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W4643 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby McQuesten
Sep 15 1902 Monday night
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten [Montreal, Quebec]
From: [Ottawa Ladies' College]

My Dearest Cal,

It does seem dreadful not to have written you when I've been here a week but it was really impossible. Ever since I've been here--that is since 6:30 on Monday last--we've been as busy as could be. I just made up my mind to give my whole time and thought to help Mrs. Ross and with the other teachers get the school into the best running order as soon as possible. And certainly time tables were arranged and classes well started earlier than ever before. Then this Sat. and Sunday were my duty days so my time was not my own--but Hurrah for tomorrow, I'll be free again. The school prospects this year are most cheering--we have a fine school already and pupils always straggle in later. The day pupils too have been coming in well and the classes are good and I'm looking forward to getting some fine work out of them. In the collegiate class I have one pupil to prepare this year for Matric in Latin and the four for next year that I've brought all along.
Wednesday 1:45 pm

Here it is Wed. my dearest Cal and your letter not gone yet. Well that Monday night I found there was a chance of the whole school going to hear Prof. Clark lecture on Charles Lambe, so I knew really nothing about the lecturee or lectured if you can put it that way--I decided it was "up to me to go." And I was awfully glad for it was a most delightful lecture and Charles Lambe is a real person in my mind now. When we came home I jotted down a few notes to fix the thing in my mind & then glanced over my lessons & went to bed.

Then on Tuesday I had invited Jean & Emily Maclaren who is visiting here now to come over for a game of tennis and found the old net was in utter dilapidation so we had to settle about a new one & I hurried down at noon & decided on one & then back for dinner & to get Freeman to fix the posts & parts which had all tumbled down. The college is so well built upon a rock that there is only a foot of earth on one side & a single post won't stand.

Then I had my Calisthenics till four and then hurried to dress in time for Jean and Emily. It was a lovely afternoon and we played till half past six & then went down with Miss Barnes and had tea by ourselves. Then we talked till about half past nine when they left. Then I proceeded to look over my work & look over my Columbus notes till after ten when I proceeded down stairs to hunt up the maps to show his course.
3:15 p.m

Now my afternoon work is over. In my Collegiate class there are seven girls and at four quite different stages, however each of them works so well herself that I can get over the work nicely keeping them in turn a little after hours. One of the innovations this year is 10 min drill at recess. At 2 min. before recess the bell is rung and all the doors opened & books put away, then at the quarter to eleven, a chord is struck on the piano which sounds through the school to upstairs classes. Then Collegiate Class comes down and Senior Classes fall in behind and Intermediates march into the assembly hall where I have marching and drill. There certainly is a room full but not too many to manage & I really enjoy drilling such a number. And it certainly freshens them all up wonderfully instead of sitting around during recess--there is still five minutes for choice morsels of gossip.

Your paper came and I'm looking forward to reading your part. So far I only glanced at it and read your really choice selection of jokes to the people last night--that limerick--jackass [sic] tale was rich.1

We are having fine warm weather now--I hope it keeps up--it is quite a treat. I hope you are not getting thin again and working yourself to death trying to do so much. It seems a long time since the holidays, one so soon settles into the busy routine here.

How is Ken getting along--I hope he's adding some fat to his lean person.2

I suppose Mary Locke's wedding is in the near future. We saw so little of Mary & Helen this summer--I didn't see them to say Good-Bye at all. We expected them the Sunday night before I left, for Tom had seen Charlie but they haven't trusted us enough to tell us a thing about Mary's wedding, we are not supposed to know they are busy and to go very much out of our way.

By the way Mrs. Ross is going to show me Mr. Wilkie's statement Mrs. Ross thinks there is going to be a great disclosure but Mr. Wilkie's innocence will be proved. It is one great falsehood about taking opium and various ministers are gathering around him and it will all come out. Mr. Parsons, Mr. Geghie--is that the way you spell it? Mr. Johnson of London, Prof. MacVicar and various others. Mrs. Ross herself saw Mr. Wilkie and he is perfectly calm and his wife too, and a Scotch lady who has always lived with them says it is a perfect fabrication. Doesn't it seem a fearfully wicked thing. Of course everything is being kept quiet till the right moment but Mrs. Ross wanted to show this statement to me.3

Well, dear old boy, must really go. You'll forgive me this time for the long wait & I'll do better next time.

With very much love,

Your affectionate sister,


1 Calvin was working as a journalist for the Montreal Herald at this time, but we have been unable to locate this article. He was writing "The Tatler" columns for the Herald and many of those are available on this site; however most of his other articles do not carry his name so cannot be easily identified.

2 Ken is likely Kenelm Trigge who became engaged to Hilda McQuesten but was subsequently rejected because he drank alcohol and "treated" others to drink, also, see W4635.

3 Wilkie was involved in the missionary 'gender conflict' and was later expelled from the missionary work because of his attempt to control and then to discredit the women missionaries. For more details on the Wilkie Case, see W4651.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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