July 5, 1896
[Mr. Big Hat's
Stewart: This is the very first time I ever wrote a letter because
I never got one in all my life until I received yours. Nearly
all the cousins have taken a hand in abusing me for what was
not my fault at all, but their own, yet this is the very first
time any one took civil notice of me by addressing me in a letter.
Of course, you all know that I am full of letters pretty much
all of the time, so that letter-writing comes kind of natural
to me, anyhow.
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing letters to Big Hat's department for publication, write on one side of the paper only. Printers never turn their copy, and the editor has no time to rewrite half, or even part, of your letters. Give your full name and address. Anonymous letters are never printed. These rules are imperative.
ASENATH STEWART, Sunny Lane, Burnet Co., Tex. -- Dear Peggy: I believe I will write to you, as you seem to get most of the little folks' letters, 'cause we can't write so nice and smart as some of the larger ones. But I like to read the little letters best, and wish you would let Mr. Big Hat print more. I like to read about dolls and pets. I have two dolls and I pet everything that will let me pet it. Mamma teaches us at home. She is giving me music lessons on the organ now. I would send a nickel for the Sam Houston memorial fund, but it might be bad for your digestion, Peggy. I am 8 years old.
ANDY STEWART, Sunny Lane, Burnet Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am mamma's 6-year-old man, so I thought I would write and tell you how much I enjoy the little short letters. They are all sister and I ever read. I wish more of the 6-year-old boys would write, and please don't let Peggy get the little letters, because they are so sweet, but give him a lump of sugar in his oats. Mamma says I will have to get sister to dress this letter so it will go to you. I hope you will get it and not Peg.
SALLIE B. and JAMES P. McGLINCHEY, Bear Creek, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Good evening, Mr. Big Hat and cousins: We are 9 and 7 years old, and want to join your band. Our studies at school are fourth and third readers, spelling, geography and arithmetic. We are in fractions in arithmetic. Our school was out in April. We want it to commence again. We haven't any pets, except a little baby brother, two months old. We have two sisters and four brothers. Our papa is a farmer. Mamma has 15 little turkeys. We hoe cotton, and papa pays us a cent and a half a row. Nellie Binion and Lela Beard, come again. We thought your letters were very nice.
BETTIE HUME, Whitewright, Grayson Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and many unknown cousins: Here comes another Texas girl wanting to correspond with the inmates of your Cozy Corner. My brother-in-law takes The News and I read all the cousins' letters. Nellie Binion, come again; your letter was nice. I came from Kentucky to Texas with my papa and mamma in 1892. My papa died last October. I went to school at Whitewright one year and at Bethel, Rose Hill and Pilot Grove. I went to Pilot Grove last year. My school was out in March. We had an exhibition. I paid a visit one Sunday to Pilot Grove to see one of my old chums. She and I went to Sunday school in the morning. In the evening we went to see some of our friends, and we went to a singing about two miles distant. We had a nice time coming back. Miss Big Bonnet, I have a friend in Pilot Grove that I am going to get to write to you and Mr. Big Hat. Also some friends around Bethel. Maggie Blanton is one of my chums of Pilot Grove. Cecile Perkinson and Bernice McSpadden are my chums here. Some of the girls tell about their pets, but I have none. When was the first book printed and who printed it?
HATTIE SIMMONS, Chillicothe, Hardeman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: Here comes the green "persimmon" again, and I hope that none of the cousins will appear with drawn faces. Glancing over the famous page, I beheld the names of some of my favorite writers and for a space of time was entertained by the productions of the literary youths of Texas. Mr. Herbert Taylor has in his celebrated tour certainly reached the last story of his air castles; but, as they are so firmly built, I think that there is no immediate danger of his sudden descension. He is fast becoming a modern Robinson Crusoe, with the exception that his thrilling whale and buzzard stories excite much more interest and enthusiasm than Robinson Crusoe with his cannibals ever hoped to do. Even the little children that would turn a listless ear to "Tom Sawyer" and his dauntless companion, "Huckleberry Finn," would stare in amazement, wondering what productive mind could ever produce such profound stories! 'Ere many more centuries pass over our heads, his name will be honored and revered as is that of Mark Twin, while his praises will resound from continent to continent. But, we will leave our future dramatist to his solemn meditations, and glance to other parts of the globe. Cousins Wilhelmine Clark's and Joe Farmer's talents run somewhat in the opposite direction. They carry us by the ability of their pens over the broad land escapes showing us all the beautiful works of Nature, and picturing to our minds the actions of man. Not one moment do they allow us to become uninterested, but paint the picture so brilliantly that we sometimes think we can see the real objects. Cousin Ludie Sanders, accept the best wishes of a friend in your college career, and I feel quite certain that your striving for "the prize that labor gains" will not be in vain. I think Mr. Big Hat's plan of writing essays instead of taking up some particular subject, a good one, as there is nothing more beneficial than such exercise. Cousin Marie Taylor, I thought your last letter simply excellent, and I shall take great pleasure in corresponding with you, as I am sure I shall be benefited. You were speaking of my helping the girls out in their contest, which I suppose, referred to the boys.
How the advice I've promised,
FINLAY DONALD McGLINCHEY, Bear Creek, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I am a little boy 5 years old. I have never been to school. I can count to 100. I hoe cotton. My oldest brother is off with the thresher. I love to play. I have a kitten. Papa has five little pigs and I am going to break them for him.
MARY ELLA McGLINCHEY, Bear Creek, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I am a little girl 11 years old. My papa takes The Dallas News and I like it very much. I had five studies at school. I liked Texas history better than any of my studies. I haven't any pets except my little baby brother. Wilhelmine M. Clark, I thought your letter was just splendid. Mr. Big Hat, I inclose 10 cents for the Sam Houston memorial fund.
MALCOLM McQUEEN, Greenville, Butler Co., Ala. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: As I saw my other letter in print, I thought I would try my luck again. I thought that Peggy would get my other letter, but as it happened it missed the trash basket. If I lived close enough, I would give Peggy some corn, to keep him from eating my letter. Little Mr. Big Hat, you had better mind out how you are feeding Peggy; letters will choke him some time. I would like to correspond with some Texas boys.
JOSIE ROBERTSON, Colorado, Mitchell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: Would you take a little girl out of the hot sun into your Cozy Corner? One of the cousins asked to see my sister Delia Robertson in print again, but as she is gone out on a ranch near Snyder, I will try to fill her place. One of our little friends went with Delia (Carrie Mann). I hope I will interest you, cousins, in writing, but am not as old as Delia. We have spent the greater portion of the past summer on a large cattle ranch in New Mexico, and oh, the fun we had going horseback riding, and going to round-ups! But there was where our little antelope was captured. Delia and I both have a pony a piece, and they are both bays. How do you cousins like donkey riding? I think it is just lots of fun, and enjoy it very much. I had a pretty little Spanish canary and the kitty caught it, and I hated it very much. Our neighbor's little boy wearing dresses reminds me of Mr. Big Hat. I am in the fifth grade, but do not like to go to school. I have two sisters and two brothers. I am 12 years old.
MARY WOMACK, McGregor, McLennan Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I was so much delighted to see that Peggy did not get my other letter that I write to The News again. The children's department is one of the most interesting parts in the paper. I think it gets more interesting every week. Girls, nearly all the boys who write say that they think we are beating them. Let us hurry up and stay ahead of them as long as we can. There are not many boys that write now a days, so it won't be hard to beat them. My brother is visiting us at present, and I have a nice time playing with his two little children. Miss Big Bonnet, we all wish you would write oftener. Oh! perhaps your brother won't let you. Miss Bessie Smith, did you not know that George Eliot was a woman? Mr. Big Hat, if I was you I would sell that horrid mule and buy me a nice horse. But if you don't do that don't feed him on the letters the cousins write. It seems that Miss Bessie Bee does not come to see us very often. Wonder what is the matter? Do any of the cousins know? Mr. Big Hat, inclosed please find 10 cents which I send to the Sam Houston memorial stone fund.
MARY CROWDER, Cooper, Delta Co., Tex. Little Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: Here comes another Texas girl to join your happy band. My papa takes The News. I have been reading the cousins' letters, and enjoy them very much. I am taking music lessons from one of the finest teachers in northeast Texas. I will ask some questions: Who made the iron axe to float on water? Who is the best composer of music? Who was the first king of united Italy? Our town will soon have a railroad and all modern advantages. When it gets here I will visit Little Miss Big Bonnet. So good-bye.
ELSIE G. PONG, Dallas, Dallas Co., Tex. -- Dear cousins: Here comes another little Teas girl to join your happy band. I hope Peggy won't be hungry when my letter is received. Luta Jones, come again; I think you write such interesting letters. I am 11 years old, and will be 12 the 27th of October. My month of birthstone is the opal. My only pet is a canary bird, and he sings very sweetly. I have no brothers nor sisters. This is the first time I have ever written to you, cousins, but I read your letters very often. I go to school every day and to Sunday school also.
SERENA LOUISE PRICE, Quanah, Hardeman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat, Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: This is my first letter to the Cozy Corner. I like to read the letters from the cousins. I have three pets, a cat and two ducks. I am 10 years old. School is out now. I am sorry, too. I loved my teacher. I was promoted to the fifth grade. I live in a pretty house. We have nineteen chickens. We are going to move to the country. The Baptist church had a picnic the 9th day of May. I go to the Baptist Sunday school.
JESSIE BELL DIKEMAN, Montgomery, Montgomery Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As my other letter was in print I will write again. We are having plenty of peaches and watermelons now. I have two sisters and five brothers. I have four dolls. I had twenty-eight pet chickens, but a pig got in the yard and ate them up. We all went out for a few days picnicking last week and had a fine time. My oldest sister is married and lives in Colorado. I spent the summer there two years ago with my mamma. I expect I will go again next summer.
JOHN SHEPARD, Greenville, Hunt Co., Tex. -- It has been quite a while since I wrote to this department, and during my absence its writers have improved wonderfully in their compositions. Many times I have thought I was inspired to write to the Cozy Corner, but no sooner would I get my pen in hand and paper ready, than all my inspiration as well as all my big words and flowery adjectives would take their eternal flight, leaving me feeling as badly as the cousin who had his "poetic genius" nipped in the bud. Mr. Big Hat, I think your family is about as badly mixed as any I ever knew. We have mathematicians, historians, poet (who would come into competition with Longfellow), and even traveling agents who ride on trains, buzzard's backs and whales. Cousins, I, too, am a firm believer in education, though I have not had the good fortune of obtaining one yet. The boy or girl who has an education will go farther toward making a success in life than their friends who have not an education. But, dear cousins, education means more than that which is gained within the walls of some college, for Daniel Webster says: "Knowledge does not comprise all which is contained in the large term of education. The feelings are to be disciplined; true and worthy motives are to be inspired; a profound religious feeling is to be instilled, and pure morality inculcated under all circumstances. All this is comprised in education." I also think every boy should fit himself for some useful occupation, in pursuit of which he will find pleasure and employment. The boy or man who has no aim or purpose in life is in a bad fix, and the world will not be much worse off when it leaves it. It has been said that an idle brain is the devil's workshop, and I think an idle hand is nearly as bad. Then, too, our boys who follow some useful occupation must be able to support some one else -- perhaps some of the girl cousins. But, by the way, some of the latter write that they don't even like to see the "horrid things," the "monsters," as they call us. Boys, how did you feel when you read that? I tell you, it made me feel like the little boy the calf ran over. I was then nearly ready to send in an epistle to the Cozy Corner, but that squelched me. I could no longer see any harmony in the wording of my letter. The nouns all turned to pronouns and the verbs and adverbs got tangled into one inseparable mass. The explanatory modifier tried to explain, but made such a failure that, utterly disgusted, I threw my letter into eternal oblivion. But I am about to get straight again now. If any of you are curious to know my age, you can find it this way: Two-sevenths of my father's age, plus 3, equals my age, and my age, subtracted from my father's age, equals twice my age, minus 1. I send 10 cents for the Houston fund.
DALE NELSON, Mansfield, Tarrant Co., Tex. -- Dear cousins: Once more I take the liberty of addressing you. It is so hot here that I can't write to do any good, but I don't know whether I could do better were it ever so cool. Cousins, did you ever think what a nice thing it is to write to such a grand paper? But what do I see? Yes, I see some letters that are just simply sorry. I believe some of us just write to sign our name, simply to see our names in print. Where is Wilfred Perry? He can lecture us better than you. So if he will commence where I quit off, I will bother Big Hat in another way. Ever once in a while I can hear an old blue bottle fly pass my ears, singing his evening song, and no doubt hunting his abode elsewhere. The flies, gnats, mosquitoes, fleas, mites, chiggers and other insects are getting my blood awfully thin. Nevertheless, if I get through this season I will "thank my stars," for melons and other trash are just now on the boom. Cousins, how many of you study the grand history of our states? It is a serious question how to begin life. It is an easy matter for us to build air castles over in Spain, but when it comes to starting in life by ourselves, we will find it difficult. If you have given it no serious thought, you had best begin. Some of us give our future no study at all. I am affected to some extent, myself, with castle building. Still, I intend to become an engineer or a teacher. I haven't decided just which y et. I might make a fit subject for an asylum. I will own that there are more prospects for the latter than either of the former. Well, Big Hat, two of my letters went to the waste basket in rapid succession. Let this one go too, for if you do, you will not be bothered any more by Dale Nelson.
ROSIE MYERS, Tanner, Eastland Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and Miss Big Bonnet: I am a little girl 11 years old. Will you let me come into your Cozy Corner? I thought I would write from this part of the country, for I have never seen a letter from here. Papa takes The News and I like to read the letters in it. I have two sisters and four brothers. I am not going to school now, for it is out. Ma makes us study at home, and I help her with the work. I live on the farm and all of the cousins that live on farms know what work is. The weather is dry and hot. We need rain badly. I think Miss Big Bonnet looks nice in her brother's chair. I will ask some riddles: Why do little birds in their nests agree? What table has not a leg to stand on?
FRANKLIN P. WATT, Bazette, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: As our little editor was kind enough to print my other letter I will try to write again. But oh! the first thing I must pay a compliment to Miss Big Bonnet. I think she is a perfect model of beauty. I never thought she had such a pretty face hid under that old Shaker bonnet. Mr. Big Hat, I think it is a good plan you have for the summer school. I am in favor of it and I will do the best I can about it. The weather is very dry here, and if it does not rain in a few days the corn crop in this vicinity will be very short. School was out May 14. We all had recitations for the close of the school. The subject of mine was "Time." Bessie Smith, "facetiously" and "abstemiously" are the words that contain all the vowels in regular order. Mr. Big Hat and cousins, I wish to ask you all a question: Are there any cyclones west of the Rocky mountains? I have always heard there was not. I would like to know positively. I enclose 25 cents for the Sam Houston memorial stone fund. I send 15 cents and my brother Felix 10 cents. Come again, C. Fowler, and tell us about Costa Rica. You write interesting letters. Herbert Taylor, you had a tough time of it. Come again. During this vacation I spend my time in taking music lessons and helping mamma with the housework. There are four of us children in the family, and I am the oldest, consequently, there is a great deal to be done. Mamma calls me her little helper. I am 10 years old. It is getting late in the afternoon, so I will have to stop and get supper. I think I hear Peggy bellowing for something to eat. I hope he will get his dinner before this gets there. Mamma, papa, myself and all value your paper highly. Much success to The News.
MARY CARTWRIGHT, Terrell, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I thought as I had nothing to do I would write to you. Next month all of our family are going out on the plains. We expect to have a nice time. Ludie is my cousin. We stay together a great deal. I sometimes read the letters that are in The News. I like to read the letters. I am 11 years old and Ludie is 10. We are going to write to Miss Big Bonnet some, too. I will be in the sixth grade next year. I inclose 10 cents for the Sam Houston memorial fund.
MYRTIE BRITTON, Carlton, Hamilton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I thought I would write a letter and see if Mr. Big Hat would be kind enough to print it, as I never saw one from this part of the country. I am 10 years old. I go to Carlton to school. Our school was out the 1st of May. My papa is a farmer and a reader of The News. He has been taking it for two years. I like to read the cousins' letters. I have no pets except a little brother and a chicken.
ALBERT KONDE, Seguin, Guadalupe Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and many cousins: Here I come again to join the cousins' band. I have not written in a long time. I saw in your columns where a boy had a buzzard ride. I wonder how it felt up in the moon, sailing round the stars like a whirlwind? I bet it felt like riding a rail in rough water. But talk about your rides, I had a ride on a turtle's back. I was going down to the river one day and saw something lying on a gravel bar. I thought it was a house; its feet looked like blocks. Boy like, I ran and jumped on top of it and walked around awhile. Then, I noticed it moved a little, so I stayed on till I got into the water, where I saw it was a turtle. I caught hold of its neck and stayed with it till it got across, and then it started back and turned over three times with me. Every time it turned, my feet hit the bottom. The water was about twenty feet deep and I knocked about eight pounds of skin off every time it turned over. Cousins, what books are you reading? I am reading "False Colors." I like it very much. I have forty-seven little chickens. We have not had any rain in seven weeks, and everything is burned up. We have watermelons and tomatoes. What kind of vegetables have you, cousins?
HATTIE FRIEND, Harbin, Erath Co., Tex. -- Good evening to all you Cozy people. It is 9 o'clock, papa and mamma are gone, and no one is at home by my sister and myself, so I thought I would prepare a meal for Peggy, as she looks as if she would like a meal from such a [fine] looking chap as I am. I've just been having a jolly time this week, fishing, reading and visiting, and so forth. Ludie Sanders, I congratulate you on your good luck in having a half-brother. I expect your feet will not hurt so bad after you have stopped plowing. Joe Dawson, I agree with you. Life is earnest, and fate is some times very trying if it be considered fate. Our life is short and soon will end, so it is best to make the most of it. We should try to live for better purposes than a trivial life. I wonder if our friend Herbert Taylor has got out of the sack his father put him in. It is to be hoped so. I like to read the Woman's Century. I think the sisters write good letters. I think Mrs. Booth wrote a right good story, illustrating, if I understand it, the harm gossip causes. Cousin Joe Farmer, I don't think I can resist the temptation of asking you what that real thought is. Cousin Pet Shelley, do you like to read? I do. I, too, would like to read "The Mill on the Floss," but as I haven't it, I must content myself without it. Marie Taylor, I like your letters. I wish I could write entertaining letters like some of the cousins, but a wish never brought anything unless put in to execution. Cousins, how do you all like the idea of a summer school? I like it splendid. I think the idea Mr. Big Hat gave is a very good one. How many of you are going to join? I think I shall. I know there would be others more competent, but that is what the school is for. It is to teach those who wish to study and learn. The old adage says we are never too old to learn. I suppose it can be applied in another sense, that is, that we are never too young to learn. Oh! let me tell you, I left off the fourth page of my letter last night, and the first thing mamma said this morning was that I must fix the organ. Now, it is a wonderful old instrument (to bang on), so I took the back off and liked to never got it right again. Now cousins, I'm a wonderful tuner. So, if you see a tall slim girl coming, you may say, well, that is that [Harbin] girl coming around to tune pianos. This morning, I thought I would read my imitation of a letter to papa, but I will not tell what he said. Cousin Bessie Bee has not written in a good while. I suppose she has forgotten our band. We will bid you welcome again, Bessie. Well, I have a big job to do, but I am not going to quit scribbling to do it. I wish I could have the good luck Cousin Ludie had. Cousin Marie Taylor, are you a sister to our wonderful traveler and buzzard bareback rider, Herbert Taylor? I believe you are. All are winking at that tiresome [Harbin] girl, so I guess I had better stop.
AGNES WEATHERRED, Itasca, Hill Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: How do you do, and how have you been since our last meeting? Happy, I hope, for why should youth be sad? There are many subjects which would be interesting and important to write upon, but as it so warm, I doubt if I can discuss one which would interest you. The royal month of May has passed and June is fleeting. It will not be long before the glorious Fourth, our favorite holiday, when the buzz and general stir will exactly suit our excitable natures. Oh, that glorious day, when the village bells will ring forth with tumultuous clamor, and the booming of cannons will thrill every American heart and recall to memory the 4th of July, 1776, when our United States declared her independence. It will then be too hot for Herbert Taylor to take another visit, up among his aerial friends. That, indeed, was a thrilling experience of yours, Herbert. If that whale had swallowed you, we all would have missed your interesting letters. Ludie Sanders, we are very glad that you have a better chance to drink deeper of the cup of knowledge and hope you will accept the opportunity. Where, oh where, is our Blossom friend, Ray Hill? And Gracie Thornton, you have vanished like a vision. I wonder how many of the cousins are reading good books. I am now reading "The Last Days of Pompeii," by Lord Lytton. This is, indeed, a great literary world. There is an abundance of attractive and instructive reading in reach of us. Indeed, many of them were written only for amusement, but they are not without merit. Some of the most thrilling and accurate descriptions of battle scenes ever written are to be found in novels; some of the sweetest hymns and the most fervent prayers are to be found in good, wholesome novels. Scott is my favorite writer. His novels are very romantic. He wrote in prose and also in verse, in the most fascinating style. "The Lady of the Lake" is a most charming story. The scenes of Scott are described with the vividness of an artist, and one gets a view of the beautiful lakes and mountains of that country. It has been well remarked that he revived the glories of the past ages. Nettie Simmons, I like your literary turn, and I, for one, give your letters a hearty welcome. Some of the older folks have spoken of the cousins as an enthusiastic, noisy people, and so they are. Every country, age and paper must have its heroes, martyrs and genius, and some of the so-called "noisy people" will be the geniuses of the Cozy Corner, and not only geniuses of the Cozy Corner, but the heroes of some noted book, or, better still, the author. And "Their echoes will roll from soul to soul, and live forever and forever," and in every land their halo will shine and be an inspiration to the world.
LOTTIE ADAMS, Salem, Newton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Bit Hat: This is my first attempt to write to The News, so, Mr. Big Hat, you must excuse my mistakes, and not give my letter to Peggy, if he is hungry. Feed him on oats; that is what mules eat, and don't give him letters, for that will choke him. I know paper will choke a mule, where hard biscuits will choke me. I am 13 years old. I have four brothers. One is older than myself, but the others are younger. I have one little sister, 14 months old. I do not go to school now. School was out Friday week. I liked my teacher splendidly. We had a picnic at the close of school on the river, and had a nice time. One of my friends and myself went boatriding on the river. We went over into Louisiana. My father is business manager of the Cow Creek Tram company. We will soon move out to the new mill that the company is building, which is about eleven miles from here. Well, Miss Big Bonnet, I hope you will have your picture taken soon, and please turn your face toward us and let us see you. I know you are good looking, if you resemble Mr. Big Hat any.
LUDIE CARTWRIGHT, Terrell, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- I thought I would write to you this evening, as my Cousin Mary is writing, too. I have been reading the Little Men and Women's page for a long time, and like it very much. My cousin and I live very close together, and are with each other a great deal. I send 10 cents for the Sam Houston memorial fund.
MARY ELLEN LINDLY, Cooper, Delta Co., Tex. -- Good morning Little Miss Big Bonnet and cousins: Will you admit another little girl, 11 years old, to join your happy band? This is my first attempt to write to the Cozy Corner. My papa takes The News. I am staying at my aunt's, taking music lessons. I will ask a question: Who was the greatest naval warrior of the revolution?
BUENA LUCKIE, Sonora, Sutton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and unknown cousins: I have been a silent admirer of your valuable department, but have never had the courage to write before. I hope you all will be willing to admit me as a cousin. My age is 16. My father takes your paper. I like the "Little Men and Women's" page and "Woman's Century" the best, although I read all of The News. I have been going to school, but school is out to-day. I think a great deal of my teacher. I am glad school is out, because it is too hot to go to school. I love to go to school and study when it is not hot. I am in the sixth grade, and am ready for the seventh. Cousins, did you ever see a prairie fire? I have seen several. They scare me. Next time I write, I will describe my home.
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