W4680 TO [REV.]CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
Oct 28 1902 Tuesday night
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Montreal Quebec
From: [Ottawa Ladies' College]
My dear old Cal,
I'm writing propped up in bed from pure laziness so you musn't mind scrawls. These last couple of weeks have been queer ones for me--the week before last on Sunday night I had an attack of the old Grippe--the real article & no mistake--but I fought it off & taught all week & went out on Thanksgiving to dinner at the Armstrong and to tea at the Milne's where was also our little friend Mr. Smith & his wife & thoroughly enjoyed the day & felt so well in the evening that I was up watching the eclipse till morning.
But the beginning of the next week didn't I have a couple of my old dizzy turns & couldn't do anything, so had to have the doctor & he said it was just the effect of the Grippe in my system & gave me powders & medicine etc., & didn't I have to stay in bed on my own all week. I felt thoroughly disgusted with myself in addition to feeling pretty miserable. On Sat. evening I went out a little & have gone out a little each day since, but I don't feel a bit brilliant. Don't you get the Grippe, Cal--it's a horrible wretch--underhand you know--and I vow I'll appreciate it when I feel myself again. But they've been as good to me as possible here & I'll pick up soon now. And be sure & don't let the family know. It would just worry the Mither.1
And I wrote a fine long letter on general things last week. And I did get such a cheerful letter from the Mither about you. It did my heart good. You cheered her up & looked so well she said, that I know she feels happy in her mind about you.
I was delightful to get your fine old letter--it really seemed as if so many letters came the week I was sick. I'm glad the poor syndicate has some strawberry jam with strawberries. Fancy tempting down your bread & butter with that other awful mixture; and "the Lord help the poor lad he comes from a good home."
By the way, last Thanksgiving I met your friend Robinson on the car here--I suppose he told you. But Cal I don't like his looks at all--he's getting so fat & puffy & he'd been having just a little bit too much that day, tho' it was only noon. I smelt it strongly & his manner was not quite naturally gay. It may have been imagination but it repulsed me.
Well various people on Thanksgiving Day were inquiring after you & the first chance I have I'm to let Dr. A. see some of your writing. Mr. Smith is also most anxious to see them. He takes a great interest in you. He does so thoroughly love and admire papa & he was interested in you for his sake and now for your own. He said he saw very little of you of course as a boy but he hardly expected you to grow into such a fine strong character and so strong physically as you seemed. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Lad. But he is fine little man, little Mr. Smith & there is no one I enjoy more & he's going to see you the first time he goes to Montreal. He seemed quite aggrieved when I said you'll see Cal if you go to Montreal. O, Yes, Yes, certainly.
Your paper came today, and your articles are fine. You make one perfectly long to read some of the books you describe. I think the authors should be mighty grateful to you. Your article on Booth is strong & suggestive, I think, & your other one was good too and what an unearthly home you must have been at. It gave me the creeps.2
Well dear old boy my point is entirely gone.3 I'm going to send on Mike's [Edna] letter--I think it is comical. Don't work too hard & take care of yourself .
I'm invited out to Mrs. Hay's for Hallowe'en & to stay all night if I care to.
With much love,
[P.S.] [?] gets a bad reputation from Edna's letter.
1 This is one of the early instances of Ruby's illness which may have been the beginning of the Consumption (Tuberculosis) that took her life in 1911, see W6135.
2 Calvin's article on General Booth is in his "Tatler" article dated October 25, 1902, see Box 13-037.
3 This comment about the "point" may indicate that Ruby is writing with a quill pen, or with a device that requires sharpening frequently.