W-MCP3-5.059 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN, ESQ., B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Apr 18 1905
To: Thomas McQuesten [22 Grosvenor St. Toronto, Ontario]
My dear dear boy,
I have been having a regular field day in the garden with Willie Stuart raking up in the front and an equally skilled worker in the shape of a man in the back, so that my time was spent in perpetually trotting between the two. The asparagus bed has been well salted and I am just having borders of middle path raked off and one little part for lettuce &c. Am piling the old leaves between grape vines to keep weeds down.
On Monday morning Mary treated herself and Edna, and H. treated me to Ashmead Bartlett's lecture on Port Arthur. It was really very interesting to see the photographs of these scenes and men of whom we have been hearing so much and they were very good ones. Mr. Bartlett was a bright natural young Englishman. Not at all slow in speaking, but talked straight head [sic] and showed a great many views in the time. We saw [?] and [?] and the [?] &c. &c.
Just as I was in the middle of this letter, Mary discovered a fire raging on the mountain and we ascertained that it is Mrs. Gourlay's stable, but the fire has gone down so I trust that it did not reach the house. There is a high wind, but it would blow the fire from the house. It is such a pity of poor Mrs. Colquhoun, one thing after another and old Mrs. Gourlay is quite off, thinks a great fortune has been left her, and flings around her money.
We had just come home from a congregational meeting to sign the call to Mr. Ketchen. Yes, indeed, a great deal of money will be needed before things are in order, the Church, School-room and Manse all wanting repair.
It was quite true all you said about Laurier. If he were not so good a man, he would mind his church less and I have no doubt, he thinks he has dealt very fairly although Mr. Cockshutt showed that it was a great mistake to speak of the Catholics as the minority in the West. They are really far in the majority.
Was glad to hear from Cal., you had gone to see Mr. MacKay. We are expecting Sydney S.[Stevenson] up for a few days next week and perhaps Miss Fisher. It is quite a feather for your fraternity to claim Dr. Barker. It is quite remarkable that a Canadian should succeed Dr. Osler. How glad I shall be when your holidays come. I am aching to see you. If you get home on 9th you might be in time for reception of the minister, of course nothing is settled yet. I hope enclosed will suit your blue suit, thought the shot effect very pretty. With much love, dearie.
Your loving mother