W4595 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby McQuesten
Jul 3 1902 Thursday afternoon
To: [Rev.] Calvin Mcquesten [Montreal, Quebec]
From: Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario
My dearest Cal,
This is the afternoon of the Sunday School picnic--it is to be held at that far famed and distant resort--East end Incline Park. All who are there at three o'clock get a free ride. However this family is gettin' aristocratic and [?] such an inducement fails to get them there at that time so we are going to straggle up in detachments. Hilda is going to the James' & to appear later on the scene--Mary is to call for Glasgows--I don't know when Mike [Edna] has decided to go & Tom & I are going to start at five--Tom wishes to arrive when the youngsters are finished and then he'll stay with the 'grub' till there is nothing to stay with. He wants to 'get a meal.' Tim [Tom] looks like the side of a house, especially when he wears that big coat arrangement of Hewitts in the house in the morning--it is just half past two but he felt the pangs of hunger and he's just come up with a 'hunk' of his Birthday cake.
Mike [Edna] is reading on the veranda. She was nearly killed this morning with the unwanted exertion of doing the breakfast dishes and reference to it at dinner nearly moved her to tears. She is as comical as ever though not just up to the mark now. Consequently her breakfast hour is between ten and eleven.1
All the family have been pretty lazy lately. The little Mither is still at St. Mary's though we expect her to-morrow evening. She hasn't wanted to stay but is afraid Mrs. Irving will think she's not enjoying herself if she shortens her visit.
It's fine to think of you getting your holidays in August--just a month now. Hilda and I were saying we must have a good old time of it--we'll be all together, the first time for a couple of years except that day at Xmas. We must paint the old town red. I was just lamenting that you wouldn't get any holidays this year and it has quite raised my spirits and the little Mither will be quite delirious for she's just aching to see you. I know by her hungry kind of letters.
Well to go back--I reached here on Sat. morning, passed Hilda on her way to the boat & arrived here to find the house locked. Tom not yet home from camp, Mary having her hair treated and Edna at the Art School. The garden looks perfectly lovely--the foxgloves are so fine and roses and the catch flies & petunias and orange blossoms & catalpas. You poor old sinner I just wished you were here. I had just time to take in the garden when I saw Tousie [Hilda] come puffing around the corner in a great state at having missed me--my boat was early I fancy.
Then shortly after Mary & Edna appeared & after dinner Tom, lean and brown with a white stripe around his face where his strap came. Then came the tug of war with his boots which hadn't been off for three days & were too small for him anyway. He sat on the sofa & hung on & Edna& I sat on the floor & braced our feet against the side of the sofa & tugged till the warrior's feet were left behind.2
On Sunday we went to church and weren't late either and in the afternoon Charlie and Mary Locke came up--Charlie to say good-bye as he was leaving the next day for Baltimore to work in the hospital till about the end of September.3 Then Monday, Tues, Wed. it rained & Hilda has been sewing & I've been trying to straighten things and have all in good order when the Mither comes.
Last night Mrs. Mullin, Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Vincent came in & were all inquiring most affectionately after you. Mrs. Scott particularly has a very warm spot in her heart for you and I wondered if you had ever given her your photograph. I think it would delight her soul to have one. Mrs. Vincent was telling us about the bride Mrs. Lount but you'll hear when you come home. Archie Mullin has just come home and to-day he was to have a slight operation on his nose where it was broken & some bone needed to be removed that was choking up one nostril. The wretched Archie kept tormenting his mother by inviting us to his funeral to see the [?] etc.
On Sunday night--by the way--we saw the Uncle [Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten] who seems well & the Fletchers & Mr. Murray.
And now my dear I think I've done well & have told all the news. Hoping you're well & not working too hard.
With much love,
P.S. By the way I'm going to try & see if a few of our moss rose buds will live to see you if I send them to reach you on Sat. morning & if they don't they've died in a good cause. Don't mourn.
1 Edna had suffered from mental fragility since childhood, see W5426. Also, see her Biographical Sketch by clicking on "Family" on the Home Page, and then on her picture.
2 This likely refers to the fact that Tom was a non-commissioned officer for "F sub-division," a member of the Field Battery as a Corporal under Major John S. Hendrie, 4th Field Battery, C.A. (Minnes 5, 12). In this letter he appears to have been on an exercise for three days.
3 For more on the Locke family, see W5382.