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are projected in various parts of the country, one about ----- miles lower down the Trinity, called Bath.  (Ferry at Trinity, 25 cents.)

Leaving the Trinity, we passed through a most beautiful prairie of several miles extent, presenting all the appearance of cultivation.  Soil black, and in many places a great many marine shells are observable on the surface.  There is evidently a great deal of lime in the soil here, for it is taking the hair from my horse's legs, as though they had been limed for the purpose.[24]

The weather for several days has been very warm, and indicating rain.  On Sunday I killed a black snake which was crossing my path.  The frogs are singing on every side, and butterflies are occasionally seen.  Numerous little flowers begin to spring up.  Before leaving the prairie we were met by a storm of thunder, lightning and rain.  The thunder was heavy, and the storm in all respects equal to what we have in Virginia in July and August.

Nine miles from Trinity we came to a cabin kept by a man named Larrison.[25]  We had intended to reach Sims', sixteen miles further on, but the rain brought us to a halt, and with some difficulty we prevailed upon the man to take us in and give our horses some corn.  We found our fellow traveller, Whitely, a valuable negotiator in the matter.  The house was about twenty feet square, only one room; family consisted of two women, five children.  There were three beds.  Captain Sherman and myself had one, the family the other two.  The Doctor and old Whitely took a pallet on the floor, and covered with our own blankets.  The supper consisted of fried pork, coffee, coarse but good corn bread and milk.  I ate heartily.

Thursday, February 11, 1836

Rose early and saddled for a start by sunrise, intending to reach Sims' to breakfast, sixteen miles.  Crossed a watercourse called Bidais (pronounced Beedeyes, and so written by many of the illiterate country people);[26]  the rain of yesterday had swollen it very much.  Arriving at the cabin of Eduardo Ariola, a Mexican, was informed that it was so full that we should have to swim.  Met here Dr. Field, who left Nacogdoches on Saturday, returning, who said he could not cross.  But we prevailed on a young Mexican, who called his own name Dolores Ariola, to show us the ford, which he readily undertook.  Coming to a creek which had flowed out beyond its banks upwards of 100 yards, he manfully waded in and sounded the bottom to point out to us a safe path.  We took our saddle bags on our shoulders and followed him, our Texian fellow traveller, Whitely, first, and I next.  It took the poor Mexican up to his arms.  He was dressed only in shirt and cotton trousers and shoes.  I got over with only one foot a little wet; the water came over my boot and ran down, which would not have happened had I not lent my leggings to the Captain, who improvidently

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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas