W1498 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from Annie L. Cantrell
Nov 21 1877
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten 336 E 30th St., New York City
We are ourselves once more & the effect is somewhat pleasant & somewhat contrarywise [sic]. Mr. & Mrs. Ayer, Fred & Murray have departed & left quite a feeling of lonliness [sic] behind which however is slowly also taking its departure. May is working hard trying to learn designing. If she does not succeed, that failure will not be for want of application. She is devoting all her time to the study, will not go out anywhere or attend to anything else. Therefore I can not continue my German for want of a companion. We have been having delightful weather all the fall until just now winter seems to be making quite an effort to make its advent. By the by, just this moment had a thought. Are you coming back to the city this winter? I was looking at sealskin muffs with the intent to purchase one; but the one I wanted was twenty dollars & the one I shall probably buy was ten. Now, are they any cheaper in Canada? If so, could you & would you smuggle me a muff? I do not want you to have to pay duty on one or to take any trouble. May says she thinks I am rather cool to ask you to do such a thing. If you think so, forget it & pass it by. Here we are in the dining room a good bright fire, Aunt Mary sewing & writing, May drawing & all of us eating some good apples. Outside, the weather looks as if a snow storm were brewing. "How is your health?" or have you forgotten that you ever were in a condition of distress or trouble! I think you are having a fine time, but have fears that you will get lazy. "All play & no work.["]
Our church is going to have a fair during the first part of December & all the people are called upon to help Suppose you bring a deer's head. There is one on the mantelpiece which is looking down at us now with mournful eyes which if they could speak would say "How I long for the lake in the depth of the forest" etc etc. How cruel to shoot innocent, harmless creatures except of necessity. Now, fishing is different. The dear little things flop about for joy when brought into the air & then they have not much feeling any [way].
Do you smoke nowadays? I am real sorry that Christmas is so near for then we shall lose Miss McFarland. I have learned to like her again & better than before.
Miss Toby & I are together every afternoon.