November 10, 1895
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing letters to Big Hat's department for publication, write on one side of the paper only. Printers never turn their copy, and the editor has no time to rewrite half, or even part, of your letters. Give your full name and address. Anonymous letters are never printed. These rules are imperative.
BURETT GOUGER, Red Oak, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: (Oh, yes! good morning, Miss Big Bonnet.) Such amusing names these two little children have. I wonder if the cousins don't wish they had such cute names. Why, Mr. Big Hat, let your sister write often, for I love to read her letters as well as your. Miss Big Bonnet, your doll is like the Irishman's knife. He had had a new blade put in and at least two or three new handles put on; still it was the same old knife. So, if your dolly hasn't died yet, it is still the same old doll. Maud Carson, I read your letter in The Semi-weekly News, in week before last's issue. It was real interesting. I suppose you live near Third creek bottom, or in a few miles of Vanderbilt's mansion. If you live near this beautiful garden spot, I am certain you have a nice place to take your evening drive. Papa knows Joe and John Carson in North Carolina, and one who works in Dallas at the coal yard, whom I take to be your brothers. I am like Mary West. I am a dear lover of vocal and instrumental music, and like the pieces (if they are old) "Sweet Home" and "The Last Rose of Summer." I think old pieces, like the above mentioned, are sweeter music to-day than the fancy music we now have, though I will admit we have some very fine waltzes. Myrtle Kirk, an education is something we all need. John Smith did not seem to recognize its benefit as is now done. I think if everybody were good, honest and industrious "workers," there would not be very much demand for our business men and women. Honesty requires less business. Still I am in favor of every one who tries securing an education, and so I hope you will be a very rapid stenographer. Clarence Denton, I am very much pleased with your question, and I think it will benefit us all. Lawrence C. Fountain, Katie Norton, Myrtle Kirk, Maud Carson, Rudolph Bollier and little May Mires, come again. We are having very pretty weather for picking cotton and sowing wheat. Cousins, our new cotton gin at Red Oak village has burned down since I last wrote to our department. There were about seventy bales caught on fire and a few put out. I wish I could have gone to the fair last Saturday, for I know a good many pretty boys and girls went. Success to The Dallas News.
WILLIS HAROLD, Godley, Johnson Co., Tex. -- Hello! cousins! How's all? I thought I would just step in and have a little chat with you this evening. Right rainy weather this. Just returned from a hunting expedition down on the Brazos river, where three of my friends and myself have been camped, having a jolly good time. Listen, and I'll tell you what a scare we all got one night. We were camped down by a spring about fifty yards from the river in an awful weird-looking place. The second night we were sitting around the camp fire and in a somewhat meditative mood, when the monotonous silence was broken by three or four successive growls which made our blood run cold. Then all was silent for a few minutes. Every one jumped for his gun, but an old musket was all that could be found, and I happened to get it first. So getting myself in position to fire on short notice, I awaited further developments. The other boys were hunting for the other guns. The silence was growing very painful to me as I stood facing our unknown foe with an old musket that I had not the least idea would fire should it be necessary to do so, when, to our surprise and relief, some one burst out laughing about where the ferocious growls came from and I recognized the voice as that of one of my neighbor boys, who had come to our camp in the late afternoon and in our absence unloaded the old musket and carried the rest of the guns away and awaited the gloom of evening to its shadow over us and our ghostly surroundings to give us a big scare, in which he succeeded admirably. We all took it in a good humor, although it was quite a strain on our nerves. There are a few gray hairs in my head now that I attribute to the efforts of the fright. Well, cousins, as this is my first visit I will go, as I see Mr. Big Hat winking his left eye at me and I guess I had better take the hint. Success to Mr. Hat and the cousins.
BESSIE SMITH, Whitney, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I went to the Dallas Fair Thursday, the 24th, and staid till Monday, the 28th. I went alone and did not have any trouble. My sister met me at the train that night. She is going to school at the Oak Cliff college. We all went out to the fair grounds Friday. Some of the exhibits were lovely. I think it resembled the cotton palace of Waco to some extent. I did not register on the cousins' book, because I did not know where to find it. The greatest curiosity I saw was the flying lady, a sideshow. Bessie Bee, we are all sorry to lose you, but you can surely write in vacation. Little Miss Big Bonnet, come again. You had awful bad luck with your dolls. I feel real sorry for you. I would like to correspond with you. It is getting cold now -- at least it is getting cold here. We are all wearing winter clothing. I don't like to see winter come. I would rather it would be spring and summer. Blanche Carson, would be much obliged to you if you would answer my letter. Well, Mr. Big Hat, some say you are a lady and some say you are a men. For my part I would rather you were a lady. I sent Annie Murrah, that little girl in Josserand, some things to read. I would rather go to private than to public school because there are not so many pupils.
ODIS RIDDLE, Crowley, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: After a prolonged absence I make my debut for this season. Many of the public schools have opened this month and, no doubt, many of the cousins are at their desks chewing the corners off their books and thinking of the cold winter days to come. Who knows but there is another Daniel Webster or Henry Clay writing to the Cozy Corner? Some of us may possess as great speaking talent as did those two men. Let's cultivate our minds and see. Prinnie Tucker asks how she could go by water from Chicago to Detroit. Swim, or go in a boat. If she could not go in one boat, perhaps she could go in two. I agree with Lenia McKee that old maids are pretty -- that is, pretty old. I know an old maid who wears spectacles for the cramp colic. Mr. Big Hat, will you please announce, for the benefit of the girls, that you live in Galveston? We know not what an education is to us until we become men and women. Many a man has wished that he had been more attentive to his books when he was a boy. We have a literary society near here and I am the secretary. We have a debate for Saturday night: "Resolved, that man will do more for the love of money than for the love of woman." I am the champion of the affirmative. Cousins, this is my motto: "Never look at the clock." I always try to get the motes out of my own eyes before trying to get them out of some one else's eyes. I will send some one the secret of "how to swallow a knife" in return for a bill of confederate money. Who commands the Texas rangers?
Bryan, Brazos Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have never
read any of the letters you have written until last Sunday. I
think they are very interesting, and I would like to become a
member of this department. Will you accept me as one? I go to
school and am 13 years old. I am in the ninth grade. I study
Latin and thereby am able to understand that part of Myrtle Kirk's
letter, which translated to English is: "Life will give
nothing to mortals without great labor." I will not write
my letter in big words and make it difficult for the smaller
cousins to read, like Myrtle did, for the simple reason that
the rhetoric I study teaches us not to use such hard words, but
to use more simple ones. As this is my first letter I will answer
only a few of the cousins' questions, although I can answer all
of them. St. Petersburg is the capital of Russia. The Amazon
is the largest river in South America. The English channel is
between England and France. I am personally acquainted with Cousin
Jacquette. We are school mates. I can not answer your questions,
Jacquette, but I hope you and some of the other cousins also
will be able to answer this one:
REBECCA CONDITT, Add-Ran, Hood Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another girl to join your band. I pick cotton every day, but will not tell the cousins how much I can pick. I have no pets but two little nieces and a nephew. Our school begins next week, and I will be glad, for I love to go to school. I think some of the cousins write very interesting letters. Alice King, write again. You write a splendid letter. My age is 12 years.
CORA D. SMITH, Black Jack Grove, Hopkins Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little girl, 96 months old. I have a fine Newfoundland dog, named Grover Cleveland, after our president, and a pretty canary bird, named Tommy, which is learning to sing. I have three dolls and toys to play with. I went to school last winter and will go soon to school this fall, and will try to learn fast. I go to the Methodist Sunday school every Sunday. Now, Mr. Big Hat, do you ever go out and play marbles with the boys? Have you a pony?
EDWIN McWILLIAMS, Crystal Falls, Stephens Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As it is raining and I can not do anything else, I will write a few lines to the dear old News. Mr. Big Hat, you ask if there are two Edwin McWilliams living in Crystal Falls. There is but one, and I wrote both of those letters, but it had been about eight weeks from the time I wrote the first one until I wrote the last one, and I had begun to think that Peggy had gotten it. Cousins, I want to tell you of my dream. I dreamed that I was of age and had no education and had but 35 cents in money and I wished that I was young again and could go to school. But when I awoke I found that it was but a dream, and also a warning. Cousins, how many of you can say as much as I can in this way? I have never dipped but one dip of snuff, chewed but two chews of tobacco, drank but one drink of whisky, or used any tobacco in smoking or played a single game of cards, and I never expect to. I think it is just as easy and more like a man to not do such things, as it is to do them. Joe C. Graves, so can I sew on buttons now as well as anybody, but I could not when I did that experimenting. Now I will tell you of an accident that happened to me. When I was about 7 years old, my two cousins and I went down on a creek to find some red haws. We had not gone very far when we found a tree full of nice red haws, but it bent over a bluff and the tree was very small and limber. We were afraid that we might get hurt, so we concluded that we would get an ax and cut it down. One of us got the ax and we chopped about an hour, when finally we got it so near down that it looked as if one more stroke might finish it. So I drew back the ax, expecting to cut it down that very lick, but missing the tree, the ax jerked me off of about a 10-foot bluff and skinned my face very badly. I did not want to cut another red haw tree down. Mr. Big Hat asks how many of the boys can help their mothers. I for one. Before my sisters got old enough I did all of the house work while my mother was sick, which was no short time. The longest at one time was about two months. But I can not milk, and I will tell you the reason. About four years ago I got my arm broken, and it pains so badly that I can not milk at all. Mr. Big Hat, I know you are proud now, for your Summer School is out, and you can get your big hat and cane, and take a walk. I know you are very sorry over the loss of your pet cat. If you will go through Oklahoma again perhaps you will find another pet and you can call it Oklahoma. Crops are very good except cotton. That is very sorry.. We made about 30 bushels of corn per acre; cotton about one-fourth of a bale per acre. Rudolph Bollier, you had good luck hunting, if that was true. This is the way one of our neighbors caught a rabbit: It was sitting between two forked bushes. The bushes forked at the ground, and he threw a stick at the rabbit and it lodged between the forks of the bushes and fell down across the rabbit's neck, and held it fast. Cousin Johnnie Price and Cousin Roxie Horton, I don't agree with you about calling Mr. Big Hat Miss Big Bonnet, for I believe that he would have told us so long ago. It would seem to me that I was writing to another paper. All of the cousins might call him Little Miss Big Bonnet that wish to, but I will not. When I write a letter to this department I direct it to Mr. Big Hat, not to Miss Big Bonnet. I have sent off my examination questions, but I am afraid that I won't receive a diploma on account of my handwriting, for I was sick when I wrote it. But if I do I will join the Summer School next summer. Cousins, if you were to start out to hunt a fool where would you go? I can tell you. You would go to some city, pass along the streets until you will see this sign: "Saloon." You would peep in, and like as not you would see a large bunch of them. How many of you know the song, "The Drunkard's Doom?" You who do not, ought to learn it. Many a mother's heart has been broken with the thought of this horrible fate of their loved ones.
HERBERT TAYLOR, Monaville, Waller Co., Tex. -- Good evening, Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I expect you all have forgotten me by this time. The reason I write this evening is to let you all know what sort of a fix I'm in. A bad position for writing, for I'm sitting cross-legged on the back of a buzzard, sailing through the elements toward the north pole. I think I can see you all look with astonishment and wonder how I came to get into such a predicament (whoa-up!) The blamed thing is wabbling about so that I can hardly write). If the thing will sail steady for a little while, and you all will listen for a few minutes, I will endeavor to tell you how I came into this awkward position. One day, not long ago, not having anything particular to do, I had been riding the calves, roping the pigs and shooting the chickens with a popgun, to see 'em jump, when ma came around the corner of the house with a pole and if I had not left things would have been pretty lively for a few minutes, so I went to the stable and geared up two of pa's horses and hitched 'em to the wagon, head first, and was making 'em walk backward and pull the wagon. They were beginning to snort and blow when pa came along with his ox whip in hand. I began to think that it was getting too hot all round, so I got my gun and went out for a little hunt. After I had been out for an hour and a half, I started back toward home, when I came to a pond full of geese. Thinks I, if I can get the whole pile and take them home, it will please the old folks and I will get out of a flogging. I counted and there were twenty-seven big geese, but to my great dismay I found that I had but one load of ammunition, having shot at everything I came to. Thinks I, what shall I do? when a thought struck me. I threw down my gun, jerked off my old hat and plunged head first into the lake and went under the water to where the geese were. I caught 'em all by the legs and came to the top with fifteen geese in one hand and twelve in the other. When, lo, and behold! there were too many for me. They started to fly and carry me with them. I hung on to 'em and got above the clouds, when I began to study how about getting down. A thought flashed into my mind. I turned one loose and that let me down a few feet, so I began to turn 'em loose one at a time. I began to gradually descend as I kept turning 'em loose one at a time, till I only had one left and was et, it seemed to me, about 1000 feet from the ground. Now I began to descend very rapidly and an old buzzard got in my way on my downward flight, and the first thing I know, I lit on his back. The sudden stop on the back of the buzzard caused me to turn my goose loose, and as quick as possible, I grasped the old buzzard by the neck with both hands and tried to make him ease me down. But to my great surprise, he started heavenward. The old fellow is now sailing along as cool as a cucumber. When I have finished this letter I will drop it, so as to let the folks know I'm taking a free ride. As this is the last writing material that I have in my pocket, it will be the last you will h ear from me until I can get this old scoundrel to light. Then I will give you an account of my trip. I think the boys are waking up and the girls are going to sleep. Great scotts! I will have to close, for yonder comes an eagle. To get out of his way, I think I will have to turn outside in and crawl through my boots. But I will endeavor to keep up courage in my struggle. Those last few words remind me of a poor boy, one day at school, with a large patch on one of the knees of his trousers. One of his schoolmates made fun of him for this and called him "Old Patch." "Why don't you fight him" cried one of the boys. "I'd give it to him if he called me so," said another. "Oh," said the boy, "you don't suppose I'm ashamed of my patch, do you? For my part, I'm thankful for a good mother to keep me out of rags. I'm proud of my patch for her sake." This was noble. That boy had the courage that would make him successful in the struggle of life. We must have courage in our struggle, if we hope to come out right.
GEMMA McNIEL, Centreville, Leon Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and cousins! I have been a silent admirer of your department for over a year, and when I saw so many interesting letters I thought I would write, too. This is my second attempt, and I hope it will not find its way to the waste basket. To-day is Wednesday and it has been raining ever since before daylight, and oh! how lonely I am. My mamma, papa, brother and sister are all dead. I have one sister living, but she is married. I am living with Grandma and Grandpa Ryan, two miles southwest of Centerville. I have not commenced school yet, on account of sickness, but will begin before long. I studied Texas history, grammar, physiology, arithmetic and spelling the past year. Cousins, suppose we drop the subject about which is beating. I think the boys write some real nice letters, as well as the girls. Mr. Big Hat, I enjoyed your story about Hannibal very much. I also enjoyed Miss Big Bonnet's letter, and I want you to let her come again.
ELLEN POLLARD, Abbott, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I take pleasure this morning in writing a few words to the dear old News. Here comes L. C. Fountain again, giving us another interesting letter. Cousins, I am going to the Dallas Fair to-morrow. Wouldn't it be nice if I were to see Mr. Big Hat! I think I shall go around to his office and give the little man a call. Clarence Denton, I think your letter in the last issue real interesting. I think some other subject is more interesting than pets, especially for the large cousins. I think it is interesting to read their chats about their pets. It is their pleasure to write about them, and of course they make it more interesting to us. Cousins, did any of you ever get lost? I was lost once. It was anything but a pleasant experience. I will give you an account of how I became lost and what I did in my next letter.
CARRIE WILLIAMS, Bells, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and cousins; Seeing my last letter in print, I will attempt to write once more to the dear old News. The letters are getting better all the time. Bessie Bee, I am sorry you will not be with us for a long time. Little Miss Big Bonnet, I enjoyed reading your letter and hope you will come again. Why don't you come and stay with me awhile? I live in the country, just about two and one-half miles from Red river. I wonder if you could pick cotton. I can pick 200 pounds in a day, but that is not much, for there was one of the cousins said he picked something over 500 pounds. Little Miss Big Bonnet, how old are you? I am nearly 12. Dear cousins, have any of you ever stopped to realize the fact that we are spending the happiest days of our lives? When we have grown to manhood and womanhood, it matters not how we may prosper in life, nor how happily we may be situated, after we are grown we will look back to the dear childhood days with sad hearts and long to recall them. How happy and cheerful we ought to be with our dear ones at home in childhood days. I have often heard boys and girls wish they were grown, so they could do as they pleased, simply because their dear parents opposed them in some of their plans, and they showed in their every action that they longed for that time to come. Did they know what they were wishing?
ALLEN BERRYMAN, Vesta, Sabine Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a boy to join your happy band. I am 16 years old and can sew on buttons, knit, wash and cook. As this is my first attempt to write I hope Peggy will not get it. Well, I will tell the cousins about the largest load I ever carried. It was a bed tick full of buckshot, and I bogged up to my knees in a brick pavement. The fastest work I ever did was chopping rail timber one day for a man and I was using six axes to chop with, and I kept the axes so hot it kept three negroes busy carrying them to the river to cool. The river was about 200 yards off and the people scalded hogs in it five miles below there. The largest fish I ever caught was one evening late. I took a pin and bent it for a hook, and went down to the river and caught a little fish for bait and put it on the hook and tied the line to a white oak tree. I threw the hook in the river and that night there was a fish got on the hook and pulled the tree up by the roots and the top of the tree was pulled over in the water. It took two yoke of oxen to pull that fish to the house and when its head was in the yard, its tail was sloshing the water around in the river, which was about 200 yards from the house. All of our neighbors ate fish for about two weeks. There was a chimney fell down on an old man near here and killed him and there was a man went to tell the old man's wife, and she exclaimed, "Oh, mercy! I bet it's broke my pipe!"
RUTHIE MILLER, Gainesville, Cooke Co, Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I again take my seat among you after an absence of two or three weeks, to have a merry chat with Mr. Big Hat and the cousins. I would write to you often if I could write interesting letters like Bessie Bee, L. C. Fountain and many others. Our school will begin in two weeks, and I will be glad, for I like to go to school very much. As I am the only girl, I do not work in the field much, but help my mamma in the house. I can sweep, make beds, iron, cook and sew, and do most any kind of house work. We take a good many papers, but among all, The News is my favorite. Mr. Big Hat, I think you are the cleverest little man in the world, to let us have a page in your paper. I don't think I will come to the fair, but would like to very much. I think it would be so nice to see all the cousins with their blue stars. A great many of the cousins are telling about their pets, but I do not have to go to that trouble, because I haven't any. I am one of the girls who do not care much about them.
JULIA McNEILL, Greenwood, Greenwood Co., S. C. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: A Texas friend of mine sent me a copy of your paper and asked me to write a letter to The Cozy Corner," and after deciding to comply with her request I am at a loss to know what to write about. As the subjects of pets and bicycle riding have been thoroughly discussed by many able writers, I will not attempt to express my views concerning either, but will try to interest you a little by telling you a few things about our little city. First of all, it is in the southwestern part of the state. We have three railroads, which makes it easily accessible to all points. We also have three churches -- Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist. The Baptist state orphanage is situated here. Our city has many other advantages too numerous to mention, and last but not least, we have a splendid school only a few hundred yards from our home. The average attendance is about 250. We have five lady teachers and the professor. I am in the professor's room, and you many imagine I have to "walk a chalk line." He is very strict and I am as afraid of him as I am of lightning. I will be glad and sorry, too, when next June comes, as my class will finish then. Well, Mr. Big Hat, I will hush about our town, for I dare say I have exhausted yours and the cousins' patience ere this. Jessie Harman's letter was a regular romance, was it not? Joe C. Graves, I would like to see you helping your mother wash clothes. To see a boy washing clothes would be quite a comical sight to South Carolinians. I think a boy is in his place when he is helping his mother, it doesn't make any difference what it is. If there were more boys who were willing to help their mothers and sisters, the world would be better for it. I fear Mr. Big Hat will think I am intruding, so I must be going. My friend has promised to send me the paper that my letter is in. Sister says Mr. Big Hat will kindle a fire in his stove with it, but I hope not, for I would like to see it in print. Thanking you for the space I have consumed with so uninteresting a letter, I will make my exit. "View me not with critic's eye, but pass my imperfections by."
ORA BLAIR, Argyle, Denton Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the Cozy Corner for some time, but have not had courage to write until now. Minnie High came to see me to-day and we took our dolls down to a branch and were intending to make us a playhouse, but our bad brothers came down there and bothered us so much that we had to come to the house. Our school will begin soon. I don't take to go to school. I live in the country five miles northwest of Argyle. I have a pet cat and a pet dog. Bessie Bee, I enjoyed your letter very much.
MINNIE HIGH, Argyle, Denton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I enjoy reading the cousins' letters very much. I like to go to school and learn my lessons when my teacher isn't too strict. I am studying fourth reader, spelling-book, arithmetic and geography. We haven't had much rain recently. I am a little girl, 10 years old. I have one of the smartest puppies you ever heard of. He can't do anything much but wag his tail, but I can't expect much of him now, he is so little.
CHARLOTTE WELCH, Palmer, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. I have been reading the cousins' letters before and like them very much. I have been picking cotton for the past three months and I am very tired of it. Miss Big Bonnet, come down and see us. We live one mile from Palmer. It is a fine little town and has nine stores and an artesian well. I haven't been to school any yet, but will soon. My studies will be fifth reader, spelling, geography, grammar and arithmetic. My age is between 10 and 15. I haven't any pets, but have the prettiest little red-headed sister that ever was on earth.
NELLIE GRAY TABOR, Bryan, Brazos Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl to ask admittance to your Cozy Corner. I go to school and am 11 years old, and in the fifth grade. I will try to answer a few of the cousins' questions. Cleveland was elected president in 1884. The Amazon is the largest river in South America. I will be very glad to see my letter in print, and if I do not have that pleasure I will write again. I will ask a few questions in Texas history: Who was the first governor of Texas? In what county is Austin, the capital of Texas situated?
JENNIE BARR, Bailey, Fannin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters for some time, but this is my first attempt to write to the dear old Cozy Corner. Some of the cousins write about their pets, but I haven't but one, and that is a little kitten. I have two sisters and four brothers. I have pieced two quilts. I dearly love to quilt. I can quilt as much as mamma can. I am 10 years old.
LEON MOTT, Deming's Bridge, Matagorda Co., Tex. -- Hello, Mr. Big Hat and cousins! What are you all doing? This is my first attempt to write to The News. I saw some of the letters from the boys and girls that I liked so well I thought I would see if Mr. Big Hat would let this boy have room in the department. Mr. Big Hat, you ought to come and help us eat sugar cane this winter. If Peggy gets this letter, I'll bet he won't get another written by me.
MINA DERRICK, Petty, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a little girl to ask if she can join your happy band. I have been thinking of writing for a long time, but could not take the courage. There is so many nice letters that I am ashamed to try, but, there is nothing like trying. Miss Big Bonnet, come again and tell us some more about your dolls and play things. I go to school here in Petty and I think it is a good school. The wind is blowing very hard this evening. It would be so nice for it to rain now, while everything needs it. As this is my first visit, I will not say long. If Peggy doesn't get my first letter and discourage me I will come again. My age is 13.
SUSIE B. FISHER, Beaumont college, Harrodsburg, Mercer Co., Ky. -- Mr. Big Hat: As you were so kind as to print my first letter I thought I would write another letter to our department. I am at school now and hard at work studying, but I find time to read The News. Mamma sends it to me every week. Mr. Big Hat, I wish you could see our campus now. The leaves have turned and are very beautiful against the dark green of the firs, pines and cedars. I must tell the cousins about an autumn tea we had in our room last Saturday night. We decorated the room with autumn leaves, ivy and asparagus. Then we borrowed three tables from different girls and placed them beside our own. This made a long table. Garland (he is the cook) lent us a table cover and some cups and saucers. We decorated the table with ivy and grapes, then at each place we put a sandwich, pickle, two little cakes and some salted almonds. We served chocolate and tea. All of the girls that were invited had on evening dresses and looked very sweet. After we finished up stairs we went to the study hall and danced. All the girls pronounced it a "swell" affair. This is but one of the many things we do. [B]oarding school life is so nice. Of course one gets homesick, but she will get over that if she tries real hard, and then she meets so many pleasant girls. We have to study very, very hard all the week, except Saturday, and then we may do as we please. We always go to study hall and dance or have ghost parties, tacky parties, etc. I sometimes wonder if all the cousins who go off to school have as lovely times as I do. Cousins, did we not have a pleasant surprise last week? I know all of us were glad to hear from Bessie Bee again. I enjoy reading Rudolph Bollier's letters very much. He had quite an exciting time with his ghost, did he not? Speaking of those reminds me of the haunted room here, or at least, they call it haunted, because it is No. 13. The girls that room in it are always seeing ghosts and trying to frighten the other girls, but, it does not do any good, for none of us believe in them. Maud, I think you write a better letter than I do, but I thank you for your opinion of mine. Have you ever read "Les Miserables," by Victor Hugo? If you have, were you not delighted with it? Some of the cousins, I mean the girl cousins, do not want the boys to write. I do not think the department would be interesting if both boys and girls did not contribute to it. Well, I must bid you good-bye now, as I have to read my French and the girls are waiting for me. Do many of the cousins study it? If they do, they will know how important it is that I should read every lesson.
LEE SYPERT, Rogers, Bell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: My sister and myself are keeping house by ourselves to-day. My sister has locked herself up in a room and gone to sleep, and I, after yelling like a Comanche Indian trying to wake her, thought I would write to The News and let her sleep in peace. She is in a bad humor, anyway, and I generally want to let people alone when they are in a bad humor. If I don't I must always wish I had. I have been ransacking the house for books and papers to read, but can't find any I haven't read. We had a dance at my uncle's house Tuesday night. We danced till 11 o'clock, and had a grand time. I went to the Bell county fair at Belton Friday. I believe I had rather pick cotton than go to a fair. I like W. O. Wright, because she wrote a good letter and because she lives in Bell county. We take several papers, but I like The News and Youths' Companion best. I think C. A. Stephens writes the best stories in the Youths' Companion and Nell Morris writes the best letters in The News. Mr. Big Hat, why don't you have Miss Big Bonnet's picture by yours in The News? I know all the cousins want to see Miss Big Bonnet, at least I do. I will tell the cousins about a rabbit hunt that occurred about two years ago. It was a very cold day, so cold that there were but a few scholars at school. The teacher didn't think it would pay him to teach, so we thought we would go rabbit hunting. A man and three boys, the lady teacher, three girls and myself composed the crowd. We had one dog and a gun. We started about 10 o'clock. It was about four miles from my home to the river. We didn't have any idea of going to the river when we started, but we wandered around quite a while before we found a rabbit. At last the dog ran one up a hollow tree and the boys caught it. The girls wouldn't hear to their killing it, and begged so hard the boys promised they wouldn't. So we started on and the boys killed it, as if by accident, claiming they ran against a tree with it. They carried it to the bank of the river, made a fire and broiled it on the coals. The cousins may think a rabbit cooked without salt wouldn't be good, but it was good that day. Some of the girls wouldn't eat it, and ate the corn bread and bacon that one boy brought. They said they never liked corn bread and bacon before. We saw a pretty hill by the roadside. It was very steep and smooth, covered with grass and trees. We went up to the top and sat down on a large tree inclining over the hill. We found a squirrel's den in the tree with pecans in it. We saw a wolf's den and a small cave. We also saw a place where a Mexican was buried and a hill where they said some money was buried.
MYRA L. BROWN, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I have been reading The News for quite a while, and seeing so many nice letters, I decided to write one, too. I don't think the girls beat the boys. If they do, it isn't very much, though I think there are more girls writing than boys. Mr. Big Hat, I had long wished to read one of Bessie Bee's letters and not long since read one and thought it very nice. Bessie Smith (I reckon all the cousins know her, for she sometimes writes to the Cozy Corner), used to be my greatest chum. I then lived in Whitney, but moved from there two years ago. Cousins, my mother died three years ago and we always had a housekeeper until this summer, when she left us and she never has come back. But I think she will be back by the 1st of January. I am the oldest girl, so you see I am housekeeper, and quite a young one, too, for I am only 12 years old. I have a little sister 7 years old. Mr. Big Hat, I will tell you of a very nice and pleasant visit I had to the country this summer. We started one bright morning in the latter part of July and reached my aunt's home about 10 o'clock, which was distant about eighteen or twenty miles. Her home is situated about 100 yards from the Brazos river. She lives in a large white house and at the back of the house is a large orchard, which produces a great deal of fine fruit. Oftentimes, directly after breakfast, we children would go out to help gather peaches to take to Whitney to sell. We had a nice time going to church. Sometimes we went to Whitney and other times at Towash, and then out in the country at a place called Schoolhouse Branch. We stayed six weeks and then we were sorry we had to come home. Cousin Rudolph, papa goes hunting sometimes, but never has such luck as you had.
HEDWIG P. PFEFFER and FANNIE CHERNOSKY, Kenney, Austin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As we have always written single letters to the department, we thought to write a joint one to-day, as we are schoolmates. We are both in school to-day, and have the same lessons. There is going to be a ball in our schoolhouse Nov. 3, but we do not know yet whether we are going or not; but we invite all the cousins and Mr. Big Hat. We enjoyed reading Little Miss Big Bonnet's letter very much. We would like to read another letter from her. I (Hedwig) have looked for Cousin Dora Bennet's photo in The News, but have never found it. I (Fannie) went to Galveston on the excursion and saw Mr. Big Hat's office, but I do not know whether I saw him. Maybe I did, but did not know him. I enjoyed the trip very much. Well, Mr. Big Hat, have you seen any of the cousins in the exposition hall? My (Hedwig's) parents will return from the fair Nov. 2, and I am very glad. Mr. Big Hat, will you tell the names of the cousins who were at the fair? I (Hedwig) would like to know who was there, and guess that all the rest of the cousins would like to know, too. I (Hedwig) will answer a riddle asked by one of the cousins: It is a watch that never slew one but yet slew twelve. I (Hedwig) will also ask a riddle: Readheaded [sic] and its mouth is horn, I never saw such a thing since I was born. I (Fannie) will ask a riddle, too: When you threw it up it's white, when it falls down it's yellow. Now we must close, hoping to see the answers of our riddles soon.
RICHARD COKE MILLS, Waco, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: What a long name you have to be such a little man as your picture makes you appear! I have been going to school five months. I am in the B chart. I went to school two months in the summer. I am 7 years old, I have a saddle, but no bridle or horse, but ride papa's when I get ready. I am my mamma's baby, and do what I please and go where I please. I am gone all day except when I eat and sleep, and sometimes eat with my neighbor friends.
ANNIE GRIMES, Jefferson, Marion Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: My mamma takes The News every day, but I only read the page "For Little Men and Women." I love to read the cousins' letters, and I thought I would write one. I will be 8 years old the 11th of November. I go to school to the convent.
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