read a very interesting novel I got at the library before coming away, called The Challenge by Harold Begbie. It gives a very vivid idea of life in India[?] for the soldier's wives.
Miss Savage was telling me Vera Reding who was at the Gartshores has been in Brantford for some time. She told Miss S. that her father was a R.C. and her mother a Japanese woman. I had known the latter. She tried to prepare pupils for entrance exams but finally they couldn't keep her at the school any longer she was such a poor teacher. Miss S. said there was nothing she wouldn't attempt. Well, I suppose when it's a case of one's bread and butter it makes a difference.
It's nice to have the cool nights again after so much warm weather. Did you ever know Dr. Bingham's son in Hamilton! His wife has been after him for non-support. He seems to have been no good.
We had a letter from Mrs. McBain in Buckingham, she's had company and it had been very warm. Her garden had been eaten up by insects.
Well, must close, and will write again when there is more news to tell.
Yours affec. [affectionately]