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W5164 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Ruby
May 3 1904
To: [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten Standoff, Alberta
From: Ottawa Ladies' College

My dear old Cal, [written at top of Page 2] Poor Mrs. Wiggs--she leads a sad life of it--can't even come downstairs!

[I] Have just settled down again, a most uproarious evening. This is of course, as you say, "the glorious 3rd." 1 Seeing you say it I wouldn't dare deny

I have been having a gay time downstairs skylarking like "dear Mr. Brooks." That is a rich story and I must remember it. Well we were having a recitation recital by some of Mrs. Fraser's pupils and some ministers from the meeting of Presbytry & quite a number of other people were present. No sooner had the last two ministers disappeared out of the door when I was suddenly seized by a host of girls and bounced, it must have been more than a dozen times during the proceedings, from my elevated positions for brief seconds I became aware that Mr. Armstrong had not gone and was taking the whole thing in & enjoying it hugely. Then when they landed me on earth again dazed but all there except that my coral beads had tumbled off & my side combs were rickety and the long suffering pin in my belt at the back had refused longer to hold skirt and waist together, and proceeded to whoop up "And she's a jolly good fellow!" what should sound from the door but chaps from the two wretched ministers who had come back to enjoy the fun & then didn't Dr. A. join in the song and I told him he shouldn't have been in and he proceeded to tell the girls he quite agreed with them that he had known me since I was so high & had known my father & grandfather & I don't know what else he told but I didn't encourage further proceedings.

Then afterwards I had the regular birthday treat from the teachers, ice-cream, cocoa & cake and now we're quiet for the night. It always seems to me that I get in for a rumpus on my Birthday--May is a bad season, girls feel lively and are beginning to think the end of the year is near & how they feel sorry and treat me well. One of the girls gave me a beautiful [?] of red and white roses, another a box of pink and white roses, another a lovely bunch of lilies-of the-valley another a dainty photo frame & another a box of candies. Miss Boyd gave me this College note paper. So you see Mr. McQuesten why you are treated so finely instead of with bits of paper.

But it is the dear old family letters and home wishes that one looks for most of all.2 And your letter was just fine and cheered me Irish heart. Thanks ever so much for all the good wishes and the funny things you told. And that poem you sent was so beautiful, so suggestive, a sad little thing but sweet. I'll have to take care of it & perhaps copy it out so we can each have it. And that little linen apron from the old homestead people, I'm delighted to have. It is such an interesting quaint little thing--thanks ever so much. I fully appreciate it. I had letters from Mike [Edna] & Mary, two pretty underwaists from good Tousie [Hilda], and from the little Mitherkins a letter and what else do you think--nothing less than my dear old gold faced watch with new works put in and as good as new. I am so pleased to have it, looking just the same but having some real brains inside.

Here are two clippings Mary told me to send on to you.3

Well dearest you see I was treated well and I only wish I had you here to watch you munch my candies & to put a flower in your button hole. I am getting old but the worst of me is that each birthday I feel younger--it is quite shameless--and this birthday I feel I have quite lost any sorrowful feelings on the subject such as I used to have sometimes & particularly when I was at that important grown up age of seventeen.

And so Good-Night Sonny dear, take care of yourself--you don't know what nice things may work out for both of us.

With much love and very many thanks.

Your loving sister,


P.S. I'm afraid my letter was not in such good time for the 1st of May. Yours was here tantalizingly soon & I nearly tore my hair to keep from reading it, but I really kept off till this morning before I got out of bed.

1 May 3rd is Ruby's birthday and Calvin's is May 1st. They are 25 and 27 respectively.

2 This is another of those comments from Ruby which indicate her homesickness.

3 These clippings were not not included in the microfiche.

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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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