W5307 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Sep 6 1904 Tuesday
To: Calvin McQuesten Standoff, Alberta
My dear dear boy,
We received your letter on Saturday, Edna was very pleased to receive your hearty congratulations; it was indeed a great event in the family history. Poor Edna at present is under doctor's orders; she has been troubled with headache a long time and so as it continued after she was studying, she went to Dr. Osborne to see if it was her eyes, but he said no her eyes were all right, so then we consulted Heurner, so he ordered her to rest all the time and not go about at all; so she has the camp bed on the verandah and spends the day there and we try to nourish her in every way with raw eggs &c. It is very trying, when she wanted to enjoy her freedom from school.1
So I see by your letter you are off to Banff, I am very glad you are to have that treat. The photo of the McNeils was so very pretty, and the Webbs look very well too. I showed your pictures to Miss Symington from Scotland, who is also an amateur artist & she thought them most interesting & well taken.
Well, Tom arrived home on Friday night between 11 & 12; he is literally the colour of mahogany and shows his muscle with great pride. He tells me you wrote him to find rooms, I think it would be very pleasant for you to room together and you could be a help to Tom and perhaps he could help you. I had taken it for granted you were going to Knox Coll. as it would be cheaper. Tom will be home till middle of month.
Poor dear Ruby started off again yesterday morning. I really think she prefers to go, but I really never thought she would have had to teach so many years, and it seems as if we saw so little of her. But when one thinks of the woes of others one feels ashamed of complaining. Col. McLaren died yesterday of heart trouble, only 57, it seems very sad for "that one" little daughter to be left motherless & fatherless. Last week we had such a busy week.
Tuesday we took down all the books in the library and dusted them and prepared all the rooms for the Dustless Carpet Cleaners, the men arrived at 7:30 Wednesday they did all the rooms down stairs but sitting room and Mary's bed-room, but as the Engineer came late, they were not started till nine, so had to leave other three bed rooms undone. They were to come back next day at 2:30 but were delayed so did not come till after five and it was dark before finished. So it gave us a week of hard work to get settled, but Ruby was here and Mary Taylor which was a great help. Adam Hope was very good & only charged me 5 1/2 cents a yard so that all the carpets were cleaned for $12.76.
Mary has gone down to Mrs. Bell's she had to meet Florrie at the station & take her home. Florrie had been away for a change. Herbie is on his way home but both complaining of wretched health. There are a great many weddings just now. Mr. Burt was married to-day to Miss Somerville. Heard from Maggie to-day, Mrs. Mackay growing weaker. Gordon has got through all the $10,000 except what is in the house. We were all invited to Mrs. Begue's last week but just Ruby & Mary went, fortunately Mr. Murray drove them out, it is too much to give 25cts each to Dundas. Had a receipt from Ramsay & Co. that they had sent your Dukko paper, 80cts as you said. How in the world will you get all your things packed up? I hope some one will help you. Well, I must close, as Tom is going to the post. Am sure you are having a lovely time, but I have not got over Peter Henderson giving you no credit for your photos in his article "A Scotch Trick." With best love from all.
Your loving mother
[P.S.] Edna thinks you cannot have received a letter she wrote, as you did not mention it & she is afraid she addressed it to Slide-out.
1 Edna suffers from a nervous condition which grew more serious as she grew older. Their father, Isaac, Calvin, and Edna all suffered from "nervous prostration" from time to time. Their mother Mary also required treatment for nervous exhaustion from time to time. Their symptoms suggest manic depression: they all demonstrate periods of high energy followed by periods of collapse, especially after stress. See W2511, W5382, W5426, W5487.