For Tousie [Hilda] Box 03-001 TO HILDA MCQUESTEN from her sister Ruby McQuesten
Mar 5 1910 [approximate date] 1
To: Hilda Belle McQuesten 'Whitehern' Hamilton, Ontario
From: [Gravenhurst, Ontario]
My dearest Tousie [Hilda],
Really I am badly spoiled girl to-day. I doubt if I'll ever recover my natural? sweetness of disposition after this illness. I'll be expecting the world with a fence around it and granting of the fanciest & mounted with diamonds. You're altogether too good writing 'me' such a letter and sending me such a lovely scrap-box. It is a very pretty one I think--such pretty little pictures and such a good idea--I never saw one just like it and I do need it--for so far none had been forth coming.
Thanks all the same about the flowers--they had a sad life of it poor things this spring. I have a new boy next door. A thermometer has just been thrust into me.
Between each pair of meals you have your throat sprayed, a glass of milk & a thermometer stuck in your jaw. It is a Mr. Grant, next door, just a boy from Nova Scotia and the nurse says half the time he's very homesick & the other half he is playing tricks on her, hiding the thermometer etc.
It is very kind of Willie Mullin to give so much assistance. Tell him he'll inspire me to work soon.
Miss Izzard came in to call the other day. She's a very sweet looking girl and always very nice. I hardly remembered her.
Well Tousie, my darling, this is only a scrawl but it will have to do now--with much love & many thanks.
Your affectionate sister
1 There is no date on this letter, it was first estimated as 1908/08/15 and as being from Calgary; however that is now known to be incorrect. We have re-estimated the date based on the context of letter No. W6665 dated March 21, 1910 in which we find a repeat of two subjects: "flowers" and the death of "young Grant." Box 03-001 is obviously an earlier letter since it mentions a "homesick" "Mr. Grant," and W6665 mentions the death of "young Grant" on a previous Sat. Since March 21, 1910 falls on a Monday, then a previous Sat. would have to be March 19 or 12. Further, in letter No. W6662, dated March 14, 1910, Ruby mentions that young Grant died last Sat. which would be March 12, 1910. So this letter would have to be earlier than March 12, so we have selected March 5 as the estimated date. The two illegible postcards that Ruby sent home, one undated and the other dated March 10, likely refer to young Grant and/or the death of young Grant W6656, W6658.
This letter is significant for another reason and that is that it is an indication of Ruby's degree of illness in that she is obviously in a ward with very seriously ill patients such as Mr. Grant next door who died on March 12. They are probably in isolation.
For more on Ruby's illness which was eventually diagnosed as the "Con" (Consumption, Tuberculosis), see W6135. Ruby died in April 1911.