November 17, 1895
[Portion of Mr. Big Hat's opening statement]:
a month has elapsed since Mr. Big Hat, in his snug seat in the
Cozy Corner, has had anything to say. But he has been there all
the time, listening to the pleasant chatter of the cousins, but
so many, many new cousins have kept knocking, knocking, to come
in, that it has kept him busy just opening the door. If the cousins
could only see the great pile of letters still waiting a place,
they would think it quite a shame, he fears, for him to take
up space with one of his long talks, while so many cousins are
out in the cold. But Mr. Big Hat's excuse has been already voiced
by many of the old letter writers, who say they "can not
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.
LUCILLE DOWLIN, Petty, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here is another little girl, 9 years of age, trying to find room in the Cozy Corner. I have been to school three terms, and my studies are arithmetic, geography, spelling, reading and Childs' health primer. It keeps me busy when I am in school. I have not been to school any for five or six weeks now on account of the whooping cough. I have had it so badly that I could not go. Well, Mr. Big Hat, I found your stories in the paper one day and got so interested in them that I thought I had better write. Sudie Vanders, your letter was very good and interesting. Now, if I see this letter in print I will write again.
OTHO SHELTON HINES, Farmersville, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I was at the fair Oct. 24, and called at The News business office and registered. I was disappointed in not meeting some of the cousins. My day at the fair was a whizzer this year. I walked till I was about done up. I saw so many nice things that I will not undertake to remember what I did see, but must mention the nice music I heard by the Sousa band. I did not hear the Hawaiian band, but saw some of the members, and they reminded me very much of our mulattoes. We saw Miss Hill, the celebrated confederate Gen. Hill's daughter. We had a nice ride down to the city on the electric car to come home. I am going to school now. Mr. Big Hat, when I wrote my first letter to you I was not going to school, so maybe I can write better now. I have never described our school building, so I will now. It is built of brick and is two stories high. We have a pretty school yard. Grass grows in it and makes a soft turf. We have a superintendent and five teachers, and will have more at free school. I like to go to school very well. I will close, asking some riddles and questions: What is it that goes from house to house and never comes in? Where was the first battle fought between the north and south and who won the victory? Who killed Gen. Grant? Who won the victory at the battle of Richmond?
LYN CLARK, Birdston, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I see so many nice letters from the cousins and none from our little town, that I thought I would write. This is my first letter to the children's corner and I hope it will be welcome. Papa takes your paper. I am spending this week at Grandpa's, and I wish to give papa and mamma a surprise, which my letter will be if Peggy don't get it. I went pecan hunting this week and had a good time. Oh, don't a little boy feel good to get off from home and stay a week with grandpa and grandmamma! They pet me all the time. Our school will soon open. The teacher taught us last year. She doesn't whip, and that is one reason we love her so well. I would like to know how many of the cousins have learned the Shorter catechism. Brother and I have memorized all of it except a portion of the Lord's prayer, and then if we recite it correctly we will get a Bible. Mr. Big Hat, did you ever get them? If you did I know you were glad when you got through. Brother and I read in the Bible every Sunday, and study the catechism. We are not allowed even to whistle on Sunday, but when we call to memory the fourth commandment we can but think it right. I have four brothers and no pets. Papa is a farmer and I can help him do many little things. My age is 11.
NORMAN McIVER, Midway, Madison Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I come asking admittance to the children's corner. This is my first letter, although I have wanted to write before, but feared Peggy would devour it, as she seemed to be a great terror to the children. I hope he will be staked out when my letter reaches you. I have no pets except my baby brother. I have three brothers and one sister, two grandpas, two grandmas, two uncles and two aunts. Who of the cousins can say as much? Our school opens the 1st of November. We all loved our teacher so much, and yet she whips the boys, but somehow the girls don't get punished like we boys. They are sharper or better, I don't know which. Sometimes I wish I was a girl, but when I think how scarey they are I would not be a girl for anything. They will scream if a bug or a mouse, or even an innocent, happy toad gets within three feet of them. What a world this would be if boys were like girls. My papa is a farmer. I help pick cotton; 100 pounds is all I can pick in a day, but I will do better when I get older. We have a good Sunday school. I like to go so much. Mr. Big Hat, you look as if you were large enough to go to Sunday school, and I hope you do. I want to ask the cousins and Miss Big Bonnet a Bible question: What two persons were born that never died, and what two died that were never born? My age is 9 years.
IDA BRADEN, Westphalia, Falls Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little 10-year-old girl to join your happy band. I have been to school three sessions. I study fourth reader, spelling, language and geography. I like my teacher very well. My teacher went back to his old home in Missouri, but will return in a few days, and our private school will commence. I am a farmer's daughter. I can pick 140 pounds of cotton in a day.
HATTIE BRADEN, Westphalia, Falls Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I hope you have room enough for one more cousin in your Cozy Corner. I have been reading the cousins' letters for some time, and as I have seen no letter from this part of the country I thought I would write a few lines. We live in the Pond creek bottoms. It is two miles east of Westphalia. I like this part of the country very well, especially in the summer time, but it gets very cold in summer [winter] time. Our school has not begun yet. We have not quite finished picking cotton. We have thirty-one bales out. I can pick 200 pounds in a day. My age is 12 years. Success to Mr. Big Hat and the cousins.
SYDNA MORRIS, Exa, ? County, Washington. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the cousins' letters and I thought I would write. I live in Washington state, as you see by my address, and in the very northwestern part of it, up in the Olympic mountains, about fifteen miles from Puget Sound and about 300 feet above sea level. We have very beautiful scenery here. There is a range of mountains on the south which begins in the hills and ends in beautiful snow-capped mountains. The snow on the highest peaks is perpetual. On the east there is the straits of Juan de Fuca, which can be seen plainly on clear days, and Mount Baker and other peaks can be seen also. There is lots of game in the mountains, such as deer, elk, bear and wildcats, and also lots of grouse and pheasants. Two men went hunting the other day and killed seven deer. I would like to exchange good songs and poems with the cousins.
RUDOLPH BOLLIER, Hamilton, Hamilton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I am again. It seems as if I can not keep away. Some of the cousins wanted to know if people raised good crops in Georgia. I have never lived there myself, but I will tell you what a real nice and respectable young man from Georgia told me. Mr. Lee Jones, from Georgia, said farmers could not raise pumpkins there. The reason why was, the vines grew so fast that it wore all the little pumpkins out dragging them along. And corn! Well, seven ears on one stalk was common, and right on the top of the stalk where the tassel ought to be it grew a kind of V-shaped box, and in that box the farmers always found from a peck to a half bushel of already shelled corn. Cousins, I think "The Little Men and Women" have improved greatly. Their letters are not long, but very sweet, I think. Bessie Bee wrote a splendid letter. I am sure the cousins would be glad to have her to come often. Bessie Bee, I think I have guessed what you meant. Roxie Bowman, I think it is your time to write, as cousins Evangel and Lovie have written. I wish Miss Big Bonnet would come often. That was a splendid letter she wrote.
JOHNNIE KENNY, Sartartia, Fort Bend Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is the first time I have ever written to The News, and I hope that Peggy won't get my letter. The cousins' letters are very interesting. I am a member of the Haphammers' club in the Houston Post, but I hope you will let me join your band, for the haphammers' letters are not so good as Mr. Big Hat's. The writers tell about their pets and have contests. I will tell the cousins some of their favorite things. The violet is their favorite flower, and the mocking-bird is their favorite bird. They are having a tree contest now. I voted for the pecan tree. Wouldn't it be a good plan for us to have a contest about horses or cows? They tell every member to vote for his favorite and whichever one gets the most votes at the end of the contest is chosen. I will close, as you may well get tired reading this.
MARION YORK, Clifton, Bosque Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another sleepy-headed boy asking admittance to your happy band. I have been reading the cousins' letters this morning, and I thought I would try to write some, too, but I am quite sure that I can not write as interesting a letter as some of the cousins do. But if Peggy does not get this I will try to do better next time. I think that we all ought to make each day of our life better than the last. This is my first attempt to write to a newspaper.
H. H. COPLEN, Palmer, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Here I come again to the Cozy Corner, knocking for admittance to come in and chat awhile this lonesome Sabbath day. I think our corner is getting better every week. Our school hasn't begun yet. People in this section of the country are almost through picking cotton. Rudolph B., come again. Cousins, aren't you all sorry that Bessie Bee is going away? How many cousins want to get an education? I, for one. My studies are arithmetic, geography, spelling, grammar, history and reading. I have three sisters and one brother. Our school will commence the second week in November. I would rather go to school than do anything else. Girls, don't run the boys down so. They are doing their best. Mr. Big Hat, come down and hunt pecans with me. I guess you can climb a tree, if you ain't afraid of falling out and breaking your neck.
LELLA DU BOSE, Bruceville, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and cousins: When I wrote to you last I was in Jones county, but now I am at Bruceville in McLennan county, going to school. I know all the cousins who are away from home for the first time can sympathize with me. Well, cousins, school hours are here and hard lessons are to learn. Mr. Big Hat, you must have commenced your education while very young, or a little boy like you would not be able to teach us large girls and boys. Don't you wish you could teach some of us how to write? I am sorry I need some one to teach me. Girls, let's not be too hard on the boys, but let's make it real pleasant for them when they do come. Come often, boys. Some of you wrote as nice letters as any of the girls. Cousins, how did you spend vacation? I read most of the time and thought it pleasant employment. I have read several history's, besides novels. Mrs. Holmes is my favorite author of fiction. Correspondence is solicited.
CLARA ANDERSON, Granger, Williamson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins; Once more I take the privilege of writing to the Cozy Corner. I guess you all have forgotten me, as it has been a year since I last wrote. I haven't forgotten you all and never shall as long as the cousins write as interesting letters as they have been doing the past six months. How the department has increased in the last y ear! I am always so glad when Saturday comes, for I get to read the dear old News. Just as soon as papa comes in from the office I ask for The News. If I am at work I just lay it aside and read the cousins' letters. I like Mr. Big Hat's letters. They are so instructive. Cousins, how did you all like Mr. Big Hat's piece about his pet chicken, Hannibal? I think it just splendid. Little Miss Big Bonnet, you must come again. I liked your letter very much. You must tease your brother often, that is if he will let you write when you tease him. If I could write such interesting letters as Maud Carson, Bessie Bee, Jesse Harman, Braxton Rogers, Herbert Taylor, N. C. Wright and many others I would write to The News often. I see that Bessie Bee, our favorite, hasn't forgotten us. I wish her much success in her studies. Cousin Jesse Harman, I know you were glad to find your long lost brother. I see that some of the cousins are in trouble. They all have my heartfelt sympathy. Girls, we must write better or the boys are going to get ahead of us. Well, cotton picking and corn gathering is about over and school will begin soon and I expect to begin with it. I am going to strive for an education, for it will not be long before we girls and boys are called to take the place of our leading men and women, and I think we all should be ready. Isn't Mr. Big Hat kind to spare us room in his valuable paper? I think if there were more Mr. Big Hats in the world it would be a better place than it is. My age is 16 years.
LAWRENCE NEFF, Paducah, Cottle Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It has been several months since I wrote the Cozy Corner, and I suppose I was forgotten. I am glad to see that some of the cousins still remember me. Doll Randal, I was under the impression that the largest trees in the world are found in Australia, but I have forgotten their name. Gen. Zachary Taylor was called "Old Rough and Ready." The highest tides in the world are in the bay of Fundy, where they rise to a height of 60 feet. Since my last letter I have had my first experience with what is known in printer's vernacular as "pt." I had put about two columns of set matter in galleys and put them on a shelf. This shelf was a very insecure affair of my own construction, and while I was at dinner it fell on the floor, a distance of about 4 feet, and scattered the type all over the room. The result of this was that the paper did not go to press till Saturday morning instead of Friday evening. this is the only "pt" I have had as yet. Ducks are becoming plentiful here now, and I am having considerable sport at their expense, but I believe that Mr. Big Hat does not approve of sport of that character. Rudolph Bollier, your hunting yarn was good, but you neglected to state that the gun kicked you backward onto forty-three jack rabbits. I liked your ghost story much better. I wish that Oregon cousin would give me his (or her) address, as I would like to correspond with him (or her). Isadore Miller, I was under the impression that you were a girl, and thought that Isadore was a girl's name. This is fine weather for working, especially in the house, and I do not mind to set type now. The work on the paper keeps me busy about all the time, but as I get all I make I like the job. Besides I am getting experience now which will be of use later on, as I intend to follow that profession. Mr. Big Hat, I will write that article on "Country Newspaper Work" in a few days -- in time to send with my next letter. Well, I am tired of writing, as I have written all of this letter three times, and part of it, four. Lillah Petty, Doll Randal, Lilly Rowe and Abner Williams, come again.
WILLIE PETTY, Carlton, Hamilton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins; I thought I would write a few lines to the cousins' department for the first time in my life. I love to read the cousins' letters. Erath county has produced a large crop this year, including grass and weeds. I will tell the cousins some facts that have been asked for about the Bible. The Bible contains 1,5666,480 letters, 773,746 words, 31,173 verses, 1189 chapters and 66 books. The word "and" occurs 46,277 times. The word "Lord" occurs 1855 times. The word "reverend" occurs but once, which is in the ninth verse of the 111th Psalm. The middle verse in the Bible is the eighth verse of the 118th Psalm. The twenty-first verse of the seventh chapter of Esra contains all the letters of the alphabet, except the letter "J." The longest verse is the ninth verse of the eighth chapter of Esther. The shortest verse is the thirty-first verse of the eleventh chapter of St. John. There are no words or names of more than six syllables in the Bible.
MYRTLE RIGGAN, Splunge, Monroe Co., Mississippi. -- Mr. Big Hat: I make my second attempt to write to you and the cousins, but I expect Peggy will get this mess. I thought I would let you know that I was not quite dead. I think Miss Myrtle Kirk and Mr. Jonnie Price write as interesting letters as I have seen in The News. L. C. Fountain and L. W. Neff write very good ones. I have a brother in Bartlett, Tex., named Lawrence. It rained last night, and this morning at 5:30 o'clock an earthquake came. The houses just shook. My sisters are talking of going visiting the last of the week, and, by the way, I will get to keep house. Levi, I think old maids are as good as old bachelors. Rudolph, you had good luck. I think Miss Big Bonnet's Sallie Rose had a bad time. Our school will begin in a week. I once went to school with the teacher, and am going to him in a week. We had a very good fruit crop. Cotton and corn is very good. We made 102 gallons of sorghum. A riddle: Long legs, short thighs, leather back and bullet eyes.
ZOZIE DEAN, Fitzgerald, Anderson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Will you and the cousins allow me to walk in and have a little chat with you this morning? I see so many letters, but none from this part of the country. Well, cousins, you must not expect a good letter, as this is the first I have ever written to any paper. I am sorry to know that Cousin Bessie will be absent so long. We are nearly through picking cotton now, and I will be glad. If I could pick like Cousin Burrett I would not mind it. Come again, Cousin Burrett; I like to read your letters. Cousin Rudolph, we children stayed alone last Saturday night, but no ghost came, for we had the doors all locked well. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins. My age is between 15 and 17 years.
CORA MATLOCK, Chillicothe, Hardeman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I don't think you will remember me, though I have written before. Little Miss Big Bonnet, I enjoyed reading your letter. You must get your brother to let you write again. I guess he will. He ought to put your picture in the paper by his. Don't you think so, cousins? Bessie Bee, we are real sorry to give you up, even for a year. Don't you hate to leave the dear old Cozy Corner for that long? I will try to tell you a little bit about my home. On the west there is Wanders creek, on the south is Pease river. Quanah is the county seat of Hardeman county. The medicine mounds are southwest. It is said that the Indians got medicine from the roots of trees growing on the mounds. We have two elevators and one mill here. I guess if any of the cousins or Mr. Big Hat were to come out here they would know our house. It is a little round house. Nearly all the houses are white, and it dazzles one's eyes when the sun is shining bright. It is shining bright to-day, but the wind nearly blows one to pieces. Lilly Rowe, come again. I enjoyed your letter very much. Sometimes when I am alone I think I hear Cousin Rudolph's ghosts. Lily Rowe, you must not detain Santa Clause so long that he won't get here. I will close by answering Doll's questions: Gen. Taylor was called "Old Rough and Ready," and Washington was invited to become king in 1781, after the surrender of Cornwallis. I will ask a question: How long has this country been a republic? Success to the dear old Cozy Corner.
REGINA ROGERS, Yoakum, Lavaca Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is the first letter I have written to The News. I think Mr. Big Hat is very good to let us have a space in the paper. I am 10 years old. I am in the fifth reader. I have a sister and a brother. My father is a merchant. I will write to Mr. Big Hat and cousins soon again.
HOMER BEVILLE, Como, Hopkins Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my second attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. I am afflicted with erysipalas in the ankle and can do nothing. I am better now, so that I can move my feet some. None of us went to Sunday school this morning. It looked like rain, and I wish it had rained. Papa sowed some wheat a few weeks ago, and it, as well as our turnips, is needing rain. Cousins, when papa goes to Como he gets me something good to eat or some pictures, puzzles or something to interest me. My little friends all come to see me, and one especially, Paul Brader, comes every day. He came this morning and brought me some sugar cane. Cousins, it was bad enough for me to be sick, but the other day one of our young horses got cut on barbed wire. She is cut real badly. I think Mrs. Big Bonnet's piece was real nice. I wish I could write nice, long, interesting letters like some of the cousins, but I am not as old and as far advanced in literary studies as some of them. I hope I will be well next time I write.
JOHNNIE PRICE, Kingsville [Kingwillow], Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Look at your corner. Isn't it enough to inspire one with new energy? There are so many letters from the smaller ones, telling of their beloved pets, in whom they find so many pleasures. Hurrah for the little ones. Some may have the wrong estimate of boys. In my estimation, boys should romp and play, sing, whistle, climb trees, learn to swim and be able to do all the manly things that belong to manly sports, love and study nature, read the best literature, study hard (when the time comes for study), get a good knowledge of history, science and art, go to college and through college, even if they expect to be a clerk, farmer or mechanic, spend Sundays reverently, try to be practical, everyday christians, help on every good cause, never make sport of sacred things, treat old men as fathers, young men as brothers, old ladies as mothers, girls as sisters, in all purity, and thus try to grow up to be a christian gentleman, wholesome, sensible, cheerful, independent, courteous men. My kind, sympathetic friend, Miss Maggie Jenkinson, I congratulate you. I can't help thinking that you treated the "bashful boy" badly in not printing his letter. He was afraid to tell his name. Allow him to say he did, and maybe he isn't as bashful as his nom de plume would have you believe. "Some of the girls would write to him." If you desire a correspondence with the "Bashful Boy," he will write first. I am afraid of one thing -- bloomers! It was this that caused the origin of "Bashful Boy." Isn't it a disgrace to American citizens to have their fair maidens wearing bloomers, mother hubbards (knee) pants, as it were? There is quite a resemblance. I would not have you understand me to say anything against bicycling, as I think it good exercise, but delivery me from bloomers! It has been said, not long since a couple were standing on the floor ready to be married, when the minister stopped, demanding which was and which wasn't, for you see they wore bloomers. The following will explain why I am known as "Bashful Boy." When the bloomers were just being introduced into this county I made it a rule of everyday life to walk down a well known lane to admire the pretty flowers that grew on either side and watch lovely birds twit and fly from three to tree. The lane had a barbed wire fence on either side, with posts every six feet, and five strands of wire stretched "as tight as Dick's hatband." Once, while taking an afternoon walk, while engaged in admiring some lovely flowers in a grove not a great distance to my left. I was so enthused over their loveliness that I stopped, when a noise drew my attention southward. Behold! what did I see? Nothing but bloomers, bloomers! My mind speedily changed. I had no desire to advance further. I turned round immediately, but alas! the same object met my eyes in full blast. Nothing but bloomers! I did some hard thinking as I had discovered another party coming, facing those, "mine enemies." Since my discovery of the first both had approached within fifty yards. Seeing no other chance than going through a barbed wire fence or else go over, I agreed upon the latter. Collecting all my vitality, strength and energy, I gave a desperate leap, to only find myself hanging up by my trousers' legs, to the top wire, with my body suspended in the air about three feet from the ground. I had nothing to do only think of my past mischief. I did not know but that I was a "goner." One of my playmates had warned me that if any one's liver turned over they would surely die. I thought of this. I thought, I will never see mamma and papa any more, if I'm not loosed soon. I jerked and surged, but all were in vain, and the bloomers were about to "pass me by." I gave a loud cry, with a jerk at my pants leg. It came loose this time so suddenly that I hardly knew whether I had been struck by lightning, bloomers or an explosion of some powder mill. It gave me such a shock. The ground was the first object that my nose came in contact with, and I was buried in the sand about two feet. I turned something less than a million somersaults and at the end found myself about two miles from the original place, only to awake to the sensation of being in a lake about twenty-five feet in depth, paddling for dear life, for as yet, I had never learned to swim. I had lost hat, shoes and part of my trousers hung on the wire. I swam out, more dead than alive, sat on the ground to rest my tired remains. While trying to learn "which one of the boys I was," and a correct way to start, I noticed six fine turkeys that, from appearance, had recently died. I picked them up, started with new life; hadn't gone far when I came in contact with eight squirrels, two coons and one duck. I got the squirrels and duck, but let the coons remain. I continued to find different kinds of birds that had been smashed by my flying body. When I had gathered them up I had enough to give a portion to the neighbors and sufficient left to last several months. I found my shoes and hat. It's useless to say that I was very glad when I arrived at he place from whence I came. I still exist, but have not had any use for bloomers since. Can you blame me? My friends have called me "Bashful Boy" ever since. Frank Atchenson, write us about your gin. I suppose the most of you are saying "ne quid nimis." Believing this to be true, I shall bid you, "bonsoir."
KATIE QUIMBY, Wortham, Freestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: After reading over so many nice letters, a few nights ago, I fully decided I would write once more. I'm quite sure most of the cousins have forgotten me. Well, I have spent a great many happy days, sad ones, too, since I wrote to you all. Mr. Big Hat's story about "Hannibal" reminded me so much of a pet chicken I had once, named "Jennie." My old pet cat "Tom" died last February. We had been raised together and of course his death grieved me very much. He was 16 years old. My other cat "George Glen" died shortly afterwards, and my pig, duck, in fact, every pet I had. I had the pleasure of meeting one of our cousins this summer. She is Nora Brazelton of Kline, Tenn., I suppose some of the cousins remember her letters. She came to Texas to visit her brother, who came here nearly four years ago. She spent a month and a half with me, and we certainly found amusement at everything we undertook to do. We took buggy rides, visited a little sick girl and took long walks by ourselves. We attended one protracted meeting, but before the meeting closed we both took sick the very same night, and lay sick for three weeks. She recovered before I did, and went to Wortham, but in three days I went to my sister's there, and as she boarded at my brother's near by, I saw her most every day for another month. We laughed all the time were sick and slipped out in the orchard and garden every chance we got, and brought in a supply of apples, peaches, tomatoes and watermelons. The doctor told Nora not to eat them, but we did as soon as he was gone. One of my cousins from Mexia visited me while I was with my sister, and spent three weeks with us. Lula Weaver of Corsicana visited me in July and spent two weeks, and no doubt we laughed and talked from sun up till midnight all during those two weeks. We took a ride every other day, and one night we slipped out brother's old horse and went all around the pasture. When my brother went to turn him out, he found him missing, and we had taken him away from his supper. The old horse eats very slowly, so when we returned we had to wait until midnight for him to finish eating his supper. One morning we rose very early and did the morning's work and finished making a dress and went of a little before 10 o'clock to spend the day by ourselves over in the pasture. We loaded up my little wagon with buckets, knives, dippers and a quilt or two to put on the ground and spread up in the tree to prevent the sun from beaming down on us, and our dinner consisted of twenty nice peaches, twelve apples, salt cake and grapes. We took a nice bucket of water along and after we had arranged everything under the trees it looked very cozy and comfortable. We returned just before dark, and my sister was getting real uneasy, for we did not tell her that we were going. Last April, Mr. Williams' family, my brother and sister and I went to Rakestraw lake and spent two days and one night. Oh, the delightful time we had boatriding. Miss Minnie W. and I decided to venture out in a boat by ourselves and show the crowd how much courage we had. Just as we got in the deepest part the wind began to blow very hard and the boat came very near unsetting, or at least, I thought so. I cried, "Minnie, we are going to be thrown into the old lake," but she told me to be perfectly quiet and maybe we would get out. Well, the wind drifted us up under some brush and we jumped out a great deal wiser than before. A young man, Alice W's brother, and I were taking a ride and we caught sight of a queer looking bird, and Alice suggested that we all get out and follow it and see what it was. So we rowed the boat up on a little bank and walked several minutes around, trying to find the bird. Finally we all went back and just as we got near the boat we heard a very large tree falling, so we tried to find it, but looked in vain, and lo! when we returned our boat was gone and our only chance of getting over to the camp grounds was to walk until we were even with the camp and call for some one to come over after us. You may be sure they laughed at us, but we were more interested in getting over to them. Alice and I wandered off in the woods and an old cow run us a long ways. We thought she was after us. I've been corresponding four years with one cousin in Austin county, but she died the 17th of this month. I fear my letter is too long. Christmas is near at hand and I hope all will enjoy it. Much love to the cousins and to Mr. Big Hat.
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