W8166 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his brother Thomas McQuesten
Jul 21 1903
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal Herald, Montreal, Quebec
From: Quyon, Quebec
My Dear Cal,
Rec'd your book last night and can't tell you how pleased I was to get it. Young Bell put me on to that line of reading and now I am beginning to like biographies better than anything else. It is a beautiful book too, and will have to be careful with it up in this hole. Fortunately I brought it home from the Post Office myself. Old Paddy Pileau, one of the crew, his wife it is, who keeps the post office at Dirleton told us to come over to his place and get some milk as we don't get any here on Sundays. So that is how I come to be over there.
A week or so ago I saw a fine raft of square timber.1 It is quite a thing to see. Magnificent sticks of pine squared forty inches and over. This raft worth upwards of $120. The crew too are the wildest looking men. A great many of them are Indians and they are all lousy, Indians and white men both. "Rafts" are built in small sections called cribs so as to run down the slides of the rapids. On each of these cribs there is a small house like a dog kennel where two men sleep. The floor space is a little smaller than a bed. One of the lads had a fiddle and when we came over a big buck Indian did a dance for us.
The men are now beginning to drop off to the shanties in the bush to cut. The mosquitos are pretty bad yet but there is pretty good money in it. At least, comparatively so. The highest wages given here are $26 a month and board, I am getting $22. It is very decent of the foreman, Courtney Hutchinson, to give me that because better men are getting less, but none of the men know it.
You must have had a fine trip to Boston and the rest of places. Mamma sent me your letter's description of John McQuesten and they were very interesting. I wish I could get a few days to come to Montreal but am afraid I can hardly arrange it. What is the fare from Ottawa? Rec'd your letter. Must close.
With much love
Your loving bro.
1 At this time, Tom was working as a lumberjack. See W8160 and W8164.