W5542 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
Jul 16 1906
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Macleod, Alberta
From: Lake of Bays, Dorset,. Muskoka, Ontario
Here we are, Mama, Ted [Edna] & I having a glorious, lazy time. It is such a beautiful place just wish you were here and we have such comfortable quarters. The house where we are and which is joined to the house where we eat has a veranda around three sides and as no one so far has rooms on the ground floor we have sole right and use of the veranda on the three sides, and as the sun moves we can betake ourselves to the shady side--and such a lovely view always and a breeze nearly always. When we came first, besides the Sparks family who own the place, there was just a young lad from Toronto, a Mr. Pillow, a nice gentlemanly lad whom we liked but who departed this morning. Then the next day a young couple, a Mr. & Mrs. Johnson from Kew Beach came. They are both very nice and we are glad to have them. On Friday evening they took me in their canoe for a paddle. Then Sat. was the gayest day so far. In the afternoon Mr. Pillow proposed that we go & see a Paint Creek & Paint Lake so I went in a row boat with him & the young couple went in their canoe & we started about two o'clock. It was lots of fun going up this narrow creek with the rushes on both sides & the air so sweet. Then we came to a bridge so low that you had to lie perfectly flat & even then you stuck & had to shave yourself carefully through. First we went through & the others laughed at us & then we [they] went through and laughed at them [sic]. The canoe was high out of the water & had a worse time than we had.
Then we came home & went in bathing,--our first bathe--and the water was lovely and warm. I'm going to get Edna bathing & rowing soon. Then we had tea & sat around outside and about nine o'clock the son of the hous, Jack Sparks, took Edna & myself for a paddle. You should see this Jack--the sturdiest specimen I think I've ever seen--a regular voyageur--paddled 51 miles in a day & portaged his canoe for 9 miles at a stretch another time. His older brother is sheriff & game warden. This jack is a most interesting chap--you'd thoroughly enjoy hearing him talk--he seems uncommonly intelligent. But as you know when I was asking him if he had read any of Seaton-Thomson's books, he said "I can't read--I can't no more than write my name." I understood then why he found the winters so terribly long. I'd like to propose to teach him to read some time when I know him better. I think I could do it without hurting his feelings, whether he would make the attempt or not.
The little Mither has not been very well since coming--trouble with the "Merry's." But she is getting better I think.
Yesterday morning we went to church at Dorset. It was a very nice service and the Eng. church minister a Mr. Hazelhurst brought us back in his launch and stayed for dinner & then set our for Baysville for his evening service. It made me think of you last summer sailing about in your launch.
This letter is not written so flowingly as you'd think--it is punctuated with killing a fly or rubbing a bite or squirming around at a false alarm. The mosquitoes have been somewhat trouble but were a trifle better last night & they seem to think they'll be over every day as their time is already past. But I guess these Muskoka fiends know the delicate flavor of Hamilton flesh & have determined to stay longer.
Well, my dear, I haven't told you about my Quebec trip but I'll have to tell you another time. By the way, Marion Robinson is taking a trip to the coast & expects to pass thro' Macleod. She said she'd like to see you but didn't like to bring you far when she thought probably there would only be a few minutes at the station. But I said to be sure & let you know & if you were within reach you'd be glad to see her and if you didn't see her she'd understand, perhaps her card hadn't reached you in time or you'd been too far away. You see she won't be able to know just when she'll be in Macleod till she has started on her trip & then she'll travel almost as quickly as her letter. She is to start on the 21st of this month. Helen & Kath. expect to go East some place this summer.
Well old chap--I'm glad you're feeling better. Just wait for month or so & you'll be an old sport again. I'm quite renewing my youth though I've been here only four days.
With ever so much love.
Your aff'ate sister,