Box 12-670 TO MRS MARY BAKER MCQUESTEN from A. Laurence Thomson
Sep 8 1910
To: Mary Baker McQuesten 'Whitehern,' Hamilton, Ontario
From: Euston Hotel, London, N.W, England
My Beloved Mrs. McQuesten,
I am often thinking of you & yours I assure you. How good it was of you to give us the send off. Your dear letter I received at the starting or at the leaving. I was sorry we did not have the dear missionaries with us & Mrs. [?] left the day we arrived 20th August. We came direct here from Liverpool. We had thought to go to Scotland, but we are glad we came here first as the weather is so good here now & so bad in Scotland. This is a very quiet Hotel. One would never imagine they are in London. London is changed to me. I do miss the King. It seems as if the head of this house were away. Everything I see suffers by contrast with our own glorious Canada. We were at Windsor the other day and came home by the River Drive.
I did expect to see the loveliness I have seen in pictures & read about. I could have pumped across the narrow Thames & so dark. Think of the glorious blue of the Ontario & St. Lawrence. Of course it is interesting, but I feel changed I suppose. The tapestry is most interesting at Windsor. Laura is so much better & so interested in everything.
The most enjoyable experience to me is the great privilege of hearing Mr. Myer. He is, well, what we all might be, full of the Spirit. The most beautiful service I was ever at. His appearance, his voice, his power, his simplicity I cannot describe. His prayers are as if he were speaking face to face with God. Such preaching & yet so simple. He prayed for poor Crippen,1 that unhappy creature. It would have moved a heart of Stone. Oh my dear friend if we only had Pastors like him. He has a prayer meeting at 10:15 a.m., church at 11 a.m., open air at 3 p.m., evening at 7. This is at present, October 1st the regular winter services begin. I am talking of the privileges of hearing, I must not forget the responsibilities--"God's great enterprise" is in my Bible. Thank you for it.
I wish we were all at home again. I mean our two families like in the old happy days. We all felt rather upset by the change or rather the heat before we left but we are feeling better now. I will never forget the Sunday afternoon you & your dear ones spent with Libbie & me the day before I left for Scotland 5 yrs. ago. You all looked so beautiful. I hope you are not going to Arizona but of course that is only my own thought about it. I know nothing of it only some lady on the Steamer said it was so sandy and windy. But God will open the way to you, His trusting child.
London is so full of autos with their horrible horns, tooting & all so different--discordant music. I miss the street cries & street music, which I hear are not allowed now. Nothing but autos shooting past in every direction. I never go out alone. We always choose when possible the horse omnibuses.
The sky is blue today (pale not our blue) & sun shining. We were at the zoo and the bird I admired most was a peacock, & the most interesting & funny are the Penguins. I did wish for Edna. I do hate to see birds in captivity. It is singular what hoarse voices the exquisitely plumed birds have, by compensation I suppose. I thought I would rather be "Only a little Sparrow," and free.
We, M. L. and myself were at the Jap exhibition. The girls were interesting, but I thought it was the most tawdry, artificial affair. It made us think of our Exhibition in Toronto. But it was all under cover, not in the beautiful air, like the exhibition I saw in Edinburgh last year. Of course they had the pictures there a [?] exhibition & relics. Nothing could be more interesting & the best band in the world & in the open air. I am very anxious to hear from you.
(care), Roland & Ritchie
20 Hill St. Edinburgh
[P.S.] I must send my dear Hilda a card. I do not forget her. I do trust darling Ruby is better. Give my love to each one. Ever your loving friend & grateful.
A. Laurence Thomson.
[P.S.] I do not forget my delinquency in the preparation of the paper I was to read. I intended to do it on the sea & send it in time but my bad finger made me useless. It is better now. I was so run down before I left & came rather unexpectedly at last. Not that any one would be much edified--but I do not like to shirk.
I hope you will remember me to Mr. Tom.
1 Hawley Harvey Crippen (1862-1910), born in Michigan, studied medicine and dentistry. In 1896 he settled in London with his second wife, who made his life miserable. Crippen poisoned her at their London home and sailed to Canada with his former secretary. His arrest in Canada was achieved through the intervention of radio-telegraphy, (the first use of radio for police purposes). Crippen and his secretary were tried at the Old Bailey and he was executed (CBD).