W4946 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
May 5 1903 Tuesday evening
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Quebec,
From: Ottawa Ladies' College
My dear old Cal,
I was so glad to hear from you, for I had been worrying somewhat fearing that you were worried about Ken [Trigge], as I know you were. It is a most miserable business.1 If you weren't conscientious it wouldn't affect you so much but it has worried you very much I know.2
Look at this horrible blot on my swell paper.
And so I was particularly glad to hear your voice--as it were. I had almost planned swooping down on you suddenly to relieve my mind. And felt very much like accepting Mrs. Skeoch's kind invitation over the 24th. It was such a pleasant surprise to see them just the same as ever. Mrs. Skeoch tried to tell me about Ken but were never alone. Jimmie is the same as ever and looking very well I think.
I'm glad tho' you are going home on the 24th. It will cheer up the Mither and you can relieve your mind.3
I can hardly see my way yet to coming any other time to Montreal. It really is such an expensive little trip where there is no reduction that it hardly seems right just from Friday night till Monday. However we'll not quite give it up and you can thank Mrs. Skeoch from me and say we'll hope to manage it.
And now to thank you for your lovely Birthday present. It was too much to send me such a fine book and it is a story I've heard spoken of often and will be well worth reading I'm sure. Thank you ever so much, you seem awfully good to me you dear old boy. I had a fine Birthday too--a bandbox arrived from home with a gay new spring hat already trimmed; a little pink waist Hilda had made me, fine collar from Mary and a little turnover from Teddie [Edna] and a couple of ribbons. Don't you wish you were a girl? You should have seen me array myself, proud as a peacock. These people here gave me flowers and a little fern and a midnight feast, so I did well.
I hope those strikes will be over soon--you poor fellow--quite understand where your time has gone. Such a serious affair. And then your moving, well I won't expect to hear from you and will know what is keeping you busy. You can send me your new address.
With very much love,
P.S. Won't it be fine if the little Mither gets took [sic] to Clifton Springs. 4
1 This is likely a reference to the broken engagement between Hilda McQuesten and Ken Trigge, see W4635. Since Calvin lives in the same boarding house, it is an uncomfortable situation for him.
2 Calvin does not make it home for the holiday on the 24th of May. His heavy work load during the railway strike in Montreal likely kept him at the job, see W4973.
3 See Mary's letter of May 1, 1903 (W4938) to Calvin in which she credits him for his "conscientious" behaviour in reporting B.K. Sandwell to his father for his immoral behaviour in the boarding house. Ruby may be alluding to the same event here.
4 Clifton Springs was a popular spa, and Mary was taken there several times by her friend Mrs. MacKay. See W4400 for Mary's letter from Clifton Springs Hotel in June 1897. A that time, Mary had suffered a breakdown and was taken to Clifton Springs for a rest by her friend Mrs. MacKay (For MacKay, see W4297). She is likely being taken there by Mrs. MacKay again; however, we have no further record of the trip.