Mary Sharpe Jones Mallard1858-10-20Robert Quarterman MallardMarietta, GA33.952602-84.5499327My own dear Husband,Your precious letter of the 18th was received today. It was a valued treat -- such a long chat with my own. I am very glad to be here, and really feel a great deal nearer to you than I did when in Rome. That place seemed a long, long distance from friends.Uncle John very kindly brought me to Kingston last evening, and there he-- 453 --met your old friend Mr. Newton Russell, who was on his way to Marietta. This suited exactly, and I was put under his care. I found him very pleasant and attentive. He seemed quite pleased with our baby, who behaved admirably. He said his second child was a most interesting little girl thirteen months old, just beginning to walk and talk. He has a heavy sorrow in his first child, a son. He is now four years old and has never noticed anything, is unable to walk, and is a mere skeleton. There is something wrong about his head. Mr. Russell said he had an injury upon it, and he had consulted many physicians to know if any operation could be performed. Some thought he ought to risk it, even if the operation destroyed the child; but this of course he could not do. From what he said I gathered that there must have been some malformation or perhaps injury at the birth. (I have heard since that the child is an idiot.) I could but feel how very thankful we ought to be to our Heavenly Father for having given us a perfectly formed child possessed of a sound mind. It is indeed a great cause for thankfulness. It made me sad to hear Mr. Russell talk of his poor little boy.When I reached Marietta last evening, I found Aunts Mary and Lou, Ellen and Joe all kindly waiting for me at the depot; also Daddy Sam with his wheelbarrow to take the baggage. . . . All friends here think Baby has grown and improved very much. Joe says she is better-looking.While I am speaking of Joe, I want to make a request of you. Aunt Lou says during Joe's serious impressions she would have given anything to have had him converse with you; and today she said she would be so glad if you would even write him a note, for he is exceedingly fond of you. He has expressed a hope, and there evidently is a change. Do write him a letter of advice and encouragement; and do write it at your earliest convenience. It would be highly appreciated by both Aunt Lou and Joe. . . . The revival here in the Methodist and Baptist churches has been very extensive.I have very little time for writing this evening, so must talk of some home affairs. I want you to look in the closet in the parlor, and there you will see a square tin caddy on the shelf, and in it you will find some arrowroot. Please put it up either in a small pasteboard box or parcel and send it immediately to me by mail. The expense of sending through the mail will be less than to purchase it at the drugstores, and then I am sure of the baby's having a good article. Do, darling, do this as soon as you receive this letter, for Baby wants it now.In regard to my going to Augusta, I think Aunt Mary and myself will go down to Brother Joe's a day or two before the wedding. I am very anxious for you to be there, and if you desire it, think I could come down the morning after. I should be very sorry to have you miss the meeting of Synod. If you do not come to the wedding and I get an opportunity, I will come home as soon after as possible. I will do, however, just whatever you would prefer.It is time for the mail to close, so I must put aside my pen, for I want this to go tonight. . . . All our kind relatives here are quite well, and send a great-- 454 --deal of love to you, and say they are glad to get me here and will take good care of me. I wish I could send Baby to see you for a little while. And now, my darling, you must accept all the love ofYour own wife,Mary S. Mallard.The ink is so miserable that I have written with difficulty.Kiss my dear Robert for me.