July 12, 1896
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.
SUSIE and WATUS PENDERGRASS, McKinney, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a little boy 10 years and a little girl 12 years old to join your band. We came to Texas about eight years ago from South Carolina. It is raining here now. The cousins are telling about their pets. We have none. Papa is a farmer. Tell Maud Foy to come again. We know her well. We used to be playmates.
JOHNNIE REDFORD, Honey Grove, Fannin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: My mamma reads the letters to me sometimes, and I love to hear them. We have no school house nearer than three miles, and as it is black land here we don't go to school at all. We are going to move close to a school house before long. I will be 9 years old the 11th of July. I inclose 10 cents for the memorial fund, for I want my name on the list. I want to do something for my country when I grow to be a man.
CORA LOUISE MITCHEL, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a new relation of your happy band of cousins, and I hope to be as popular as the rest. I notice that there are not many letters from Dallas. I inclose a quarter for Gen. Sam Houston's monument, and if Peggy wishes to chew my letter, I know she won't chew the money. My grandpa used to say that the more he knew of Sam Houston, the more he admired him. If Peggy should happen to get one of my letters, will you ask him if he wouldn't like some nice oats instead? There are a lot of nice letters in the paper every week, and I enjoy reading them. My age is 11.
BARBARA M. BLUM, Graham, Young Co., Tex. -- Dear uncle and aunt: Here for another long chat, I come. Miss Big Bonnet, your visit was charming; and you are so pretty. It is raining here, and we need it very bad. Some of the people around here are hunting water for their cattle. We take a great many papers, and my brother thinks The Dallas News is the best, and tries to get every one he knows to take it. Herbert Taylor, I was glad to hear from you. Your tale sounded rather fishy. Fisher Rawlins, you must not be so selfish next time. Come again, anyhow. What a grand time we could have if all the cousins would meet and have a party! What a crowd there would be! Most of the cousins speak of Sundays being so dismal. We do not have church, but have Sunday school at home. I spend it in reading, writing and doing all the good I can. I was 12 years old the 23d of June, and I am getting quite big now, so mamma says. I am learning to knit. We have two cats that were 8 years old the 23d. Boys, we girls are beating you. You don't write any. It has stopped raining now. Our South American cousin's letter was very interesting. My brother is a stamp collector. How is Peggy, Mr. Big Hat? He is getting so fat that he will pitch you off. I never did ride a mule. Does Miss Big Bonnet ever ride him? Miss Big Bonnet, do you wear the bonnet you had the picture taken in all the time? I am glad if you do. Can we get your picture by sending a stamp? I have Mr. Big Hat's. When will the Summer School begin? I think we ought to begin it now, and I will be a scholar if I can. Have your next Cozy Talk about it. It is very cool since the rain. Miss Big Bonnet, please write for the girls more. I inclose 10 cents for the Houston fund. Peggy, do not eat this letter, as I have had a little fever.
NETTIE WHEATLEY, Amarillo, Potter Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Good morning to all! It is awful windy to go visiting this morning, but as I have got here, I guess I might as well stay a little while. I've just been reading some of the cousins' nice letters. I enjoy reading them very much. I wish I could write as interesting letters as some of the cousins do. I wonder if any of you have ever had the mumps? I live on a hill northwest of town, about a mile from town. I think we have a beautiful situation. We can see town so plain. We can see the beautiful banks of the Canadian, too. We went down to the Canadian river not long ago. The scenery is beautiful. There are petrified rocks down there that are four feet high and three feet around. They look like diamonds when they are in the sun. There is a canyon about twelve miles from here. The scenery is lovely there, too. The falls which are there are about twelve feet high and six or seven feet wide. The water gushes down off this high bank into a large pool of water, roaring so that you can hardly hear anything when near it. In the winter, the water freezes into all shapes and forms, making a beautiful sight. I wish Mr. Big Hat and all of the cousins could see it. I saw a letter in The News from Waxahachie (my old home) written by Eugenia Lomax. She asked which was the hardest key to turn. I may be wrong, but I should say from experience that a don-key is about the hardest key I ever tried to turn. Am I right, Eugenia? Maud Foy, I think you did well with your hen. Come again. I liked your letter, and sympathize with you, for I stuck a pitchfork into my foot not long ago. I liked Ailene Johnson's plan. Let's all put a cross after our letters when we write them without help. I hope Peggy won't be hungry when you get my letter, for this is my first attempt.
PAT WHITTAKER, Scurry, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to The News. The town I live in is situated on the Texas Midland railroad, seven miles west of Kaufman, the county seat of Kaufman county. Cousins, I have to carry the mail from Scurry to Stubbs, ten miles below here. I have to start at 7 o'clock and arrive at Stubbs at 10 o'clock, and leave at 11 o'clock and arrive at Scurry at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I have a gentle horse to drive. I will answer Robert Louis Wood's question, as I know the battle of San Jacinto was fought in the year of 1835. When and where was the first newspaper printed? What is the biggest town in the world, and what is its population? I would like to correspond with some boy or girl about my age, which is 13 years.
LIZZIE KATE CRAIGHEAD, Breckenridge, Stephens Co., Tex. -- Little Miss Big Bonnet: As Edgar is sending some money and writing, I must too, as I make it a point to try to do everything he does. I am always so glad when you take your brother's place; your letters are so interesting. I love to hear about Sally Rose. My best loved doll is named Annie. My aunt from Dallas brought it to me. I have had her two years. Though, not so fresh now, I love her well. Cousin Maud brought me such a nice doll bureau. I wish you would tell me how it is Mr. Big Hat stays the same size, for my sister May has his photo, taken several years ago when I was quite a small tot. Now, I am quite a good-sized girl, and he is just the same as he was. If he has discovered the source of perpetual youth, he should tell the cousins. I send 10 cents to the Houston stone fund.
EDNA HAYMAN, Bartow, Polk Co., Florida -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As this is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner, you can not expect much of me. But, I will try to do better next time. I am a little Texas girl, and papa has been taking The News ever since we left Texas. I like to read all the cousins' letters, and think them very nice. I am 11 years old. I have no pets but a cat. I hope Peggy will be gone to the pasture when this arrives. Miss Big Bonnet, come again.
CLEMENT J. HOWARD, Jacksboro, Jack Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I am a boy 14 years old. I have never written to the Cozy Corner before. Old Fort Richardson is situated about one mile from this town. There are no soldiers in it now. My father, who is the pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Jacksboro, takes The News, which I like to read very much. It is about thirty miles from here to the nearest railroad, and there are some boys and girls here who never saw a train. One of the boys is my chum. We have a very nice courthouse here. I hope this letter will get published.
GRADY FREEMAN, Cuba, Johnson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I have never written to The News, but when I read Cassie Whitehead's nice little letter from Wayside, Georgia, I could keep quiet no longer. I am named for one of the great men which that grand old state has produced. I am just Cassie's age, and her cousin, Bum Freeman, she tells us about, is also my cousin, and is spending the summer here. He is an "old bach," jolly and full of fun. I have no pets except a dog, two pigs, a calf, seven guineas and about a dozen cats. I am the youngest of five children -- all boys. Some times I wish one of them had been a girl, so that I could have lots of fun playing off pranks on the smart Alecs when they came to see her. There are lots of this kind of fellows in Texas. Not long ago, papa had one fresh from Missouri working for him. Of course, the young lad "knowed it all," and spent most of his time telling it. He was so extremely smart that the boys took him "snipe-hunting" one night. They went to a dark and lonely place, got the fellow in a narrow, dry ravine to hold a big sack while they scattered about the woods to drive the birds down the ravine and into the bag. The wise fellow sat there for hours and hours, eagerly watching for the coming of the snipes. Along towards day, a neighbor happened along and sent the fellow with his empty sack home, where he found the boys had enjoyed a good night's sleep while he had been at the fool end of a good joke. I tell you what, there's a lot of fun in "grand old Texas!"
ROY HENDRIX, Itasca, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. I am not going to school now. My school was out in May. I have been studying at home. I am in the fourth grade. I study spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic and geography. I am 8 years old. I have one little brother, 2 years old. I have three pets -- two birds and a squirrel.
JULIA SALLEY, Brenham, Washington Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I have never seen a letter in The News from our little city, I thought I would try to write one. My papa has been taking The News for years, and I do enjoy reading the nice letters so much. I am 10 years old. I have only gone to school three years. Next year, I will be in the fifth grade. The first year I went to a private school. Since then, I have gone to the public school. We have a fine school here, and such a good, kind superintendent. I go horseback riding every few days and enjoy it much. I do hope Peggy will be fed before my letter is received, for I would not like him to dine on my poor letter.
WALLPAPUR A. SHINPLASTER, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: The "Austin Cousin" now salutes you from the Texas metropolis. During the summer months he will be "at home" in Dallas. "By request," as the singers say when they have no other excuse for inflicting, night after night, a certain selection upon their audience, he comes again before you, hoping that time, which alone, unbiased and unerring, passes the final judgment upon all acts and events, will justify him for "reappearing." So with this apology, modeled after the best introductory expressions of discreet cousins, and framed like a democratic platform, I launch forth. I notice some time since that Mr. Big Hat intends to substitute for his last year's summer school, a course in essay writing on a dozen or so subjects selected by him. This, it seems to me, is an excellent scheme, for it comprehends with such nicety, the aim and purpose of this department to furnish opportunity for acquiring greater skill in English composition. In the literary essay, this opportunity is best presented. Here one can bring to bear all his art, learning and common-sense; he can continue at will with all the words in the language, nor does it ever become necessary for him to take the temperature of his audience before expressing an "original thought." Some of us, I know, are intoxicated with the desire to gather posies like unto Addison's; and I am quite sure that were the Hellenic festivals renewed, some of us would wear the laurel and have our statue placed in the sacred grove. Looking over letters, one is impressed with the fact that they are almost a perfect mirror of everything that pertains to the writer -- character, environment, tastes and talents. One of the cousins hints that she reads the "letters" with this point in view, and doubtless, many others do likewise, for it is at once profitable and interesting. In fact, the best way to read any kind of writing is "between the lines," with this exception, reading the Latin authors with a "pony." But, to go of on another tack. What about our day at the state fair next fall. If Mr. Big Hat can definitely ascertain whether such a pleasure will be ours, he should let us know at once, so that the "youthful flames" may be preparing against the coming of that day to make bonfires of themselves. The 400 or 500 cousins could make things lively for awhile; and should not Mr. Big Hat be as considerate of us as was Mr. Reynolds of the newsboys? Cousins, what say you all? Well, one of the "stars" of the "corner" has come out squarely for woman's right! Inspired and stung by the mingled compliment and satire of a Scotch poet, she, with soul aglow and eyes aflame, sees visions of future female Websters, Clays and Madisons. This is rather hard on us, boys. It insinuates that we are vanquished; in other words, "outtalked," and that our victors will soon seek other worlds to conquer in the halls of congress. However, cheer up, boys; that we yet live is enough. But, before closing, I wish to congratulate Cousin Ludie Sanders because of her recent good fortune. I know of no one who more richly merits what has so long been our ambition -- a college career. A girl like you, who has a purpose in life, deserves to win, and what is more, she will win. Beyond the Alps lies Italy. Be like Hannibal or Napoleon -- "to me there shall be no Alps." Briefly, I will attempt to answer your question. Synonymous words have the same general signification, but differ from one another in specific meanings. They are like people having the same general characteristics, but no two of them being exact counterparts. Synonyms are the result of our drawing on foreign languages for words to express delicate shades of meaning, resulting from new conceptions and ideas. Hence, our language is said to be composite; its lays [sic] all languages under tribute. But of the 100,000 or more words in it, not more than ten of them are exactly synonymous.
H. P. PFEFFER, Kenney, Austin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is a bright, sunny afternoon, and I thought I would come in to chat a little while with you all. I read some of the cousins' letters, but before I finished reading them all, I concluded to write, too. I enjoyed reading Eula Wood's letter; it was very entertaining. Patsy Goodenough's letter was interesting, too. Cousin Maud Foy, I received the postage, and you may accept my thanks for it. I hope the flowers will grow. My sisters and I went to see my sister last Saturday and stayed till Monday morning. On Sunday afternoon, we went to that big bridge on the Brazos river. There were many people there, but we did not know any of them. We went over the bridge on foot and one of my sisters was afraid to go over it, but I surely was not afraid. When we were on the other side of the bridge, we seated ourselves under the shady tree and drank lemonade. They had a barbecue at the bridge last Thursday. We did not go to it, but we saw the place where they were going to have it. I think it is a very nice place for a barbecue. Our school closed yesterday and the children had a dinner. I could not go, so I do not know how it was. I am glad school has closed, for it was so hot. Do any of the cousins like to be in school when it's bad weather? I do not like it when it is lightning and thundering, or when it is dark and rainy. But, it hasn't been that way for a long time, as it won't rain. Herbert Taylor, you must make another trip on the buzzard's back. But, this time, you must go northward, where one can see you, and not over the big water where no one lives. Where did you get something to eat when you made that trip? I guess you must be a good boy, for some one said you are the best boy in Waller county. The Sons of Herman had a picnic at our schoolhouse June 7, and I enjoyed it very much. It began about 9 o'clock in the morning, but we went there in the afternoon. I did not like it at night, when there was a ball. Mr. Big Hat, I think it very nice to appoint a day at the fair for the cousins, so they can see Sam Houston's monument. I know some of my folks will get to see it if they will look for it. Mr. Big Hat, tell your sister she looks very sweet in her new dress. She looks just like one of my nieces. Her name is Allie. She is the sweetest and smartest little girl I ever saw. Stella Stone, last Sunday when I was at my brother's house, he asked me if I would like to read some, and he gave me a book in which your name was written. It was written with a lead pencil and the penmanship looked very nice. I guess you wrote it. I never thought that I ever would get something in my hands that you had had in yours. Stella, are you going to the camp meeting next month? If you will, I will go, too, and I will try to find you. I would be glad to meet you, as you are one of the cousins.
BESSIE L. STEWART, Sherman, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: All the people in Sherman have been scared by the cyclone, which came May 15. Our house is about 200 yards from the track of the cyclone. I was awfully scared. When I went to see the ruins, it was awful. I don't want to see another one. I would liked to have shown the cousins the ruins. I wouldn't go where any of the dead people were, because I don't like to see them, either dead or wounded. It is a good thing all people are not like me. I am thinking about going to the country pretty soon. I don't expect to have such a nice time as I did last year, because we have had such dry weather, and the fruit won't be so plentiful. The people all around us have storm houses, but we haven't one yet. I want a bicycle bad, but don't know when I will get one. My cousin has one, and I get to ride it. I think they are nice. Edna Fine, I would like to know how to play "stealing goods." I never heard of it before. I see a letter from Rowena Wadd [Waddell] of Hubbard City. That is where my brother bought cotton last winter, and expects to buy this winter.
W. T. WOOD, Zana, San Augustine Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will try once more to write to The News, and I hope Mr. Big Hat will be kind enough not to let his mule eat my letter. There is a great deal of sickness in this part of Texas and there has been several death[s]. Crops are looking pretty brown on account of the drouth. There will not be half crops made if it was to rain now. We have not had any rain here since the 13th of May. There is to be a picnic on the Fourth, about five miles from here, and I wish Mr. Big Hat and the cousins could be there, so I could see them all. Our school will start in July, and won't I be glad, for there is nothing I like better than going to school. Herbert Taylor, write and tell us how you feel now. Please don't let Peggy get this letter, for it just like me -- as green as grass.
LELLA DUBOSE, Rising Sun, Jones Co., Tex. -- Good morning Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Oh, I see you are all looking very happy over something. It must be about the Sam Houston stone, for I don't know what else could make you have such smiling faces. I am so glad we are getting nearly enough to finish it. Maud Foy, I am sorry I did not think of a plan like yours to raise money for the fund, but I was not at home, and could not have done much. I think Mr. Big Hat is right. You will some day make a business woman, but not the kind that wear bloomers and ride bicycles. The men laugh at them very much, but they have no right to. Cousins, I see you all have quit guessing at Mr. Big Hat's age. I think it a good thing, for I don't believe he intends to enlighten us on the subject. Suppose we quit telling him our ages, for I don't see how he could remember all of them. Cousins, let me tell you what a scare I got the other day. Papa and the boys had gone off and left mamma, sisters and I at home, also little brother. We were having a good time reading, when brother cried out, "Here is a snake!" We all ran out, but the snake had gone under the floor. Brother said it was a rattlesnake. We were all scared, but we armed ourselves with axes and hoes to be ready to kill the snake when it came out. I was guarding the inside of the house for fear it would come up through the house some way (but I don't see how it could, for there was not a hole large enough for the snake to come through). However, I soon made one large enough, by cutting through the floor in the hope of killing it. We found we could not get the snake out, so we sent for papa. He came and shot it, and when he got it from under the floor, behold, it was only a large mountain snake. Didn't the boys laugh at us, though? But I couldn't help it, for I thought it was a rattler, and I am so dreadfully afraid of them. I can't see what the cousin that keeps snakes find interesting in them. I would be scared all the time for fear I would get bitten. Cousins, I always look over the paper for an old writer, and then read their letters first. I have been looking through a stereoscope at some views. In imagination, I have visited so many places. Some of them near where many of the cousins live. When I am reading about any place of interest, and it gives the picture, I always get the stereoscope, and can see it so much plainer. Mr. Big Hat, I remember a piece you wrote some time last summer about the pigeons above your windows. I did not know much about them then, but my sister has quite a lot now, and I love to watch them. I have learned a great deal about their ways. We do not eat the squabs. Nellie Moss, you and I were slight acquaintances at Bruceville. You must write often, for I like to read your letters. Also, the cousin from South America. Mr. Big Hat, several of the cousins have asked you to give some subject to discuss. I wish you would, for I think it would make the children's side more interesting. Maud Myott, I know you will see this letter, and I want you to write. I always think about you when I write to The News. Cousins, I have been boat riding several times this summer, and I think it jolly sport. I went to see a friend one day (a young married lady), and in the evening we went boat riding. I nursed one of the children, and the other sat in the bottom of the boat. My friend did the rowing. We went along very smoothly for a while, but the wind got to blowing very hard, and we were drifting toward the opposite side of the creek. We tried to keep in the middle of the stream, but the wind blew the boat right in among the branches of the trees, which hung over the bank. We had a hard time getting out, and when we did, we made haste to row the boat to a ford. We had to walk home instead of the pleasant ride we anticipated. I have also been fishing, but was not lucky enough to catch any fish. I think the fish were afraid of me, for they would come to the top of the water and look at me, and then go down again without ever looking at the hook. I guess they weren't used to girls fishing. Cousins, weren't you all amused at Herbert Taylor's description of his ride on the buzzard's back? (The whale's, too.) The mystery is to me how he came to have money enough to do so much traveling, when he said he was not prepared for such a journey. How was it, Herbert? I think you might tell us something about London. Ludie Sanders, your question was an interesting one, but I could not find an answer to it. I wish some of the cousins would hurry and answer it. I am very glad, Cousin Ludie, that you are going to college. I think your half brother was very kind. Oh, there is Peggy. I did not know he was so near. I must say my adieus. Peggy, when you eat this, may it be your last hour; and I don't think it will be a peaceful one.
[Mr. Big Hat's
MARY E. WARDLAW, Reagan, Falls Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been thinking for some time I would write to you, but was almost afraid that my letter would find its way to the waste basket. However, I will risk it once, although I do not know that I will interest your readers or little cousins. I am 9 y ears old and am in the fourth grade at school. I have two little sisters and two brothers, whom I love very much. Nevertheless, as the rule with children, we have broils occasionally. My papa has been taking your Daily News for eight years and he thinks it is the best paper in the union. Papa has been a merchant for eighteen years and has some farming interest, 100 acres in cotton, which is looking very pretty, but will soon need rain. When my oldest brother's school closed, he had to take the hoe, which he did not like to do. He said he'd rather go fishing, but papa complimented him after the work was finished. We have two Shetland ponies and a Shetland buggy, but papa thinks I am too small to ride or drive. We have a fine watermelon patch, just beginning to ripen. I wish you and the cousins were with us to help eat them. We go to Sunday school every Sunday and like the teacher very much. Papa has had the blues for the last ten days on account of the dry weather. He says there are signs of boll worm in the cotton and the corn crop is very short this year.
BESS and DIMPLE MILAM, Sulphur Springs, Hopkins Co., Tex. -- Hell, there! Mr. Big Hat and cousins! Here comes two merry girls who like to have fun, tapping for admittance. We are quite certain, Mr. Big Hat, if you don't welcome us, Peggy will more'n do it. We had a hail storm, accompanied by wind and rain this afternoon, and after the storm, we had a big time eating hail and apples. The corner becomes more interesting all the time, don't you think so, cousins? We are alike about music -- both have older sisters that are music teachers and neither of us like to take lessons; but, we sing together every song we ever heard of. Would any of the cousins like to exchange words of songs with us? We are both very fond of reading. By the way, have just finished reading, "Jane Eyre." How do you like it, cousins (those who have read it)? We are very anxious to learn to waltz. We do not think it is wrong, although, so many condemn it. Cousins, what do you all do these long summer days? Having a good time like us -- playing croquet and going to parties? We are of the same age, but are of different types and are cousins.
GERTRUDE MILAM, Sulphur Springs, Hopkins Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a little 12-year-old girl to join your merry circle. My sister and cousin have just finished their letters. They are not but years older than I, but they think they are a whole lot. I hope Peggy won't be hungry when this comes. I like to read the cousins' letters so much. Some of them are so nice. I will correspond with any of the cousins of my age. What is it that you find everywhere, but a king never has?
RUTH JONES, Bremond, Robertson Co., Tex. -- Miss Big Bonnet and Cousins: Here comes another little 11-year-old girl to join your happy band. Mr. Big Hat, you and Miss Big Bonnet must send me one of your pictures. Do you ride Peggy very often? How many of the cousins belong to the church? I have six dolls. My sister and I like to read the letters. I have five sisters and two brothers.
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