W4709 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Nov 26 1902
To: Calvin McQuesten 534 Sherbrooke St. Montreal Que.
My dear dear boy,
You do not remember I suppose but this is your father's birth-day. The past seems like a dream sometimes to me. It is a very stormy day, raining & snowing by turns, but no sign of snow on the streets. I noticed a reference in the Montreal Herald to the slush, so you must have had snow. We had quite a disappointment on Friday evening, when the train came in, without Ruby, found that the Montreal Express was 1 1/2 hours late at Toronto, so she had to go up & spend the night at Mrs. Mackay's & [corner missing] on in the morning. It is a good [corner missing] for her to get a rest, for I think the sickness at the college had meant a lot of extra evenings, besides the worry of it. You see they had only 25 boarders, but several were coming at the beginning of November term, these had to be told not to come, so that the finances of the school were so low, that there was a discussion amongst the directors whether to continue the school at all. Dr. Armstrong and Mr. Paul of Montreal put up a strong fight for it and the teachers offered to give up their half-term's salary. the trouble is there is such a debt on the building and as Mr. Paul said, "if the Presbyterians would only stand by their own, but they are fools, they give large sums to outside things and let their own institutions want." Well, in the meantime it makes the work lighter for the girls to have R. at home.
I have been somewhat uneasy for fear Ken should vent his wrath on you more than ever for after he wrote asking for his other two photos which had been given [word missing] or the family, H. was so disgusted that she looked up also a Valentine and an Easter card and that large ugly calendar he sent at Xmas and packed them off with a note at the end of which she said "Is there any thing else, baby?" which I am afraid will make him very angry; whatever he is doing, he has never returned her photograph, though she wrote for it!
Your report of the banquet was certainly excellent and I am glad Mr. Brierley at least complimented it, it is better than frigid silence, but I thought "The Siteless City" was first rate, you rubbed it in well. I was telling Mrs. Thomson about the banquet, she thinks it would be just exactly what she would like to do to be in newspaper work, "it must be such an education," and really it is, why the majority of people are asleep as far as concerns the doings of the world. I feel glad to think you are in a better room. R. thought the other miserably small.
Mrs. Proctor was telling us that she came out on the same vessel[?] with Mr. Mrs. Skeoch, hers crossed several times with them. Mr. S. was so ill [word missing], his trouble is gall-stones. R. wants Mrs. Skeoch's address, she would like to write and inquire for Mr S.
Tom was coaxed into going to a party at the Proudfoots, greatly against his will he declares he does not like them. In his letter he says there were a great many of the aristocrats there which was "easily discoverable owing to their excessive plainness." I am glad he went, or he will not know how to act in good society if he shuts himself up.
You need not reproach yourself for writing brief letters. You are so busy to expect much. I write you as long ones as I can, because you are away from home and I have more time. Well, I have exhausted my news except that it is all arranged most agreeably I think that Dr. Fletcher is to have an assistant, but the person is not selected. With very much love from all, my dear dear son.
Your loving Mother