W4988 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Jun 17 1903
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Quebec
My dear dear boy,
I was talking over your troubles with Mrs. Mullin last night and she thought you had better take even the week now and go to the homestead but I am hoping that you may be able to get the two weeks.1 I would most certainly lay the matter before Mr. Brierley 2, Wolf has no business to make things so hard. John McQ.'s [McQuesten] message was most characteristic. I do not like the idea of leaving it to September, you might get to the coast then, although I do not think there is any chance for it seems to me that some one in that office manages it that you get no opportunity to advance at all. You are not as well treated as you were on the News [Toronto]. They seem to keep you trotting about on work that does not show. Perhaps I do not understand very well as I am not there and should not make you discontented.
Had a letter from Tom to-day, just the second I have received and the first since he heard of the scholarship. He got my telegram the same day and it was a great relief to his mind. Mary and Florrie went to Convocation, and it was a great satisfaction to me that the day Hon. J.M. & Dr. Munro Gibson were there getting their L.L.D's, A McQuesten's name was there for a Scholarship. Mary spoke to Dr. Gibson afterwards and she met Morris McDougal and Morris Darling and Tom McCrae the latter came for his degree of M.D. you know he had just taken the M.B. He had missed his connection at Buffalo and was too late.
It was a wretched day poured rain but the girls managed to escape pretty well, but could not come home till Monday. In the meantime Herbie Bell had gone down on the Wednesday, he had not been well and after he got there in spite of terrible cramps he kept on going. How he did it is a mystery and came home on the Saturday suffering greatly.3 Nevertheless they did not get Dr. Malloch till Sabbath morning and that evening he was taken to the Hospital and operated on immediately for appendicitis. They came for me to stay with Mrs. Bell and you can imagine that terrible night of suspense. Mr. Bell did not get back from Hospital till after 2 a.m. and poor Mrs. B. was nearly frantic. It turned out to be a most difficult operation nearly three hours, the appendix was seven inches out of it's place up to the liver. It was just removed in time, in a few hours it would have burst and blood poisoning set in. Poor Mr. Bell was in a terrible state, he was completely broken and tried to do every thing he could to help, Mrs. B. told me we are praying this may be a great blessing to them all. Herbie has got on well so far so we trust it will be all right. He had simply destroyed his digestion, by using phosphates and drugs to keep him awake before exams and, when his mother went down some time ago, she found that he could scarcely retain anything on his stomach and was living on almost nothing. Poor nervous wretched little fellow! I am sure smoking has something to do with it. 4
Heurner Mullin is away to Ernest Lazier's wedding to-day.5 6 A nice young girl of 20, Daisy Hillman married a man of 37 and bald. I told Heurner to hurry up and get married and not wait till he was 37. It is so disgusting for these poor girls. Aileen Carey just out is to marry in August, another of 37 years, an artist whom she met on the Continent and is to live in Munich. Mrs. Carey did not want it at all.
Well, I must close. If you go to Homestead ask them to show you the Mountain Laurel, it is so lovely and only grows, I think, in New England hill. O! but I wish you could see the roses. It is no use to send them for they do not seem to last at all. Ira & Muriel Hills came to see us yesterday a very gay pair.
Your loving mother
1 This refers to the homestead in New Hampshire, see image attached to letter (IMG144).
2 Mr. Brierley is the editor of the Montreal Herald where Calvin is working as a journalist.
3 For Herbie Bell, see W5199, and for Bell family, see W4531, W4582.
4 For Dr. Malloch, see W4582.
5 For Mullin family, see W4521.
6 For Lazier family, see W5233.