W-MCP6-1.457a TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN from his friend Dr. Norman Leslie
Mar 8 1915
From: Boulogne Base [France]
My Dear T.B.
Sir, I beg to acknowledge receipt of one will arranged as per specifications. Thanking you for your promptitude and hoping to have reason to make use of many. I remain etc... I will sign the will as soon as possible and return. Do not want to make alterations. You speak of making George executor with Jim and Hugh. I do not know. It is this way. First, As you know he had a rather unsuccessful career at one time. Well, that is over and [now] he is alright that way, but a lot of his trouble was due to an extraordinary pig headedness and an absolutely wrong way of seeing things. His fundamental ideas were wrong entirely and he was made the gull of men who were rotters, all because of his peculiar judgement. Well we all thought adversity had changed and helped him a lot, and he certainly took a lot from Father, for Father did not exactly treat him cordially when he came back and remember Father suffered a lot from him. Well, when this agreement was to be made before father's death, George if you please was the only one who kicked. He wanted the power to leave it to his wife or something. This was accompanied by a long talk about [including?] &c. He of all of us was least entitled to anything and the thing was being done mainly for him and myself. I think for any will that Father drew up towards his end, would have depended on his idea at the time for instance [be?] made after I volunteered, would probably have been favourable. Well anyway George signed. He now writes me that there is something going on that he does not know of and says justly too I think, that he ought to be told. He also says he showed the contract to you. He should not have done that for it shows a contentious spirit. Now my dear boy if he must show the contract he could show it to no one better, but I mean it shows a bad spirit. Jim wrote me and said what things had been arranged so [we?] could [have?] this money by will, instead of reverting back automatically to the rest. I have followed the original agreement except as concerns [his?] [Irene?] who certainly deserves what little appreciation I can show, for she has been good to me. Whatever arrangement
is or may be made will suit me, as mother, in my mind has the entire say and we, none of except Hugh and Jean has done much towards the getting of that money. But mother must not be worried at all, and you must if possible keep him from making a fool of himself and worrying her. I have just got a letter from Jean and she refers to a previous letter I didn't get, in which she has [word crossed out] told me of his drinking, and what he has left [?]. I fear [?] is a weak vessel and an ungrateful one for [?] against the wishes of the rest brought him back and stood the shot.
George has honoured me with his confidence, so I will have to try and keep it as I may have some influence when it will be needed. I doubt it tho'. I will write him when I can think what to say about the arrangement. I fear Jim and Hugh have good reasons not confiding.
You will confer great obligations on me if you could keep an eye on him and let me know what he does, and for God's sake keep him if you can, from worrying poor old mother. That would be unforgivable. This letter is entirely confidential, and I am writing another along with this to show mother. I have diphtheria and she will be worrying her head off, and will want to hear all news.
[Written at top of page] P.S. The sudden change in front and middle of letter is due to Jean's letter which I read when [Jean?] [?] up for him bless her.
1 Following is a list of some of the letters (in the Whitehern Archive) from Dr. Norman Leslie to his friend Thomas Baker McQuesten about his war service in WWI from 1914 to 1918. The letters begin on the ship going over to England and continue through his service there and as surgeon in France in the trenches, which he describes graphically. For the full chronological list see:
W-MCP7-1.099 This letter is an indication that McQuesten was arranging for a job for Dr. Norman Leslie at Niagara.