September 20, 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.
HERBERT TAYLOR, Monaville, Waller Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Little Mr. Big Hat: This weather is terrible warm, but I'm still well and fat.
INA ASHCROFT, Sulphur Springs, Hopkins Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have resisted the temptation just as long as possible, and now, as I am in the humor to chat a while, will proceed. Cousins, had you all realized that there was a poet in the Cozy Corner? But there! if we don't quit bragging on Mr. Taylor so much, he will be so vain, he will forget the Cozy Corner entirely. I believe him to be about six feet nine inches high, blue eyes and light hair. I will vote for my favorite flower, which is the cape jasmine. Cousins, I must tell you of a big bird stew I went to the other day. I got my pole and line and went down the creek to fish away from the crowd, and found a cozy little seat on a log that extended out over the rippling waters. And, as I sat there, almost asleep and dreaming, above my head were birds of all kinds and colors, sending forth their melodious sonnets and flitting from tree to tree. I felt a sudden jerk at my pole that pulled me into the creek. I gave one scream and was gone, and the third time, I went under, I was never seen again; there, I will have to say adieu!
AUGUST HARTMAN, JR., Arneckeville, DeWitt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my second time to write to the department. Herbert Taylor, I hope the next time you ride that old black buzzard, he will not go so far with you. I think you write the nicest letters. I will vote for the pansy, for it is my favorite flower.
MAGGIE GRAY, Honey Grove, Fannin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I desire to become a member of your most happy little band. I live on a farm about two miles from town. We take your paper, and I like it so much. I am 9 years old. I have one sister and one brother. Sister is 7 years old and brother is 2 years old, and just as full of meanness as he can be. I go to school in town. I am in the third grade. I am so glad school starts Monday. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins of my age.
PEARL CURTS, Ovilla, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will write a few lines to you to-day. My papa takes The News. I love to read the cousins' letters so well, that I thought some of the cousins might like to read my letter. I am 11 years old. We came from Oklahoma to Texas. Have any of you cousins ever seen any Indians? I have seen seven different tribes. I have seen the Cherokees, Kaws, Poncas, Iowas, Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws. The Kaws would come in town with their big red blankets on and their big red faces, and they would have blue and red pants on. The old women would sit down bare-headed in the hot sun. There was one old Indian man that had his hair saved off tight to his head, only right on top of his head, and he had that bobbed off, sticking straight up. I haven't time to tell you any more about the Indians this time, or Peggy will get my letter. Well, I must tell what my favorite flower is. It is the pink rose. Miss Big Bonnet, come again; you look pretty in your picture, with your new dress and cap, so we can see your face and little fat arms.
JOE E. RHEA, Forney, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a great reader of the Cozy Corner. But, this is my first letter to you. I have never seen a letter from any of my Forney friends, but hope to see a great many in the future. We have a great many nice boys and girls in our town and community. I have been sick about five or six weeks with typhoid fever, but am about well now. We had a nice shower this morning. We have two nice schools, four churches and a great many nice dwellings. Miss Lauretta Faust, Paula P. Evans, Charlie Russell and others, write splendid letters, and I hope they will come often. My father is in New York now. I miss him so much. My birthday was Aug. 3, but I was sick then. My age is between 10 and 15. I send best wishes to Mr. Big Hat and cousins.
PEARLE BRITAIN, Tulia, Swisher Co., Tex. -- Dear little cousins: After a long absence, I will try to have a chat with the cousins this evening. Well, how are you all enjoying these long, hot days? I am just enjoying it splendidly. Oh, my! it is hot enough out here to "bake lizards." I want to tell you about the reunion we had down on the canyon the 5th, 6th and 7th of August. It was on the old McKenzie battlegrounds, where McKenzie killed the Indians' horses and then surrounded the Indians and killed them. The horses were up on the hill and the Indians were down in the canyon, dancing the war dance. They called it the old soldiers' reunion. All the old soldiers got in line and then they called the roll to see how many of the old soldiers were there. They marched double file. After that, they talked and told about their experiences. We sure had a grand time. I wish all of the cousins could have been with us. Cousin Ludie, I am not a very good hand to plough, but I am "shoe" a boss cow puncher. Or, at least, I think so. I have had several hard falls, but have never had any serious wounds. Mr. Big Hat, please don't put this in the waste basket just because I come from the far, far west. I know I don't know very much, but I am willing to learn. So, I hope to see this in print. I send much love to Mr. Big Hat and all the cousins. Oh, I was just about to forget Peggy. Hurrah for the page entitled "Little Men and Women!"
WILLIE BELL NICHOLS, Rodgers, Bell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: I have never written to The News but once, and that was a good while ago, so, I thought I would write again. We are picking cotton now. We have about twenty acres of cotton and will make about five bales. We have about four out now. My father can not do any work. He has some kind of a heart disease. My grandfather lived with us until the 9th of last December, when he died. I went to singing schools this summer. Our school will begin about the 1st of November. I went to preaching yesterday morning and singing yesterday evening. I had a nice time at singing. I will answer Myrte Nelson's question. It was Hamilton . I will ask a question: What general rose from his sick bed to lead his army into battle? Why was Major Mollie so called? I would like to exchange songs with some of the cousins.
OLLIE MAY ROGERS, Bonner, Freestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come again, tapping at the door for admittance. I have written to the department once, but it has been such a long time ago, that I guess you all have forgotten me. How I do think the Cozy Corner is improving! That shows it is enlightening to the cousins to write to The News. We get The News twice a week and read very near all contained in it, except politics, and I never pay any attention to that. I especially like "Woman's Century," though, I think the Cozy Corner most entertaining. We are having some real dry weather in this part of the Lone Star state, but from the looks of the heavenly bodies, I think the earth will be quenched of her thirst by night. Some of the cousins speak on the subject of education. I think it is one thing all (especially boys) should endeavor to acquire. That is something that can not be taken away from you. Knowledge is power. It is the key that unlocks the warehouses of creation and opens to us the treasures of the universe. And, what would the world come to, if nobody strove to obtain an education? Why, we would become as bad or worse than the savages. The circumstances in which we are placed as members of a free and intelligent community demands of us a careful improvement of the means of knowledge which we enjoy. The public mind is awake, and society is on a scale of advancement. I think reading is a good exercise to the mind, and to those not altogether void of curiosity, furnishes a great source of enjoyment. A taste for useful books is an effective preservative from vice. They are the handmaids of virtue and religion. It is a consideration of no small weight that reading furnishes topics for interesting and useful conversations. Those who are ignorant of books must, of course, have their thoughts confined to very narrow limits. What has occurred in the immediate neighborhood, the idle report, the state of the market, furnish the source of their knowledge and the topic of their conversation. They have nothing to say of importance, because they know nothing of importance. Ludie Sanders, I fancy your letters. I know you are an industrious girl, from your letters. I imagine you have brown eyes and hair of a little lighter shade, and I imagine you are about five feet in stature and very stout built. As I see many of the cousins are voting for their favorite flower, I will say that I choose the modest violet. Did any of the cousins ever read the novel "Beyond Pardon?" I think it one of the saddest novels I ever read. How do the cousins like dancing? I am a dancing girl and would not quit dancing now for anything. I never tire of going to parties. As it has been so long since I wrote last, I suppose you all have forgotten how old I am, but I was 16 when I wrote last, and a year has elapsed since. I guess you can now guess how old I am. I want to help some on the Sam Houston memorial fund, and will send 5 cents. I tried to get the children at school to contribute to it, but they said it "was all a fraud," but I did not believe it. I have studied both kind of Texas histories about six years, and I think I know a great deal of Texas' former troubles. And, how I shudder when I think how mean the daring old Mexicans treated our forefathers! As I fear of intruding too long a letter, I will make my exit by asking a question: What can eat grass cleaner than a goose?
ETTA ATKINSON, Palestine, Anderson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have just finished reading the Cozy Corner. How much the cousins have improved since last I wrote! If I haven't written in some time, I have eagerly read the letters each week and have noted with satisfaction, the rapid progress made by most of our writers. I am real glad to know that we have a poet in our midst. Herbert, I suppose you will compete for the poem prize. Now, Cousin Joe T., don't talk so much about the warm weather. You know very well that you are not using a quart of dish water for a cerebrum. If you were, we would not get such splendid letters from you. Florence, if you descriptive article is as good as your letter, you will be sure to win the prize. I must vote before I forget it. Lantie, my favorite flower is the cream rose. I, like Cousin Joe Farmer, believe that we should early in life, select an avocation and gradually work toward it. Ever since I was a small child, it has been my aim to be a good teacher. I am now 18 and have successfully taught two terms. I will begin my third term about the middle of October. The school pays $40 per month, and will continue for about five months. So you see, Mr. Big Hat, I am not entirely dependent on my papa. I have always wished that I had a brother of my age, but Lauretta is about to make me feel glad that I haven't any. Hattie, don't become discouraged any more, for you well know that a girl who can write such interesting letters can master the art of swimming. Miss Big Bonnet, I know the little folks are glad when you take your brother's place. Cousins, did you ever attend a camp meeting? There is one going on at Brushy Creek, a place about five miles from here. I went yesterday. Ludie, I am so glad that you have such a generous brother. I wish that I was going with you to school. I would like so much to correspond with you. I know it would benefit me a great deal. Lawrence Fountain, why is it that you do no write?
[Mr. Big Hat's
WILLIS BUTLER, Wharton, Wharton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: If you will permit a stranger to join your social circle, I will step in and chat for a moment. I have been quite sick, but am convalescing now, and one of my pleasures is when some one reads the spicy letters from the Cozy Corner to me. I laughed heartily over that big boy's ride on the buzzard; hope he will take another trip soon and let us hear all about it, but if he doesn't mind, next time he'll swallow the whale. Lauretta Faust, you wrote an interesting letter, but I hope you won't get your wish "that a cyclone will strike all the French harps and blow them into billions," for it is so inspiring these warm evenings to sit on the piazza and listen to the sweet strains of music floating out upon the air from these little instruments, played by a negro boy as he promenades the street, happy as happy can be. How I sympathize with that poor fellow whose brain has been floating about in dishwater this warm weather! I guess he's cooled off by this time, though, and is ready to send us another interesting letter. Yes, the weather is an inexhaustible subject. The moon and stars may change, the tides may ebb and flow, but this warm weather, it seems, has come to stay forever. Now, isn't that startlingly original? I want to tell you something about a trip I made once upon a time, when I was 7 years old. I boarded the train at Wharton and traveled all alone 400 miles to see my grandmother, who lives in eastern Arkansas. But, everybody was kind, and I arrived safely and spent five months out there, returning in October all travel-stained and tired, but glad to get back to the old Lone Star state, the land of my nativity. I intend to be a railroad man some day when I am grown up, and when little boys are on the train all by themselves, I'll be kind to them, just like everybody was to me.
W. L. GEORGE, Willow City, Gillespie Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Will you please let me join your merry band? I am just 16 years old. My given name is Lawrence. I like The News splendidly, although, I am a free silver boy, like most boys in the south. Well, it is very dry up here. Mr. Big Hat, you ought to see our pet coon. I would like to correspond with Miss Mamie Moore of Alvarado. Will some one tell me who was the first president of Mexico, and also of France? I am sorry Little Miss Big Bonnet's dolls didn't get to Europe.
FLOYD ELLISON, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is the second time I attempted to write to The News. My brother has a safety bicycle. I have but one pet; that is a cat. How many of the cousins are going to the Dallas Fair? I am. There are few of the cousins in Oak Cliff. The only letters I have seen are Fisher Rawlins'. I think Fisher's mother wrote his letter. I had a pet coon once, but it killed itself. My age is 11 years. The Oak Cliff public school begins Sept. 21.
ROBERT E. MOORE, Pittsburg, Camp Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Having heard of Herbert Taylor's famous buzzard ride (published in the Cozy Corner), it strikes me that I can give you an account of an exciting and thrilling adventure that I, in company with three other boys, had a few years since, while hunting the festive raccoon. It was a clear, starlit night in the month of July, when three boys left town to go hunting. We were to go out one mile from town and get a son of Ham to go with us, who, by the way, owned the pack of dogs we were to hunt with, about ten in number. He was a good hunter and a splendid chopper, which as all coon hunters know, is indispensable. After a brisk walk, we arrived at his house, and bailed him. But, instead of being ready as he had promised to be, he had sought his lowly couch, and was in slumbers deep. And, when one gets a cornfield negro boy like this one asleep, he is dead for the times, at least. But, we finally succeeded in arousing him sufficiently for him to halloo out through the crack in the door, "Who's dare?" We promptly told him, in no uncertain tone, and advised him to come on ,as we were ready to go on that coon hunt. He then came out in the yard and quieted his dogs, which, by the way, were making enough noise to arouse the seven sleepers. In reply to our question if he was ready to go, he said: "I ain't gwine nowhere dis night. Pa seed a big painter day before yesterday, right down dare on de creek, close to where you all wants to go hunten. Naw! you don't ketch me down dare." Now, we had heard of this panther, but we believed that it had just happened to pass through the country on its way to better hunting grounds. And, we had come prepared, as we thought, to kill even a panther. One of the boys had his older brother's winchester, and with our hunting ax and Jesse's chop ax and pack of ten dogs, we thought we would be invincible, and would not have objected to giving his catship a chase. But, Jess (that was the negro's name) evidently thought differently. At last, after many bribes and much moral suasion, coupled with the promise to let him tote the gun, we got his dubious consent, and amid the tooting of horns and barking of dogs to get up enthusiasm, we hurried off before Jess could back out. After walking about a mile further, we came to our hunting ground, which was a creek bottom with large cornfields in the near vicinity, all in the roasting ear, and which Jess said the coons were eating. So, tooting our horns and loosening the dogs, with lusty shouts, we entered the deep, dark woods in search of the sly old coon. But, one could easily see that we were inclined to be skittish, as each and every one of us tried to walk in the center of that crowd; and, we firmly believed in the old adage that "united we stand, divided we fall" (to running). But, we marched bravely along, bragging and boasting of what we would do in case we should tree the panther. Jess, who was awful brave, since he had got that winchester, was telling us which eye he was going to shoot him in, and how we would get him home, etc., when Old Blue, the lead dog of the pack, struck a trail, which Jess, after listening a moment, said was a coon's. Soon, the whole pack was in full cry, and we, forgetting our fear, in our enthusiasm, were doing our best to keep within hearing. Over hill and dale, through brush and bramble, the chase led us, and then back to the swamp again. On gaining a little knoll, we stopped to listen for the dogs, but, to our intense disappointment, they had lost the trail, and, had scattered along the creek hunting for it. Old Brer Coon had evidently given them the slip. Jess had unslung his horn to call them off, and start them off again, when, all at once, Old Blue gave an unearthly howl, and ran backward from an old hollow stump about four feet high and about forty steps from where we stood. A muffled scratching sound emanated from the stump, and this drew the other dogs, and soon, the woods were echoing with their deep baying. But, with all the "sic-ing" and whooping we could do, we could not get those otherwise brave dogs to get any nearer than within ten feet of that old stump. And, when they did get that close, the scratching sound would commence gain, and they would back away with every hair standing straight, barking with all their might. We, at once, supposed that we had the panther treed, and oh! how we longed to kill or capture him! But, who was to go up first? None of us dared to, so after a hurried consultation, we decided we would shoot through the stump with the rifle, and kill him as he jumped out. So, Jess leveled his gun and pulled the trigger. But, lo! no sound emanated from the gun, but the click of the hammer. He took it down and examined the magazine, while we waited in breathless suspense. He then said in a voice hoarse with fright and in graveyard tones, "Dis yere gun ain't loaded. And, if you ain't got no cortiges, I am bound to leave dis place, shore!" We made a vain search for cartridges in every conceivable pocket. Then, we realized the crushing fact that we had been lugging an empty gun around to kill panthers with! We held a caucus forthwith and instanter, over the question as to leaving his catship in full possession or staying and seeing it out. Jess unanimously in favor of leaving at once, and would have done it, but was afraid to leave the crowd. After much talking, the majority overruled the minority, and decided that we should cut a big club a piece, build up a big fire and see if we could run the big cat out and let the dogs kill him. After about one hour's very hot and hard work, we got everything ready. (The dogs were all the time baying as if they had a grizzly bear treed.) We, with our clubs, axes and chunks of fire, advanced upon the stump, but, as we got within seven feet of the stump, the scratching commenced again, and strange to say, the boy who said he was going to see the contents of that stump or die, was the first one to run back to the fire. And, the rest of the crowd wasn't left far behind, dogs included, for we all ran. After guying each other till we were heartily ashamed of our cowardice, we resolved we would see into that stump, if it took all night. We were getting braver, as we had not seen anything, and thought perhaps it might be a den of young panthers, and if we could only get them, we would be well paid for our trouble. So, cutting larger clubs and getting more fire, we advanced again with dogs in front, and we following close behind, with our axes and clubs drawn, and our hearts filled with a determination to bring things to a focus. We got up within six feet this time before the scratching commenced, and then we made a brave stand and waited for the coming prey with bated breath and hair that stood up like the quills of a porcupine (that is, all except Jess, who was so frightened, that upon the spur of the moment, he sprang up a sapling close by and did not stop till he had got to the tip-top). Upon looking around and seeing him thus safely ensconced in his elevated position, we asked him to look in the stump and see what it was. After peering around a little, he said he could not see anything, but to "throw a chunk agin that stump." We promptly did so, and the scratching, muffled sound came louder than ever, and to our intense amazement, Jess broke out in prolonged horse laugh, which so affected his position in the sapling, that he fell with a sickening thud. He, however, got up at once, still laughing, after feeling to see if he had broken any bones. His examination proving satisfactory, he proceeded to laugh as before. We now supposed that we had a raving lunatic on one hand, and a panther on the other, and were getting ready to leave in short order, when Jess having sufficiently controlled his risibles[?], said: "Boys, we is de biggest fools in de worl'. Tain't nothin' but young turkey buzzards" Who-ah-ha-ha! " And, he went to laughing again. We went up and looked, and sure enough, nothing more savage than three young buzzards about the size of ducks were there. Whenever one made a noise close to the stump, they rose up and flopped their wings, thinking it was the parent bird bringing food. And, that was the scratching sound we heard! To say that we were sold would be putting it small. We took turns kicking each other for the next five minutes, and after solemnly agreeing not to tell any one of our hair-breadth escape, we wended our way homeward, jolly, but sold out boys.
MAZIE TURNER, Belton, Bell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and little cousins: My papa is a subscriber of the Semi-Weekly News. I have been reading the little children's letters a good while, and as I have never seen any letter from here, I thought I would write. My papa has been gone nearly all of the summer, canvassing for Baylor Female college. He has been all over the state and has got a good many students. Belton public schools open to-morrow. Baylor opened last Wednesday, with quite an attendance. How is little Miss Big Bonnet? I wish she would have her picture put in the Corner. I would like to much to see it. Tell her, if she will give me her address, I will correspond with her. How old is she? My age is 11 years. I will be in the fourth grade when school opens. I like to go to school. My little baby sister is awful sweet. Is Peggy well? I hope he will be in the pasture when this reaches you.
OLIVE HIGHTOWER, Columbus, Colorado Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I am again to tire you with an uninteresting letter. As Cousin Joe Farmer says, I think every one has something to say of this dry, hot weather. It is so dry and hot out here, that there is hardly a sprig of green grass to be seen. Gardens are all dried up and the fruit just shriveled all up and fell off the trees before it began to get ripe. School begins in about three weeks and I will certainly be glad. Miss Big Bonnet, my little sister enjoyed your letter very much and would like for you to come often. What has become of Nell Morris, Wilhelmine Clark, Odis Riddle, Marie Taylor, Thomas Stewart, Ludie Sanders, Pet Kelly and others? Come again, absent ones. Mr. Big Hat, I think that it would be nice to have an emblem for our corner. I will vote for the white chrysanthemum. Mr. Big Hat, you choose some appropriate motto, and perhaps the cousins will agree to my plan, which is to have a motto for our department. Lantie V. Blum, I should pity you if you had to hire 200 clerks to help count the votes, for I am afraid it would be injurious to your health. Mr. Big Hat, when will you announce the names of the successful contestants in the prize contest? I must close, and perhaps the next time I come, I will tell you of a runaway I was in.
[Mr. Big Hat's
LEE SYPERT, Rogers, Bell Co., Tex. -- Pleasant greetings to Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet, the cousins and Peggy! You know I must put Peggy in, for I expect her to get most of my letters. Before going further, I must congratulate Mr. Big Hat on his nice page. Every one has a good word for the page, even if they do differ in politics from The News. As to my opinion of Ludie Sanders, I should imagine she is rather low, with light hair, blue eyes and light complexion and weighs 120 pounds. Has a low, broad forward [forehead], just right for sense. She is a very bright, intelligent girl, who can be quite funny when she wishes to be. One thing I know about her, that she writes very, very good letters to The News. As for Herbert Taylor, his cousin, Frank Assiter, has described him in The News. His poetry is very nice, and his letters, also. Come to think about it, cousins, I wonder if Florence Giddings [Giddens] is the "Maid of Dundee," and where is the "Highland laddie?" You write nice letters, Florence. When are we to be honored by a visit from you again? I trust you will not keep us waiting long. And, where is Nell Morris? (my favorite.) Have you deserted us entirely? Put on your thinking cap and tell me something equal to the "Mischievous Norther." My brother and cousin started this morning for Waco to enter Add-Ran college. I expect they will learn more meanness than anything else. I wanted to go with them, but not being so fortunate as Ludie Sanders (no half brother to send me), didn't go. A little excursion party from this country, consisting of two of my aunts, three of my cousins and myself, started to Salado to examine the schools. My uncle wanted to rent a house there, and my sister and I were going to stay with him and go to school. While going, some traveled in wagons and some, in surreys. I preferred the wagon. I could not describe the fun we had while going and coming. Enough to say my uncle did not get a house, and therefore, I will not go there to school. Cousins, have you ever read "Scottish Chiefs" and "Children of the Abbey?" If so, how do you like them? I have read them and I like both very much. In reading "Scottish Chiefs," doesn't Sir William Wallace remind you of the father of our country, George Washington? I have read the "Lady of the Lake," but do not like it very much. I think "Maud Muller" one of the grandest poems I ever read. I like good poetry, but I think if there ever was a poet that made a failure, it was Edgar A. Poe. Oh, I must vote for a flower for our page, so will cast my vote for the white chrysanthemum. Hattie Simmons, my sister was so infatuated with your letter, that after we had read the page and were talking about the letters afterwards, I would remember some paragraph that I liked in the letters, and ask her who wrote it. She would say: "I think that Simmons girl wrote that." I asked her if that "Simmons girl" wrote everything. She said she didn't know, but you wrote a good letter. You, the "Simmons girl," and Gene Myrdock, the "persimmon girl," both write good letters.
ROXIE HORTON and FRANKIE P. WATT, Bazette, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet: Here we are, casting our vote for the almond blossom. We are both "April bees." We send a verse written by Edwin Arnold:
We are sitting on the roots of a very large tree on the bank of a small ravine. The limbs of the tree reach across to some small trees on the other bank and make us a very pretty house. On either side, is a natural swing, which we use for hammocks. Now and then, we catch a glimpse of the setting sun through the green branches, and, at our feet, are pretty little pebbles, which the sun's rays make to glitter like diamonds. We are having a very long dry spell, and many families are hauling water. I (Roxie) am 11 years old. I (Frankie) am 10 years old. When we visit each other, we take our dolls with us. We are not going to quit playing with them for a long time, and mean to make the "bridge" between our childish plays and women's days a long one, for you see, when we are "grown up," we will have to stay "grown up" and can't get back to our make-believe houses and dollies, so we mean to enjoy play while it lasts. But, cousins, don't think we are all play and no work, as we are the oldest child in our homes. Our mammas see that we have plenty to do to keep us from getting idle. Mr. Big Hat, we inclose 2 cents apiece for yours and Miss Big Bonnet's pictures.
FRANK NEWMAN, Floresville, Wilson Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I come again, after an absence of some time. I have been picking cotton all the week, and as this is Sunday, and I have nothing to do, I thought I would write a few lines to the dear old News. Papa takes The News, and I don't think there was ever a better paper published. I have four sisters, three at home and one married. Cousins, I have been to a dance, social and a picnic, all at the same time. I think Mr. Big Hat would have killed himself laughing if he could just have been there. The boys would not dance with two of the girls, and they went off and hid, but we had plenty without them. I will give you a riddle: What is it that walks on four legs in the morning, three at noon and two at night? The sun is changing its bright hue to a red in the far west, which announces the coming night.
DALE NELSON, Mansfield, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I will try to write you all another letter. I see so many interesting letters, that I can't keep out. When I see a good letter (written, no doubt, by some good cousin), I always say to myself, "Why can't I write like that cousin?" Mr. Big Hat, don't you tell anybody. I am "ugly 18," so, you see, I have plenty of time to learn in, and lots to learn, too. Well, I live in the country, and I know what a country life is. Often, while out in the new ground, hard at work, I think of all the great men who have made a fortune, as well as famous names. Such men as Edison and Shakespeare, and others that could be named. Mr. Big Hat, find inclosed a 2-cent stamp for you and Little Miss Big Bonnet's pictures. As to the flower contest, I will vote for the velvet rose.
DICK and NICK CHURNDASHER, Cedar Bayou, Harris Co., Tex. -- Well, Mr. Big Hat and cousins, will you all permit two boys, who are twin brothers, to join the Cozy Corner for a few minutes' chat? I (Dick) will tell you what kind of a looking chap my bud is. He is 5 feet 7 inches high, with dark-brown hair, laughing blue eyes. He is 17 years old. To tell the truth, he is a fine-looking "kid." I am altogether different from Nick. I have black hair, black eyes, and, of course, am the age of my twin bud. An uglier boy never lived. We will tell you of one of the trips we took last fall out to Colorado. The first thing Bud did was to kill a bear, skin it and wrap up in the hide. He went over to the cave to wait for the cubs to come out to meet their ma. But, I'll not tell you what he did when another old bear crawled out of the cave to see what the racket was about. But, if he had not killed the bear, I guess he would be out in Colorado yet. Next time we write, we will tell you of the trip we took to Dallas to see Mr. Big Hat. If you cousins do not leave Peggy alone, Bud says he will do you like the bear did him. You must leave him (Peggy) alone, for I know him well. He is just as good a mule as most boys are. Peggy, don't eat this letter, please, for your old friend's sake. I tell you, a mule will live always to get a chance to kick your head off.
MAMIE JOHNSTON, Willis, Indian Territory > Marshall Co., Okla. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: My! My! How the department has improved! It has been a long time since I visited the corner, so long, that I am afraid you have forgotten me. But, if you will just let me have that nice rocker over there by the open window, I will make you a short visit. Thanks! It is absolutely necessary for me to have a cool place this dreadfully warm weather, if my chatter is to be entertaining. I heard Mr. Big Hat say both old and young were welcome to the Cozy Corner, so, I will just come in and "old maid." Now, I did not say I was one, but Mr. Big Hat insinuated that I was, when I wrote my first letter. You can imagine my feelings better than I can describe them, but time has nearly "healed the wound." You know, there are several kinds of old maids. Now, if I do give a little advice once in a while, I am not one of the scolding sort. So far, I haven't found anything to scold about. But then, it has been almost a year since I read The News, so am not very well acquainted with some of the cousins. I was wonderfully surprised to learn one of the cousins had developed into a whale and buzzard rider, also a poet. I imagine the former has an element of danger in it, it surely must be a thrilling experience. Herbert, I advise you to be very careful this warm weather. I would think a ride near old Sol would be a little bit uncomfortable. It might accidentally injure your brain. If such a misfortune should befall you, methinks there would be several broken hearts in the Cozy Corner. I know your interesting letters would be missed. Your letter in rhyme was good, and proves you have a warm spot in your heart for our little feathered songsters. I saw several good letters from new cousins. One from Joe Farmer brings to my mind, a Joe Farmer who wrote to the Louisville Courier-Journal. We had some splendid letter writers to that old paper, and Joe was one of our most "brilliant" writers. He went to McKinney, Tex., from Tennessee. Perhaps our Cozy Corner Joe is a nephew of his. If so, and he improves much, he will be as grand a writer as his "uncle." What has become of Jesse Harman? I hope he has met with as good luck as Ludie; if so, I congratulate them both. Wallpaper A. Shinplaster, will you and Patsy Goodenough please explain why you bear such heavy names? Poor children! I feel sorry for you both. You write good letters. Ah, there comes a delightfully cool breeze from the east, with a dark cloud behind it. I do wish it would rain, cool the atmosphere and settle this eye-destroying sand.
We'll certainly appreciate them. Poor suffering humanity! I trust all feel this life-giving breeze. Joe Farmer, if you were here, you would be more than overcome with "lukewarm stupidity." It would be boiling hot, and as for a quart of dishwater for a cerebrum, well, you would deem yourself fortunate after a few hours spent in this sweltering place, if you had a pint. That is why I am making such an utter failure with my little speech, when I thought to make it so entertaining. I have lost all power to maintain control or concentrate my thoughts on any one subject. I see the cousins are voting for their favorite flower. I will cast my vote for the modest little violet. It is, of all flowers, my favorite (and, I am a passionate admirer of them all). So, let this fragrant blossom, our emblem be, for truth, sweet remembrance and purity. If you want to make me supremely happy, just invite me into your flower garden.
Hush! I think I heard one of the girls say something about two or three brothers like her own running us crazy. Now, I have two or three, and I know something about how tormenting they can be. You know there is an old adage that "as the boy treats his sister, so the man will treat his wife." don't appropriate the easiest chair in the room and leave them to take the foot-stool. Don't go into the room that they, with industrious hands (for you know that we are all industrious), have made tidy and scatter things right and left, so it resembles nothing so much as a curiosity shop, and then wonder what in the name of common sense your sister is scolding about. Oh, boys (and girls, too), be kind to your parents. Don't get impatient when they give you the advice you need. Don't be in such a hurry to leave the old home. And, when you do leave it, don't forget your promise to try to lead the life a Christian should lead, and prepare to meet those dear parents in a brighter, happier home. Well, I didn't care to preach a sermon, so I guess that will do for this time. I see just the tiniest frown, indicating impatience, on Little Big Hat's brow, so will give this pleasant seat to some one else, and, if my visit has added to the enjoyment of the cousins, I will come again, if I can find room to get in. It is, indeed, a cozy place, and the many smiling faces peeping from its doors and windows seem to say "Come in." With a kind word to all, I will wend my way homeward.
LUCIE L. LOFTIN, Tyler, Smith Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have just been reading some of the letters in The News, and I would like to be one of your little members of the Cozy Corner. I want to know how much you charge to enter the Cozy Corner. My age is 12 years. I am a native Texan, raised in Smith county.
[Mr. Big Hat's
BUENA LUCKIE, Sonora, Sutton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and new cousins: If you will admit me and be patient, I will call on you again. I will stay but a few minutes. I promised to tell you all about my home, or rather, the place where we live. It is Dr. Jones' place, but it is my home, as long as we live here. It is nine miles from Sonora and fifteen miles from Eldorado. We live on the edge of a prairie. Dr. Jones owns three wind mills and has about twenty-eight sections in pastures. Sonora has three stores, besides some smaller ones; two saloons, three blacksmith shops, one saddle shop, two barber shops, one drug store, one postoffice, three hotels, one good graded school, a courthouse and a jail. Sonora has only been started eight years. Everybody in this county has wind mills. Sonora has several, but one affords nearly all the water. It is situated on a hill on the north side of town. I will start to school next month. I am in the sixth grade. I want to ask some Texas history questions: When was the battle of San Jacinto fought? and what was the battle cry? Who was elected president in 1841? I think the cousins are doing a great thing for Sam Houston, but I don't think he is the only Texas hero that deserves praise.
ANNIE POWERS, Elliott, Robertson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little girl that wants to join the Cozy Corner. My brother takes The News and I read all the cousins' letters. The letters get better every week, and I think all the cousins should thank Mr. Big Hat for being so kind as to give us a page in his useful paper. Mr. Big Hat, I will vote for the white rose, as I think it is the queen of all the flowers. Our school will start next month, and I will be so glad, because I like to go to school. Now, Peggy, if this is not good enough to be published, just eat it, for I know you would not eat anything that was fit to be published. Peggy, if you wrote that letter some time ago, it did very well for a mule like you. Miss Big Bonnet, when Mr. Big Hat goes to feed Peggy, you get in his chair and be editor this week. I will inclose a 2-cent stamp for Miss Big Bonnet's photograph. I am 12 years old this week.
PAULA P. EVANS, Nocona, Montague Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and all of the cousins: This is a bright, sunshiny August morning, and though it has not been very long since I visited the Cozy Corner, still, I am going to write again. We had a very good rain here a few days ago, and now it is not so warm as it has been. Little Cousin, Herman Grammar, I am sure I can sympathize with you in the loss of your little brother, for only two weeks ago, on Aug. 17, my own precious brother, Guy, who once wrote to the Cozy Corner, died. I have had three brothers, and they are all dead now. Cousin Lantie, I like your idea of selecting a department flower, and I believe the lily would make a good emblem. I like the lily because it is so modest and sweet, and spotlessly white, and I hope that the soul of every one of the cousins is as pure and undefiled as this sweet flower. Mr. Big Hat, I suppose you received the story I sent for the Summer School. I mailed it on Aug. 15. Herbert Taylor, I imagine you are nearly six feet tall, have merry blue eyes, and curly, dark hair. You are a very mischievous boys, and I think you like to tease your brothers and sisters, if you have any. I guess you weight about 140 pounds. You surely must have a very vivid imagination, and you are poetic, too. And, Ludie, well, I hardly know what to say about her, for I haven't thought much about how she looks. I expect she has dark eyes, but rather light hair, and I think she has a very fair complexion. I imagine she weighs something over 100 pounds, and is about 15 or 16 years of age. I know she is eager to learn, and I am sure she will make the most of her time and opportunities when she goes to college. Well, I guess you are all tired of this dull, uninteresting letter, so, I had better make my exit.
[Mr. Big Hat's
JESSE G. LOCKE, Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins (Peggy, too, if need be):
The greater part of Texas was once the bed of an ocean. Scientific men have been looking into the crust of Texas and find it wonderfully interesting. The stone bodies or fossils are among the rarest and finest in the United States. Texas is naturally divided into four distinct regions. First, the eastern, or timbered region, is the end of a great line of timber which follows the Atlantic ocean and Gulf of Mexico, reaching about 100 miles into Texas. This timber belt, 500 miles in length, is made up of long leaf or yellow pine, known over the world as making the best lumber for building purposes, the short leaf or loblolly pine. On its western edge is a great variety of hard woods. From 200 to 600 feet above the Gulf of Mexico, east Texas is a rolling, upland country, well watered by living streams. Second, the prairie region lies like an open sea, reaching from Red river to the coast country, and from the timber belt in the east, to the high plateaus of western Texas. Equal in size to three large states, this part of Texas is deeply covered with dark, rich soil. The principal rivers of Texas run through it in a southeasterly course to the gulf. The beds of sand and clay so hold the water, as to make the edges of the river banks the natural home of the most luxuriant ferns, whose exquisite beauty can not be surpassed. The land is a succession of rolling prairies, perfectly drained, fringed with hard wood timber in the river bottoms, such as bois d'arc, which is almost everlasting when used under or above ground. Third, lying along the gulf shore for 400 miles, the level coast prairie stretches inland from 50 to 100 miles. Farther than the eye can reach, the prairies extend, carpeted with green grass, thickly dotted with gay flowers. They have the appearance of vast parks. Fourth, but not least, is the staked plains and western mountains. At, and beyond, the headwaters of the largest Texas rivers, they sharply rise upon a high plateau, which is the eastern line of the staked plains. This name is thought to have arisen from this fact: The Indians who roamed all over the country, or traders from Santa Fe to Louisiana, drove stakes in the ground to mark the way which led by water, that they might always be able to find it as they traveled to and fro. This plain reaches from the upper part of the panhandle to central west Texas and varies from 65 to 150 miles in width, and from 300 to 400 feet in height, sloping slightly to the southwest. Beyond the Pecos river, which runs south through the plains, lies the Texas spur of the Rocky mountain ranges. Here are found real mountains, lifting their heads from 6000 to 8000 feet above the Gulf of Mexico. Texas has an area of 274,356 square miles, or 175,585,840 acres of land. Texas is 825 miles broad, 740 miles long, and is divided into 246 counties. All of the New England states added to New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware have less territory than Texas. The combined areas of Great Britain, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal and Greece are over 35,000 miles less than Texas. Dallam county, in the northwest corner of Texas, is nearer to St. Paul, Minn., than it (Dallam county) is to Brownsville, Tex., at the mouth of the Rio Grande. Texas would make five states the size of New York, six the size of Tennessee, more than thirty-five the area of Massachusetts, and 216 Rhode Islands. If a bicycle rider should traverse the boundary lines of Texas, he would cover 4000 miles. Only 5 percent of Texas' area is cultivated. Texas is fourth in wealth, third in railroad mileage, and seventh in population. The area in cultivation, in 1892, amounted to 9,149,067 acres, and the value of the crops in that same year was $323,430,000. The number of live stock in Texas in 1892 was 20,200,000 head, or 69 to the square mile, and their taxable value was $92,402,184. The value of the exports of cotton, live stock, lumber and wool, in 1892, was $155,000,000. The tax valuations amounted to $782,111,883, which is an average value of $349.85 to each man, woman and child in the state. These facts are not intended to make the impression that Texas is proud or boastful. There are so many things in progress in our department now, that I do not intend to touch all, but will picture Miss Ludie, cast my vote and make a cross at the close. I might try to make a mental picture of Herbert Taylor, but he changes so often; now an adventurer, now taking an aerial flight, now singing to us in the sweetest notes -- that I have no definite idea as to what kind of a looking being he is. Here is Miss Ludie, as she appears in my mind: A girl of medium height, say 5 feet 3 1/2 inches; stout and healthy; weighs 127 pounds; hair brown, almost black; eyes light brown, that could look daggers when vexed, but, if pleased they (her eyes) are very pleasant and quick to catch and interpret the expressions on any one's face; disposition very jovial and refined; quick, elastic step; in the habit of standing in some still place and gazing into space, as if she were in deep study (thinking of books or education, perhaps); feels a little queer because she has ceased to follow the plow. In short, she is a good-hearted country girl, easy to please and is numbered among our best Cozy Corner writers. The white rose is my choice of a flower for our emblem. I'll close by asking a question: Have you decided as to what you will make of yourself? If not, study on it.
MABEL VANE, Waxahachie, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the interesting letters of your happy band for some time, and am now asking for admittance. I have been reading a great deal through the summer months. Among the many authors whose books I have been reading, are Louisa Alcott, Mary Holmes, Augusta Evans, Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo. They are my favorites. I am now reading one of Mary Holmes' books, "Marian Grey," and I find it very interesting. How many of the cousins have read it? I do not enjoy reading novels without morals, and I think it is very injurious to a school girl. I enjoyed reading the interesting letter written by John Criddle. I also have read "Evangeline," and was very much pleased with it. I am an orphan and live with my aunt and uncle. We have been residing in this city only a few weeks, and I am not much acquainted, but auntie doesn't like the location. We will move further south in a few days. I will now ask a simple question, which, I am sure, one of the cousins can answer: Which was the most daring adventure of Washington during the revolutionary war? How many of the cousins like the history of Rome? This is my first attempt to write to you. I will give you a nice little example in finding my age: Find the cube root of 696[?], multiply it by 6[?], divide by 2. The answer will be my age.
MATTIE WENTWORTH, Goliad, Goliad Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Two years have elapsed since I last wrote to your much-improved department. I have, several times, attempted to "jine the army," but providence hindered, and my wits would scatter far and wide; pen, paper and all would be thrown aside. When I last wrote, we were living at Mathis, and as you have already seen, we are now at Goliad, where we have been for the last two years. I have been at Cheapside the last month, on a visit to my sister. Cheapside is a beautiful place. For miles, nothing can be seen but rolling prairie, not a tree or bush to be seen. Oh, the fun I had! Horseback riding is the "go-about" way up there. But, cousins, don't think I went like Herbert Taylor takes his round-a-bouts. I didn't go there on an old "Go A-Head" (buzzard), neither did I roll 'round in a sack after I got there. Now, Herbert Taylor, let's hear more of your buzzard and whale rides, and then you can sing: "On a buzzard's back do I fly-y-y-y-y-y-y." But, how did you get on its back? I would be like Raleigh, "Fain would I climb, but that I fear to fall." I send my favorite flower's name, the yellow rose. Mattie Ingram, I agree with you about girls working on the farm. They were made to do the housework, not meaning they are man's superior, neither inferior, but his equal. Her rights are not so much of office or society, as of moral worth in the relation of wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. Milton said, "Nothing lovelier can be found in women than to study household good." I believe one thing, and that is that women could do very little in this world without men, but the biggest fool in the world is the man who thinks the "devil's husks can make him fat." I, like Hattie Simmons, have tried to swim, but, alas! I "swim like a rock and dive like a feather." I never get discouraged, I just "grin and bear it" and --
There now, Joe Farmer, you are fussing about the weather. Be like a fellow whose name was Chubb. We never knew more than one man who was perfectly satisfied with the weather, at all times and under all circumstances. It was Chubb. In the summer, when the thermometer bolted up among the nineties, Chubb would come to the front door with beads of perspiration standing out all over his face, till his head looked like a raspberry, and would look at the sky and say, "Splendid--perfectly splendid! Noble weather for the poor and for the ice factories and the washerwoman! They don't shake up any such climate as this in Italy. Gimme my umbrella, Harriet, while I sit out here and enjoy it." In the winter, when the mercury would creep down fifteen degrees below zero, and the cold was severe enough to freeze the insides of Vesuvius solid to the globe, Chubb would sit out on a fence and exclaim, "By jingo! did you ever see such weather as this? I like an atmosphere that freezes the very marrer. It keeps the snakes quiet. Don't talk of summer time to me, gimme cold and give it to me stiff." Do you think you could be like that? Well, cousins, my letter must come to a close sometime, so, I just lief stop now. What was it that Adam never saw or never possessed, yet gave two to each of his children? My age is 14 years.
REUBE BASS, Terrell, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: This is the first time I have ever had the pleasure of writing to you and the cousins. I hope the cousins, as well as you, will accept me as a member of your club. I enjoy reading the letters. Some of them are very interesting. Our school will commence to-morrow. I am neither glad nor sorry. I don't especially mind going to school, but then, I like to play. I hope Peggy won't eat my letter up, as this is the first time I have ever written. My brother likes to write to you very much. He is only two years and a half older than I. I have a pretty white rabbit. I think lots of it. I had two, but one died. It was the prettiest of the two, I believe.
KITTIE HALL, Spring Creek, Throckmorton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I want to be a member of the Cozy Corner. School will begin Monday, and I will be so glad. I love to go to school. I went when I was only 4 years old. We have a good many pets. We have a bird, a duck and seven little chickens. I think my favorite flower is the white rose. Joe Farmer, come again. I like to read your letters and Lauretta Faust's, too. I will make my cross, as I wrote my letter without help.
NERA BURGESS, Osceola, Hill Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have been reading the letters in the Cozy Corner for some time, yet, I have never before gathered courage enough to make a trial at writing. I think there are many interesting letters written, but I don't think mine will be classed among them. My real home is in San Antonio, but I have been up here -- between here and Itasca -- for two years, so, I almost feel that this is my home. San Antonio is a beautiful city. I like Government hill better than any other place in the city. The head of the river is also a beautiful place. Well, Mr. Big Hat, as this is my first letter, I will not make it too long. If Peggy is very hungry, I will send him some corn, so, please don't give him this, if you can help it.
HALLIE MABLE WOLCOTT, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Dear Peggy: I guess I had just as well write this to you, because I guess you will get this letter anyhow. Mr. Big Hat, you were very kind to print my letter. Now, Peggy, if you eat this letter, you will eat a nickel, and I guess it will be pretty apt to choke you. The Cozy Corner is getting to be very interesting, don't you think so, cousins? Miss Big Bonnet, I want you and Mr. Big Hat, and all of the cousins, to come to see me, Christmas. Cousins, I wish I could write interesting letters like some of you do. Miss Big Bonnet, I will send a 2-cent stamp for yours and Mr. Big Hat's pictures. Mr. Big Hat, have you any of Peggy's pictures? I would like very much to have one of them. Mr. Big Hat, here is some of my poetry:
Walcott is my name,
I will send 5 cents for the Sam Houston memorial stone. Now, Peggy, please don't eat my letter, and I will send you a bale of hay.
ALICE BOYSEN, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet: Here is another little writer that would like to join your little band, and I will write my first letter to you, and I hope old Peggy won't eat it up. I am 9 years old. I go to school and am in the low fourth grade. I like school real well, but I like to play better, I think. I love to read all the little folks' letters. I read a letter that my cousins, Jennie Dealey, wrote. I go to Sunday school and am in a "big girls" class. I feel very proud of being one of the "young ladies." I will ask one question, and hope some one will answer it: When was the first paper printed?
LEPHA JOLLY NEW, Decatur, Morgan Co., Alabama -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another little 10-year-old girl to join the Cozy Corner. I hope Peggy will not get this letter. I have no pets. I have a pony, which I like to ride. We live about three miles from Decatur. I have two brothers living and one dead. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins. I will be 11 years old next month.
CALLIE BRITAIN, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would write again, as I have not written in so long. I would have written sooner, but we have been putting up fruit, and that keeps me busy so much of the time. My aunt came down from Grand View two weeks ago, and is visiting us. She will go home next week. Dear cousins, our big meeting commences to-morrow at Five Mile. Miss Big Bonnet, tell Peggy to go to his dinner when this arrives.
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