W7520 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from H. Mortimer Paulin
Jun 18 1905
To: Calvin McQuesten [Gregory, Muskoka]
From: Nanton, Alberta
Above will be my address for the next 4 months although I am at present 25 miles east of there. I think I am going to enjoy the work alright but the Mormons are a most unpleasant feature. I have bought a pony and he is a dandy. Light bay in color and frisky in temper. He has not bucked me off yet and I have ridden him over 60 miles. It took me quite a while to find one to my liking but I have him now. I got him for $40. I have not bot [sic] a saddle yet. I am using Mr. Bryan's saddle for a week or two until I size up my field. I had a discouraging day yesterday.
I rode to Brant (a little village north of here) to see if I could institute service there but I found it to be a complete Mormon settlement. There is only one Gentile family there (Mormons call non Mormons Gentiles). On my way back home I called at every house but the people are largely Americans and prefer working on Sunday to worshipping. However I have arranged for service on Sunday afternoon and I am going out again this day to see about service farther East for the morning. The settlers are mainly newcomers and are far apart. But I met 4 or five Scotch families and they made my old heart bound. Talk about the stern Scotchman as you will. He is true blue. They are all anxious for service and I think will help all they can. But d-m the Yankees and Mormons. They run down Canada and Canadians but continue to take of the fat of the land.
I landed at Nanton last Thursday night and Mr. Bryan wanted me to stay over Sunday with him which I gladly did. On Friday & Saturday we went for a trip through the foot-hill land and man! it was most enjoyable. One gets from here a splendid view of the snow-clad Rockies and in the evening the grandeur of the scene is enough to make a man poetical. I notice also in this land slight traces of homesickness occasionally help to flavor the monotonous view of level prairie & blue sky. Perhaps I did not feel blue when I stood on the Calgary platform & watched the train pull out bearing with it Dallas & Aitken, the last of 13 noble fellows that made the trip together.
Oh! but we had a jolly time coming out. While on the boat I began to wonder whether or not I was myself and so resolved to an experiment to find out. I knew that if I were indeed Mort. Paulin I would enjoy setting up somebody's room, so in the evening I set up the steward's state room in proper style. The old bounding delight seized me as it used to do in Knox and I then knew that my trip was real and not a dream.
On Sunday afternoon to save us from an hour of gush and wind from an octogenarian English Church clergyman I hid his Bible & Prayer Book and for a while he was wrathfully excited. Well at St. William we had 8 hours to wait and so we secured a tennis court from (I don't know who) and played tennis all afternoon. In the evening before our train pulled out we went to the town hall and witnessed a rehearsal of a play to be given the next evening by the dramatic club. Then on the train from Ft. Wm. to W'p'g [Fort William to Winnipeg] we were not silent. The conductor called us down twice and finally we tackled him & threatened to report him for speaking uncivilly. He was really alarmed and began asking the people in the car if we had not been disturbing them. To his horror the people said they enjoyed it and we cut up worse than ever and Mr. Corndoctor [sic] said never a word.
But I weary you with words. I hope that you may enjoy your summer as I hope to and that my first meal, as likewise all the others I may take in Knox next year, may be seasoned by your radiant countenance from its position on the other side of the festal board. The Words of Mortimer, a missionary in the midst of Mormons, are ended.
H. [Mortimer] Paulin
P.S. I shall congratulate you now for I know not when I shall hear the reports, but I know that you are successful. Write me soon so that I may have something to turn my thoughts aside from polygamy and Sabbath breaking.
H. M. V.