Mary Mallon (メアリー・マローン Mearī Marōn), also known as Typhoid Mary (腸チフスのメアリー Chō-Chifusu no Mearī), is the main protagonist of The Ultimate Choice That Actually Existed: Typhoid Mary, the fourth chapter of The Lives of Eccentrics series.
She is a cook with great passion for her craft. She happens to be a healthy carrier of typhoid fever causing her food to become infected with the disease. Having infected many people, Mary is wanted by New York police. Despite that, she refuses to give up the only thing that makes her truly happy.
Mary Mallon is a short plump woman with blonde hair and ponytails.
She wears a square quilted dress with a checkered pattern and a striped shirt underneath. She has a trimless cap that has two holes from which her ponytails protrude.
Mary Mallon describes herself as young, healthy and full of vigour, which she prides herself on.
Mary values cooking above almost everything else in her life and considers it her main purpose as welll as a point of pride. Such high regard for this craft comes from Mary's mother, who taught her that the only thing needed for a woman to be happy is to be good at cooking. Naturally, when confronted with the fact that her food is infected with typhoid fever, Mary responds with aggression and desperately tries to deny it, thinking of it as merely a coincidence. Despite many attempts to detain her to limit the spread of the disease, until the very end, she refuses to give up her passion.
Mary Mallon is a skillful cook. Her cooking would often be praised, even when she was a child. But, since Mary is healthy carrier of typhoid fever, many of the people who eat her food become infected with the disease.
Growing up as part of a family of poor immigrants, Mary Mallon demonstrated a talent for cooking peach pies at a young age. Her mother assured her that cooking was the foundation of happiness, and she took the lesson to heart.
The Ultimate Choice That Actually Existed: Typhoid Mary
In 1897, many of the residents in the Mamaroneck house developed a high fever and rose-colored spots on their chest. When Mary moved to Manhattan to work for another family, all of her fellow servants fell ill and were hospitalized within 10 days. Afterward, Mary disappeared, carrying only her hopes of cooking for others. For the next ten years, similar incidents would occur across the New England region of America, though investigations into the cause would prove fruitless. This decade of unexplained illness would culminate in a lavish 1906 party where, following a dessert banquet of peach pies, many of the guests were hospitalized, despite the hired female cook remaining in perfect health.
Following this incident, Mary is interrogated by Dr. Soper, a sanitation engineer. Despite Mary's cheerful demeanor, the mention of the ill guests provokes her into defending her cooking. Soper explains that the guests have fallen ill with typhoid fever, a potentially-lethal disease with a mortality rate five to seven times higher for elderly people and infants. Soper raises the possibility of Mary being a healthy carrier whose gallbladder has been infected, and proposes taking her to a doctor. Upon hearing this, Mary seemingly jumps out a nearby window and runs, forcing Soper to send the police after the "disgusting little woman." Suddenly, Mary reappears and, enraged by Soper's comment and defensive about her health, spits on the police officers before making her escape.
By the time Mary was arrested in 1907, she had infected at least 57 people with her cooking, killing three. The newspapers scorned her, dubbing her "Typhoid Mary" and calling her "the most dangerous woman in America." After doctors confirmed that she was a healthy carrier, Mary was quarantined in a hospital for three years. Afterward, she was presented with a choice: she could either have her gallbladder removed or be forbidden from working as a cook ever again. Mary chose the latter, and disappeared once more.
In 1915, Mary reappears at the home of an old blind man and his infant child. After drinking a bit of the baby's milk, Mary prepares to give it to the baby, certain that her cooking makes people too happy for them to be suffering from it. Fortunately, a series of coincidences barely keeps the baby away from the bottle of milk long enough for Soper and the police to arrive. Mary, cornered, attempts to flee through a window once more, only to be arrested again. Since her release, she had resumed cooking under a false name, and had infected an additional 25 people.
Mary was admitted to a hospital on North Brother Island, where she resisted increasing pressure from the doctors to have her gallbladder removed. Eventually, she was forbidden from leaving the island entirely. For the remaining 23 years of her life, Mary would work as a technician in the island's laboratory and take up reading in her spare time, never to cook for anyone ever again. In 1938, Mary Mallon passes away.
- “I'm still young you know. I'm not even married yet. To be asking a lady her age...”
- “I'm still young and vigorous! No matter what, I'm always healthy and full of spirit!”
- “Stop lying! This is nonsense! I'm perfectly healthy, not even the slightest bit sick!”