W7477 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from Gertrude Arnold
May 17 1904
To: Calvin McQuesten Macleod, Alberta
From: 425 Mount Pleasant, Westmount, Quebec
Dear Mr. McQuesten,
If I delay any longer in answering your letter, you will not believe how much we all appreciated your delightful account of your life in the wild west. It was certainly most interesting to all the family. I am glad you like it so much, & have found so much to interest you in all the people about you. The Indians must be very funny, if they are anything like their names & such a relief to get away from Jones & Smith. 2
We have had such delightful summer weather for the last few weeks, but today, as I had arranged to have a lesson in Golf, it is pouring, not only cats & dogs, but cows & horses. I really am disappointed because the Professional of the Club is all booked up for the next month, so my chance is fine. I am enjoying Golf very much, & I do love to be in such beautiful links. But nothing can be so nice as the riding which you enjoy. It must be perfectly fine.
Minnie is having the last of her Final Exams, & I am sure she is glad, for they have had two every day for a fortnight & she is rather played out.
She suggested to me to that she & I should go away to the West & take a school for the summer. I think it would be jolly, so if you hear of a very nice school with little to do, & lots of time to do it in, you might let us know.
The Literary Society can hardly be said to have had much of a chance this year. Major Macaulay has been ill all winter & quite unable to do anything at all. Then as you had deserted us, nobody was elected to fill your place, & the committee did not seem at all anxious to work, so the few entertainments we had were the result of the work of two or at most three. However, I believe next year it will be much better.
Florence Copland was married, as I suppose you know, about two weeks ago. They have got a flat in Westmount. I saw them in Church on Sunday & Mrs. Johnston!! looked very bridey. Do you propose to spend much time out there? Perhaps you will grow to like it so much you will decide to remain. You didn't say how you like being "The Minister" with all the necessary dignity attached. I suppose you have far outgrown the "Bat Ballad." Do you remember how I read them to you one Sunday night.
Willie is doing quite a lot of carpentering. He is making a Morris Chair, & a beautiful Oak Chest. Miss Fraser has not been very strong all winter, but she is picking up again. I'm afraid like the children I must apologize for a blot, & for a rather carelessly written letter, but I never could do things neatly. Well, we hope to have another of these delightful letters soon, & remember to let us know if you hear of anybody dying to be taught by two Montreal girls. They have only to send us a private car & we'll do the rest.
With kindest regards from all the family, & Mother particularly wishes to be remembered, I am,
Very sincerely yours,
1 Following is some correspondence of inquiry from a researcher.
From: Darren Savage
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2012 12:36 PM
Subject: Gertrude Arnold via Calvin McQuesten
Hello Dr. Anderson,
I'm an editorial assistant working with Dr. Colin Hill out of the University of Toronto.
I am conducting some research on an early 20th C. Canadian author named 'Gertrude Arnold'. I've come across your meticulous research in the process and discovered that Mr. Calvin McQuesten received several letters: (W7769, W7477, W7526, W7633) from a 'Gertrude Arnold' between 1904 and 1908.
The letters provide me with reason to believe that this Gertrude may in fact be same Ms. Arnold who published a book entitled 'Sister Anne, Sister Anne!' in 1919.
What information, if any, can you provide/direct me to about the Gertrude Arnold who wrote to Rev. Calvin McQuesten over a four year period? What was the nature of their relationship?
Thank you so much for your research and time!
After some research at Whitehern Museum, this is our reply:
Dear Darren Savage: Thank you for your E-Mail about Gertrude Arnold. I am sorry to say that I cannot direct you to any other information than that which is in the letters. You might try Jones & Smith in Toronto as the first letter suggests that she may be working there. You could also try finding the minutes of the Literary Society that they both attended in Montreal, and, of course, you have her address in Montreal for further research. As you know Calvin was a journalist with the Toronto Times and the Montreal Gazette. The reference to "Valentines" suggests the possibility of a relationship between them, but we have only those four letters.
The Whitehern team has checked the library catalogue at Whitehern and Gertrude Arnold's book is not listed.
I will add your inquiry and any subsequent correspondence to a footnote to the earliest letter along with a reference to the other letters. This may bring a response from others searching the site. If you prefer that we not do this please let me know. Good Luck with your research. Sorry that we could not be of more help.
Sincerely, Dr. Mary J. Anderson
The four letters mentioned in this correspondence are: W7477, W7526, W7633, W7769.
2 Further to the "Indians" see Calvin's essay on the subject of the Sun Dance of the Blackfeet, and his photos, Box 14-099