W6662 TO MARY BAKER MCQUESTEN from her daughter Ruby McQuesten
Mar 14 1910
To: Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario
My darling Mother,
The children outside are having their usual giddy time. There are a few spirits so well they'll need to be expelled soon for they're playing pranks on everybody. You should have seen Mr. Hargraft a tall fair chap come walking into my room on all fours & rearing his head & [??]. He was chased out by Miss Morrison. Mr. Powis comes in now & is very comical. And he sings to a banjo & I hear him distinctly here. We have a new patient a Miss Baxter from Toronto who sings quite well.
Your card came to-day. Many thanks. I have another effusion from the bard about a "cosy Camel"--illustrated too--which is to convey me around before I get exercise.1
I'm afraid I need money now. I may not use it till the beginning of next month when I had reckoned on getting it but I don't like to run so short. My old thermometer broke which means 75cts & I need a roll of cotton 50cts & cheesecloth 50cts & stamps & druggist bill etc. I had thought that $5 would last longer. However, the next one will I think.2
It was stupid but I never thought to look up Cal's sermon in the paper till I had given the paper away. Anyway reports don't give a real idea of a sermon. Perhaps Cal will let me read what notes he has. Hilda is a fine girl doing the curtains they would be effective that color.
Please give Mrs. Bell my love and thank her for her presents. It was very kind of her indeed. Whatever member of the family you think deserving may be allowed to use the bog oak per handle & peggie-wig.
My appetite is really doing well. I have taken an egg each morning for nearly two weeks & it agrees with me quite well. I'll try two a day soon.
Last night it was such a gale that sufficient air came in through the cracks. But I was quite comfortable. Not having the chills from fever I don't seem to mind the cold.
On Saturday morning Mr. Grant died.3 It had been expected every day for some days. It was a merciful release for him poor chap. And I'm glad for the brother's sake it is over--it was quite hard for him to be the only member of his family when he is just nineteen or twenty. He took the Sat. midnight train home with his brother's body.
The other morning I had my first visit from Miss Roberts. She was very nice I thought & in a pretty white waist & her hair done up so finely she was quite nice looking I thought.
They are singing darky songs now--really I wish you could hear them--it is a free concert, chiefly Mr. Powis.
The Col, Mr. Young--looks generally in the afternoon with his big bear skin coat on. He is looking pretty well these days.
It is a great satisfaction every time we think of it to think of Cal isn't it? Oh you've a bright family--every member a whole constellation. I myself am so brilliant that the electric light is quite unnecessary.
Did I ever tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed Henry Esmond. I think it is capital. I feel like sticking to Dickens & Thackerey.
There is no more point to my pencil & nothing more in my 'immortal casket' if Edna will allow me to use for my pate what was used first for hers.
With much love to all the family--especially yourself & tell Cal not to write for a while till his exams are over.
1 The "bard" is William Murray, a friend and a poet in Hamilton.
2 This letter verifies the fact that in 1910 there was no socialized medicine in Ontario, and that every family had to pay directly for any and all medical treatment or supplies.
For more information on Ruby and her treatment for Consumption (Tuberculosis), see W6135, and see her biographical sketch by clicking on "Family" on the Home Page and then clicking on her picture.
3 This letter has assisted in the dating of Box 03-001, since it mentions the death of Mr. Grant.