MB: living and writing the early days of parks canada

MB Williams to her mother and sister Eva ("Brownie"), 1899

Transcription / Additional Information

[Written across the top of the letter]
They had a good guessing competition the other night. Advertisement well known like Pears’ soap, Sophie [?] etc, cut out of magazines and just the name covered. It would be very easy to arrange

Thurs, P.M.

Dear Mother & Brownie

This must be a joint-shock letter for I haven’t time to write two separate ones. I am up in my little room watching what threatens to be a big rain storm come up. My window faces the west and I have a very good view of the sky at sunset with a glimpse of the Parl. Buildings standing out against it. Have just had a little nap after lunch so-called tho it would have done nicely for dinner in a pinch. Tomato stock soup cold roast beef and fried potatoes


rolls and cranberry sauce. Mrs. Salter has got a cook now so that things are just booming. She was in bed Sat. Sun & Mon with what she called pleurisy but is up now with renewed spirits. I have got to like our table real well now. There is such a nice man here, a Mr. Marshall who makes me think of Charlie Billings a little only he is not gruff like C. He is a college graduate about 40 & is here representing a big pottery concern of the U.S. He tells us great yarns about his college days. 


He is married and writes to his wife every day. Now that I have just got to like our table Mrs. Salter says I am to go on to the other one. There are three others coming to ours. A Mr. & Mrs. Langley [?] and their son. However the other table are nice too and I will take in the whole house. I went Monday for my parcel to Mrs. Lewis but she wasn’t in and had not left it out for me, so I had to go again on Tuesday - a long walk from here but she was not in again. I got the parcel


but did not see Mrs. Lewis who was out. She left word that I was to call again. Monday night I went to a reception at Jarvis St. and had a very nice time. It was very friendly and informal. We had two solos by lady members of the choir, both very nice. One was the Creole Love Song, and the other girl who had a very pretty voice sang “I love him” a very amorous ditty which seemed to appeal to the male members at any rate. Every other line or so she would throw back her head and warble out that she loved him. She loved him and nothing so sweet


as the sound of his feet ere naught like the want of his kisses” I advise you to get that song B, if you ever have to sing before a lot of students and - don’t care what they think of you.

            Who do you think has just been here to call, Mrs. Wm Lewis. [ ___?] of an angel - wasn’t it nice of her to come and see me. She is going home on Sat. I had no idea she was going so soon. 

            I got the $6.00 all right paid Mrs. Salter $2.00 because she couldn’t change the V. She said it was all right. She is as kind as she can be, tho something in the same plight as the old woman


who lived in a shoe. She has a small family of 25 boarders 3 maids & a laundress, husband & child to look after. Not much is it? I have discovered that the man I don’t like, he is so rude, pays $4.00 a week and only takes his meals here. Don’t you think keeping boarders must pay? I am sorry you sent me so much when you are so hard up. My fees are due any time before the 1st of November, if they are not paid then a fine of $1.00 per month is charged then there is a library fee for the use of the modern language library wh. is not really a fee but consists


merely in the deposit of $2.00 wh. is returned to you at the end of the year provided you have not injured any books. There is a fee of 25 cts for the Y.W.C.A wh. I think I shall have to join. I am not going to join the Lit. [?] My clothes are all right Mother. I wore my sapphire waist the other night & Lettie said it looked very swell. I bound my blue skirt Sat. night you forgot to put the velvet in but I got a remnant for 10 cts & fixed it nicely. I am a little afraid that cloth is not going to wear as well as we expected. It shows signs of wearing off in time of course. You should see the lovely serge Aunt Rilla got 8 yds for 65 cts.- 40.00 at 50 cts value. I think I shall really have to invest


in a bottle of shoe polish as my shoes will be respectable so much longer. Then I had to buy some soap. I got 10cts worth [pure ___?] enough to last a year because the soap in my room was taking the tops off my fingers. My gloves are the worst feature of my wardrobe, but I think I shall get some gasoline and clean them. I went to look as the shields on Sat. the small size were 15 cts and I would have needed two pair for one dress so I got a very large size for 25 & when my ship comes in will get an enormous pair for 30. I will call about getting samples for B. within a few days. We have got down to regular work at the university now. The histories of lit. & old Fr & Ger are new things for me, but as the work consists chiefly in taking notes from lecture my ignorance doesn’t show up & the professors told me to come if I wanted any explanations.




M.B. Williams, “MB Williams to her mother and sister Eva ("Brownie"), 1899,” MB: Living and Writing the Early Years of Parks Canada, accessed May 20, 2018, http://mbwilliams.academic-news.org/items/show/37.


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