W4400 TO THOMAS BAKER MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jun 28 1897
To: Thomas McQuesten Hamilton Ontario
From: The Sanitarium[sic] Company1 Clifton Springs, N.Y.
My dearest Tom,
By the time this reaches you, it will be your Birthday. As you know, I would fain be with you that morning, to wish you many happy returns of the day. May God's choicest blessings rest upon you; my own dear boy, and may you long be spared to us all in health and strength! But above all things, I pray, that you may ever be a faithful servant and soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ, never ashamed to own Him as your Captain and gladly defending His cause.
Here we find a great many Christian workers, and when you come to know them, they are all so agreeable. We have an old gentleman at the end of our table, who amuses us and entertains us very often. His table habits are particularly amusing, he rinses each strawberry in a tumbler of water and makes quite a study of his food. He was Consul General to Cuba, was in Cairo when Stanley2 was on his way home and dined with him and the Khalive. I believe his specialty is geography, and evidently he thinks a great deal of himself. He is very polite certainly, but is nothing to a dear old man, who sits opposite to me. With him I made friends and found he was a veteran missionary from Siam. I cannot begin to tell you what trials he has undergone, it was the most pathetic story I ever heard, told without any boasting.
This is really a most beautiful place, the view from all sides is wonderfully lovely, I only wish you were all here. I have rebelled against some of the treatment, the cold bath and the sulphur water. We are up on the 5th storey, but the elevators bring you up and down all the time and the view is far finer. I am beginning to feel a great deal better. Yesterday however Mrs. MacKay & I decided that we must not eat so many good things, I wish Calvin & you could get my share. I take the salt-rub and do not object to it. One stands in a little tub and is doused all over with hot water and then you are rubbed all over with warm wet salt, which almost skins you, then doused with cold, rubbed up and slapped and then you want to take a sleep. Between resting and the various performances, one has very little time.
Now I must close, and send you a trifle, you know I thought of giving you stamps, but could not discover whether you wanted them, so you can spend the money as you like best. I do not suppose I can expect a reply from you, as you are busy studying and I trust you are fixing your mind upon it. I hope you are good to Edna and that she is well and happy with the rest of you. With fondest love.
Your loving mother
1 Mary suffered a breakdown and was at the "Sanitarium" for rest and treatment. She was accompanied by her friend Mrs. MacKay from Toronto (W4297).
2 Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) was in Cairo in 1870 for the opening of the Suez Canal, and then went on to "find Livingstone" in Africa (CBD 1387).