November 1, 1896
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing a letter to this department, first give your full name, postoffice and state. Use pen and ink, on smooth paper, not larger than note size. Write only on one side of the paper and do now sew, paste or pin the sheets together. These rules must be observed to insure publication.
Mr. Big Hat's
DONALD MYRDOCK, Owlet Green, Van Zandt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Will you please publish a letter for me? I am 8 years old and am going to start to school soon. I have studied at home. Everybody says I look like Gene, and I am glad of it, because I think she is pretty. Maybe she will give me some candy for saying that. Sometimes, it is fun to be the baby of the family, because you get lots of petting, but sometimes, it is not, because you have to wait on the others.
JOHN G. COWARD, Alvin, Brazoria Co., Tex. -- Dear Mr. Big Hat: I read the cousins' letters some times and think them very interesting. I am a small boy on a small farm. We have raised a good many Spanish peanuts. They are better to eat and easier harvested than the large kind. The summer was so dry, we scarcely made a third of a crop of corn. Mother has a yard of white-faced black Spanish fowls. They are great layers. I have a little pony of my own. I ride him to Sunday school every Sunday. We are having too much rain now.
MARY HESTER, Bryan, Brazos Co., Tex. -- Dear cousins: I have been thinking about writing to the Cozy Corner for some time, and, as my friend, Laura Presnal, is writing, I thought I would try, too. Our school begins next Monday. I will be so glad. I like very much to go to school. Protracted meeting begins here to-night. I hope the white rose will win in the flower contest, as it is my favorite. My age is 14 years.
LAURA PRESNAL, Bryan, Brazos Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: There are four of us girls around here about the same age, and we have a nice time. We had a little party at Mr. Hester's about two weeks ago. I have three brothers and two sisters. My oldest sister lives with my grandpapa. I will be glad when school begins. It will open Sept. 21. We have a large school, and we have lots of fun. I am 11 years old.
LUDIE SANDERS, Peede, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- With Mr. Big Hat's permission, and at the cousins' request, I shall be seated and try to describe my features, as I fancy I can see all listening with impatience to see which hit the nail on the head. None exactly described me, though, all did splendidly, to judge from letters only. Sallie Critic came very near picturing me and Florence G. says I am sensible and expects, that if she could get a peep at me, she would see a pretty face. Another says I have black eyes, have a good deal of temper, and when I get mad, stand erect, look taller than usual, and my black eyes flash. This same cousin said she wished to be forgiven if she had made a mistake. She did her best, and that was as much as a yoke of steers could do, of course. I'll forgive. As for my temper, I'll admit I have a high one, though easily controlled. I have deep blue eyes, lightest of auburn hair (pa says I came near being red-headed), which is inclined to be curly, or rather wavy. My complexion is very fair, with a few freckles for seed, you know. Of course, they are volunteer ones, at that. Some say I have a Roman nose. I don't dispute their word at all, but I don't believe them. My face is almost round (and here, Rachel says that I have little stingy ears). I'll just send her to New Mexico next time I write. Who will pay express on her? I am not at all tall, neither slender. I am medium or rather under height. I am 17 years of age and will weigh 145 pounds. I am very plump, of course. I have no dimples, as one stated; neither, a sharp chin, but rather more protruding than retreating. I have a little sense and a cheery and amiable disposition. I possess some patience and am also very musical. I am mischievous and delight in fun. However, I like my schoolmates. Now, cousins, when you go to describe a Sanders, just say light hair and blue eyes, else, they have another name. Well, I suppose the picture is now done. So now, Florence, what do you think of the pretty face you expected? Luck has turned against me, since I last wrote. First, I acted smart and jumped over a rail fence and sprained my ankle. Just as my ankle got well, I took sick with irritation of the stomach. I tell you, I thought my time had at last arrived. We had no doctor, save pa, who, is a college graduate. As soon as I was well, I bruised my hand, so that I had a very painful sore for two weeks, and its being on my right hand, it hindered me from writing. Mr. Big Hat, I will not get to attend college this year. This is certainly an overwhelming discouragement, but my brother's folks have been sick almost all the year, so, he has a large doctor's bill to pay, and consequently, he can not send me. Perhaps, I shall go yet, in time to come. I will live in hopes, and be contended if I don't. Now, you who rejoiced with me in my good fortune, sympathize with me and give me a few words of encouragement. And, let me assure every one of the dear cousins, that their kind wishes and congratulations were highly prized and appreciated, and I can not thank them and you, Mr. Big Hat, enough. Nor can I ever forget or despise the days in which I learned to plow. I thank Cousin Walpapur A. Shinplaster for his congratulation, and for the answering of my questions. I suppose he is now unburdened and is wearing his assumed name. So, come again, Hon. Li Unhung Chang, and also, Charles Allen of California, who, in particular, is fond of vocal music. Don't you think that vocal and instrumental music, together, is nice? And so, Charles, you think you would like to live close to me. And, Walpapur is under the impression that the girls talk of nothing except the boys. Perhaps, it is possible that he could be mistaken. If Genevieve and Joe F. and Joe D. were ever drowned, we would certainly look up stream for them, as they surprise us with something to tell, when it is the least expected. Gene, let us investigate and see if we can't arrange to yoke Chun and Rachel together by telegraph.
MYRTLE RIGGAN, Splunge, Monroe Co., Miss. -- Dear Cozy Corner: Papa got back from Texas last Saturday. He just lacked two days staying two months. I was sure glad to see him. My oldest sister went with him, but she decided to stay until Christmas. Papa says he wants to go there to live, and I do hope he will, too. If we go, we will go near Bartlett, in Bell county. Cousins, do you all ever write compositions? The best one I ever wrote was on "Manners." So, let's have a talk on them this morning. Ill manners are offensive. A boy or a girl with ill manners is never respected, but one with gentle manners is always respected. Ill mannered people are mean and hateful. Children that have never been taught manners, of course, have not got any at all, but those that have been taught, have very nice and pleasant ways. Some city children have very good manners, and most country children also have tolerable good manners. When we see a well-bred, refined gentleman or lady, we think that they have been taught by their parents. The way to learn good manners is to watch what well-bred people do, but a still better way than this, is to be kind and unselfish. If you have a kind heart, it will be sure to tell you what to do or say at any, and all, times. It will tell you, never needlessly, to hurt the feelings of any one. Do you know the golden rule? It is this: "Do as you would be done by." Do not speak when another is speaking; to do so, is to commit one of the very worst faults of gentle manners. Cousins, if any of you have this bad habit, strive your very best to quit it. Do not, at any time, soil your nice, clean tongue, which God gave you, with coarse or slang words. Be very, very kind to your parents when they are well, and especially when they are sick. Everybody can do little acts of kindness, and these make the very best points in life. When you have to refuse a favor, do not do so in harshness, and always give your reason. Every one knows when to say "Thank you." "Please" is a little word which makes a good many things pleasant, that would not be so, without it. Remember that "a soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger." Respect old age. Above all, be polite to your parents. There is no nature so harsh that gentle words will not soften it.
HASSIE EVANS, San Angelo, Tom Green Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins:
MALCOMB McQUEEN, Greenville, Butler Co., Ala. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I wrote to you some time ago, and I guess old flop-eared Peggy ate my letter, as it was written with lead pencil. My dear little cousins, school has commenced again. We have splendid schools in our town. I have been going to the public school until this year. My mother and father decided that I would learn faster in a good private school, and I know I have the very best teacher in the place. He is strict on little boys, I tell you. When you go up to recite, you must know your lessons. I have learned to work an example in long division. I feel so proud that I am learning how to work them. I had a splendid trip in Lowndes county among my relatives last July. It is quite a treat for a little town boy to visit the country in the summer season, while the fruit and melons of all kinds are ripe. I never saw as many young birds in my life as are raised around my grandmother's yard. I got a pair of pretty bantam chickens while I was up there. Some of the cousins please write to me.
Cade, Freestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I seat myself in a
The crops are very fine in this part of the country. We will make four bales of cotton to the acre; (excuse me, please, I mean it will take fourteen acres to make a bale). And, the corn, I don't know so much about it, but I think, maybe, we will make one bushel to every forty acres. I will cast my vote for the red geranium. Mr. Big Hat, I am still sick. I had two big chills last week, but haven't had any more since. I think I shook enough to last me a whole year. Well, I have written all I can think of, only the schools begin next Tuesday. I am still your freckle-faced cousin.
HERBERT TAYLOR, Monaville, Waller Co., Tex. -- Hello, cousins! As Mr. Big Hat has got me in this scrape, I guess I can only get out of it by giving a description of myself. Well, here goes. I'm just one of these common country boys, 7300 days old, no more, nor less. I have dark, curly hair (nearly black) and dark eyes. I am 6 feet tall, and weigh 150 pounds -- sorter one of those long-legged scamps, all legs and wings, more properly speaking. I wear a shoe No. 8, a glove No. 9 and a hat No. 8 3/4. Cousins, I've been busy of late picking cotton, and I'm a picker from Pickersville. I'm here to tell you that I started to the field one morning about sunup, and just before sunset, I had picked something over a bale. I've forgotten exactly how much over, but something. I would have picked more, but I went without my sack, or bag, whatever you call it, and the man I picked for hadn't any bags, so I picked till dinner in my hat and dumped it on the ground every time I got it full. But after dinner, I thought of a better plan. I cut one of my trouser legs off and sewed up one end, and on the other end, I fastened one of my suspenders, and then I had a bag, and was fixed to go after cotton, red-eyed and a-grinning, teeth and toe nails. After I picked out a bale, I had to go with my newly-invented sack and pick up the little piles of cotton I had dumped all over the field in the morning out of my hat. Then, I had to take it to the wagon, and with the last bagful, when I climbed into the wagon to empty it, I fell and split my tongue open and ran my foot through it. Then, I had to sit down for awhile. Pa said it was good for me, for maybe I'd be able to moderate my work a little, but maybe you all won't believe it. But nevertheless, in that awkward predicament, I picked more cotton the next day than ever, and if pa hadn't come along with the wheelbarrow, I would have picked close on to two bales. You see, he dumped me in it and hauled me off. He liked to have given me a mauling. He said that I hadn't got a blamed bit of sense; that I was about picking cotton like I was about everything else. When I went at it, I had no sense to stop. And then, he had to jaw me for two solid hours, trying to talk some sense into me. He even had to bring up other jobs he had set me to do at different times. One was: One day, he went to town, and he told me to dig post holes all day. I thought he said dig a post hole all day. So, that night, when he came home, I had got a post hole dug, and don't you forget it. It was five feet square and fifteen feet deep. Ma called to me once, and asked what in the name of common sense I was doing. I told her that I didn't know; there wasn't no common sense about it, as I could see, but pa told me to dig a hole all day, and I was digging it. Ma says: "I don't see what on earth he wants with such a hole, unless he's going to commit sideways and wants you to dig his grave." I says: "Thunder! If that's the case, he don't want no such hole as this. He may be five feet long, but I know blamed well he isn't five feet wide." Pa says to-morrow, he's going to sew me up in that sack again and leave my arms sticking out, and see how I get on picking cotton. Can any one please tell me where to get a canary?
CLAUDIA LOGAN, Corsicana, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Do you remember me, Mr. Big Hat? I am sure you do not, for you have so much else to think of. I wrote to you once, about five or six years ago, for two of your pictures, and instead of two, you was kind enough to send me four, and that has emboldened me to ask for admittance, feeling quite sure that I may come in, if only for this once. After I finished reading the cousins' letters this evening, I said, as usual, "I am going to write to the Cozy Corner," and as soon as I sat down, I forgot everything I had been thinking of writing. The cousins have three subjects, pets, Peggy and education, and I am sorry to state my ignorance on all the above named subjects. Many of the cousins have beautiful homes, which they describe, but I am afraid if I were to give a descriptive outline of my home, it would not bring before their minds a very picturesque scene, so I will only tell you where (instead of how) it is. I live on a farm, four miles northwest of Corsicana. We moved here from Frost, nearly three years ago. I do not like this place as well as I did Frost and its immediate neighborhood. Of all the letters in this last issue of The News, I admired Emma Miller's most. Some of the cousins differ widely on dancing; I don't see how any one could enjoy it, neither do I see where the harm lies in it. Mr. Big Hat, I was at the fair in 1893, but I did not see you. We stayed only two days, but had a very nice time. It has been very hot and dry here ever since about May, but the drought was discontinued for a while by a heavy rainfall, which, I suppose, was appreciated by the water haulers. Of course, it injured the cotton to some extent, but it replenished tanks and cisterns. I agree with Donia Cordell on what she says about intoxicating liquors and drunkards. Dixie O'Neal, were you "queen of the moon" when "Bunch" and "Joker" visited it in their balloons? I do not think if you had been ruler, you would have allowed those judges to torture them so cruelly. Your letter seems as if you were kind to everything. Quite a number of the boys and girls speak of their Sunday schools. I used to go to Sunday school and liked it very much, but I do not get to go often now. I attended one regularly at Richland four years, where I carried the "banner" the first two years and received the prizes the two succeeding years, one of which was a gold ring, and the other, a silver basket, holding a white rose. Now comes the test of my imaginative powers. I fancy Miss Ludie is tall, but not very small, has brown hair and blue eyes and fair complexion, and I think Herbert Taylor is tall and slender, has fair hair and complexion and blue eyes, and is of a very jovial disposition. Lantie, I think the snowball would be a suitable flower for the Corner, because of its symbolic language, which is, "Virtues cluster around thee."
ALICE E. GRIFFIN, Cusseta, Cass Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat: Here I am again, tapping for admittance into your happy circle of boys and girls. They have improved so much since I last wrote. You can not imagine how I felt this evening, when I returned from school. I asked mother, had the mail come. "Yes," she replied. "All but the Saturday's mail, and we won't get that. The Naples postoffice has been burned." My heart seemed to beat twice as fast as she uttered the words. I had been thinking of the dear old Cozy Corner so much to-day. I thought she said The News office had been burned. I have become quite attached to the Cozy Corner page, and it would be about impossible for me to give it up.
I will vote for the flower that I
call mine --
Now, let me tell you about my mischievous brother. He will do anything to tease and aggravate me. I said "aggravate" aloud a few minutes ago, and he said, "Now, you are going to write something about me." "Yes," I answered, "I'm only going to describe you." While I was writing, I stepped aside to pick up a paper, and when I returned, he was reading my letter. I gave his ear a twist, which made him get away in a big hurry. All of the mischief he does, doesn't make me cease to love him, for I love him dearly, dearly. My chum says she is going to write and vote for the cape jasmine. Cousin Paula Evans, I sympathize with you very much, for I thought I would lose one of my precious brothers last year. One of my brothers and two of my sisters are dead. I enclose 10 cents for the Sam Houston monument. Peggy, you have never eaten any of Herbert Taylor's, Genevieve Myrdock's and Joe Farmer's letters, have you? If you have, I guess they choked you. Robert E. Moore, you wrote a nice letter.
GUINNIE HANNA, Kerby, Hill Co., Tex. -- Peggy and cousins: I have just finished reading some of the cousins' letters in The News, and like them so much. Come again, Seipha Jolly. I saw your letter in the Cozy Corner, and it makes me think of my old home, as I once lived in Decatur, Ala., and have spent many golden hours there with my loving schoolmates. Speaking of flowers, my favorite flower here in the wild west is the buffalo clover. We have so many great things in the west, and so many different ways of living. Some in tent, and others in dugouts. Here is Miss Ludie, as she appears in my mind: Golden hair, blue eyes and fair -- a beautiful blonde -- and in height, tall, and weighing 95 pounds, imitating a broomstick dressed up! Now, Peggy, if you eat this letter, I won't write to you any more.
EDMUND TAYLOR, McGregor, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: As the pleasant opportunity presents itself to me, I grasp my pen and give it a vigorous scrubbing, to get the rust off, and to give myself time to collect my scattered thoughts. I fear it will be a very sorry letter, as it is my first attempt to write for the paper. So, I will not be surprised if Peggy gets this one. I began reading this charming department a little over three months ago, so I am not very well acquainted with the writers. I am a stranger in your midst, but pardon me, please, I wish to ask the "Queen of the Moon" to come again, for I do love to read letters like hers. I see that the greater part of the cousins have a favorite author. Alas! I have not had the pleasure of reading after any great author, so I don't know much about literature. I have read some from Irving, Longfellow, Poe, Holmes and Scott. I am a great lover of historical works. I love to read about men who won world-wide fame for their bravery. I love to read about the great battles that have been fought in our country, and those fought across the sea, and of naval exploits that have caused nations to stand still with anxiety. I love to go with the explorer into the wilds of Africa. I love to be with him on his hunts, when he is after the huge elephant, the timid antelope, the mighty tigers, and when he creeps on all-fours through the dense jungles and canebrakes, looking for the king of the African forest, when he barely escapes some blood-thirsty beast. I love to be with him on the Nile, the grandest river on the globe, and when he is on the turbid flood of the Amazon, the king of rivers. Indeed, I love all historical books. I love fiction, but have read very little. I want to get "Ben Hur" and read it. I am told that it is a splendid book. I will tell the cousins something about where I live. I live three and a half miles from McGregor, on the Cotton Belt railroad, and half a mile west of Comanche springs. Comanche springs are very beautiful, and furnish a great deal of water for the stock. People haul water from them the year round. Two hundred yards west of the springs, is a large church house; fifty yards west of the church, is a schoolhouse. There were several stores at Comanche before McGregor was founded. Not long ago, I went down to Moffat to see old friends and associates. While there, I went upon the Indian Bear mountain, so called because on it, is painted an Indian shooting a bear. It was painted there in 1874. Some of the cousins have written on the evils of intemperance. Let me add my plea for temperance. I think intemperance has caused more harm than any other evil in existence, and I think the boys and girls should array themselves against this monster that is causing our brightest hopes to be blasted, and woe, sorrow, want and starvation go hand in hand through this beautiful land. The whisky traffic is one of the blackest curses that ever stained a civilized nation. The whisky traffic is like a slimy serpent that has wound its deadly coil around this nation, from Maine to California, poisoning everything that it comes in contact with. Before it spreads the garden of paradise, with all that is beautiful and good, but behind it, is misery, remorse, want, sorrow, desolation and death. Men that have studied this subject say that intemperance has caused more death than war, famine and pestilence combined. Many a mother is called to the penitentiary to see her boy; many a man is brought to the gallows; many a home, where peace, love, joy and happiness once were, is now filled with suffering, want, woe, misery and starvation; many a girl, who was once the pride of a mother's heart, is ruined and brought to a disgraceful grave -- all on account of strong drink. Then, I say, boys and girls, let us form a league and resolve that we will not enter the saloon, but on the contrary, do all we can to overturn them. When this is accomplished, we will have the best country on earth. I am in my teens, yet.
RAY HILL, Blossom, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Dear Cozy Corner cousins: It has been some time since we met to tell each other of the good times we have had, as well as to speak of the long and sweltering summer. Oh, how hot and dry it was! But, this is all in the past now, and we have soft and balmy sweet September, and the latter part of the month, at that. Cousins, how I have longed to be with you. No doubt, many of you have spent the summer in other and more pleasant clime. Doubtless, some went to the seashore, where I have always longed to go. I want to hear old ocean roar. They tell me that you can, by putting a conch shell to your ear, hear the roar and splashing of the great waters. I am told, too, that away out from land, many miles, that one can see with the eye sufficient to satisfy the mind that he world is of a globular form. Now, will not our young friend, who has just crossed the great waters, Mr. Kelly, I believe, and who hails from Dallas, tell us all about great old ocean and of the great sea-going vessels that cross it? No doubt, others of the cousins went to the mountains of Colorado and some to the Yosemite valley, where, it is said, the greatest scenery of the world can be seen, and climate and temperature that rivals our own Texas -- such as we have in May and September. Surely now, cousins, no country under the sun can beat our own dear Texas now. Doubtless, some of the cousins spent the summer with kindred and friends, but as for your little scribe, she had to stay at home and help mamma, and much of the time was rattling the kettles and the pots. Although this was one of the hardest times I ever knew to get something good to eat, yet I managed, like some one of the cousins, to have cornfield peas when nothing else could be had. Cousins, I have been absent a long time from the corner, but it was my fault, having sent a communication and not complying with the imperial demands of Mr. Big Hat. While Mr. Big Hat's word is law, yet, he has been very kind and obliging to the Corner, for which I, for one, feel very grateful. Some of the cousins are talking about books, and I say we should be very careful about what kind of books we read. The Bible should not be allowed to get dusty on the book table. This should be first of all books. Next should come the lives of the men who have made America such a grand nation. I am inclined to think that we have no such man now, as we had at the beginning of our government, and you might say from the days of Sir Walter Raleigh, up to the days of Gen. George Washington, and up to the time when Webster, Clay and Calhoun held the boards at our capital. So, cousins, let's study first the history of our country; read the lives of the grand men of America; think of such men as Wolff storming the heights of Abraham and his last words, "Do they fly?" Then, there is Lawrence, who said, after being shot down, "Boys, don't give up the ship; fight, and rather than be conquered, let the ocean be your grave and resting place, and let the waves sing a requiem, an anthem to the god of battles." And, then our own and only Washington, grand in all the walks of life, and who towers above ordinary men as the giant oak above little saplings. Then, we have many good and grand women. Miss Willard has done much to save the young men of the country from a life of bondage to the demon, drink. Cousins, I am now going to school at Lamar college. My sister, Lally Hill, teaches music in this school. We have several pupils from the Indian Territory. Many of the Indians come here in preference to other places, and some of the young men have graduated with honors.
GEORGE TOLAND, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have long been reading the interesting letters in the Cozy Corner, and have, at last, come to the conclusion that I would join the merry band. I live in one of the nicest cities of the United States, and am proud to tell it. We have the Gulf of Mexico, south of us, and the Galveston bay, north of us. The Gulf of Mexico is famous for the bathing, which is delightful in summer. We have people from all over the world here in the summer, who come to this city, just to go in the gulf. We have large ships coming in here every day, bringing goods and taking out wheat and corn and all sorts of merchandise. We have over twenty-two feet of water in the Galveston bay, so you see that a boat drawing twenty-two feet of water can come in and go out easily. We also have some fine buildings going up here, and have some fine buildings erected now, such as the Grand opera house, the custom house, the Ball high school (which was given to the children of Galveston by Mr. George Ball), the Rosenberg school (which was given to the Galveston children by Mr. Henry Rosenberg), the Medical college, the Sealy hospital (which was presented to Galveston by Mr. Sealy). We have a large building now in course of erected, known as the Sealy-Hutchings building. We have a population of about 30,000 people. We have about fifteen trains coming in and going out daily. We also have a work known as the jetties, which extends a great distance out into the water. We have ten electric car lines running through the principal parts of the city, with one large power house, which supplies all the power. I have four sisters. My mother is living, but my father died May 9, 1894. I had to stop going to school and go to work then. I have been working since the 1st of June, 1894. I am 15 years old. This is the first time that I ever tried to write to the Cozy Corner, so, if I do not see this in print, I will not be mad. I will have to get acquainted with Peggy, as I live in the same town with him; then, he will not eat my letters up. I would like, also, to become acquainted with Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet and all the cousins. I think that the sunflower will be a very pretty flower for our corner, and hope that it will be the future name for the Cozy Corner. Hiram Burns, I like flowers (and also like to raise them). Which one of the cousins can tell the cheer or yell and the colors of the university of Texas? I think the story published in the department some time ago, entitled "Dan's Speculation," was very interesting. If I get acquainted with Peggy, I will tell you all about him. Have any of the cousins ever read the song entitled, "Mother Keeps the Gate Closed Now"? I can sing it very well. I know lots of other songs that I learned with my sister.
GENEVIEVE MYRDOCH, Owlet Green, Van Zandt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Ask a woman what cooking means, or, if you wish a very decided and emphatic answer, ask a girl whose mother has gone on a visit and left her to be the "chief cook and bottle washer" for her father and a gang of growing boys. Oh, that everlasting cooking, which must always be done just when you are most anxious to do something else? You must get breakfast just when you feel that your future happiness depends on another half hour's sleep; and, no matter how interesting is the story you're reading, the peas must be put to boil at 10; and, when "old Sol" is taking his good night peep at our world, when all is still and quiet and you have seated yourself on the doorsteps to build "air castles in Spain," you hear the boys calling: "My gracious! Ain't you going to cook no supper?" What does cooking mean? Someone has said that it means "perspiration and desperation and resignation." Well, if you don't think it means the first, let me see you undertake to cook the peas and the ham, the potatoes and the corn and the bread and the pies, and have dinner ready just at 12. Why, I believe 'twould bring perspiration if the thermometer was down to zero! And, if you are doubtful about the desperation, undertake to do it, please, when you know the tax collector and county judge are coming home with your pa to dinner. The resignation -- well, I haven't reached that point yet. Willard Marl, do you know Walter Morton, another Texas boy, who writes to the Cozy Corner from Liverpool? I once knew Walter, and though I dare say he has long since forgotten me, I always read his letters with especial interest. Both of you write again. Cousin Joe Dawson, please accept my hearty congratulations. I am truly glad you won the prize, and sincerely hope that success may ever crown your every noble effort. Robert Scott, I'll not tell how nearly correct your pen picture is, except I'll admit I have brown eyes. The fact is, I've almost come to be proud of my eyes. I've been told so often, "Genevieve, your eyes are your prettiest feature." Some who have more admiration for truth than for me, perhaps, have said my eyes were my only redeeming feature. By the way, I want to tell you a little joke, which, while it may occasion laugh, may likewise "point a moral" to some of the Cozy Corner boys, who are given to flattery. While absent from home this summer, at a party one night, I was introduced to a very polite young gentleman. After talking a while on the weather and kindred topics, the conversation began to lag, but all of a sudden, he seemed inspired, like "apples of gold in pitchers of silver," the words flowed harmoniously from his lips in praise of black eyes. From the tone, I saw that the whole was intended for my edification, so "content and quite and quite absorbed I sat," until he wound up by asking if I wouldn't agree with him in what had just been said. Biting my lips to keep from laughing, I replied: "I have often wished my eyes were black, instead of brown." I wouldn't, for words, undertake to describe that fellow's feelings, cousins, but I do wish I'd had a kodak and could show you his face as it then looked. Dixie O'Neal, I am looking forward with pleasure to your next letter. 'Rah for the red nose!
MAIE BORDEN, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: If there is room for another little girl in your happy band, I will tell you something about a celebration that was held here. To the Mexicans, the 16th of September is the same as the 4th of July with us. Their independence was declared on the evening of the 15th of September, 1810, at 11 o'clock. On the evening of the 15th, there was a large band of music on the plaza in front of our hotel. The plaza was decorated with little flags and Chinese lanterns hung in the orange trees. The buildings around it were decorated with American flags and hundreds of jets of electric lights. At 9 o'clock, there was a Jamaica held in the statehouse. The Jamaica was a kind of fair, given for the benefit of the poor. The different booths were curtained off with silver poplar leaves strung together loose, like reed curtains. The silver leaves glistening in the lights of red, white and green made a very pretty sight. Many of the ladies attending the booths were dressed in beautiful Egyptian costumes with many necklaces and bracelets of bright bangles and large, heavy earrings. The flower girls wore lovely dresses of flowers, red and white roses and jasmines, with garlands of pretty Mexican cedar, making the national colors. The next day was the 16th, and the portals were decorated with garlands of red, white and green. Then, at night, crowds of people promenaded around the portals to the music of the bands placed in different parts of the city. The ladies went around one way, and the gentlemen came the other way, and bowed as they passed. That lasted until about 1 o'clock. During the evening, there were beautiful fireworks on top of the statehouse, representing a burning building, a bombardment and many other things. I think that the Mexicans show as much patriotism as the Americans in celebrating their national day. I am 10 years old.
AGNES WEATHERRED, Itasca, Hill Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been thinking for some time of writing to you again, but have put it off from time to time, and am still pondering on these grand and all important questions, "What to write and how to begin." Many excellent letters have been written to the Cozy Corner in the past few weeks, and the writers seem to be possessed with both skill and knowledge. That reminds me that I must speak of my vacation days -- how pleasantly they were spent in reading historical novels, with occasionally, a society one to break the monotony. Picnics, big meetings, horse-back riding and writing to friends, known and unknown, occupied some of my leisure moments, but these are pleasures of the past, to be treasured up in memory's casket. It seemed that I lived only to know the sweet vicissitudes of pleasure and repose. And, revelry and merriment seemed the business of every hour from morning until night. But, happier days than those are here -- "school days." I have recovered my tranquillity to resume my search for knowledge, which seems buried very deep. Our school began on the first of last month. The opening of our school was very interesting. Mr. Big Hat, I am going to choose the white rose, for white is the emblem of purity. It is used at the altar, and at the tomb, and is admired by both the young and the old.
JOHN S. FISHER, Cedar Bayou, Harris Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you all permit a southeast Texas boy to write to the Cozy Corner? The first thing, I'll describe my home. The house faces west. Two hundred yards west flows the beautiful bayou, for which this place is named. North are the pine woods, east, for five miles, lies the rolling prairie, and then comes Galveston bay. South lies what's known as Cedar Brake. Joe Farmer could not tell who the Minnesingers or Minnesangers were, or what songs they sang. Cousin Ludie Sanders, being that you are a girl, you ought to tell who they were. Well, Mr. Big Hat, I'll go to writing now. Twelve miles west of this place lies the most heroic spot in Texas. It is the famous battleground of San Jacinto. Every boy and girl in Texas ought to visit that spot, where eight brave Texans sleep under the sod; where sixty years ago, the 21st of last April, one of the most bloodiest battles ever fought in history, took place. I'll describe Herbert Taylor. He is 5 feet 11 inches high, weighs 165 pounds, has black hair, black eyes, dark complexion, and is a good-hearted boy, full of fun. Cousin Ludie is 5 1/2 feet high, weighs 106 pounds, has light brown hair, laughing blue eyes, fair complexion, and thinks lots of her books. She loves to help her mother, which I can't say for most girls. Well, Lantie, I'll cast my vote for the pure white lily. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins about my age, which is 18.
LILLIE KIRBY, Battle, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Long have the bright letters of the cousins afforded interesting and instructive reading for me, and I have often wished to become one of them, but for various reasons, I have delayed asking admittance. I am not like the most of the cousins; I haven't anything interesting to write about. But, I will try to tell you something the collision at Crush, which came off a short while ago. The great, prearranged collision, with all its grandeur and its attendant horrors, is history. Nearly every one in and around here who could get conveyance was in attendance, and nearly all who did not go were ready as soon as the story of [the] accident was told to say, "I'm glad I didn't go." "I knew it." I told you so." Well, some of us didn't know it. Some of us feared it, and stood away back upon the hill where we though we were too far for any flying debris to reach us, but even then, a dome, from one of the engines passed some 200 yards back of us. This was an exhibition of power and grandeur, such as I have never before seen exhibited by the works of man. As those two engines, with their whistle levers tied to the driving shaft, came rushing toward each other, screaming at every revolution of the wheels, it seemed that they were animate beings. One young lady was heard to say, "Oh, why don't some one stop them!" Then, when they came to the meeting point, perfect in shapes, peerless in speed, matchless in beauty, resistless in power, save from destruction, they were, one moment, the evidence of almost absolute perfection, the next, a mass of wreckage and ruin, attractive only from the evidence of the awful power that made it such. Was it not a magnificent exhibition of the way human souls will dash themselves to destruction if their passions and their pride be given full sway when the divine engineer has been removed from his seat at the throttle and safety valve of reason and conscience? We went to see it; we were glad we went; we regret its consequence; we do not want to go again. Cousin Lantie, I cast my vote, for the cape jasmine, for I think it the most beautiful. Miss Myrdock, Herbert Taylor and Lauretta Faust, come again; your letters are very interesting. Cousins, I have formed an idea of what kind of a girl I think Ludie is, and the boy, Herbert is. Cousin Ludie is not very tall and not very slender. She has straight, golden hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. She is industrious and willing to do any kind of work that is not dishonorable, if it is necessary that she should. She is very ambitious and wants to make something of herself. She is real smart, and I am quite sure she will study very hard and learn very fast at the boarding school she is going to attend. Herbert Taylor is not very tall, is slender, does not weight very much. He has black hair, gray eyes and a rather dark complexion. He is very jolly and lively. He loves his books and is very fond of reading. I am sweet 16.
Bells, Grayson Co., Tex. -- O, my! there is that obstinate Peggy,
just the minute I sit down. Just wait a minute, Peggy, and I
will go, but it has been so long since I have written to the
Cozy Corner, I am afraid the cousins won't know me. But, I will
vote for my favorite flower, anyhow.
It is the sunflower, with its characteristic name. I think it suits better than any I have seen. Cousin Gracie Bedford, are you the one that used to live at Cherry Mound? If you are, I would like to correspond with you. Mr. Big Hat, I regret that I did not get to join the literary contest this year, for I think it was so nice to write poems and essays. I joined the summer school last year and received a prize, which I appreciate very much. Cousins, I don't think we honor our grand old state enough. Think how many brave men died for it. Do you think we could do that much? Think of the fall of the Alamo, where so many of our brave men were killed. Travis asked his men how many of them would stay and fight for their state till they died, and every one said they would, but Rose. Cousins, don't you think that was more than we could expect of them? Which one of the Texas generals do you think you would like the best? I like them all, but I can't help but be a little partial to Houston, for his brave deeds. Willard Marl, come again. You do write such interesting letters. We are glad to have foreigners join our cozy band, and we will be glad to have your impressions of England. I have read some in the History of England, and I think I would like it. Ludie Sanders, J. W. Criddle, Florence Giddens, Joe Dawson and Lena M. Wise are my favorite cousins, while there are others that write very interesting letters. Dixie O'Neal, we are surprised at you being an inhabitant of the moon. We did not know we were known that far off. We have many more cousins than we know of. We have some from England, Mexico, South America, Washington, Chicago, California, Central America, and we welcome them all, yet, we love our dear Texas cousins. I am going to try to count our many cousins and tell you where they are from. Mr. Big Hat, I send 5 cents for the Sam Houston stone fund.
SARAH CREWE, Itasca, Hill Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and all of the cousins! How cool and pleasant it is! I do not see why everyone is not writing to the Cozy Corner. I read a letter to-day in The News from Dixie O'Neal. I know you, Dixie, but I did not know you were, at this moment, visiting the man in the moon. I have visited several of the planets, but never the moon, but I know it has beautiful scenery by looking at it from the planets. Whenever I reach the moon, I will give you all my idea of it. I have sat in Cassiopeia's chair, drank out of the big and little dipper, and have been in the fields of Orion. The milky way is composed of many stars. You can get a better view of it from the planets in the field of Orion. It looks to us here on earth like a white cloud, but as you go up higher, you will notice stars in abundance. The planets move like the earth, whirling on their axes. Why can we not see the stars in the daytime, as well as at night? It is said we can see the stars if we are in a deep well and look up. Mr. Big Hat, I think some of the little cousins that write to The News are about 40 years old. One from Dallas is, I think, as he remembers back in the "sixties," and remembers "the little old brick courthouse and the little frame Masonic hall that served as hall, meeting house and school house." But, we girls will welcome him in our social circle, as we live so far apart, that we can not see him flush and tremble. That is bad enough for girls to do. We will look for those descriptive letters in The News, in the near future. Cousin Ludie Sanders is a girl of 18 summers, five feet high, blue eyes, light hair, and will do her best to get an education. I think she will like literature best. As to Herbert Taylor, he is almost a man of 20 or more years, mischievous, and about six feet tall, with black hair and eyes. Cousin Lantie V. Blum, I cast my vote for the white chrysanthemum. Now, I must bid you buenos dias, as Miss Minchin is calling me, and she is so cross if I do not come at once.
SALLIE SELVINE, Waller, Waller Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: I have long been a silent admirer of this happy little band, but I can not keep quiet any longer. This is my first attempt to write to Cozy Corner, and I hope Peggy will not eat my letter. My papa has taken the News ever since I can remember, and I read the cousins' letters. I have four brothers and one sister. My sister has two little kittens for pets. My brother bought himself a pretty little colt. Its color is black. I am in the sixth grade and like to study. I will attend a college soon, if mamma lets me. I cast my vote for the Cape Jasmine. Sister Jennie says [she] votes for the violet. I believe in dancing and shall, if the weather is favorable, attend a feast and ball on the 6th of Oct. I am a German by birth, but go to an English school. We have a piano at home, and I am taking lessons, but it is quite difficult. How many of the cousins like music? I do. Success to the News.
LENA KENNY, Hammond, Robertson Co., Tex. -- I am a little girl just 11 years old. My mother moved to Texas twenty years ago. Mr. Big Hat and cousins, this is my first attempt to write to The News. The cousins are speaking about their pets. I have none, except two little kittens and a little dog. I am not going to school now, but will, in a short time. I have a gentle, old horse. I go riding every morning and evening all over the farm, without even a bridle. We live by the railroad, just one mile from town. Our house is built on a hill, surrounded with shade trees. We have a fine orchard on the east side of our house. We failed to raise any fruit this year on account of the hail we had on the 1st day of May. It destroyed all of the crops. We have a beautiful large lake on our farm. We are going to build a boat, and then I will have a nice time. I have some relatives in a far clime, that I sometimes wish to see, but they are so far off, I think I never will see them. They live in Canada, and I live in the southern part of Texas. I have a cousin just my age. She corresponds with the Cozy Corner. I will be happy to get acquainted with all the cousins. I have a little niece just 4 years old and she recites just beautifully.
R. STAFFORD BORDEN, Guadalajara, Mex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I thought that I would write to you and the cousins about a little trip papa and I took not long ago. We left here on the morning of Sept. 11, for a little town about sixty miles from here called Anuca. We went on a construction train. The train was to leave at 7:30 a. m., but didn't get off till about 10 o'clock, as they had a good many things to take to the workmen making the road. After we had traveled till 1:15 p. m., the train had gone as far as the end of the constructed line. The name of the town there is Refugio, and there we got into a big stage coach, with nine mules. Then, we rode a quarter of an hour, and the stage stopped at a little jacal. It was a little house made of adobe. There, we got a nice dinner. We had tortillas, frijoles, soup and eggs. Tortillas are Mexican pancakes made of corn, ground on a stone called metate. The metate is a gray stone with three legs. The leg in front is short, so when they grind the corn, it falls off into some kind of a dish. Our dinner cost 25 cents each. In one end of the room, the woman was making tortillas and cooking beans. The table was spread with a clean domestic tablecloth. While we were eating, several little pigs came in to pick up the crumbs, so as to prevent waste. After finishing our dinner, we told the senora goodby, got in the stage and went bumping along. Sometimes, the old stage would jump worse than a bucking horse. Then, I wished that we had taken horses instead of the stage. After we had managed to get within four or five miles of Anuca without tipping over, a man came along, dressed mostly in leather clothes. He came to help get us through the mud. Then, all the stagemen were hard at work. Two of the men had whips about sixteen feet long. At last, they pulled out. Along both sides of this road, we saw fine corn covering large fields. We found Anuca a small town and not very pretty. It is a mining town and not much else. There were trains of mules and burros coming in from the mines loaded with sacks of ore. There are many mines near the town. Then, we had a little mozo to show us the American hotel, where we had comfortable accommodations.
HELEN HARLAN, Reagan, Falls Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Please let one more little Falls county girl into your Cozy Corner. I am visiting my aunt, and am having a nice time, though, I am rather lonely without my little brothers to play with me. Aunt Alice says I am lots of help to her, but I can't do much, I'm sure. One time, when I was visiting Aunt Alice, she was very busy and told me to wash some potatoes and put them in the oven to bake. I washed them nice and clean, then put pan, potatoes, water and all in the oven. When aunt thought they were about done, she opened the oven door, and you may imagine her surprise to find a lot of boiled potatoes, instead of baked ones. Well, I'll know better next time. I was a littler girl than now. Bessie Smith, have you a sister Lena? Aunt Alice says she went to Waco female college with a Lena Smith of Whitney in 1890-91, and if you are as smart as Lena was, you'll "pass." Lena M. Wiese, your letter was very interesting to us. Uncle Charlie has seen the old block house springs and all the country thereabouts. I suppose you know my cousins who live near old Fort Sullivan. Papa, mamma, aunts, uncles and cousins went to the falls on the Brazos river in July and camped several days. It is a beautiful place. We had a lovely time wading in the river and eating fish. This county was named for these falls on the Brazos. My favorite flower is the pink rose.
KRIS ADARE, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: For a long time, I have read with varying interesting, the letters of the Cozy Corner, but for the first time, venture to put my correspondence powers to the test. I respond to Lantie Blum's urgent appeal for assistance for the sun flower. I heartily cast my vote for this stately flower, which blooms under the marked influence of "Old Sol's" smiles. I am really sorry I can not say, like a number of the cousins, that the "weather is so hot," as we are having a regular norther to-day. I delight in reading the cousins' letters, especially those of Audrey Hope, a recent excellent addition to the department. Pet Kelley, Lauretta Faust and many others too numerous to mention. I notice that several of the cousins are poetically inclined. I delight in reading poetry. Tennyson and Longfellow are my favorites. I am very glad of Ludie Sanders' good luck, and I am confident she will make use of the opportunity by diligently applying herself, remembering that "constancy is the secret of success."
COLE JACKSON, Albany, Shackelford Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Since I haven't been in any cozy place for quite a while, I will send my admittance. Will you not receive me? I have noticed how much the Corner has improved. "Little Men and Women," who can beat me picking cotton? I picked 179 pounds one day in September, and last year, I picked 224 pounds in one day. For fear Peggy gets this, I will ask a few questions and close, for I want Mr. Big Hat to be riding him when this comes. When and where was the first iron nail hammered into shape in the United States? Where did Abraham spring from, and who was his cousin? Who of the cousins can play the french harp and jews harps? I like the harp and fiddle and like to dance.
NANCY HUTCHINS, Strawn, Palo Pinto Co., Tex. -- I have come again to knock at the door of the Cozy Corner. I have not long to stay, but only come to see if Mr. Big Hat can make out without Peggy. I am sure all of the cousins would be willing for him to die. Would you not? I am of the opinion that Mr. Big Hat is an old bachelor, or that Miss Big Bonnet is his wife. I say Mr. Big Hat is 57 years old and Miss Big Bonnet is about 17. I have three brothers living and two dead, and two sisters, both living. I went to see my friends and kinfolks in Brown county in July and had a nice time. Some of the cousins do not believe in dancing. I do. I think there is as much fun in dancing as there is in shouting. I will ask a history question. Who was the first English discoverer of North America? Come again, Cousins Ludie and Rachel Sanders, and Herbert Taylor. I will cast my vote for the red, red red rose.
HATTIE BRADEN, Westphalia, Falls Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have long been a silent admirer of this happy band, but I can not keep quiet any longer, and if Peggy meets me at the door and takes my letter, I will try again. I do not see many letters that beat those of Pet Kelly, Herbert Taylor and Lauretta Faust. Some of the cousins say they don't believe in dancing. Well, I do. I don't see the least bit of harm in it. I think it a most enjoyable pastime, if not indulged in too much. Cousin Lantie, the flower I vote for is the fragrant cape jasmine. I will be very glad when school commences, for I love to go to school. I will be 14 years old in February.
BUDY HAVENHILL, Carlton, Hamilton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am a little boy 8 years old, and this is my first time to write to the Cozy Corner, so please don't let Peggy eat this, for I want Aunt Alice and Uncle Wallace to read my letter in The News. I have a little dog. We have a big time hunting rabbits. My papa takes The News and thinks it splendid. Papa and I think the little cousins' letters are fine. My school will soon begin, and I will surely be glad of it. I have one sister. She and I enjoy a great deal together. I help my papa plow and pick cotton. I expect a big time Christmas, for I am looking for Grandma Reynolds.
IDA BRADEN, Westphalia, Falls Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: Good morning to you all! I have been having a jolly time since I have written to the dear old corner. We had a nice rain here Friday, and it has been raining ever since. Everything was about to dry up. All of the stock water was getting scarce. Everybody was thankful for the rain. Some cotton gins stopped on account of the water being so scarce. My birthday will be the 3d of October. I will be 11 years old. I'll cast my vote for my favorite flower. It is the lovely cape jasmine.
Belle Carmichael, Acton, lily.
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