September 27, 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.
LANTIE V. BLUM, Durham, Borden Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Since Mr. Big Hat has been receiving so many letters recently, containing voters for our emblem, I have decided to leave the polls open until Nov. 15, 1896. Cousins, you must all vote for your flower, and let us choose a sweet and beautiful flower, one that is characteristic of Texas. The violet and the cape jasmine and the rose are in the lead, and it promises to be a battle royal. My favorite flower is the sunflower. Is it not characteristic of grand old Texas? Let the supporters of the sunflower rally to our standard, and then victory is ours! Sound the trumpet! beat the drum! forward march! to victory! Cousins, send in your vote on a postal card to Mr. Big Hat. Cousin Ola Dubose, of course, I knew Mrs. M. A. Sloan of Knapp. Cousin Ola, if you had staid a couple of years longer, you would have been all O. K.
WILLARD MARL, Liverpool, England. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Have you room in your very Cozy Corner and general friendliness to admit another member -- a very homesick one? For more than a year, I have been a reader of your interesting department, and more than once, have thought of proposing myself for admission, but Ferdie Howard's words of hearty welcome, "to those who write from distant lands," has at last decided me. It seems to be the general form for one to explain one's existence on entering the band, so, I throw myself entirely on your mercy and proceed, hoping to be found worthy. I am 17 years of age, a Georgian by birth, a Texan by inclination, and, for the time being, at least, an Englishman by force of circumstance. For more than half my life, I have been an orphan, having my own way in life to make, which, perhaps, accounts for the smallness of the niche I occupy. What education I have, was received in the Texas public schools and the Southwestern university, but, it is very little, and I would like nothing better than to go back to school for four or five years; and, oh, how I would study! Most of us do not know that we are not making the best of our opportunities until they are spent, and afterward -- ah, well! it does not form a very pleasant view for inspection in our own idle moments. I have been in England little more than a year, and made the journey over alone, starting from Dallas, which place I always call home. I left Dallas in the most beautiful month of the year, June, and passed through Little Rock, Decatur, Williamsport and Lafayette, Ind. (which is said to be the prettiest place between St. Louis and Detroit), and on the second morning, about 5 a. m., we stopped at Niagara Falls. I have not yet been able to describe to myself the impression this greatest wonder of nature made on me. The sun was just rising from behind the falls, and all nature, other than the falls, was hushed, and the picture was simply magnificent; yet, a degree of awfulness surrounds it. The stop at Niagara Falls is very short, five or ten minutes, I believe, but it is long enough to indelibly impress the picture on one's mind. Another three days and I was away, midst the strain of "Auld Lang Syne," and the last impression I had of my country was the statute of Liberty, holding her torch away up. When I could see that no longer, I went below, feeling pretty much as if I was the chief mourner at my own funeral. Among our passengers were Madame Nordica, the actress, and William Hoey, the comedian. The former was in very ill health, and we did not see her. While the latter reminded me of a back country doctor, "with lips that never knew a smile's relief." Just one thing more. To a homesick Texan, the Cozy Corner is like a gleam of golden sunshine, and buoys one's spirits up "muchiv." One only regrets that Mr. Big Hat does not have the whole paper. I especially enjoy the letters of the character of Miss Myrdock's and Mr. Dawson's. No, Mr. Big Hat, no honorable occupation is unwomanly. What I understand by womanly is pre-eminence in modesty, sweetness, purity, delicacy and reserve, and she can retain this pre-eminence while filling any honorable position in life, so, say no honorable position in life is unwomanly. This is a long letter for a foreigner, so Mr. Big Hat will have a chance to use the editorial scissors unsparingly. If it will interest you, I will later give you my impressions of England.
LIZZIE CARNES, West Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you please open the door and let one more little girl join your happy band? I have been a reader of The News for a long time, and I like the page for "Little Men and Women" best of all. Herbert Taylor, Ludie Sanders and many others are all splendid writers. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the cousins would make their mark in the world and have the honor of being the author or authoress of some great book. I live three miles in the country. We moved here from town about two months ago. It is real lonesome sometimes, but we have a good horse, and I can go horseback riding. Papa works in town at the postoffice, and I went over yesterday and staid about two hours with him. I was introduced to Mr. W. Houston (son of Gen. Sam Houston, Texas' brave and glorious soldier), and he showed me a cup of solid silver, which belonged to his father, and also, a letter which his father wrote him when he was a baby. He said next time I came, he would show me some things his father used in battle. But, I hear some of the cousins saying, "Doesn't she make long visits?"
Orchard, Fort Bend Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat:
I am a little girl 10 years old. We moved to Orchard, Tex., from Ohio a year ago this month. Orchard is seventy-six miles northwest of Galveston, on the Santa Fe railroad. Four years ago, Dr. Chenoweth, the founder of the colony, and Mr. Mountain, moved here. Now, there are many families living here. Lettuce, onions, beets, radishes, cabbage and celery grew in our garden all last winter. It is very healthy here. There has not been a death in the colony since we came here. I have had two adventures since coming to Texas. I was thrown from a pony and knocked senseless for a while, and last spring, I went out to get some celery, and I felt something on my foot. I thought it was my kitty, ready for a romp. I looked down and a very large snake was crawling over my foot. My sister heard me and came out and killed it. I have a grandpa and grandma in Ohio. I will vote for the cape jasmine. The answer to Mary Crisp's riddle is an egg. I will ask the cousins a Bible question: Who slew a lion in a pit on a snowy day?
LIZZIE HARRISON, Paris, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have long been a silent admirer of this happy band, but I a can not keep quiet any longer, and if Peggy meets me at the door and takes my letter, I will try again, believing in the old saying, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." I don't suppose my letter will be half as interesting as that of Herbert Taylor, as I have met with few adventures, and I know all the cousins like to hear about them. I do not see many letters that beat those of Pet Kelley, Herbert Taylor and Lauretta Faust. Some of the cousins say they don't believe in dancing. Well, I do. I don't see the least bit of harm in it. I think it a most enjoyable pastime, if not indulged in too much. I have been reading a good deal this summer. Who of the cousins have read "Lady Jane?" I think it one of the sweetest stories ever published. I have read all of Frances H. Burnett's books but one, and nearly all of Miss Alcott's. I have just finished the story, "Paul and Virginia." Cousin Lantie, the flower I vote for is the fragrant cape jasmine. I have a bicycle and enjoy riding it very much. Did any of the cousins who have a bicycle ever go to a bicycle party? I have, and I think it is so much fun. Our school will commence 28th of September. I will be so glad, for I love to go to school. Have any of the cousins ever visited a gold mine? I have. I went to one last summer. It was in the great mining camp of Cripple Creek, Colorado. I have been to Dallas and Galveston both, but never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Big Hat or Miss Big Bonnet. Enclosed find a stamp for your picture. Ethel Taylor, write again. I am 12 years old.
MARY ROGERS, Mound, Coryell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you permit a little 10-year-old girl into the Cozy Corner? This is my first attempt to write to the paper. We live in a nice place. We live about 150 yards from the Cotton Belt railroad and about 100 yards from the Leon river. We can see mountains every way we look, nearly. I am piecing me a quilt. I pieced one when I was 3 years old. My school will soon begin, and I will surely be glad of it, for I do love to go to school. I have one sister and two brothers younger than myself. I'll vote for the red, red rose, the sweetest rose of all. I have but one pet; that is a doll. It is three feet high. Miss Big Bonnet, please don't let Peggy get this, for I want papa to see it.
ESTHER WILSON, Corsicana, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and all of the cousins besides Peggy: I thought I would drop in and chat for a while. I have never written to the cousins before, so, I am quite a stranger in this happy circle. I suppose the cousins will stare at me and wonder what business I have got to interfere, but I won't mind difficulties, for if I can be admitted to your Cozy Corner, I will be happy. Ludie Sanders, you and Herbert Taylor write very good letters. My imagination of Cousin Ludie is this: Dark, wavy hair, big brown eyes, fair complexion, medium size, pretty and smart. Now, for Cousin Herbert: Rather tall, slim, 16 years old, brown, curly hair, very polite and nice, with a mischievous twinkle in those merry black eyes of his. Cousin Lantie, I cast my vote for the pansy. There comes obstinate Peggy to eat my letter up, but I hope it will escape him, for I should like to see it in print. I am 12 years old.
LENA M. WIESE, Jones' Prairie, Milam Co., Tex. -- While there is no one about to shake the floor, I will make a call on Mr. Big Hat and the cousins this sunny afternoon. Papa and the boys have gone to the spring to haul water. We have never had to haul our drinking water before. We have two cisterns, but they both leak. We've been hauling water ever since July. All our tanks are about dry now, and the boys have to take all the stock to water every day at noon. The whole neighborhood, excepting the few who haul from a pump well across the Brazos, haul their water from Blockhouse spring. This spring affords plenty of splendid water, and is so named on account of a block house, which was built there by the early settlers to protect the women and children when hostile Indians came into the country. It is about three miles away, and the road to it, most of the way, is in the bed of one of the steepest gullies in the county. We've had no rain here to amount to anything since early in April. I visited the coal mine about three weeks ago. Would that I could describe it to the cousins, as Mabel Sweetman described St. Augustine, though, of course, it is very different from St. Augustine. We had no guide, and I had never been in a mine before. It was Sunday afternoon, and there was nobody there. The mine is worked by sixty convicts, all white, but one. They are locked in their prison, and it is run to Calvert every Sunday and every night, too, I am told. The dirt from the mine is thrown in the edge of the water, and forms a high wall between the water and the mine. The river is narrower here than elsewhere. We rowed across the river and landed about 250 feet up the stream. The wall of dirt was lower here than anywhere else, as far as we could see, and it looked to be about twelve feet high. The mine is broad inside and quite level in places. The western wall is nothing but dirt, but the entire eastern wall is far up the mine, as we went (we didn't go al over it), seemed to be from four to eight feet deep of coal. They claim they have discovered a vein thirteen feet deep, since we were there. We could see the round holes where they had been blasting. The mine is being dug deeper along the eastern side. The trenches sipe full of water, which is carried from the mine by numerous iron pipes, into the river. One large pipe keeps a couple of troughs filled with water all the time. I don't know what it is used for. The railroad runs through the center of the mine. The cars inside of the mine were half filled with coal. There was a long train of cars on the bank. The steam scrapers and all the tools had been carried away, except a few picks and wheelbarrows. The mine has not yet been dug under the earthy any. Old Sol pours his burning rays right down upon the poor convicts all day long. I would like to see them at work these dry, scorching days. It ought to be a warning to every bad boy who visits the place. It was very warm in the mine, and we soon turned our faces homeward. The row across the river was delightful. The water is clear, but very brackish. The boat was large enough to accommodate a dozen. When the boys got us out in the deep water, they said they were going to turn the boat over, and give us an opportunity of learning to swim, but they couldn't scare us. We pulled our gloves off and stuck our hands in the cool water. We stopped at a dwelling upon the bank and got a drink of cold well water, fresh from the dripping bucket. I think Samuel Woodworth must have been thinking of just such a well when he wrote the well-known poem, "The Old Oaken Bucket."
ATWELL W. CLARK, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Dear Cousin Big Hat and other cousins: It was with great pleasure that I read a copy of the first issue of The News, and with varied interest, I have been reading The News ever since; but, this is the first time I have ever mustered up courage to write to the cousins, and it is with great fear and trembling, because of Peggy, that I make this attempt. All the cousins begin their first letters by telling their ages. Whether that is because of any requirement of yours, Cousin Big Hat, I can not tell, and unless I find that I have to tell my age, I will leave it to be guessed. I am old enough to remember when the Crutchfield house was the only first-class hotel in the city. I remember going down to see the Sallie Haynes, the first steamboat that came to Dallas after the war. I remember the little old brick courthouse and the little frame Masonic hall that served as hall, meeting-house and schoolhouse. I remember lots of things about Dallas, as far back as the sixties. Those were good old times for me, and it is with descriptions of these times that I hope to interest the cousins in my future letters, for I fear they would take little interest in my present hum-drum life of living-making. I will tell you right now, cousins, that I am afraid of the girls. Always was. The first time I went to school with my brother at the little hall, the girls gathered around me and said that I was cute, and wanted to make friends with me, but I became very much frightened and cried so, that I had to be taken home. Of course, I would not act that badly now, but you girls had better not be too enthusiastic in welcoming me to the Corner; no telling what might happen. Now, Peggy, you dear, sweet old thing, you be a good girl and let this letter alone, and I will promise to improve on better acquaintance. Besides, some time, I will bring you some candy, or hay, or waste paper, or anything else you like.
HURST and LOIS EMMERT, Ennis, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am only 6, and sister is 4 years old, but we read all the pictures in the paper and mamma reads the letters to us. We think Miss Big Bonnet is so pretty, and we inclose 2 cents for your picture and hers. We will appreciate them very much and look anxiously for them.
MARY CREGLOW LONG, Rosita, San Patricio Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet: I am a little girl 6 years old and this is my first letter to the Cozy Corner, so please do not let Peggy eat it. I am anxious for my aunt, who lives in Vernon, Tex., to read my letter in The News. I live on the Nueces bay. My little brother and I have a nice time bathing in the bay. I send a 2-cent stamp for your pictures. My brother wants Mr. Big Hat's and I want Miss Big Bonnet's. My father takes The News and thinks it a splendid paper, and I enjoy the little letters very much.
ABBIE THOMAS, Oak Cliff, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am going to write again to the Cozy Corner. I have been absent for such a long while. I read Donia Cardell's letter about the old saloons. I thought it was such a sweet little letter. I used to live by Donia when I lived in Dallas. I hope she will write again. I love to read her letters.
Granger, Williamson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins:
MANIE B. WILLIAMS, Mena, Polk Co., Arkansas -- Mr. Big Hat: Here comes another little girl 12 years old, asking for space in your Cozy Corner. Pa takes The News, and I have been reading the cousins' letters for a long time, which gives me so much pleasure, as all are so nice. I see several letters from Hattie Friend, and they are all just splendid. Hattie, we are old school mates. We went to school together four years ago at Harben, Tex. That was our old home. We moved to the Indian Territory four years ago, and moved from the Indian Territory here. We have been in Arkansas almost a year. We have a nice home here, and have all kinds of fruit. We have all kinds of roses, lilies, maples, poplars and almost all kinds of flowers, trees and shrubs in our yard. I am so proud of them, but pa is on a trade to sell our place, and if he sells out, we will come back to Texas. I will not be sorry, for I love dear old Texas. I am going to school now. This is my first letters, and if I see it in print, I will not be so afraid of Peggy and will write again.
ANNIE ELIZABETH McCASLON, Paris, Lamar Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Long have the bright letters of the cousins afforded interesting and instructive reading for me, and I have often wished to become one of you, but for various reasons, I have delayed asking admittance. Now, I make that attempt, which, I hope, will meet with success. I am a graduate of the class '96, and being one of those fortunate, and yet, in a sense, unfortunate ones, I have often been told since I received my "sheepskin," that discouragements and disappointments await me, so if my first letter is denied space in your interesting columns, I shall not enter that as a disappointment. Oh, I have told you I am a graduate, and I am afraid some of the cousins will think my age, necessarily, will prove a barrier to my entrance in your charming band, so I will remove all anxiety by stating my age. "Sweet sixteen." Doubtless, cousins, you each have a favorite study. With some of you, it may be that you fondly cherish subtle mathematics, or the onward-moving sciences, but not so with me. Literature is the study that I love above all else. It is the grandest and most brilliant gem in the diadem of knowledge. I hope some day to attain something in literary work, but that something will be far below the "dizzy heights of knowledge." Say, cousins, you who are old enough to appreciate and understand Tennyson's "Two Voices," ought to read it. I think there is an inexhaustible store of grand thoughts in this poem, thoughts that do not occur to us in common, practical life, but only when we "mind with mind," search for knowledge. Did you ever see any one who thought his stock of knowledge was complete? I have, and I pitied him. For references on the subject, cousins, follow the vein of hidden lore, which courses beneath the words of "The Two Voices." Especially, do these words hold me in their power:
"Thou hast not gain'd
a real height,
I admire Tennyson's productions, both those of psychical research and those in which he weaves the golden thread of courtly grandeur, and magnificence with the charming romances of earlier days. Well, enough of Tennyson; but, I could fill pages, so great is my admiration for him. Cousins, when I want to breathe the true spirit of poetry, I read Burns and Byron. What depths of passion lie in their lines: "Bobby" Burns and his "Cotter's Saturday Night" will always hold a prominent place in my literature. I have seen fine pictures of both Byron and Burns and truly are their faces indices to their characters; in other words, one can look at their pictures and judge of the nature of their writings. I have been told I favor Burns; perhaps that is why I admire him so, but, be that as it may, I think the "plowman poet" is a handsome man. Well, cousins, here I have been giving all praise to the literary geniuses across the ocean, while I have omitted one word even of admiration for that grand galaxy of New England's famous ones, whose poems, essays, works, etc., will forever illumine the pages of our literature. Not only do these brilliant stars shed their luster on the pages of American literature, but their masterly influence is acknowledged over the "deep blue." Well, I declare, I did not know I had taken so much space, and yet, I have not said near as much as I would like to. Literature is my "bobby" and when once started, I never know when to say "Finis." I do not plead guilty to wishing to monopolize the Cozy Corner. If I see this poorly-written article in print, I shall feel encouraged and write again, telling you about some favorite books of mine, and also a few characters of the immortal Shakespeare that I idolize. In conclusion, I cast a vote for the red rose. What tender associations cling to that flower!
WILEY McBRIDE, Kosse, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: How have you and all the cousins been dragging yourselves along since I last wrote? Have you had a nice time? or have you had a hard time like me? When I last wrote, I was planting corn; when I go done, I went to hoeing cotton; when I got done hoeing cotton, I went to picking, and I am picking yet. And, you know that is hard on a little 13-year-old boy. Mr. Big Hat, the last time I wrote, I made a mistake in my age. I was 13 the Saturday before I wrote. Cousins, do you ever go to ice cream suppers? I went to one last Friday night and had a very nice time. I went to one the Saturday before, but did not have as nice a time as I had at the last one. Mr. Big Hat, do you and the cousins like to play croquet? I like to play better than to pick cotton. We need rain very badly, as we have had none since June. I saw in one of the issues about one of the cousins who had been in the Indian Territory seven years, if I am not mistaken, and if I am, I hope she will correct me, and had not seen any full-blooded Indians since she had been there. I lived in the Indian Territory eleven months and saw 500 at a barbecue at Duncan, I. T. The town was just 1 year old that day, and had about 1500 inhabitants. The inhabitants of the town killed a beef and the Indians ate it blood raw. But, hello, I almost forgot Peggy. You just be still and I'll send some grass for you, if you won't eat my letter.
JONIE JONES, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Of course, you have not been writing to the Corner too long to forget the pride of seeing your first letter in print. Neither have I, for my last letter was my first. (Sounds funny, but it is true.) If you think I have been too hasty, just shove this a little further back and put some good letters first. I won't get angry. Clara Pix, were you born in Texas? I was born in Austria in 1879, and was 3 years old when we came across the "pond." I do not remember anything. Alfred Henck, my grandmother will be 82 in May. She is strong and can work as much almost as I can. She was 68 when we came to America, and she can not speak English. She speaks German. Who does not believe in dancing? I would rather dance than eat. There is no harm in dancing, unless you carry it too far; but, anything is harmful if you exaggerate it. Cape jasmine means "My heart is joyful," and, I think, with Sallie Critic, that it is a beautiful emblem for the cousins. Can't we decide before the fair, so we can recognize each other if we meet in Dallas during the exposition? I have a sore foot and can not walk well. I have a headache, toothache, footache and almost every other ache, except heartache. How many of the cousins ride wheels? Mamma won't let me. I used to sing in the choir at my church. I never did sing well, but now I can scarcely sing at all. I have had a cold and lost my voice entirely. I belong to the Jewish church. I know two of the Dallas cousins who wrote Sunday, Sept. 12. If this is too long, condense it, and, Big Hat, don't let me crowd you any good letters. I wonder if the old "Little Jack Horner ate his pie in the Cozy Corner?"
FAY DAVIDSON, Cumby, Hopkins Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another 14-year-old girl to join the happy band of cousins. I have been a silent admirer for a long time. I go to a normal college, where they teach six days per week and ten hours per day. I like the normal method of teaching much better than the old way. I cast my vote for the cape jasmine. Success to The News.
LUELLA GRASSMAN, Cisco, Eastland Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would write some to the department this week. Papa takes The News, and I like to read the stories and letters. I can't write much, for fear you can't read it, as I never went to school any. I have been sick a great deal, but mamma has taught me some at home. I have no pets, only three little chicks. This is a very dry county -- Eastland -- but I would rather live here than in Alvarado, Johnson county, where we did live. My papa is a railroad man.
WILLIE HAVENHILL, Carlton, Hamilton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I have become very much interested in reading a few of the beautiful letters which Mr. Big Hat has received, and I think it real nice to join the band of little people. This is my first attempt. I realize that I can't do as well as some of the other cousins. I am a little country girl 10 years of age. I have just one brother. He and I enjoy a great deal together. I help my mamma cook, wash and iron. My brother and I ride horseback. I expect a nice time Christmas. Four of my little cousins are going to spend Christmas with me.
DIXIE O'NEAL, Avalon, Ellis Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Hail, cousins! I am the "Queen of the Moon!" Look by the window and see my mellow rays, flooding down in the golden light, bathing the dark, unknown paths of a wicked world. No, the world is not wicked; it is a fleeting paradise, filled with varied, brilliant scenes. Did you think the "merry moon" was inhabited? Well, for centuries, have I watched with beaming eye, the "Little Men and Women" of Texas, as they looked wonderingly into the starry heavens and longed to soar into the ethereal region where they could find rest from the tiresome hum-drum of life. Their fancy formed a misty stairway from earth to the golden moon, which they climbed, and the world called it a day dream. I am tired, for I have traveled far to reach the Cozy Corner to-night. Over mountains and valleys, forests and plains, my rays have come dancing. They penetrated the jungles of Africa and lighted the path of the blood-thirsty beast as he stealthily crept after prey. My face was mirrored in the dark, sweeping waters of the Ganges -- that wicked river which haunts the heathen mother. In the black waves of the Indian ocean, I reveled; in the treacherous sands of Calais, I danced. I made the crystal fountains of Europe gleam like rich crown jewels; the dark, foam-tipped waves of the Thames glistened under my radiant touch; the spires of Westminster glittered and sparkled by my fairy presence. The steamers sailed madly through the Atlantic, leaving a dark wake behind, the passengers thankful for the light of a friendly moon. Over the president's mansion, I sent a halo of glory; into the humble hovel of the peasant, I beamed a kindly smile to cheer his dark hours. I shed my lightest rays on the raging Niagara; on the calm, silver bosom of Lake Superior, I softly lent a radiance; on the restless, heaving St. Lawrence, I lingered; with my soft and silver smile, I caressed the waves of calm Lake Erie. Then, I nodded with the waving wheat fields of Indiana; into the surrounding forest, I peeped, where the sturdy trees, moaned sadly all night long, and where the poet soul of Burns was lifted to him "that walketh on the wings of the wind." Far, far toward the "south of story," I flow swiftly -- the south of fame, sung of by patriotic poets -- where the cowboy once found his favorite haunts and the "Indian lass" dreamed her soul away as a music fiend. The cowboy roved wildly over the prairies, with his wide sombrero and lariat and weapons, free and careless; now, he is known no more. The Indian maiden, a mere fanciful heroine, who was not so enchanting in fact, as she really was in story. To that fancy land -- a fair Utopia -- my silvery rays rained in a radiance far surpassing diamonds. I flew over the countless prairies, down into the dark, mossy dells, and upon the shining treetops, until lo! the Cozy Corner was near me. Softly, did I peep into the door, which stood ajar. No one noticed my glad, bright rays, as they fell upon the interested faces, who were listening eagerly to a strange, sleepy story of a vanished hero. And there sat Lantie V. Blum, looking inquiringly for all favorite flowers. My favorite is the waxen hyacinth. How pure and sweet is its story! My rays fall upon its dewy petals and transform it into a vision of strung jewels. Lantie, should you wish it, I will tell you what I think the hyacinth says, next time. My rays dance over the merry faces, and I see the clear-cut features of Herbert Taylor. Let me guess at his features. He has dark hair and eyes, dark mustache, not very fair, a commanding carriage, an expression seldom seen -- one in which the emotions of the inmost soul are mirrored. Ludie Sanders is a pronounced brunette, with the vivacity and life and color of a Spaniard, with an independent spirit and a love of freedom that rules her actions. The western horizon is dark, but the eastern is tinged with red, and my rays are faint. Now, shall I withdraw from you to my home in the sky, where my proud, luxurious mansion awaits me. I shall give you a description of my golden home some night when my rays are brighter.
BERTHA THOMPSON, Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex. -- Dear Cozy Corner: Here I come again after a long silence. I hear the cousins' chatter, chatter as I approach the Cozy Corner door. I hear Herbert Taylor and Genevieve Myrdock trying to get up new ideas to print about, which I know they can do. Lauretta Faust, I choose the white chrysanthemum, also. I think it is the sweetest flower that blooms. It has such a sweet, pungent smell. My aunt that lives in Hillsboro has white, yellow and other kinds of chrysanthemums. She has all kinds of flowers, but I think the chrysanthemums are the prettiest. Mr. Big Hat, I think the sweetest poems ever printed in The News were "The Bells of Nine o'clock." The bells of 9 o'clock are the sweetest bells for me, because they always call us to school, where I can gain more knowledge than elsewhere. Hattie Simmons, I agree with you about learning how to swim. I think every one should learn how, so that they could be of some use to other people. I live about 200 or 100 yards from the lake, but have never been in bathing but three times, and I can almost swim now. I could, if I would go in every day for awhile. There was a young man tried to cross the lake, and when he got about midway, he commenced to cramp and could hardly go any further, and when he did get across, he could not move his fingers and toes, because they were cramped so badly. As the cousins are trying to describe other cousins, I will, also. I will try to describe Cousin Ludie. I think she is tall and weighs about 150 pounds, and has large blue eyes and is skillful. Cousin Ludie, you ought to be thankful for getting such a good opportunity of going to school. T. E. Cornelius, I choose Longfellow's poems for my favorites. I think they are the most entertaining I ever read, although Eugene Field's are good, too. Mr. Big Hat, I have a book, "The Word, Its Cities and Peoples," though, I have never read it much. When I read it, I will write something about it some day.
MAY and ALICE McWILLIAMS, Crystal Falls, Stephens Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you allow little twin sisters to step in to your Cozy Corner? Our age is 12 years. Our brother has been a writer to your department for some time. We love to read the children's letters and think they are so nice, and think it is very kind in our little editor to print them. We ought to appreciate his kindness and try to do our best to make every letter more interesting. Cousins, we hope you will not laugh at this, as it is our first attempt to write. We are having very dry, warm weather here now. We have been picking cotton for the last week. Our school was out the first of June. We were so sorry. We do not know when it will commence again, but hope it will not be long, for we do love to go to school, both to study, and to play with our little school mates. Our playmates are so kind and good to us. We, like Cousin Ludie Sanders, work in the field. We have a great many relations by that name. Our mother was a Sanders. So, Cousin Ludie, we may be some kin. We are glad that you are so fortunate as to have a half brother that is kind and generous to you. We know you will appreciate his kindness. Our choice of flowers is the white chrysanthemum and the white rose. That is, if you will allow us to vote separately. Cousins, we hate to express our opinion of one that we never saw, but as for Herbert Taylor, we dislike fiction so, and would so much rather read true stories, that we will not attempt to describe how he looks in our imagination, as he would be a terrible picture. Excuse us, Herbert, please do. Miss Ludie is, in our imagination, a nice young lady of light complexion, blue eyes, light golden hair, ever true to parents and friends, and is not ashamed to be seen at any kind of honorable employment that is necessary. Cousins, if there were more such girls, there would be fewer broken-down and over-worked mothers.
HIRAM BROWN, Thornton, Limestone Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and dear cousins. (Peggy, also): Good evening to you all! I have had a huge time since I have written to the dear old Corner. I have been going to preaching and parties and ice cream suppers. There has been a lady preaching near, and in our city. I have heard her a few times. There would be a large crowd all the time she was preaching. The crowds was larger than usual because she was a woman, I guess. We had a nice rain yesterday, and to-day, we had a big rain. Everything was just about to dry up and blow away. All of the stock water had given out, and water was sure getting to be an object down about Thornton. Everybody is very thankful for the rain. There had been several cotton gins stopped ginning on account of lack of water. My birthday has passed and I did not receive a single present. I'll cast my vote for my favorite flower. It is the white Calla lily. It is the most beautiful and attractive flower I have ever seen. How many of the boy cousins like to work and have pretty flowers? I, for one. I don't think there ever was a boy liked flowers better than I do.
EMMA MILLER, Tadmor, Houston Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Several months have elapsed since I last wrote to the department, and I have been thinking for a long, long time that I would steal time from my daily work and reading and write once more to the dear News. I love so well to read, and one evening, as I sat silently thinking my thoughts, wandered to you. Mr. Big Hat, ___ tell the dear cousins that write such interesting letters. When I last wrote to the department, I asked for correspondence, and in reply to my letter, received a great many letters. Of course, I could not answer all, but I hope those that did not receive [one], were not offended with me. I sincerely thank all that wrote to me and appreciate their kindness. I also thank Mr. Big Hat very much for printing my last letter. I believe one of the cousins aid in a letter she wrote to The News not long ago, that she thought it would be interesting for the cousins, when writing to describe their home. I will give the cousins a description of mine. We have a very pretty home, a two-story house, which faces west. On the north and northeast sides, the surface slopes down to a branch that runs about a hundred yards from the house, while on the west and south side, the surface is a smooth plain. On the west and southwest sides of the house, is a large, beautiful lawn, with very large forest oaks, and hickorys growing about on it, and three beautiful young sycamores. We have quite a variety of trees growing in the yard -- cedars, myrtles, chinas, mulberrys, elms and others. As one comes up to the house from the west, one can hardly see it for the trees and shrubbery. The name of our home is "Myrtle Grove." Dear cousins, I am reading a very interesting book, called "Moham[?]" The scene was laid in Virginia during the civil war. It was written by John Eston Cook. I have also read, this summer, "St. Elmo," by Mrs. Augusta J. F. Wilson, and liked it very much. I admire St. Elmo because he is so very sarcastic and pensive, and Edna, because she is so firm. They are both certainly very fine characters. Mamma has given me a beautiful little colt, and in two or three years, I will have a splendid riding pony. I have named it Romeo, after one of the Shakespeare's characters. I think I shall be almost the happiest girl in Texas when my colt gets large enough to ride. C. Charliss [Fowler], your letters are very interesting, and I enjoy reading them very much. I would be glad if you would write to The News often and tell us some more about Central America, the Indians and the country through which you traveled while going there. I always enjoy reading letters from the old states so much. Cousins, I think I would like to live in some of the old states -- Virginia or Kentucky -- or, far out in the distant west, among the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. I think it would be delightful to climb among the crags in the evening and see the sun rise or see it set. But, cousins, I do not think I can ever live any place as well as I do my dear old home on the farm in eastern Texas, for here, I have spent
"Life's golden hours,
Cousins, I have formed an idea of what kind of a girl I think Ludie S. is, and boy Herbert T. is. Cousin Ludie is not very tall and not very slender. She has straight, golden hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. She is industrious and willing to do any kind of work that is not dishonorable if it is necessary that she should. She is very ambitious and wants to make something of herself. She is real smart, and I am quite sure she will study very hard and learn real fast at the boarding school she is going to. Herbert Taylor is not very tall, is slender, does not weigh very much, or a buzzard could not have held him up so long without falling to the earth. He has black hair, gray eyes and a rather dark complexion. He is very jolly and lively. He loves his books. He is very fond of reading. He wants to see everything that is to be seen, and hear everything that is to be heard, and he remembers what he reads, sees and hears. He is a boy that loves adventure and is very brave. For the "department flower," I cast my vote for the beautiful golden rod. Inclosed find 10 cents for the Sam Houston memorial stone fund.
HEDWIG PFEFFER, Kenney, Austin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: This Sabbath evening, I will call at your door and ask you to let me in. I think Cousin Lantie's idea about choosing a flower as an emblem for our Corner is very nice. I will vote for the violet, and I hope it will get the most votes. Mr. Big Hat, will we name the Cozy Corner by the name of the flower that gets the most votes? And, will you put it at the head of the letters? I think it would be so nice. Well, cousins, I thought we were to give our imaginations of Cousin Herbert T. and Ludie S. Why don't all of you do it? There are so few that do so. I imagine Ludie is a big girl, dark complexioned, with gray eyes and dark hair. Has three sisters and no brothers (as she has to plow), and is 17 years old. For Herbert, I will say he has black hair, gray eyes, dark complexion, oval face. He's tall and very straight and wears boots most of the time. He's very quiet. He has three sisters, all younger than himself, and he is 20 years of age. A storm came up while I was writing, and I had to stop on account of it. It rained and hailed a good deal and the wind blew so hard, that two of my sisters cried. The other Sunday, when my two little friends from town came to see us, a big rain came up, too, and they had to stay till dark, when my parents came home from their visit, and sister and I took the buggy and brought them home. I enjoyed the ride, as it was such a pleasant and cool evening. Cousin Maud Foy, next time you write to Mr. Big Hat, tell me how your flowers are, please. I would like to know very much. Cousins, I will ask you all a conundrum and a question: What is it that no one wishes to have and no one wishes to lose? What is the diameter of the largest flower, and in what country does it grow? I would be glad to know the answer to the question. Mrs. Clara F., why don't you answer my letter? Are you so busy picking cotton? My age is 14 years.
REIMER SCHROEDER, Cedar, Fayette Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I see the Cozy Corner is getting more and more interesting, and I will try to write a good letter to Mr. Big Hat, too. I guess those cousins who are employed on a farm with their parents have plenty of work now, picking cotton and must stand the heat, because they have no time to stay in the shade. How many of the cousins are picking cotton? I am. I read about many cousins inviting Mr. Big Hat to come and help eat their peaches. To be sure, he could help us, for we have plenty. I know, as the cousins wish to make the Cozy Corner interesting, if I could write such good letters as Joe Farmer, Joe Dawson and Lauretta Faust, I would write very often. It is very interesting that Lantie V. Blum wants to know the names of all the cousins' favorite flowers. I have written once before to the Cozy Corner, and it was published, and I think that permits me to vote, but, I must think a while first, because there are so many beautiful flowers. Well, I will choose for the plum blossom, because it looks very nice. It looks almost like a large snowball when in bloom, all at once. It also smells nice and gets a fruit when the flower drops off.
ROBERT SCOTT, Lumber, Marion Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Will you be so kind as to allow me the privilege of a second peep into the progressive little Cozy Corner? If you will, I'll just sling off my highest adornment and cast a glance toward you. It is with reverence, I salute the most popular of our staff and say, "Hello, Peggy!" Then, when I look around this generous board and see so many friendly faces, my heart warms to the occasion. But, while I agree with you that it is a triumph of social enjoyment, we should, indeed, be guilty if we forgot those to whose thoughtful care and hospitality we are indebted for it. Kind cousins, these last words cause me to remember childhood's happy days. Although yet a lad, I am an orphan. I've felt the effects of a mother's love, and also her slipper when I was wandering into forbidden grounds and got caught. I tell you, these things are to be remembered. In imagination, I can feel them tingling yet. But, far better comes to my heart, the remembrance that, while she caused my tears to flow, she had all she could do to keep her own from mingling with mine. Genevieve Myrdock, I'll picture you: A brunette, with large, hazel eyes, and of a quiet disposition when not angry, 5 feet 4 inches high and stout. I agree with Beatrice Shelley, and vote for the cape jasmine, the sweetest flower I know. Then, I'm patriotic, too. I want my flower to win. Yes, dear cousins, I'll be patriotic otherwise. I'll vote financially, in cents, for the memorial stone fund. I haven't the money just y et, but will send it the very first opportunity. Little Miss Big Bonnet, write again, please. Your letters are so cute. We miss you so much.
ESSE LEE, Honey Grove, Fannin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have long been an admirer of the pleasant Cozy Corner and have often longed to join the happy circle, but have never had sufficient courage to "get off the fence," as the politicians say, until now, and I expect that with Peggy's assistance, I will soon take my position on the above-named fence again. There are so many nice and interesting letters every week, that I know Mr. Big Hat is justly proud of the department. So many of the cousins are interested, or seem to be, in the pursuit of education. That is right, cousins, and I think it such a pity that some children go to school and waste time in play and idleness that should be devoted to study. Children, you will regret some day, that you let the golden hours of youth pass without trying to improve every fleeting moment. Some day, you will be old and can not have the opportunities that you now enjoy. Well, as Lantie Blum requests every one to name a favorite flower, I will bring the sweet white rose forward as my choice. You know the lines -- "The white rose breathes of love," and what is better than love? Mr. Joe Turner, you are no stranger to me. I know you and appreciate the nice letters you write, so much. They are so characteristic of you. As every one is talking of the warm weather, it is expedient that I should say something so as to be in style. We have had a long drought here and some of the hottest weather known for forty years, but it is raining this evening, and we hope the dry spell is over for a while. Miss Big Bonnet, you look real cute, and I am going to send for your picture soon. As the waste basket needs replenishing, I will send this on to help fill it up.
HALLIE KILGORE, Pearsall, Frio Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As I saw my last letter in print, I will write again. I am going to school here this year. Mr. Big Hat, you should have been with me last night and played hide-and-seek with us. About ten boys and girls played. Peggy, please don't get my letter, for papa will be pleased to see it in print.
ELSIE PINCKNEY, Denton, Denton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes another 12-year-old girl to join your happy band. This is my first attempt to write to The News. The cousins are speaking about their pets. I have none, except a little kitten. I'm not going to school now. Our school is out. I have three brothers and five sisters. I would love to correspond with some of the cousins. I hope Peggy will be asleep when the letter arrives.
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