W4562 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Feb 19 1902
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal Quebec
My dear Cal,
Will begin my letter to-day, as write my letters bits at a time when I think of
something I wish to say, & because I have so much headache that I can not read or write
long at a time. The indoor life does not suit me, and I have had my sleep cut so I do not sleep well. The uncle will not hear of my going to Toronto on Tuesday, but my foot is so much better, I think by that time I can try it. You need not think I hop about much on crutches, it is too fatiguing on the other foot, I just lie in bed, bathe my foot often in hot water, have it rubbed with [?] & tied up in red flannel. On Valentine's Day received a lovely [?] from Mrs. Thomson in shape of some lovely lilies of the valley & white & pink carnations just beautiful they were with an exquisite piece of poetry. Edna quite understood how you forgot a valentine, when one has a great many things on one's mind, it is impossible to remember everything. Isn't it pleasant to have Mr. Gilman & Mrs. in Montreal so nice & kind? You are quite fortunate in many ways. Your suggestions on the will are very good, have not had strength to tackle it yet. Mrs. Irving came to see me & unburden herself on Annie F. [Fletcher]. It is really terrible the way that girl has been allowed to run loose & the extravagance. Annie does her own shopping [?] bills, the poor Dr. [Fletcher] protesting, but Mrs. F. always backs up Annie and conceals what she is doing. On any pretext whatever, her mother brings her home, no thought of money or wasting her time. One would think her crazy. Gets all the money she can out of Hughie [?] making him take herself & girls to McCauley's & afterwards to the theatre. Is now even running after Murray Huchie [?], who drinks so much, they do not know what to do with him. Last Sabbath Annie tried to stay home from church in the morning and for once she was suspected, the truth was she had managed for Murray to visit her whilst others were at church, after she got all off to S.S. She spent afternoon walking about & was not in for tea. Mrs. F. is distracted & does not dare say a word. Mrs. F. thinks Annie so fascinating & seem to see no harm in anything. It just shows what trying to keep in with the world does for people, one step surely leads on to another. Many an hour I have laid awake, thinking if I had stood in my children's way by not joining in the pleasures of the world, but I believe any other course would have been wrong & I leave their future in God's hands. Of course the lack of money made it easier.
Tom was asking your new address sent he had not heard since Xmas. Not one of those people in Dr. McTavish church ever seems to dream of paying Tom any attention except poor Mr. [?] he has been there to ten on Monday Jack Frick [?] came to say farewell. I had to bring him upstairs as Grace [illegible]. He would be so disappointed if he did not see me, as he wanted to tell me his plans. He seemed in good spirits had learned so much about poultry at Guelph, he was perfectly set up, so that I regretted he was not going to live near me, that I might get some of the juicy meated fowls he knows how to grow. He is quite enthusiastic & evidently thinks Miss P. just the person for him. Never saw him look better. He went off Monday night his wedding about 19th March. Do you mean to send him a present? How will you manage about sending to states. I wonder if something made in the States could be ordered. Those wedding presents are dreadful, do not dream of anything costly. I could go in with you. Wonder how much silver spoons are, half-a-doz, 5 o'clock tea-spoons. You might enquire of jewellers how they manage sending to the States & the prices, if I get a chance when in Toronto will look round, but am not certain how much walking I am going to be able for or how much time. Have not heard from Mrs. MacKay and expect to go to Y.W.C.A., you get bed for night and breakfast for 50 cts, so I expect to stay just the one night. I dare say some of the ladies would have offered me a home but doubtlessly think I will go to Mrs MacKay's. Mrs. Henderson, I know has been ill, narrowly escaped pneumonia, the Proudfoots are in a small house so are the Whittemore's. But I know Miss Drummond Sec. of Y.W.C.A. so will be quite comfortable there.
By-the-way, I hope you are putting away your spare money for spring suit & summer trips. You need both! Heard from R.D. Fraiser who returned a book I had lent him & he wished to be kindly remembered to you. By-the-way have you got that book back from Brackett R. Think it is the fourth time I have asked you. Mrs. Irving likes Mrs. James Buchanan very much. She is not pretty at all, but refined looking, with a good deal of dignity, nothing common about her and very agreeable. James seems most devoted, but she preserves a dignified bearing. Hilda had a jolly time last Saturday, Alex Chisholm took into her head she wanted a sleigh-ride & some fun, so they invited the two McPhie's, Miss Lewis, Miss Coleman the nurse, Alice Stewart, Mac O'Hare, a Dr. Fields, Mrs. C. drove one sleigh & Loring [?] Stewart the other, they drove to six. Mr. & Mrs. Logie joined them for tea after which they played ping-pong & had a most hilarious time. We have not heard how poor Alice stood, but she had announced that she was going to stay out driving the whole afternoon & stay up till tea. Her room is a dream of loveliness, McC. had it all fixed up for her, poor thing, that wound has to be dressed every morning by a nurse & her cries are terrible, her sister told H. that she longs to die. It is so bad. The girls are busy preparing, they asked a few girls in to-day to a farewell tea for Nellie Mullin, she goes next week to Baltimore. Feel very sorry for her, think she dreads going & Turner might have prevented it, I think if he [had] chosen & if her mother were more careful in money matters. Take good care of yourself dear child.
Your loving Mother.