November 22, 1896
Mr. Big Hat's Statement:
Hat has kept out of sight for several weeks, just to give the
space his small person would occupy in the Cozy Corner, to the
cousins. And, ably have they filled it. But, now that the smell
of turkey and pies is afloat in the air, he begs for a very small
corner in which to hope that the cousins' Thanksgiving feast
may be partaken of, with grateful hearts, for the blessings of
the year, more than for the good things spread before them.
It is the grateful heart, instead of the bountiful dinner that
makes the day one of thanksgiving. That is the sweet story told
in the poem on this page, entitled "A Feast Indeed."
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.
BENNIE RUSSELL, Curtis, Eastland Co., Tex. -- Rap! rap! rap! Mr. Big Hat, please open the door! It is getting pretty dark out here for a little boy like me to be out. I want you to let me in, so I can vote for the violet. It is a sweet little flower, I think; don't you, Miss Big Bonnet? You have not voted. Suppose you vote for the violet. Cousins, some of you who don't have to pick cotton, gather some pretty flowers and decorate Marie Taylor's grave. We ought not to let such a good writer's grave go undecorated. Hattie Friend, Hattie Simmons, Ludie Shinplaster, A. W. McGregor, Othello Robertson and many others, don't forget us.
ORA REYNOLDS, Nocona, Montague Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you admit another 16-year-old girl into your Cozy Corner? I go to school with Cousin Paul Evans, and we are in the same grade (the tenth). I hope I shall become acquainted with all the cousins. I think Miss Big Bonnet is pretty, and writes good letters for a little girl. Some one asked: "Who was first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen?" It was George Washington. I am taking art, and like it very much. Lantie Blum, I will cast my vote for the lily. Inclosed find 5 cents for the Sam Houston memorial stone fund. Now, Big Ears, if you won't devour this letter, I will send you some grass next time write. I will close, by asking, who was called "Old Man Eloquent?"
VENTO DEE LIPKILL, Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Miss Ludie and Mr. Herbert have just given us their real "pen picture," and who of you are not delighted to see them as they are? Now, whether this kind of work will be of benefit to the cousins, and of interest to our readers, is the question. In order to answer right this question, we must note the effect that this "pen picture" had on the cousins' minds. As soon as Mr. Big Hat gave us Miss Ludie's and Mr. Herbert's names, the cousins, as if they had awakened suddenly to find work waiting them, from far and near, old and young, large and small, began, at once, to contribute their ideas and manifest great interest in the work. It's impossible for me to tell whether the older ones were interested. Not any two of the pictures drawn were alike. Some used several words, others, comparatively few. One of the benefits derived from this work is that we learn how to describe a person through imagination. And, what is more, by the continuation of this same work, we would finally get a likeness of every member of the grand Cozy Corner. But, Mr. Big Hat will tell us whether this work should continue, and if there are other subjects that would be of more interest to us, we would gladly make the exchange and follow our little editor to success. Cousins, excuse the liberty I take, for I am going to give my views on how to paint a "pen picture." First, tell of what nationality the subject is, and what his or her occupation is. Second, give the age in years. Third, color of hair and eyes. Fourth, height and weight. Fifth, habits and manners, whether sweet or ill tempered, bright or dull. Mr. Big Hat, are there no poems, essays, stories and descriptive articles, other than the prizes worth printing? If there is, I am sure the cousins would enjoy them. Mr. Big Hat, please give the exact sum that is needed to finish the Houston memorial stone fund.
ALTA MAY CLYBURN, Creedmoor, Travis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here I am again, after three years' absence. I suppose you have all forgotten me by this time. We have moved since I wrote last. Now, we live at Creedmoor, Travis county, a beautiful prairie, in which is situated this small village. It is surrounded by rolling hills, between which, are spring branches, shaded by graceful willow trees. School has commenced, but I don't think I will go this winter. I will have to help do the work, so the others can go. My age is 17. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins of my age. Come again, Myrtle March and Genevieve Myrdock. You both write splendid letters. What has become of Bessie Bee? She hasn't written in a long time. My favorite flower is the white rose. I will close by sending stamps for Mr. Big Hat's and Miss Big Bonnet's pictures.
U. B. HAVE, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I never called on the Cozy Corner before, but am better acquainted with you, than you are with me, as I have read your letters for a long time. I want to talk a little about that flower. I thought it was generally understood that the yellow rose was everywhere considered the state flower of Texas, and why should we not be true to the state and choose it for the Cozy Corner flower? I have lived away up north, and they have more to say about Texas there, than you think for. Mamma says that, years ago, she used to hear a song that run something like this:
yellow rose of Texas
I think those lines are the last of every verse. From this song, the yellow rose has, for years, been considered the Texas flower. For my part, I think it can hold its own with most any flower that grows. The golden, creamy hue of the flower is in beautiful contrast to the shining, bright green leaves. What say you? Let's us choose it. The rose is the queen of flowers, and what is more queenly than a golden queen? Little Miss Big Bonnet, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but, as you are only made of paper and ink, I would say, with all due deference, that I think you are too large to look well with little Mr. Big Hat, who I think is in common parlance, too cute for anything. Besides, I never saw a bonnet like you wear. Can not your mamma buy you a new one? That looks like a great big cloth thrown over your head. I will not say anything about Peggy, as he has been talked about so much, poor thing. I guess my letter is most long enough now. Mamma says I am such a big girl, I should write for the Woman's department, instead of the children, but I tell her, I am not as old as my years would indicate, as I have slept a good deal of the time. My age is 15 years.
NELLIE NANCE, Palestine, Anderson Co., Tex. -- Dear Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have just received the prize, "Pastime Stories," by Thomas Nelson Page, and I hasten to acknowledge its receipt. Nothing could have been more acceptable, I am sure, than a volume of this southern author's composition. I have read his "In Ole Virginia," and have heard the author, himself, give a public reading of "Marse Chan" and "Meh Lady." I think his style very sweet and pathetic, and I know I shall enjoy reading again, something from his pen. I enjoyed the souvenir edition, very much, indeed. Katie Sharp, that was a cute little story of yours. Joe Dawson's was interesting, too. No wonder the judges were unable to decide between them. I would like to know how many of the cousins resemble their printed portraits. I don't believe that a picture is always a good thing to rely on. Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet, your pictures were a sweet little surprise, and were appreciated, oh, so much! I would like to introduce to the cousins a very dear friend of mine. "Little Dorrit" is the only name I will now give. That is what I call her. She lives in Waco and she has promised that she would write to "the Corner." We have gone through college together, so, I know her thoroughly, and can vouch for the fact that she will write as interesting letters as can be found in these columns. I would not, for anything, say a word against the fair name of my friends, yet, I feel constrained to tell you that she is an inveterate "story teller." I would describe her, personally, did I not debar some of the cousins the pleasure of making a pen picture of her. I vote this November for the sweet cape jasmine, the queen of southern flowers.
PAULA EVANS, Nocona, Montague Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Please accept my thanks for the pretty book I received a few days ago. I have read it through, and I think the stories are delightful. Is your cerebrum floating in dishwater now, Mr. Farmer? If you had been here yesterday (Nov. 9), I think the dishwater would have changed to ice water. Mr. Big Hat, are you going to let us describe Mr. Farmer and Genevieve this month? One of my schoolmates, Ora Reynolds, is writing to you to-day, and I hope Peggy will be as good to her, as he has been to me, for he never has eaten any of my letters yet. Burdah Weeks, do you know how long it has been since you wrote to me? Well, it has been about three months, and I'm getting "awful" tired of waiting for a letter. You know, cousins, Burdah is my own, really and truly, cousin, and when she don't write to me, then I have to scold her. Cousin Li Hung Chang Shinplaster, isn't it about time for a "re-appearance?" I must close, for I see Peggy coming, but before I go, I will ask, "Of what is the congress of the United States composed? No, Peggy has turned his attention to something else, so I will chat a while longer, at least long enough to thank those who have shown sympathy for me in my trouble. Cousins, what have you been reading lately? I have read three new books since I wrote last. They are, "The Widder Doodle's Courtship," by Josiah Allen's wife, "Black Beauty," by Anna Sewall, and "Micah Clarke," by A. Conan Doyle. I noticed, while reading the letters in last week's issue of The News, that one girl said she did not have time to read anything but her schoolbooks. Well, I have plenty of time; indeed, I would like to read more good books than I do. But, the mule is coming in earnest now, and I must hurry away.
MARY BREEDING, Eddy, Eddy Co., New Mexico -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little girl 13 years old. I thought I would tell you of Eddy. It is a little town situated on the Rio Pecos. It contains about 1500 inhabitants. There are many nice residences in the town. About one-fourth of a mile from Eddy, there is a small dam, and another one, six miles from town, and then another, seventeen miles away. My uncle lives out at the seventeen-mile dam. We go out there nearly every year. There are a lot of fish in both dams. There is a large boat up at the six-mile dam. Parties of people go out sailing very often. You must not think, because I am way out here, that I lived here always. I am a little Texas girl. I am in the seventh grade and study seven studies. I will close by asking a riddle: What makes a stick of candy like a race horse?
CLARA MAYER, Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have taken great interest in the Cozy Corner you occupy in the paper. I am 12 years old and vote for the pansy. I have just completed a story of a penny. I read this to my parents, who thought, perhaps, you would like to read it, so, here it is:
My first appearance was through the mighty hand of a wise miner, who sent me after I was taken from the earth, to a mint, where I suffered the pain of being melted to white heat. Next, I was marked, and became a new coin. Then, my experience was great. I was young at that time, and bright and overcome by vanity. A well dressed man, by some means, got me snug in his pocketbook, where he had other pennies, although I was, by far, the prettier. I thought it was so cozy, and did not think I would be disturbed. I only seemed to think, like all other foolish pennies, of the bright side of my life. Finally, I was lost in the street, when a naughty news boy found me, and into his ragged coat pocket, I went, where it was my luck to be put alongside a piece of gum, some chalk and other trifles. The can't imagine my feelings, and the time I had, when on buying a paper he pulled the gum so meanly from my face. When in The News office, I thought I would be well cared for. Into a corner, in the drawer, I was thrown, till on one rainy day, I was taken out with some change, and in crossing the street, managed to slip from my owner's hand, into the mud, where I was left for a long time. But, fortunately, I was found by my first owner, who, I thought, would protect me after being gone so long. But, the rain had washed my brightness away, and I had a big hole punched through my face, and he didn't care for me any more.
DORA HARMONSON, Graham, Young Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I live ten miles north of Graham. Our community is named Indian Mound, because of a historical mound, in which, is buried an Indian. Thereby hangs a tale. In the latter part of the fifties, this was the frontier of Texas, and was infested by the Apache Indians, who lived farther out on the plains. Many cruel atrocities were committed in this immediate vicinity, among which, I will relate the following: S. B. Estes, and his brother, were herding cattle on the east side of Salt Creek, in the valley, when they were ambushed, and Mr. Estes was shot through the body with a poisoned arrow. There was, at this time, a military post at the present town of Jacksboro, which contained the nearest surgeon, and which was nearly fifty miles away. The poor man, unable to remove the arrow, patiently lay in the shade of a mesquite tree until his brother could make [the] trip of nearly 100 miles on foot, returning to find his brother still alive, but in great agony. With a tender and quick hand, the surgeon took the poisoned arrow from the body of the suffering man, dressed the wound and left him in the care of his brother. He finally recovered. During the fight, an Indian was killed and was buried by one of his tribe on top of the mound. I am now going to school. We have a nine months school, and two months are already gone. I am 14 years old.
FRANKIE ASSITER, Blum, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Several months have elapsed since I last wrote to The News. As I sat musing over the letters I had just read this evening, I thought I would pick up a few of my scattering thoughts and write to the dear old Cozy Corner once more, so I have got my pen and ink and other necessaries for writing, but, lo! and behold! my thoughts have vanished like smoke before a whirlwind. Cousins, I am so glad to see so many writing for the white rose. It is my favorite flower. Its waxen petals are so pure and white. I do not think any other flower would be more appropriate to represent our page than the white rose. Lee Sypert, you needn't have been backward about describing Herbert Taylor, for I do not know that my description is any ways right, for I have never seen him, although he is my cousin. Dixie O'Neal, your name suits you. It is to be hoped that Willard Marl will make his appearance again soon, and give us a full description of merry old England, his present home. But, let me tell you of an adventure with a supposed-to-be ghost (of course, it is nothing so grand as Herbert Taylor's aerial flight). One evening, just about 6 o'clock, I thought I would go and spend the night with my friend and chum, Ona Pogue. She lives about a quarter of a mile from my house. I had to cross a small stream, and just as I had crossed to the opposite side, I heard the queerest noise, but I did not pay much attention to it, as I was so entranced with the beautiful scenery that surrounded me. But, the breaking of a branch close behind me caused me to look around, and just as I turned, something white darted past me. Up and down the path it went, backward and forward. A thousand things flashed into my mind in a second. First, to run, but no, that would never do. If Ona saw me run and found that I had been frightened by nothing at all, I never would hear the last of it. Then, I thought I would stand still and perhaps his ghostship would pass on. But, nothing of the kind. It stopped about ten yards in front of me, and just then, I had serious thoughts of returning home. But, then I would be laughed at, sure enough. So, there I was, between two fires, or rather, between ghost and home. At that, his ghostship came a little closer, and quickly, I came to the conclusion that I did not care to make his acquaintance. So, I thought the best thing for me to do was to dash past and run for the house. Away I went. I looked back once and the ghost was right after me. But, when I got to the gate, I looked again, and saw only Ona, throwing aside a great white sheet, and laughing as if she would go into convulsions. She had seen me start from home, and thought it would be fine fun to play a prank on me, but I did not think it was quite so nice. Mr. Big Hat, how much do we lack, of having the necessary fund to get the monument to mark the last resting place of our great and noble Sam Houston? His last words should ever remain uppermost in the thoughts of every true Texan. Houston made his last appearance in public, March, 1863, at Houston, where he also made his last and never-to-be-forgotten speech. Some of the closing words were as follows: "I have been buffeted by the waves as I have been borne along time's ocean, until shattered and worn, I approach the narrow isthmus which divides it from the sea of eternity. Ere, I step forward to journey the pilgrimage of death. I would say that all my thoughts and hopes are with my country, if one impulse rises above another, it is for the happiness of these people, and the welfare and glory of Texas will be the uppermost thought while the spark of life lingers within my breast." I think I hear some whispering. I hope her letters are few and far between, if they are all going to be like this. I solicit correspondence.
AGGIE KELLY, Jester, Greer Co. Okla. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It has been a long time since I wrote to The News, and I expect most of the cousins have forgotten me. How the department has improved since I last wrote! But, I think it would be better if the little cousins would write more. I don't think the older cousins should take all of the paper from the little folks and their pets. Of course, we are all little, but, I especially mean those from 5 to 10 yeas of age, like Mr. Big Hat. He's little, or he wouldn't be wearing dresses. I suppose the cousins went picnicking this year. I went to one at Mangum and, oh! what a nice time I did have! There were about fifty Kiowa Indians at the picnic. Most of them were women and children. I think they enjoyed it as well as the white people. Lone Wolf (the chief), his son (Delos), and his wife, were the only educated ones among them. At night, Delos Lone Wolf delivered an address. I was not at the speaking, but have heard others say that he spoke in almost unbroken English. He attended school three years and four months at the Indian school in Kansas, and three years and one month at Carlisle, Pa. He is 24 years old. Among other things, he said: "Are you civilized? If so, teach the Indians by your example, and not by your preaching. The Indian is equal to the white man, except in opportunity. If you wish to civilize Indians, you must educate them, and to educate them without Christianizing them will make them worse, just as it does white men." Well, I can tell by the way the cousins look, that they are tried of Indians and would like to change the subject. Cousin Herbert, we are all glad to see you back, after such a long ride. Which do you like the best, riding buzzards or writing poetry? Ina Ashcraft, you must be careful the next time you go fishing. It wouldn't do for you to get drowned again. I see the cousins are complaining of the warm weather. It is cool out here on the prairie, or rather, getting cold. It is cold enough for a fire, to-day. It is awful dry out here, we haven't had any rain in a long time. I was a Texas cousin the last time I wrote, but am now an Oklahoma cousin, and didn't move, either. This great government just simply moved us, whether we were willing, or not. But, I think we will like Oklahoma as well as Texas, after we get used to it. I wish some of the Greer county cousins would write to The News. I hardly ever see a letter from any of them. Cousin Mettie Kelly, write again. Well, Mr. Big Hat, if you will excuse this uninteresting letter, I will send my love to Miss Big Bonnet and a portion for yourself and Peggy.
LUCY MITCHELL, Blossom, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I would be so pleased to gain admittance to your Cozy Corner. It seems to be "stylish" to tell your age on first acquaintance, so before I forget it, will submit mine, which is 13 years. Mr. Big Hat, I suppose, has a book in which our ages are deposited. I don't see what else he can do with them. Goodness graciousness! Who could write in such a noise? There is one brother at one corner of the table reading aloud, "The Battle of San Jacinto," with all the gestures and exclamations of a noted elocutionist, while two sisters and one brother are playing on the organ, all at the same time. Just think of it! Miss Myrdock, I hope you will allow me to sympathize with you in your "kitchen desperation." I also hope that your mamma has returned home. I tell you, I was desperate the other morning, about breakfast time. You see, we had company, and mamma is one of the most particular women that ever tried to teach a little girl to cook. I know if anything was wrong when I rang the bell, she would look daggers at me. So, I was just doing beautifully (if I ever did in my life) making biscuit and frying steak at the same time, when all at once, something seemed to say, "The steak's gone wrong." I guess it was the way it smelled. Anyhow, by the time I got the dough off my hands, the gravy was burning, and about this time, one of my big brothers came in and, not knowing of any other way to arouse sympathy, and thus get help, I just began crying. In a little while, the kitchen was full of help, and then, I decided I didn't care if the gravy did burn, because I was too little to cook by myself, anyway. Now, if Peggy gets this, Morpheus will certainly have a time of it keeping him in his arms.
MAUDIE DENTON and HELEN MOORMAN, Atlas, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: We two little girls are the greatest of friends and thought we would write together. Our school has commenced, and we are so glad. We like our teacher very much. Helen is going to move to Pleasant Valley. We are going to have a tea party after we get our letter written. There are five girls here, and we are going to have a fine time with our little dishes. Pet Kelly, come again. Your letters are very nice. We see the passenger train every day. The 4 o'clock train has just come in. Miss Big Bonnet, come again. We think your letters are very nice. We are enjoying the cool weather. We will cast a vote for the flower we like best; it is the white rose.
WILLARD MARL, Liverpool, England -- Mr. Big Hat, Little Men and Women: I think you, Mr. Big Hat, for your courteous invitation to not wait till horsefly time before writing again, as I had, at first, intended. I am writing now on the supposition that a great many of the cousins are now enjoying the privilege of school, and that their duties preclude frequent letters to our corner. In this, I hope I am mistaken, and in my own right, make an unconditional appeal for more frequent and better letters from every one, pleasant and necessary, as your school duties are, or should be. Herewith, Mr. Big Hat, I send $1 for the Sam Houston memorial fund -- a silver certificate, by the way, which, I am sorry to say, too many of my countrymen eulogize. When I made my first contribution to the fund, some four or five months ago, I thought we would have the stone ready, or in place, before this time, as the amount necessary at that time, was so small -- almost insignificant, in face. Are you sure we have worked as constantly and cheerfully as we should? Do you feel satisfied with the progress the fund has made? However, it will soon be complete, and to me, the next question seems to be: To what purpose shall we then direct our energies? The most appropriate time for the placing of our stone is Thanksgiving day, and the most appropriate time for the commencement of new work is New Year's day. That gives us two full months for discussion of the new undertaking. A thorough understanding of the nature of the task of love, of duty, or of compulsion, is half the battle, and great as single effort may be, it can not cope with intelligent, united action. Of course, I recognize that Mr. Big Hat must necessarily direct the policy. Mr. Big Hat, a friend of mine, recently called you the "dearest man," an appellation which most of us (of the male persuasion, understand) would walk on our knees over half a mile of cobble stones to secure, whether we felt we deserved it, or not. So, show your true color, sir, and put on your tall hat one of these bright Sundays, take a seat in the city park, facing the greenhouses, and think out our future course. I have another dollar, just like the one I send to-day, that is longing, like myself, for a sight of the southern sun. Gen. Houston was the hero of San Jacinto, first president of the republic of Texas, and governor of the state, with qualities to match, but nevertheless, Stephen Fuller Austin was the real father of Texas, and I hope to see the day when his name will be so honored by our people, by the erection at the state capital, of a statue of him. Since the burning of the old state capitol, no step has been made by the state to perpetuate the memory of those gallant few who made Texas history. Just here, is room for work for those of the cousins who have time and patience. The political history of Texas has been written by three good historians, Dr. Thrall, Mrs. Pennybacker and Mr. John Henry Brown, the first of which, comes about as near being thoroughly depolarized, as is possible, but of the lives of our early heroes, we know very little that is reliable. Mrs. Winkler's book, recently published, gives some good information not to [be] found in history, but even that falls far short of the real need. This is a work, the compilation of which, should, by rights, be in the hands of the state university, who are so slow about it, that I long to see some one else undertake the task. Our department, I believe, is allowed, by virtue of its by-laws and constitution, to undertake historical research as a sub-division of education, and Mr. Joe Farmer, as the stormy petcel of the department, and Mr. Joe Dawson, the bookworm, and Miss Myrdock, the genius, as old stagers, are the ones who should play the part of Moses, and lead us out of the wilderness. Being naturally, a very timid boy, I hesitate to mention a line of work, from which I am debarred by 3000 miles of desolate sea, and absence from the scene of action and my really very excellent library. But, as we knew, education is the primary object in this very Cozy Corner, and by all the laws of analogy, I contend that honest work in a given direction, followed logically throughout, is a more potent factor in education than inadequate study of many subjects. Miss Winnie Williams, as an educator, I depend on you to uphold me. Marie Connell, in a recent work, put into the mouth of Lucifer, son of the morning, these words: "If it is work, truly and nobly done in every sense of the word, it carried with it, its own reward, and the laurels descend from heaven, shaped ready for wearing. No earthly power can bestow them." One is almost tempted to add, "and no earthly power can take them away," but that is a very bad statement. Dr. Holmes has expressed pretty much the same thought in equally beautiful language. Do you remember the three verses of "Sun and Shadow," the last of which:
For my part, I would like to see some work in any given direction, pursued from beginning to end, in this department, that would place the tone of the page on a basis even higher than it is now. I would undertake it myself, only, as I said before, I am prevented by a three-barred impossibility. You may fail, you think? Of course, if it was not for that one possibility, this jolly old world of ours would soon become a very commonplace toy in the hands of the skilled few. Fear of failure and the consequent loss or shock to one's self-respect is quite as potent a factor in progress, as occasional pinches of hunger. Napoleon failed in the end, but even Don Ferdinando, himself, remember, can do no more than he can do. Mr. Joe Dawson, in speaking of Longfellow, why do you fail to mention his "Golden Legend," "The Spanish Student," "Tales of a Wayside Inn," "Evangeline," and the "Song of Hiawatha?" Do you not consider them equal in beauty, and as delicate poems, one or two superior to the "Courtship of Miles Standish?" Several cousins have mentioned Longfellow's poems, but none, I believe, have mentioned "Hyperion," his best prose work. The cousin who recently had so much to say against "10-cent novels" should define the class of literature against which he has his grudge. Ten-cent novels cover so large and varied a line of books, it would be unjust, indeed, to discriminate against all that came within the price, for printing, like everything else, must move on. Within the year, I have read "Ben Hur," "The Last Days of Pompeii," "The Great Hoggarty Diamonds," "The Spy," "Barriers Burned Away," "Sylvester Land," "Hyperion," "Pembroke," "At the Mercy of Tiberius, "Infelice," and have before me now, uncut, "Vashti" and "St. Elmo," all in editions of six-pence-'a'-enny spoken. Miss Myrdock, since you can not attend school this season, we hope to have more frequent letters from you. Has it occurred to you, that a Chautauqua course is the best substitute for school, the books for which, come remarkably cheap? The only one in Texas, of which I know, is at Georgetown, but the New England states afford many, the efficiency of whose courses have been tested and eulogized by many Texas teachers. With most of them, this is the Greek-French year, and is highly interesting, as well as instructive. You and I have a common friend in "Lucile," but, if you have not read "The Wanderer," you have missed the best of Lord Lytton's poems. Where has Mr. Atwell Clark gotten to? Has he gone off on a political tour and forgotten his promise to write a series of letters on early times? Surely, Mr. Clark does not doubt his welcome? I think that will do, as Prof. Carlisle, now secretary of education, once said to me, as he let go my collar and dropped the shingle with which he had been giving me a "warming" for wrestling on the Whitesboro school ground.
ETHEL TYLER, Gainesville, Cooke Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Having seen my other letter in print, I feel encouraged to write again. Cousin Lizzie Harrison, you write an interesting letter. I read with much interest, the paper containing the prize poems, etc. I think many of the cousins have quite a literary talent. Having nothing special to write about, I will tell the cousins of a moonlight ride which our bicycle club, the "Ramblers," enjoyed last summer. We started at 7 and rode about fifteen miles. We rode through a beautiful country, surrounded on one side by large and lofty trees and the little creek, and on the other, by great fields of corn and cotton. We put our feet on the coasters and coasted down the big hill, and declared that it was perfectly delightful. (This was coming down.) Stopping to rest on the bridge, we could not resist the temptation to dance, so the boys whistled and the girls sang, and though the music was not the best, and the boards were not as smooth as they might have been, never did we have a better time. When we were fully rested, we mounted our wheels and gaily sped on, but not long were we in this happy state of mind, for, with the wind in our faces (also, the dust) and the way growing steeper all the time, we felt not as if we were flying through the air, but as if we were pack-horses pulling some heavy burden. Assuming a right angular position over our bicycles, we went on, with a fixed determination to reach the top. (This was going up.) At last, we got on level ground and rode rapidly to the city, where, after stopping up town for some refreshments, we were dropped, one by one, at our respective homes.
ATWELL CLARK, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Dear Cousin Big Hat: I have let some time slip by since I last wrote, and would have let more of it slip, had it not been for a gentle reminder in Sarah Crewe's letter. Cousin Sarah is mistaken in her guess at my age. I might have been born in 1866 or 1867, and would not be over 29 years of age, yet, I could remember back in the sixties, because I remember things that happened when I was only 2 years old. Let me see. Where should I begin in giving sketches of my boy life? Why, at the beginning, to be sure. Well, in the beginning, I was born; that's one thing I do know, even if I do not remember it. I was born in Jefferson, Tex. The first thing I remember is a large back yard, one end of which, was nearly filled with little houses -- a kitchen, smokehouse and two or three negro houses -- not for slaves, but for ex-slaves that wanted to still live with "Masser Billie and Miss Lou." There were black Daddie Ben, black Mammie Harriet and Bob, a handy boy, and others that I do not remember so well. At the other end of the yard was an old well and well house. Just at the right of the back door of our house was chained a big brown "bit'n dog," a cur named Bowman. At the age of 2 years, this back yard and my father's house were all of my little world. One day, I was circulating within this world like a minnow in a cow tank. I was crawling in and out of the kitchen door, talking the best I could to black mammie. She had been making some tea-cakes and was now getting dinner, but found time enough to fashion some scraps of dough into the shapes of men and women for her "little man's" special benefit. Being somewhat of a cannibal, I was much interested in these men and women and impatiently awaited the time when they should be fattened and browned to a turn. The stove was on a large hearth and, as black mammie said, "hold my taters till dem men and wimmin' was dun." Just as I was in the act of sitting down, black mammie exclaimed: "You! doan' you sot down dar, chile!" But, she was too late. Down I "sot," but it did not take any persuading, nor bribes, nor threats to make me get up. There was a hot stove-cap under me, and I was more than anxious to change seats. Black mammie ran to me and took me to my mother, who soon got me to bed, where, for some time, I remained for repairs. This was the first lasting impression I received of this world. My impression was that it was exceedingly hot in spots. Daddie Ben worked somewhere during the day and came home about sundown to help do the chores. I can see the old man now as he prances up the yard from the side gate. "Ya, ya, yarr! Dar he is, dar's my 'little man. Bress his bones. Come 'er, honny. Oo-pee, up er come; git on Daddie Ben's shoulder, dar, an' ride. Ya, yar-r-r! Dar, now, dar yo is. Doan yo tell nobody, an we'll see ef we cain' fin' us a ripe fig. Sho' we kin. Dar, retch up dar an' git hit, honny. Dar 'er nudder." So, the old man would carry me around with him, and talk to me until my bedtime. The fall following my third birthday, we gave up our home and boarded with Mrs. Connor, the mother of our well known ex-Mayor Connor. I remember a black bear that was chained in their back yard. Later in the same fall, we moved to our new home in Dallas. Now, I am well started in life, having passed through all the ills that an ordinary youngster is heir to, so I will stop for a rest.
WILHELMINE M. CLARK, Fredericksburg, Gillespie Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: "The center of attraction would be a very appropriate term, if applied to the Cozy Corner. That the Corner has a magnetic attraction for me, is a fact too plain to be denied. My frequent appearance among the cousins is a proof of it. Mr. Big Hat, please grant me the privilege of speaking a few words to several of the band, as it appears to me the department can almost be considered a conversation club. First, however, I wish to thank you, Mr. Big Hat, for the undeserved compliment you kindly passed on me. I will add that it was highly appreciated, though. It is quite true I forgot to mention the sweet cape jasmine, also another of my favorites, the goldenrod. For what is a bouquet of autumn flowers without a spray of goldenrod? I never thought of these flowers prior to the mailing of the letter, and afterward, it was "too late for regrets." Cousin Minnie Rogers, pardon me for not being more prompt in answering your inquiries. Doubtless, I was the girl you saw and spoke of in your letter. My chum and I spent several very pleasant hours together at the jubilee, and I still retain a dim recollection of her introducing several residents of Blanco to me. I have seen you, too. However, was unaware of your being a cousin. Still, I should have been greatly pleased to form your acquaintance, and will look forward, with pleasure, to your next letter containing the promised description of Blanco. Cousin Nellie Fallon, a warm welcome is extended to you, to grace the Cozy Corner with your entertaining missives. I remember your first appearance among the cousins, although, it is a long time ago. Oh, no, Florence Giddens, I do not think it an absolute necessity to commit suicide to become noted. You know such occurrences are too frequent to attract much attention now, nor do I think it pays, either. People will talk about it for a day or two, perhaps, and soon, it is a "thing of the past." But, aside from jesting, let me tell you in earnestness, Cousin Florence, I think if we are faithful to our duties, and do the next thing to us, we are greater heroes in the eyes of the Lord, than if distinguished otherwise, even if we had won world-wide renown. The very idea of you being forgotten, Maud Carson. How can we forget the ones who have brightened the Cozy Corner in years past? Although, some of them appear to have abandoned us forever, we still remember them. Olive Hightower, Ludie Sanders and Hattie Simmons, kindly grace the columns of the Cozy Corner with your ever-welcome presence once more; also accept my thanks for your kind words. Will Mr. Li Hung Chang, of the cousins' empire, permit me to inform him that the "star" he criticised so severely and portrayed in such a ridiculous light some time since, is of a far different type and manner than he fancies. Perhaps it would be advisable to add that the best policy is not to judge others, lest ye be judged.
WILLIE MORGAN, Denson Springs, Anderson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: If you will permit a stranger to join your social circle, I will step in and chat a while. I have had quite a nice time during the summer, going to picnics, meetings, etc. I went to a singing last Wednesday night and had a real nice time. I wanted to go to the camp meeting to-night, but alas, it is raining very hard. I do hate to be disappointed. I am very glad that we have a poet in our department, and hope he will write somewhat oftener. The Cozy Corner has improved very much in the last six months. How many of the cousins like to read instructive books? I do, and I think all boys and girls could improve very much if they would read more and let worldly pleasures alone. What has become of Ludie Sanders? I also live on a farm, and have done all kinds of work, and have tried to plow, but could not. Cousin Lantie, of all the flowers, my choice is the magnolia, which is so pure and white.
MINNIE WHITAKER, Panter, Hood Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have not written in a good while before. I guess you all appreciated Mr. Big Hat's surprise, as well as I did. I think all the prize pieces were very good. How I laughed when I read Cousin Katie Sharp's letter. And, by looking at the cousins' pictures, I think they are good looking. I have rheumatism in my foot so bad, that I am afraid that I can't attend school. I hope not, for I love to go to school. Cousin Lantie, I will send in my vote for the lovely German iris. Peggie, please don't eat this letter, for I want to surprise papa with it.
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