Despite my clear Yankee affectations, I have been received cordially. The mail carriage I rode with refused to stay in Calhoun a moment longer than was necessary, but I was welcomed by the locals and given lodgings in the local inn. The town is remarkably clean for a place so far on the margins of civilization, as are the people; I had expected ramshackle buildings and barefoot youths but instead am looking out this very moment on a well-kept and grassy courthouse square with well-dressed if plain citizenry on plank sidewalks below.

My mother is still well-known to the locals, and the innkeeper has promised that I will be allowed to see my mother’s home and speak to her relations as soon as the arrangements can be made. They have also said that I may have access to the courthouse records, though my entreaty to look at them immediately was firmly denied. It seems that the town is still in such a rural mindset that all activity stops at sundown, and I have been strongly cautioned against going out at night, not only for lack of illumination but also for fear of mosquitoes carrying fevers.

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