W1476 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from Annie L. Cantrell
Oct 15 1877
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten [Hamilton, Ontario]1
From: 336 E. 50 th Street, [New York?]
My dear fellow,
If I were to follow my impulse, I do not think I should answer that last letter until somewhere about Christmas. The reason why I do not carry it out, is because I want to give a good scolding, tell you some news & then await an answer.
I thought you never thought it worth your while standing on high heels! The idea of your wishing to punish me for my laziness: Besides, do you not know how very rude it is to allow a letter to go so long unanswered? My carelessness does not excuse your conduct in the least: two wrongs do not make one right. Now I will tell you what I think was the real reason.: Your patience was tried too severely by receiving such long epistles to read. I do not know why it is so but this summer, I have scrawled worse than ever but have managed to spin out quite long letters.
But enough--Since my return I have not been nearly as well as I was a year ago. Have less energy & several very bad headaches. May & I & several others had been at the park playing croquet one afternoon & in the evening I went out. Was feeling remarkably well when went to bed; but woke up about one o'clock with a terrible pain in my head. Lay still for some time not wishing to disturb Aunt who is sleeping with me for the present. Whether the effort was too much for my mind I know not, but I began to imagine that I was getting crazy & in reality got a little hystrick [sic], that is got crying & could not stop. May jumped up & went down the stairs in the dark & got ice which was kept on my head for some time, then we tried hot wet cloths. Was an invalid until the next evening. Was really frightened it come so suddenly & apparently not cause [sic]. The next week the pain came again while in school & I made up my mind that I would go to a doctor. The attack was not as bad as the first but still felt inclined to vomit & could not think. Intended to go to Dr. Lomis but when I got to 4th Ave. house, father insisted upon my having Dr. Janvin He came & said my circulation was not good as might be & liver somewhat out of order. Prescribed pills similar to some you gave me over, which I am taking faithfully.
I think those fearful orders from Hunters Point are having a bad effect upon my system. Have a very large class, salary reduced & Miss Tobias & I am talking of emigrating. Believe we shall. Last Saturday Miss T. & I went to Hoboken! First we walked from 68th St. to ferry, then about three miles along the river, back again & then from the ferry up to 25 St. Stopped to coffee twice & sat on some rocks out in the water. Aunt Mary scolded me well; said I deserved to be ill after it. Felt more tired today at 3 p.m. than that night. Tom has gone south to start business & if he succeeds there may be a wedding. He writes faithfully & Mary answers promptly. She has not said a word to me her mother wishes me to try & talk her out of it. But I cannot open the subject directly. Mary knows already what I think about it.
Well! were you driving yourself when that little variation in ordinary rides took place? We were not foolish enough to injure ourselves. How is your general health? When do you think of returning to the city? The weather has been very warm so far this fall so that it must have been delightful in the country. We have talked for the past four years of going to the Muskoka Lakes but I do not think anything short of the grand old ocean will content us now. Did I tell you that Miss McFarland is thinking of getting married at Christmas? I think it is too bad. I want her & Miss Tobias to stay with me. We three are going to Hoboken some afternoon this week. Don't you wish you could be with us. I am sorry that you have not pleasant company. You had better go with us next summer. The gentleman who was with us this year, said that he enjoyed himself as much or more than if he had been with gentlemen. We are all independent & do just what we please & do not require anyone else to be pleased the same. Therefore we all agree.
Hope this will find your injuries disappearing.
1 Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten was likely still in Hamilton at this time. In the final paragraph she asks when he will be back in "the city" likely meaning New York. He received mail in Hamilton in September (W1479), and again in November (W1490).