W4467 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby McQuesten
Apr 30 1901
To: Toronto, Ontario
From: [Ottawa Ladies' College]
My dearest Cal,
As it is ages since I've written to you, now that my calisthenics is over, I'm going to sit down & have a chat & tell you everything I can think of. It seems to me I have treated you very badly in the letter line, but between reports & trying to get the worth out of our tired sewing machine we have been kept pretty busy. I've finished quite a stunning dress & a pair of delightfully baggy bloomers for our wheel. I've had a skirt made so am all ready for the season to commence.
Some of the girls have bicycles & want me to take them out as one of the other teacher's wheel, & they say they have a bicycle for me as I offered to hire one. So to-morrow night from half past six to half past seven if it is fine, we expect to take our first spin.
I'm so glad to think that at last you are going to have a wheel of your own. We'll have to manage to have some jolly rides together. Just to think of the summer coming at last I can hardly contain myself when I think how very soon I'll be at home. I'll have to call for you & take you home when I do come--I can't have you in Toronto by yourself.
And now I'll have to picture you to myself spinning grandly along the fine pavements. Don't be too proud & uplifted as not to yield the right of way to cars & waggons. They are mean minded creatures sometimes & apt to be abusive. And you musn't do too much riding my son--you may use up the wheel.
Well I have been interrupted several times but will continue. Mrs. Ross came in & I told her that I was writing to you--that it was your Birthday to-morrow, you were our May Queen, and she wished to be remembered very very kindly to you. She said she was just thinking how pleased your grandfather would have been with you if he could see you--that you were one just after his own heart. And you know how much Mrs. Ross thought of Grandpapa McQuesten. She thought no one could be finer in everyway. And now I hope you won't be too proud. It's a dreadfully uplifting kind of thing to have said about one & I fear we should be more cautious but--I'll have to risk it--only if the thought suddenly overpowers you on your wheel & causes you suddenly to rear on high your head, clap your hand upon your nose that mamma may not have to lament its [antiquity?]. And now just close one ear while I whisper into the other that I think Mrs. Ross is quite right only I'm sure you'll be a far finer man than your illustrious grandpater & I'm quite satisfied with you now.
And now I'll tell you a little news. On Saturday afternoon the Rosses & myself went out with the Field Naturalists while the rest of the party joined the Botanists. Jean Ross & I were the only ladies among the geologists. We enjoyed it immensely [?] the funny queer looking little man who contains all the wisdom about Mother Earth is the kindest most obliging little man & sat on a log all afternoon & examined our specimens & carefully labelled them with all scientific names & wrapped them up. We were given a hammer by another member of the party, & Mr. Wilson who is also very nice & carried home our bag of stones. These two married men with some of their small boys, three plain looking thin youths with spectacles & an old man, completed the party. Why is it that the poor unfortunates who most need their eyes have to wear glasses. Why I could find specimens so much more easily than they could if I only knew what they wanted. I found a specimen of the fossil of the cutest & most perfect little baby triloped as the Dr. called it. It looked like a small crab & was very rare, Dr. Ami said & the joke was that I saw it on a stone that one of these youths had examined thro' glasses & thrown away. My didn't I feel proud. But really you'd fall in love with the little Dr. too, if you knew him. I wish you were here to join some of these parties. You'd meet some such fine people. I think it's about the nicest thing in Ottawa.
On Friday we had our school Easter Closing at [Armes?] Hall. It was a great success, the place was packed & I was so proud of all the girls who took part for I'm sure the whole thing made such a good impression.
There has really been nothing besides this to tell particularly. I'll have to work up my Calisthenics Class for its Closing [show?] which I want to have about the tenth of May or so. I have really a fine class of about fifteen girls & they hold themselves so well. I'm quite proud of them. They are an older set than last year & there is one dark Dakota girl, too handsome & good natured for anything. However I'll be glad to have the affair over.
This little twine bag is a very insignificant affair, but I thought it might come in handy & you can hang it where it won't bother you. I wanted to make you some little affair in honor of the day.
And now my dearest brother, I wish you very many very very Happy Returns of the day. I only wish I could see you, 1 but the Mither & Mary will soon be down to brighten you up & with you there too, it will be quite a family gathering. With all best wishes and very much love from,
Your ever loving sister
1 Ruby and Calvin were kindred spirits, both scholarly and interested in the Arts and Culture, and they missed one another when they were apart.