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W7845 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from Annie I. Robinson
Feb 3 1916
To: Rev. Calvin McQuesten Buckingham, Quebec
From: Beaverton, Ontario

My dear Mr. McQuesten,

Last night I had a long satisfactory talk with Mr. Bruce and I think he fully sees my point of view now. I fancy he had been taking in all I said before, and in his cautious Scotch way had been thinking it over and saying little until his mind was made up as to a course of action. He asked me this morning if I thought I could stay until about the middle of the month; but I think if I aim to go back I can leave sooner. When your very kind letter came this noon, I already saw Miss Josephine Smith established in your Manse and I simply couldn't stand it so wired you. I'm afraid I was 'truthful but not frank' over your letter so I did not mention it to Mr. Bruce.

I know I must appear changeable to you, but I have felt so badly ever since I realized what I had done in relation to you, that I had no rest. I couldn't make my decision seem right. At first Mr. Bruce was so desolate, I wanted to do anything in my power to help him. But with reflection I had a different feeling, and the remembrance of a broken contract was exceedingly disquieting. Ones motives are somewhat mixed, I suppose, and perhaps recollections of happy, peaceful, carefree days may have played a part in my mental turmoil. Be that as it may, I was unsettled and discontented, and so wrote you yesterday.

Perhaps my talk with Mr. Bruce came too late, and Mrs. McQuesten had already arranged matters with Miss Smith, in which case one person at least will be relieved, because while Mr. Bruce thinks I should go back to Buckingham, he nevertheless would welcome the thought of my staying here.

I am very regretful over the way I have upset you, but if I am fortunate enough to return to the Manse, I shall try and make you forget this unpleasant fortnight. I believe it is too good to be true that I'll ever get back. I can just see Miss Josephine Smith there but it makes me catty! Is there any reason why I shouldn't tear her eyes out? Hush! Do not tell Mrs. McQuesten that.

How sad about the lad who was drowned. A clergyman needs all the cheering he can get as he so constantly helps to ease other people's sorrows.

Thank you so much for your kindly appreciative words. I had no thought of being what you say I was, but if I in my slightest degree helped you I am happy. And if it should be that I'll not again see St. Andrew's Manse, I shall cherish the pleasant memories I have of it--and of you.

Regretting greatly that I am so much a creature of impulse--an old woman--and with many apologies and kindest possible regards, I am, dear Mr. McQuesten,

Faithfully Yours,

Annie I. Robinson

P.S. I tremble to think what sort of an opinion your family must have of me!

Friday afternoon. I open my letter, written last night in such a hopeful spirit, to tell you I have just had your wire. I am sorry, but I can blame no one but my self. Mr. Bruce said "Praise the Lord" but I don't feel that way, still it may be the Lord's will--I don't know. I feel, however, that I have made a friend, and that is something to be thankful for.

Don't be nice to Miss Smith as you were to me and perhaps she won't stay! Dear me! What unsuspected depths of meanness there are in the human heart.

A thousand thanks for all your kindness. How I shall miss the church! With all my heart I hope you may be happy and comfortable.

A. I. R.




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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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