W1428 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his friend Annie L. Cantrell
Sep 16 1875 Thursday
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten, New York
From: [Likely New York]
Was coming up this afternoon, but between laziness and the rain did not succeed in reaching your house. Thought I would write you a scrawl just to keep myself within your recollection and because I owe you two answers.
Have a little variety once in a while. Last Saturday Father and Mrs. C., Mr. Mrs. and Miss Clarke and myself went to Rockaway.1 Chose a nice day for the trip as we almost froze going down. The day had its advantages however for the boat was not crowded and there were none of the rough class on the beach. Felt grumpy all the morning the result of going off without my breakfast. As usual Father was in a great hurry to start and had me over to the house fifteen minutes before they started and then we went off without. Mrs. C. sister Mary also went with us. Just as we were able starting from Mrs. Clarke's, Mrs. C. came along not in the best humor [sic] possible.
We waited on the boat twenty minutes before it started. There was scarcely any surf and no undertow. Mrs. C. wanted to go in bathing but would not unless some one else did so I went although I was "Enjoying poor spirits" just then. Made a martyr of myself as I am always willing to do. It was just good fun to see Mrs. C. great fat woman afraid to go out further than a few feet from the shore; in about three inches of water, clutching hold of the rope as if she were sure of being drowned. How I should have enjoyed ducking her. To hear her talking so largely of surf bathing and then to see her in water scarcely over her feet! When we came out I was like all other martyrs, enjoyed my reward; felt splendid, laughed and chatted all the afternoon. Saw some ocean steamers coming in. Thought with what delight those on board were looking for land and rather wished that I was just going over the big pond.
Of course school is going along as usual except that I have blacker angels than usual: morally I mean: fortunately we have no darky students yet. Don't think that I should be capable of instructing them. Miss McFarland informs me that I have not asked her to call since we have returned and I reply "Indeed!" and nothing more. "Never more" is running in my head. Miss Lobias is still living in Brooklyn consequently I do not see very much of her. When she comes to the city, we have engaged to play a great deal of cribbage. Learned a new game called "Sancho Pedro" (spelled correctly?) Do you know it? Fun for quite a number to play it. Am getting tired. Are you also? Rather think you are but thought I must do my duty. If we carry out our plans, several of us are going to "The Highlands" tomorrow afternoon to stay until Saturday evening. If not, are intending to have a picnic in Prospect Park Saturday. "What nice times teachers have." Joe is in a slumbering condition. Don't think I shall make it: wart is bad; no improvement. Keys are prettily colored sometimes. Shall continue using salve and salt water? Patience is virtue; hope you possess it. I am through.
A.[Annie] L. Cantrell
P.S. (like all women) Hope the state of your health is improved. ALC
1 The Rockaway mentioned here is likely East Rockaway near Hempstead on Long Island and not far from the sea. (http://www.villageofeastrockaway.org/).