W5865 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
Jun 6 1907
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Glenhurst, Saskatchewan
From: Ottawa Ladies' College
My dear old Cal,
It was good to hear your old exams were over and you were off on the lake. Poor old fellow having to take the service--it does seem hard at holiday times like that. And so the company didn't save anything on your meals! Hurrah for you!
By now you'll be at Glenhurst, I can't say the name suggests anything special. You'll have to describe it to me. But now when weather is fine & the school rooms dusty the idea of any country is most attractive. Yes if there were nothing but prairie & sky, I'd like to be out with you. You'll have to take me out with you some time & I'll keep your shack.1
And see I've been taking domestic science & wouldn't you like to try my cooking? Then after meals I could spend my time trying to catch gophers. Really I don't believe the time would be long at all. Lately I've been quite gay, taking little jaunts. One time over the 24th & Sat. & Sunday up at Kingsmere with Helen & Marion Robinson & some other girls. We had a fine time though the weather was cool. Kath. Robinson you know went for a trip to the old country. She was so thin, poor Kath, I think they felt anxious about her. And she has been having a great time in Bristol. Fell in with the Colonial Representatives & was in the second carriage in the procession behind Lady Laurier. Then was rec'd at the end by Duchess Beaufort & was at a great banquet. You can imagine the fun Kath. would take out of it. She is staying with the McKinnons, he is a Canadian--Kath was in his office here I think--and he is some kind of representative or something. My information is always so clear. Mrs. McKinnon is the sister of the Miss Sampson who married Mr. MacKay of Crescent St. Church Montreal. I'm getting like Mama--I can remember relationships. There is 'opes for one yet. Kath. & Miss McK. went to call on the wife of the mayor of Bristol & the part that pleased Kath was being shown into her carriage by a flunky in red velvet & wig. The Robinsons all ask after you every time I go there--I'm afraid I don't always remember to tell you.
Then last Sat. & Sunday I spent in Almonte visiting the Rev. Orr Bennet & his wife. You know I had met them on their honeymoon last June in Quebec. They are a very nice fine couple. He is quite forty & I expect she is about 33 or 35. She is very nice, of a fine old Almonte family & Miss Wylie a sister of Mr. Loggie's [Logie?] wife in Hamilton.
Didn't your fortune say that you were to be farmers when about forty. Well you'll have to wait some time my son, but I think Mr. Bennet is very sensible & he has the finest wife I've met for many a day.
I managed to miss my train on Monday morning & so had an extra holiday. Wiley me! And the teachers were even wilier for they so managed it that Mrs. Needham never suspected I missed all Monday's classes & they dare me now to let the cat out of the bag. And yesterday at dinner just because I ventured a remark about Almonte a violent nudge came to me under the table from Miss Curry.
Just think, son of a gun, only three weeks till holidays then, as the fairy tale goes, I'll be happy ever after. I'm afraid I'm not pining at all over giving up my noble profession. Perhaps in the future I'll teach a country school for fun out in the West near your charge & you can come & teach them scripture my love & anything else you like, provided you don't flirt with the older girls.2
Last night I made out a list of people I mustn't forget to call on before leaving town. And I'm afraid it will have to be added to.
Well dear old boy--it is dinner time & I must run. It's horrid, I won't be able to tell you things when I get home. I just wish you were to be in Oakville with us. But I'll see you when you come back that is one comfort. Be good to yourself.
With much love,
1 Calvin has taken a Homestead in Saskatchewan, and has had a "shack" built for himself. See images of Calvin's shack, IMG061, IMG169, IMG177, and letters W7686, W7709, W8239.
2 This suggests that Ruby is still thinking of going west, possibly to join David Ross, now that the two year waiting period is over that her mother insisted upon when first learning of David's proposal to Ruby. For David Ross, see W5622, W6135, W4651, W5630. Also Ruby has worked long enough to put Tom through university--he graduates in 1907. Unfortunately Ruby is already ill when she leaves the college, although she does not admit it (W5932) to Calvin, and she does not recover and is sent away to two sanatoriums and finally dies of tuberculosis in 1911. For her biography, click on "Family" on the Home Page and then on her picture.