W6125 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
May 18 1908
To: Calvin McQuesten Glenhurst Saskatchewan
My dearest Calvin,
Your letters are coming very promptly now, yours of the 7th reached here on the 11th. I note what you say about the stove and will try to get some one to look at Wright's second hand; it would I think be poor economy to give as much as $7 out there, unless you do not want us to send preserves. If we send them, the stove I reckoned would go for same amount. Am going to find out exact number of lbs. we can send by freight. In getting new stove the seller crates and sends to railway. I do not suppose second hand man would do that.
Colin Fletcher had the operation performed at the hospital a week ago, part of the kidney was affected too, he has been very ill since, poor fellow, can retain nothing in his stomach and is not yet out of danger, although he was said to have come through the operation very well. It is a time of terrible anxiety for poor Mr. Colin and I am so afraid he will really never be well. I think there is something which is not being told, I have not been able to go up, but the girls have gone.
We have had two or three days of sunshine and a little heat but cool again and rain foretold. It makes things grow and the grass is most beautiful: the little prune bush is coming out higher and pink and the larch tree is most beautiful, this is its prettiest time. I did get four little evergreens, two blue spruce and two arbor vitae, a weeping birch and a purple beech, a cherry and peach tree. Our new gate is painted and looks well. We had quite a windstorm last week and of course lost some panes of glass (4) through a loose shutter.
I fear Inkster is not what he ought to be yet, Jean McKerracher was telling Mary that Jock was up at Owen Sound and there was a Temperance meeting, one of our ministers asked him to speak never doubting a minister would be on the right side, when Jock came out against total abstinence and local option, ridiculing them; the minister was so mortified that he had been the means of bringing him. I thought that looked worse than anything in view of his past. It seems too bad altogether, he should have got into one of our prominent churches.1 At the new Central the pews are to be $60 a year; as Dunlop the floor man was notified that he was assessed at $1000 for building fund, he was so angry he left and has come to us, as he said he did not want such an expensive church.
With much love
1 Jock Inkster was a Presbyterian minister. Mary, who was always concerned with the quality of ministers and the sermons they gave could be very critical and she did not view Inkster in a favourable light. In a letter to her son Calvin, she remarked:
Yesterday we had "Jock" Inkster, he is very certainly a strong preacher, the morning sermon was on election, but he lacks all tenderness and to me was repulsive in appearance... In the Evening did not hear him, some I believe thought him magnificent but Ruby thought it an ordinary sermon not nearly as good as we had heard by others on that text God calling Abram to come out of his native land. The Thomsons were greatly impressed with him, but I just feel, that time will tell (W6103).
No doubt Inkster's failure to defend the temperance movement and local option helped cement Mary's ill-favour and distrust of him. See also W-MCP3-5.068, W6161 and W6630.
In June of 1908, Inkster married the Burlington woman he had been visiting, but it seems that he died within three years of the marriage. In Box 12-692, dated Oct 17 1913, Mary states that Mrs. Inkster had an eight year old son, so she had probably been widowed (possibly divorced) previous to her marriage to Jock.