W5245 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jun 20 1904
To: Calvin McQuesten Standoff, Alberta
My dear dear boy,
Your letter came this morning it was written on June 10th. Am glad you heard so soon from Mrs. Fletcher. After I posted my letter to you last Monday went down to Mrs. Bell's and found Florrie had determined to go to the Hospital the following Wednesday to be operated on for appendicitis. Of course poor Mr. Bell and she were in a terribly nervous condition and I went down again next day; Mr. Bell and Charlie have behaved most abominably, especially the latter, they are so wild about the expense. I try to believe that it is quite unnecessary but F. had had the fourth attack and doctors wanted her. So I had to be down at the hospital on Wednesday morning with Mrs. B. as neither of them would trouble himself. Mr. Bell did go down in the afternoon but Charlie has never asked for her, and he does not speak to his mother and tries not to eat anything she cooks. The night before the operation when F. was at the hospital and Mrs Bell by herself at home neither of these men spoke a single word to her. They certainly are the worst pair. Strange enough Mr. B.'s sister has to come into the Hospital this week to have a tumour removed & F. is dreadfully afraid people will get her mixed with her aunt. F. suffered of course a good deal but is doing well, I think. Some of us try to be down every day to relieve Mrs. Bell, she is the one I pity, and there is only one nurse to be got & F. makes a great fuss if left alone, she is very nervous.
On Saturday we had the James's, Helen Locke with Jessie Wade for 5 0'clock "Tea." Jessie is going to England to prepare for mission work in China. The same afternoon arrived "Bob" otherwise "Croller" Baird by steamer. Tom asked him to come up over Sabbath. He is just recovering from operation for appendicitis, he just managed to get through his exams and then had to go to hospital and was not out in time for convocation. We liked him very much, he was a nice pleasant fellow and I should think his parents were good Presbyterians from the way he spoke, he went off this afternoon. I did not let Tom go this week, as he is so little at home and I think it is good for him to be at home for a while and Ruby will be home Saturday morning. He will go next week to the old address Quym, P.Q.
Last Thursday Mrs. Husband across the way, gave her grounds for Garden Party for Y.W.C.A. so we were obliged to go, so we actually saw the inside of the house, though Hilda is not satisfied because she did not see upstairs. This Friday we have a Garden Party for our church at Mrs. R [illegible]. On Saturday night, I was invited to be present in our Vestry at a presentation to Mr. Alex Leith, he is going out to take charge of a branch of Wood, Vallance, & Co. at Nelson B.C., so our managers presented him with a gold watch. There were just some of the elders & managers with their wives & we were regaled with ice-cream & cake.
This morning I spent trolling from one end of the city to the other looking for work for a Jew. Two of the men lost their jobs because they persisted in coming to our Bible class, they are really converted.
Edna went on Tuesday of last week with Mr. Mullin to hear "As you like it" up at Highfield. It turned out a beautiful afternoon and they were delighted, it did E. ever so much good to see it. It was a lovely sight. I saw Dr. & Mrs. Lyle the other evening they were inquiring for you. He goes up to Muskoka this week and get the house ready to receive Mary, the baby, Annie Milne and her husband. Mr. Storey appeared at church yesterday and the wedding march was played as we went out, that is the most dreadful piece of sacrilege to my mind.
Wasn't it too bad the way Prof .Campbell was treated, and & that old owl of a Scrimger put over him? Dr. Fletcher felt very sorry. I asked why Campbell was not preferred. He said C. was said not to be such a good administrator, what ever was meant by that. Glad to see that Mr. Johnson came out in "The News" in Saturday's (18th) paper, in such a finely written appreciation. Too bad about Dundonald too! That miserable Borden indeed! It is extraordinary that men cannot recognize a fine man when they see him and make use of his talents, but these politicians are a miserable small souled race and they simply hate an honest man.
This is Tuesday & I am finishing my letter. It is fearfully close & warm. We have received invitations to a reception at St. Marys in honour of the marriage of Mrs. Crowell Smith, she is to marry some one from New York, a Mr. Trussell. They have issued a large number of invitations, am thankful we are not asked to the wedding. The invitations are those expensive engraved ones. I cannot see the sense of such a large expensive affair, in the case of a widow. I think Mr. D. is very extravagant, and fond of a show, but I think it a great pity besides being very wrong to waste money.
Well, dearie, you must not work yourself to death over those people. I am sorry I have not a cent to spare to send Tom up to see you, but I had $52. to pay for law fees on 1st June and $50. more in September. So I had to take some of the money I put away for taxes. Well my dear, must close. Tom is intending on going out to Binbrook this evening. Sam Sartrishian has that Church & is getting up a garden party. Dr. & Mrs. Fletcher are going out and stay at Dr. Douglas McIwraith's. Annie is to sing and there is to be a great time. At present it is pouring rain. With very much love my dear dear boy.
Your loving mother