Meanwhile, Mike Hogg did well enough on his exams to be admitted to the University of Texas in the fall of 1905. His brother Will, working in his new job in St. Louis, could not resist a long letter of advice to Mike about university life:
Doubtless you will be solicited to join a fraternity. I want you to join some college fraternity; you will find one a source of agreeable companionship through college and in it you will establish friendships which will endure always. But have a care; know the crowd, all of them, before you join. . . .
While in college and ever afterwards, I hope you will be able to wear good-neat, well-made clothes; keep your shoes polished; clean linen on; hair regularly cut and eider-down off your face . . . one should dress as well as circumstances will allow, always barring foppishness, of course. . . .
I want you to know above every thing that I am your friend, first, last and all the time . . . and your brother afterwards; that no trial or tribulation which may overcome you, I would not share heartily and lovingly. Let no fear of what I might think or assume concerning your predicament deter you from being always frank, open and confiding towards me . . . doubtless you will do some slip-shod thing which will tend to compromise you in your own estimation . . . let me know your little college trouble . . . that I may serve you as your closest friend. Come to me, my boy, not for censure but for loving assistance. . . .
Don’t be afraid, boy: have more moral courage than brute bravery. . . . Be fearless in your thoughts, actions and speech that they may be pure. . . . if you are not brave in college and out of it you will not be worth a damn there or afterwards.
Keep out of debt at college and try to do so in after life . . . don’t spend any money you have not in hand. . . .
Confident that you will make a man good and proper first of all and hoping that you will be a scholar afterwards I am, with constant love, Yours, Will.
Years later Mike dubbed his brother Will “Mr. Podsnaps” after a stuffy, self-righteous character in Charles Dickens’s 1865 novel, Our Mutual Friend.