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THE COZY CORNER
December 27, 1896

 

Mr. Big Hat's statement:
    The Cozy Corner begins the year under conditions of more than ordinary promise. It has attracted to its columns, a large representation among Texas youth, who, by their bright and entertaining contributions, have spread the fame of the department to distant states and countries, and in a large measure, have enabled Mr. Big Hat to assert that a more popular page for young folks can not be found in any publication. Mr. Big Hat invites a comparison of his correspondence columns with those published elsewhere, because he believes that such comparison would bear out his statement.
    The art of letter-writing, and the ability to prepare an article acceptably for the press, are accomplishments that should be acquired by every boy and girl. That Mr. Big Hat's department provides a means for this acquirement has already been demonstrated. Boys and girls who began writing for the department a few years ago, now write so well, and on such a variety of themes, that grown people frequently inquire if these letters are really contributed by young people, or, if the editor of the department does not write them himself! To all inquirers, Mr. Big Hat can truthfully say that every letter published in the Cozy Corner is the production of his readers.
    Nor, is this all. Mr. Big Hat's contributors not only learn to write well, but they become established in a taste for only good reading. Especial oversight is given to every story, poem or paragraph admitted to his columns, whether it be original or selected, that it be elevated in its tone and artistic in its style. The most careful parent need not fear to place the page for "Little Men and Women" in the hands of their young folks, since no article is chosen with the view of simply amusing or filling space, but for the triple purpose of instructing, entertaining and cultivating a love of good literature.
    What the department has accomplished in the past, it can safely promise for the coming year, and more. With the impetus already gained, it is assured of the best products of an army of Texas young people, that Mr. Big Hat trusts to lead on to still greater achievements. Little Miss Big Bonnet will assist him in caring for the interests of the wee folks, who exhibit as much ambition and talent, in their way, in writing to the department, as the older ones.
    With this, by way of retrospect and forecast, The News extends its most cordial wishes to its young readers for a very

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Mr. Big Hat wishes to say that the flower vote is compete up to date, as he looked over the letters remaining to be published and registered the vote, that the choice of the writer for the department flower might be credited by Cousin Lantie Blum, even if the letter could not find space till later. No more votes will be received, and Cousin Lantie will oblige this department by an early report of the result of his flower contest.


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.


ETTA THORNE, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am coming to see if I can get in the Cozy Corner. I have been reading the cousins' letters for so long, that I could not keep silent any longer, so let me in for a little minute. I like the cousins' letters very much, and read them over a good many times. I am 11 years old, and in the fifth grade.


ROY FRANCIS RUDOLPH, Hartley, Hartley Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: May I walk in and chat with the cousins? My father is a correspondent for The News. We live at a big windmill and have plenty of water to play with and waste. We live fifteen miles from the Texas northern line.


BETTIE GREGORY, Rice, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Bonnet and cousins: Will you let me come in and chat with you for awhile? I have been trying to get up courage enough to write for a long time. I have decided, at last, to try, and if Peggy gets it, I will try again. Cousins, did any of you ever go fishing and fall in the river? I have. I saw some little fishes swimming near the bank and I tried to catch them with my hands and fell in. You may imagine I was scared. I would like to correspond with Alice Sherfield, if she will write first. My age is 11 years. I will vote for the cape jasmine.


MAUDE SALLEY, Hubbard, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Some time has elapsed since last I wrote to the Corner. Oh, thank you for your warm greeting. That seems so much more like you! I knew ere I had written three lines, I was welcome. I hardly know what to write that would be of interest to the readers, as I find it quite difficult to write to your paper. Above all, the papers that are written to by the cousins, I should pronounce yours the most rigorous to write to. I think it the best. We have so many nice writers, I would like very much to meet them all. I think Master Big Hat ought to feel highly elated at having such a nice page. And, the cousins seem to take so much interest in writing to his grand and interesting paper. I also think we cousins ought to feel awfully proud for the kindness he has shown us, to give us one whole page in his paper. It appears to have already proved beneficial to some. There is nothing I enjoy any better than good reading, and I find some very nice reading in The News. Cousin Sticking Plaster, have you forgotten us entirely? What has become of our novel poet, Dixie O'Neal? I am waiting anxiously for your next appearance, telling us something about your luxurious mansion in the sky. Perhaps it would prove interesting to some, if I should tell them how camphor is made. One of the principal products of the territory which has come under Japanese administration, as a result of the war with China, is camphor. Small shanties are scattered over the hills where the camphor trees grow, and in all directions, the clearing of the woods is going on at a rapid rate. On the hillsides are built distilleries, consisting of oblong-shaped structures, principally of mud bricks, and about ten or twelve feet long, six feet broad, and four feet high. On each side, there are five to ten fire holes, about a foot apart, and the same distance above the ground. On each fire hole is placed an earthen pot full of water, and above it, a cylindrical tube, about a foot in diameter and two feet high, passes up through the structure and appears above it. The tube is capped by a large inverted jar, with a packing of damp hemp between the jar and the cylinder to prevent the escape of steam. The cylinder is filled with chips of wood, about the size of the little finger, which rests on a perforated lid, covering the jar of water, so that, when the steam rises, it passes up to the inverted jar or condenser, absorbing certain resinous matter from the wood on its way. While distillation is going on, an essential oil is produced and is found mixed with water on the inside of the jar. When the jar is removed, the beady drops solidify, crystallization commences, and camphor, in a crude form, looking like newly formed snow, is detached by the hands, placed in baskets lined with plantain leaves, and hurried off to the nearest border town for sale. With regard to camphor, as in other commercial matters, the Chinese government has acted very foolishly. For over thirty years, there has been a constant demand for camphor, and yet, the administration has done nothing to prevent the reckless waste of the forests, and has taken no steps to provide for the re-aforestation of uninhabited tracts useless for cultivation. Willard Myrick, you have my heartfelt sympathy, and I hope it will not be many days until you hear of your brother's whereabouts. I cast my vote for the lovely magnolia, the sweetest and purest of flowers that grows.


I. X. PECK, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have long been a reader of The News, and now I ask admittance to the Cozy Corner. Many will think my name strange, I expect. It is quite cold here, at present. It makes me think of my native state, Illinois. I like very much to skate and take sleigh rides. I am now going to the Ball high school. I am 15 years old. Many of the cousins speak of hunting and fishing. If you want to hunt or fish, you must come to Galveston. You can kill ducks and catch the largest fish that swims, but fishing and hunting is not the only thing here. You can go bathing in the summer time. You can also see many pretty girls. Well, cousins, Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is the next thing on the programme. I have no pets, except a black cat. I like to read the letters of Joe Farmer and Genevieve Myrdock. Come again. George K. Butcher, your letters are all very good. I wish some of the cousins in Dallas would wake up. I used to live in Dallas myself. I have a cousin living there now. I am going to write to him and tell him to write a letter to the Cozy Corner, as he is a very good writer. I cast my vote for the magnolia.


MAGGIE CALEY, Guion, Taylor Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you admit another little girl to join your happy band? I am 12 years old. I have been going to school one week, and have had a nice time. Papa has been taking The News, and I like to read the letters. I have no pets, except a pony. Her name is Belle. I have two brothers. They are younger than I. We live one mile from Guion. This is my first attempt. I will vote for the red rose. It is my favorite flower.


KATHLEEN FRANCIS, Wolfe City, Hunt Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first letter, and I am going to write as if I had always been a writer. And, I don't want Peggy to devour it. I live in the western part of the city. My home is a two-story house in a very large yard. I love to romp and play, and we have an orchard. I have a cat and a bird. I did have two rabbits, but they ran off, and I have to mourn over the loss of them. I take art and music. Art is such a nice study. I have just finished the study of a cat. I have two sisters, one older, and one younger. I go to the public schools and have such a good teacher. I will tell you a story I read the other day. A little boy named George went into the woods one day. While there, he found a very small animal, so he took it home, in order to find the name of it and have a nice pet. The family had never seen an animal like it, and they couldn't tell George its name. There was a hunger passed by one day, and said it was an animal seldom seen in Texas, but he knew what it was, and told them that it was a badger. It was a very smart little animal. It would take its bed out every morning to air and bring it in at night, and it had so many cunning tricks, that if I named them, you cousins would get tired, and besides, Mr. Big Hat doesn't like long letters, and I will stop on this subject. I am 13 years old. Olia Grisham, I will answer your question. Louisiana was purchased by the United States in 1803. President Jefferson bought it from France for the sum of $15,000,000. I will now ask, "When did Louisiana become a state?" I will cast my vote for the lilac, as it has the sweetest odor.


THOMAS TUCKER BASS, Terrell, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is the first time I ever attempted to write a letter. Peggy, I will give you something to eat next time I write. If you are very hungry, then, eat this letter, and I will write another. This is the 5th of December, but is very hot here to-day. Christmas will soon be here, and I am very glad. I am always glad when Christmas comes. Herbert Taylor, I think you write splendid letters. I haven't but one pet, and that is a dog. I have a bullet gun. I sometimes go hunting. My brother had one, but he broke it. He is only 5 years old and killed a bird.


MAGGIE ROBERSON, Liverpool, Brazoria Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Once more, I knock at the door. Will some one let me in? Be in a hurry, for it is sleeting out here. Now, let me cast my vote for the saucy little pansy. I think it will be the prettiest for the Cozy Corner. Louise Groce, like you, I don't think Herbert Taylor can be very big. I am going to school now. I love to go to school. I go five miles every day. Christmas will soon be here, and I will sure be glad, for I love to go to the Christmas tree. Miss Big Bonnet, I wish you would send me your picture. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins. My age is 14. I would like very much to see some of the cousins. Come again, Dorothy Earl. Your letter was very interesting. Peggy, I don't think Mr. Big Hat can ride you any more this winter, if it snows, for you are too little. I will close, for there comes Peggy with his mouth open.


GUSSIE SMITH, Orange, Orange Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little girl 11 years old, and in the sixth grade. There was a great misfortune happened to our schoolhouse about two weeks ago. It was set on fire by somebody that was very mean. Since this happened, the professor had to arrange us the best way he could. The ninth and tenth, the seventh and eighth grades are taught in the courthouse. The third and sixth are taught in the Campbellite church house. The fifth grade is taught in a private house, and the fourth, in the Methodist church house. The city council is talking about building us a new brick schoolhouse. I will now tell you about my visit to the lake. I saw a crab, about as big around as my head. We put a plank out in the lake, and pushed it along, and every once in a while, the plank would go to the bottom. I would not mind it, if I could go down there again some day. I believe if I could go down there every day for two months, I might learn how to swim, if I did not drown in the attempt.


ABE J. DeVALENCIA, Galveston, Galveston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Bonnet and cousins: Lend me your ears. (Hark!) I hear Peggy saying: "Don't you do it; he has a pair of his own." Well, Peggy, you need not kick, for if I had your ears, I would not ask others to lend me theirs. To change the subject, I will tell the cousins something of my life. I was born in Charleston, S. C., in 1886, the year after the big earthquake. I have four sisters and one brother. My mother died when I was 1 year old. We left Charleston and traveled for a year through New York, Brooklyn, New Jersey, and other places in the north. In 1890, we landed in San Antonio, and in 1893, left for Galveston, where we have lived nearly four years. Do any of the cousins know what an earthquake is, or have you been in one? Well, I had the misfortune to be born the year after the earthquake, but my father and sisters were in it. They often tell me of it. Cousins, if you will listen, I will tell you as much as I know of it. We all know the earth is round, at least, we think we do. Well, we'll take in consideration a ball, hollow in the middle, full of water. This water boils so hard, that you can melt gold and silver, and other hard metals, and when the water gets too hot for the earth, and it explodes and causes a panic among those who are living in that part of the country, where it explodes. The big earthquake in Charleston took place on Tuesday night, Aug. 31, 1886, at 9:40 o'clock. It was a terrible sight -- nothing but smoke, dust, fire and rain. There were many lives lost. It was weeks before people would dare go into their houses, for fear the houses would fall in. It was sad, in one way, but comical in another, to hear my sister tell how they used to go round in shoes and dresses, a mile too big for them, belonging to neighbor women. At night, crowds would gather round the smaller houses for a little rest, for they were the safest. A large house is more liable to be knocked down by the shocks, than a small one. I will wind up by singing a little song of my own make, about Mr. Big Hat, to the tune of "Where Did You Get That Hat?"

Since eight years old, I've read The News,
The cousins' letters, too;
Now that I'm nine years old, I thought
I thought I'd join that merry crew.
Of course, I've not a hat like you,
Spectacles, nor cane.
But now, I've joined the Corner,
I'll never come out again.

Chorus --
Oh, Mr. Big Hat,
Where did you get that tie?
Isn't it a nobby one.
It's just the latest style.
Where did you get that walking stick?
I'm greatly stuck on that.
Whene'er I read The Sunday News,
I see your great big hat.

    I am in the high fifth grade, at the K school. I have four teachers. Peggy, if you eat my letter, I'll put tacks in the next one. I vote for the white rose. Come again, Ella Clark, Genevieve Myrdock, Lee Sypert and Ethel Eldridge. How many of the cousins sympathize with Willard Myrick? I do, and if I ever hear of his brother, I will certainly let him know.


MINNIE WALCOTT, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I hereby beg admittance as a "country cousins" into the Cozy Corner, and will introduce myself as the "Wandering Bachelor," not that my age entitles me to the appellation, no, no, but because -- well, I'll not tell you just now, but trust that, if any of the cousins write to me, they will not make the mistake that an aspiring young poet of my county did not, long since, who, after reading a few sketches over my name, thought I belonged to the class defined as the gentler sex, and wrote me a cute little billet doux. I have just read Braxton Rodgers' descriptive sketch of New Mexico, as given him by his friends, and it reminds me of many places I have seen in old Mexico. Though, I could give you a pen picture of the Mexican tropics, which would pale the magnificent splendor of the semi-tropics of either old, or New Mexico, I will desist until we are better acquainted. Well, Hassie Evans, you are truly a "funny girl," if you do not like Dickens' works. Have you read "David Copperfield?" If not, please read it. If you have, just re-read "Our Housekeeping," or, as some put it, "Dora, the Child Wife," then tell me you do not like it, and I will present you with "Evangeline." The "Lady of the Lake" is very pretty. And now, Hassie, when you begin reading the great authors, just read "Paradise Lost." Well, I would just like to meet that Fritz Town girl, who always does the "right thing at the wrong time." I think her somewhat poetically inclined, and as an encouragement, will try to translate her little poem:

Bright are the beautiful woods,
Yellow, the stubble fields,
And the fall begins;
Red leaves are falling,
Gray mists prevail;
And colder blows the wind.

Now, Cousin Ella, I've done my best. Will you, or some one of the other cousins, please translate the following for me:

Ella el Mrrlo del rio,
Blanca y pura cual nenguna,
Hecha de rayos de Luna,
Y de gatos de rocio.


BOB SCOTT, Lumber, Columbia Co., Ark. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Some time has elapsed since I last wrote to the Cozy Corner and promised 25 cents for the memorial fund. I have had the money some time, but wanted to write so bad, and Mr. Big Hat was so crowded, I knew I couldn't get in, so, I waited till now. I beg to advise Mr. Big Hat, if this should escape Peggy, to have the printers not make the mistake of calling my home, Lumber, Tex., again, because, since I wrote, I have visited Dallas and Terrell. I believe there is also a Robert Scott and a Lumber, Tex. I'll vote Mr. Big Hat success even more for the six years to come, than has been his, in the past. I do not want to take the space in our happy little circle from any one. I'd rather read the good letters of others, than my own. Write again, Beatrice Shelley and Luna Clark.


PEARLE ARMSTRONG, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I desire to make my debut in your charming column. I hope you all will have a delightful time during the holidays. I always [enjoy] reading the letter department of The News immensely. Herbert Taylor's letters are quite entertaining, but I suppose he prevaricates a little, occasionally. Well, that is to be pardoned on paper. Doubtless, some of you have voted for the sunflower. Well, that is most too conspicuous, so, I will cast my vote for the lily of the valley. I read a great deal, but I am not exceptionally fond of novels. I prefer prose to poetry. Peggy, I will exonerate you from the obligation of devouring this letter, and if you are so considerate as to be engaged in market reports, when it makes its arrival, I will possibly call again. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins, partly with a view to edification. I am a little girl over "sweet sixteen." I have no pets, as I prefer to reverse it. With my best wishes for the department, I bid you au revoir.


WARREN ABERNATHIE, Groveland, Jack Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would write to you, whether it was printed, or not. I am going to school. My papa takes The News, and I like to read the cousins' page, and some of the letters are nice. I study five studies. My age is 14.


MAUD STORIE, Groveland, Jack Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: It has been quite a while since I wrote. I study six studies. My age is 15. I live on the prairie, and it is cold when the north winds come. It is mountainous, and there is timber all around us. It is a beautiful country around here. I wonder if Bessie Bee and Maud Carson are never going to write any more. I love to read the letters of our foreign cousin. If there is any one of the cousins who knows a man by the name of Mart Storie, please let me know.


ANNA REGIAN, Marlin, Falls Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Please do not let Peggy get this letter, for I want my grandpapa to see it in print, as he takes The News. I am going to school at Shields' academy. We are going to have a Christmas tree at the schoolhouse. I am in the fifth grade. We have thirty-six pupils. Mr. Big Hat, I hope all cousins will have a merry Christmas. My little sister wants to write, but she is too little. I will vote for the white rose.


ARNOLD REED, Amarillo, Potter Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my first attempt to write, and I hope Peggy will not get it. If this reaches the printer, and is printed in The News, I will come again. The cousins all have read books and speak about them. I have read a few, among them, I think the best is "The Search for the Missing Link," by the author of "Frank Merriwell." I think we should not forget one of the great men of Texas, Stephen Austin. At the death of his father, he was only 28 years old, and had not money enough to carry out his plans. In New Orleans, he met his old classmate, Joseph L. Hawkins, who had the means and will to help him. Austin scattered papers along the Mississippi valley, inviting the people to join his colony. Game was always plentiful, but oftentimes, the larder was almost empty, especially in times of Indian raids, when all the men were needed for fighting. Sometimes, the hunter never came back, but was found dead -- scalped by the Indians. Letters from friends and relatives were two or three months old when received. They had no postal law between the United States and Mexico then. Mail was carried by whoever happened to be going anywhere. Austin went to Mexico, and on his way, he took a severe headache, and felt that he must have some coffee. His companions warned him of the danger, if the Indians should see the smoke from the fire, and begged him not to stop. When in the act of putting the coffee to his lips, he heard a sound. [He was surrounded by Comanche Indians.] Pretending not to feel any fear when they began to plunder him, he went to the chief, and said he was an American, and asked if their nation was at war with the Americans." "No," was the answer. "Do you like the Americans?" "Yes, they are our friends." "Where do you get your spearheads, your blankets?" etc. "From the Americans." "Well, do you think if you were passing through their nation, as I am through yours, they would rob you as you have me?" The chief thought for a little while, and replied: "No. It would not be right." Then, they returned all the things taken. Austin was given full powers to control the officers of his colony, and was made lieutenant colonel of the home companions. Sometime afterward, Austin was made secretary of state, and though still in feeble health, he worked in a room without fire, and took the pneumonia and died. Cousins, this man was a noble man, was he not?


ALBERT KOENNECKE, Fredericksburg, Gillespie Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I suppose I am a stranger to you all, but I intend to get acquainted with you. My brother, Theodore, has subscribed for your News about two months ago, and we both like it so well, especially the Cozy Corner, that we sometimes get in disputes when we receive The News, because each wants to have it first. Of course, I must give up, most of the time, because he paid for the subscription; but, I'd rather do that, than not to get it at all. I am a student of a correspondence college. Sickness caused me to take a course in it, as I was not able to work, and it also was inconvenient for me to leave home to attend school. I took the graduating course, which embraces the following branches: Bookkeeping, business forms, commercial arithmetic, penmanship, commercial law, and letter-writing. In giving instruction by correspondence, they send personal directions and explanations to each student, giving practically the same instruction in a written form, that the teacher would give in a regular class exercise. These written lessons have an advantage over personal instruction, inasmuch as the student has them constantly before him to refer to, when necessary. After the lesson is prepared as directed, it is sent to the college, together with such questions as the student may wish to ask. The teacher examines everything with the utmost care, corrects all errors, answers all questions, and then returns the papers, together with such suggestions and criticisms as will enable the student to understand the work thoroughly. There is no specified time for completing the various courses. The progress made depends, altogether, upon the student's qualifications, his ability to learn, and the amount of time he is able to devote to study. One or two lessons may be taken each week, or one lesson in two or three weeks, just as best suits the student.


ETHEL WINTER, Abilene, Taylor Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my second attempt to write to The News. I live on a farm, several miles from Abilene. I help papa work the cotton in spring and fall. I go to school in the winter, and I read in the summer. "Barriers Burned Away," "Marcia," "Scottish Chiefs," and "Ships That Pass in the Night," are my favorite books. E. P. Roe is my favorite author. Juanita St. Clair, I, for one, am interested in Cuba. I think the Indians were never as cruel as the Spaniards, and if we were men, you might call me your companion, for I would also go to help Cuba. Lauretta Faust, come again. I wish you all [a] merry Christmas. My age is 14 years.


WALTER RAYMOND HAMMOND, Kosse, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you let a little boy who has three pets, join your happy band? I am 9 years old and go to school every day. We boys have lots of fun at school playing base ball. I will tell you a little about my three pets. One of them is a kitten, the other two are dogs. One dog is a poodle, and the other is a full-blooded bulldog puppy. He is only four months old. He is very playful.


GERTIE BELL SWAN, McKinney, Collin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little girl, 8 years old. I have one little brother. This is the first time I have ever written to the Cozy Corner. Papa has been taking The News two years. I have been reading the cousins' letters. I have no pets, but a hen and fourteen chickens. I have not been to school for a week or more. Mama has been sick.


ANNA L. BATY, Retreat, Grimes Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: In reading the letters in the last issue, it aroused my writing faculties, so that I could not resist the temptation of writing to this department. I did not go to school to-day, for I have been sick, though, I like to go to school. I'll be glad when Christmas comes, for I always have a good time; don't you, cousins? I have five sisters and three brothers. Don't you think I am well off? I will vote for the white rose. My age is 12.


CORA MAY COZART, Tidwell, Hunt Co., Tex. -- Good morning, Mr. Big Hat and cousins! Will you admit another little Texas girl into your Cozy Corner? My pa takes The News and thinks it is the best paper in Texas. I go to school and love to study. I am just beginning to learn to write, so I got my ma to write this for me. I will write you a letter, just as soon as I learn to write a little better. I am 9 years old. I can help ma cook and wash dishes, and do lots of work. I have one brother older than I, and two sisters younger. I had a sweet little baby brother, and he died. How many of the little cousins can play the organ? I have one, but I can't play much yet.


ERNEST MASON, Crystal Falls, Stephens Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes a little stranger boy, knocking for admission. I go to school every day. My papa received the premium pictures of The News. I think they are very pretty. Papa said I could have the pictures, if I would write to Mr. Big Hat. But, I will stop, for fear Peggy will get this. I am 7 years old.


WILLIE DENTON, Cumby, Hopkins Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another boy asking for admittance in the Cozy Corner. This is my first attempt to write to The News. My father has been taking The News for quite a while. I have become interested in the cousins' letters. I am attending school now. I like to go to school. I agree with some of the cousins about dancing. I went to one last Friday night, and had an excellent time. Mr. Big Hat, come down to Cumby next Friday night. We are going to have a play. The name of it is "The Play of '96." Come again, Cousin Hedwig. You write such interesting letters. I must quit, for I hear old Peggy chewing on this letter now. I would like to correspond with some of the cousins about 15 or 16 years old.


LENUS SPENCER, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Here I come, knocking for admittance. This is the first time I have written. I am 8 years old, and study seven books. I wish I had Miss Big Bonnet's picture. I think she is very pretty. I have one pet, a little kitten; he is very sweet. But, he is in the care of my aunt, who lives in Hearne. I am very fond of reading. I have read all of Miss Alcott's works, but two, and Dickens' "Christmas Stories," Scott's "Ivanhoe," and am anxious for Christmas to come, to get more. How is Peggy? I hope her letter meals have agreed with her. I have several little friends up here. I wish to correspond with some of the cousins about my age. I like to read the letters of all the cousins.


SALOME MAURICE, Prairie Plains, Grimes Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Rat-a-tat-tat! Oh, why doesn't some one respond to my impatient knock for admittance to the Cozy Corner? I cannot boast of my height, but I guess I can tip-toe and obtain a view of the Cozy Corner through the window Well, what meets my view? Ah! just what I expected. All the bright-faced cousins collected together, apparently quite enthused over the arrival of some popular cousin -- Joe Farmer, or, it may be, Cousin Gene. Well, whoever it is, I'm going to join them. Rat-a-tat-tat! Ah, there comes one dear little cousin to welcome me to the Cozy Corner. Thank you, dear! I am in now, and happy I am, too, to be considered one of those entitled to an undisputed share of Mr. Big Hat's cheery smiles and kind words of advice. Cousins, let me join you all in praising the many excellent contributors to this much beloved corner. Whew! isn't it cold out of doors, though? But, if the cousins will allow me the privilege of basking in their warm smiles, I will soon be ready to nestle down in that big cushioned arm chair and tell them a story. Now, I'm ready. To begin with, I will say that there is a dear old habit that has been my constant companion from childhood. We grew up side by side, and it is a cherished and much-indulged-in habit. How many little freckled girls will recognize it when I say it was the habit of going bare-headed? I was getting so many of those little disfiguring splotches called freckles, that I was considered ugly, which, I suppose, means anything disagreeable to the eye. Out of pure compassion on my homeliness, my sister made me a red and green home-spun bonnet of huge dimensions, and coaxed me to wear it, saying when I clapped it on my head and scampered out to play, that I would soon be bleached up and made pretty. One evening, I was in the barn yard playing with the piggies and ducks. It was late, and dusk had begun to settle over the bright, green earth. I had thrown my bonnet off to give the mischievous breezes a chance to tangle my tanned, and tan-colored hair. Suddenly, I looked toward the lane and saw the cattle coming home. Now, old Spot, papa's finest milker, and I, were bitter enemies; and not caring to encounter her, alone and unsuspected, I skipped into the house. No sooner had Old Spot entered the lot, than she spied my bonnet hanging on the trough. Doubtless, she thought my hated face was concealed beneath it, so she immediately made a furious attack on the helpless bonnet. After several attempts, she succeeded in getting it off the trough. The poor bonnet was repeatedly tossed in mid-air, and finally, she had it securely fastened to her horns, in such manner, that the top, which was thickly lined with pasteboard, was hanging directly over her eyes, effectually shutting out all light. Mighty and many were the efforts made by the infuriated beast to disentangle it from her horns, but all in vain. All night, she bellowed and pawed, but turn which way she would, she came in contact with some object she didn't wish to "butt" more than once. Next morning, when John went to milk Old Spot, [she] was standing with her head braced against the gate-post, patiently awaiting assistance. John was not long in removing the offending obstacle. Spot showed her gratitude by being as gentle and meek as a lamb, ever afterwards. I was easily convinced that that bonnet did more good over Spot's head in one night, than it did on Speck's head (my head), during the whole year. That's all. Well, cousins, I will now take my departure, for I see Cousin Gene, or one of those "Fritz town girls," coming most gorgeously arrayed in the latest and more interesting topics, and with a story for her "train," all sparkling with "wit and wisdom." My age is 16 years.


EDDIE WALTERS, Rockett, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and Peggy: I will now knock for admittance into the Cozy Corner. Will you all welcome me? It has been a long time since I saw a letter from this part of the country. I am still picking cotton, though, we will soon be done. Then, I will start to school. I love to go to school. I love my teacher. He has been teaching the public school five terms. I will vote for the white rose, for there is nothing any nicer or sweeter than the white rose. Come often, Herbert Taylor, as you write good letters. I also love to read Miss Big Bonnet's nice little letters. I inclose 2 cents for Mr. Big Hat's and Miss Big Bonnet's photos.


FANNIE L. WALTERS, Rockett, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat, Little Miss Big Bonnet and cousins (including Peggy): Will you open the door for me to walk in and chat with you all once more? It has been quite a while since I last wrote to the dear old News. I can hardly wait to get the Friday issue, I am so anxious to read the children's letters. My favorite flower is the white rose. My brothers, Eddie and Jesse, also voted for the white rose. They both have written to The News, but not lately. My little chum was here last night, and we had lots of fun. Brother Eddie and I are going horseback riding to-morrow. I have a nice little fat pony and ride when I like.


EMMA RAWLS and NORA STOKER, Itasca, Hill Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you admit two more Texas girls to your happy band? We have been "interested readers" of the Cozy Corner for some time, but could not conquer our timidity sufficiently to write, till we had read so many interesting letters, from almost every point in Texas, except our own home. We think this department is growing wonderfully, and is increasing in interest with each issue. Joe Farmer, Gene Myrdoch, Herbert Taylor, Ludie Sanders and Wallpaper A. Shinplaster, come again. We like to read your letters. Some of the cousins speak of the books they have read. We are sorry, we have not been so fortunate as some, for we have very few books. We are going to school and don't have time to read anything but the letters. Our highest ambition is to get an education.


LOU ELLA WAKEFIELD, Midway, Madison Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am going to write again, if you please. Well, Chum and I are sitting together at school now. We promised the teacher we wouldn't talk, but we make some awfully big signs sometimes. Gene Myrdock, I think the cousins will get tired if we don't stop talking about our chums so much. I have a little pet pig. I keep it in a box out in the yard. This is my second letter to The News. My first one was published. I wonder if Miss Pearly Wakefield is any kin to me? She surely has a sweet name. O, Peggy scares me. Will some one be so kind as to drive him away?


DIXIE KINNIBRUGH, Decatur, Wise Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you admit another 14-year-old girl into the Cozy Corner? I have long been an admirer of the cousins' letters, but would not venture to write, till I became better acquainted with you all. Lee Sypert, we have a Nell Morris in our town, but I don't suppose it is the one you were speaking of. I am attending the Decatur public school, and have a splendid teacher, and consequently, am learning fast. We have many pretty flowers, but my favorite is the white rose. A new granite courthouse is just being completed in our town. I hope to see another letter in The News from Willard Marl real soon. Gene Myrdock, come again. You write splendid letters. What did the cousins do Thanksgiving? I went to a candy-pulling and had a fine time. I am glad old Santa Claus will soon be here, and think the cousins are as glad as I am. I will close by asking the author of "Mill on the Floss?"


BERTIE RICHARDSON, Egan, Johnson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Seeing my other letter in print, I thought I would write again. I have just finished reading the cousins' letters, and think them very interesting. I hope it won't be long till Miss Big Bonnet will make her appearance again. How the corner is improving! I cast my vote for the yellow chrysanthemum. Ludie Sanders, Genevieve Myrdock, and many others, come again. Since I last wrote, we are taking The News, which we all like very much. I like the children's page the best of all. Frankie Assiter, your ghost story was very good, but I believe that I would have run back home, if they all did laugh.


DELLA MAY BURNS, Ferris, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This is my second attempt to write to The News. I am 12 years of age. The cousins are voting for flowers, so I will cast my vote for the red rose. Nellie Nance, come again; you write such interesting letters. We are not done picking cotton yet. We have got about two more bales to pick. I am not going to school now, but I study at home. Papa has bought us a place of 100 acres. I hope Mr. Big Hat's big-eared mule does not get my letter and eat it up. Mr. Big Hat must give Peggy some corn and hay, so he would not have to eat letters.

- December 27, 1896, The Dallas Morning News, p. 14, col. 1, 3-7.
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