W-MCP2-4.093 TWO LETTERS: TO CALVIN AND TOM MCQUESTEN, AND TO MOTHER, from their sister/daughter Ruby
Dec 5 1908
To: Calvin and Tom McQuesten and Mary Baker McQuesten Knox College, Toronto Ontario
From: 316 Fifteenth Ave. W. , Calgary, Alberta
It seems a long time since I'd written to either of you and disturbed the even tenor of your ways.
This week I've been gayer than usual. Sunday was so stormy, a regular blizzard of snow & dust that I stayed in all day and we spent a long time at dinner. Mrs. Motter [or Motler] had two lads for dinner, one a Swede, who went into fits of laughter over any ordinary little joke. Something in our English way of saying things must have tickled his Swedish fancy. There we sat for a long time picking our hickory nuts. They came from Missouri and were five times as large as our hickory nuts. The trees grow in what they call the bottom lands on the banks of the rivers. In the afternoon we had some singing and the young Swede sang some Swedish hymns. Then we had tea & the boys left & we read till bed time.
On Monday I went for a long walk with May Mewburn down by the barracks. May as usual had her dogs, Shady, a setter and Pete, a fox terrier. On the way home, Pete got into a dog fight with a collie and they were finally pulled apart, May taking her dog by the hind legs & the man taking his. The man went up the street kicking his unfortunate dog and Pete whom May said was really the guilty one, was carried under his mistress' arms.
Yesterday I went down town for dinner with a Miss Searson, a nice little English girl here. She has two sisters, quite jolly girls and they make a nice trio.
Then last night I was asked to wait at a Reception given by the Hon. Cushing & wife to the public of Calgary. It was quite nice, but mainly Methodist as it was given in the Methodist parlors. They're nice, unpretentious people, the Cushings.
And to-night, a little Collegiate girl at the Y. here is taking me out to dine as a birthday treat. So I'm getting quite sporty you see.
I expect you both are busy getting things finished up before Xmas. I'm getting a little busy myself. I enjoyed your letter Cal, and I'll wait for any others that may be coming from either of you till Xmas is over. I met a Mr. Pearson the new assistant in the Methodist Church here, a big, fair chap, who said he played foot ball with Tim McQuesten from Hamilton.
Well, children this is only a scrawl but I must be off & post it. With much love to you both.
Your affec'ate sister
SECOND LETTER IN SAME ENVELOPE RUBY TO MOTHER
My dearest Mother,
It is nearly a week since I wrote last and your letter came some days ago. It was so interesting, the account of all the family doings. Both sewings and eatings. It is nice that Connnie Turnbull is living so near. Give her my love when you see her. And so Mrs. Mullin is soon to be settled.
I had a bright letter from Emily Colquhoun. She didn't go into family troubles. Mrs. C. is certainly acting most queerly.
This week has gone pretty [?]akly in one way & another. Then Monday morning I saw May & she proposed a walk in the afternoon so she met me at Mrs. White's at four when my treatment was over and we went away out by the barracks. The barracks are several large white buildings, one of which is the residence of the Mounted Police, another the prison, and a red brick building, the home of the overseer.
Then on Wed. I helped Mrs. Motler with the washing machine etc. & put in all my soiled clothes and we had quite a morning of it. I was quite glad to get my clothes done so easily.
On Thursday morning I ironed and then went down town with Miss Searson & her two sisters to dine at their restaurant. They are such a nice trio of girls. I quite enjoy them. Did I tell you there are six girls and one boy in their family and only one girl is at home with her parents. Three girls are here and the one brother on a ranch. And two girls are in Germany.
Then yesterday morning I was driven down town & did some shopping & walked back. And in the afternoon I had another treatment. My face is progressing slowly. Mrs. W. is quite satisfied with its progress. He says she sends salve all over and if it is simple acne as I fancy Hilda's is, the salve will draw it out and be sufficient. She hasn't any at present but when it comes I will send it on.1
Sunday was a regular blizzard all day, dust & snow whirling around. I didn't go out all day and really had a nice lazy of it. I have dinner here on Sunday anyway & this time in addition to the usual fried chicken we had fresh biscuits & fruit & candy & nuts as two young lads were invited for dinner. Mrs. Motler's mother came from Sweden and one of the lads was a nice clean looking fair Swede. It was after three before we had finished dinner and then we had hymns & the young Swede sang some in Swedish. Mr. Motler coaled up every few minutes and kept us fine warm, and the afternoon passed quickly. Then we had tea & the boys left right after to go to the Swedish service and we read till bed-time.
Then in the evening I was invited to wait at a big reception given by the Hon. Cushing & wife to the public of Calgary. It was held in Central Methodist Church and was probably chiefly a Methodist affair. But everything was very pretty and well arranged and refreshments were nicely managed so it was pleasant waiting. Mrs. Cushing is a nice woman & he seems a good sort also. I met Mr. Pearson, the new assistant of Mr. Kirby the Methodist minister, and he said he played football with Tim [Tom] McQuesten of Hamilton.
I also met a Miss Carlyle who had been in that sketching class with Miss Curry and Mr. McGillivray Knowles of Quebec a couple of summers ago. And there was a former pupil of the College, an Eileen Templeton, a nice sort of a girl whose existence I had entirely forgotten but as soon as I saw her face I knew her and she was quite delighted to see me & asked me down to her place.
And to-night, the little Collegiate girl, Kathleen Scarr from near Banff is taking me to dine down town at another place. It is a treat in honor of her birthday. So you see I'm becoming quite gay.2
And I don't believe there is any more news to tell. I hope you won't do too much. It sounds as if you were doing a prodigious amount. You'd better read a story now. With much love and love to all.
1 Hilda also was receiving treatments on her face, likely for acne.
2 Ruby appears to feeling very well just now, she is ejoying some of the social life in Calgary. She comes home to Hamilton around the end of March and then to Muskoka in September 1909 to another sanatorium for further treatment of "the Con" Consumption. She dies in 1911. See, W6135. See also Ruby's biographical sketch by clicking on "Family" on the Home Page and then on her picture.