Box 12-145 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN, B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Mar 26 1913
To: Calvin McQuesten 'The Manse' Bracebridge, Ontario
From: 'Whitehern' Hamilton
My dearest Calvin,
We have certainly been having very mild weather, but how little it seems in comparison with the fearful catastrophes of the Western States. On Easter Sunday we had quite fine singing too, and in the evening Mr. K. spoke on David Livingstone.
On Monday H., Mary and I all went to Toronto to search for hats. It is getting to be a serious question the prices are so enormous and we were thoroughly tired out with the day's work. Didn't see a soul we knew.
Yesterday Mary and I went to a reception at Mrs. Sanford's to meet Lady Gibson, who is no more gracious than usual. Miss Wickens was there and asked for you, told me how much her nephew thinks of you, and that Grandpa Baker baptized Percy's father. Mrs. Sanford is certainly very kind and entertains so many different people without any stint. There is no one here who entertains in the same way.1
Marion Culham came up for Easter and was taken with the measles and they are quarantined for three weeks. Last night was a minstrel show for P.T.A. given by Calvin Church Mews Club. Of course we had to buy tickets from Willie Mullin and poor Mrs. Mullin made an effort to go with Nellie and Hilda went too. It was quite a success and H. liked Mr. and Mrs. Gilroy so much. It is so hard for them that Mrs. Gilroy has such very poor health. Their new church is nearly ready and is such a fine one, I think they deserve great credit, they are going to have reading room and bath, far more progressive than our Presbyterians, who are so much better off. They always did manage to raise a great deal of money at that little church. The windows of your church are very unlucky. We did not suffer except for a few boards of a fence. But in the cemetery Mr. Chisholm's fine monument was blown down and broken in three pieces. It seemed such a pity, he had taken a great deal of trouble about it, a lofty Celtic Cross and brought out from Scotland, others too suffered.2
I do not know if I told of you of the housekeeping experience of "Mort" Paulin as related to Mary by his sister. It seems that his housekeepers were such wretched cooks that "Mort" got so ill with indigestion that he thought he had got cancer of the stomach and Jim and all were terribly worried about him, but it proved to be only indigestion. Now he has got married, his sister is not so sure either for his wife never did any thing at home and knows nothing of cooking.
I am just wondering how you are making out. Am afraid you are not getting much comfort, and now the worst season of the year is approaching. If you are getting veal, tell her about putting a little salt on it the day before and putting in breadcrumbs with summer savoury for seasoning. After Mr. Ketchen got back before Easter from Atlantic City, Mrs. K. went to see her sister in New York, while Mrs. McMahon kept house.
I am not going to worry myself any more about Mr. K. I have relieved my conscience by advising him and now I have about concluded that he has not depth enough of mind to preach a doctrinal sermon or else some strange feeling of shyness makes him hate to come to close quarters, one would think prayer would overcome the latter but I must just leave him now. I felt worried that I had not done all I could, now I have done so, (except keeping on praying).3
I telephoned Mrs. Fletcher, Mr. Colin F. took all he wanted and Mr. Ketchen, so I doubt if there is much for you. There are a lot of Spurgeon, would you want those, and some old commentaries, but I fancy Matthew Heury is the only old one used now. I am to look at them some day. To-day the ground is covered with snow. If you are relieved of Monck will the Bracebridge people make up your salary? You certainly mustn't spend more on Bracebridge for the amount they give. With much love.
1 For Sanford, see W4771.
2 For James Chisholm, see W2520, W2511, W4415, W7085.
3 For more about Mary's concern and criticism of Rev. B. Ketchen's preaching, see Box 12-631. For more on Rev. B. Ketchen, see W5359.