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She and her husband always converse in Spanish when alone.  She was also in Paris with her husband when he was minister of the Mexican Republic at that court.  She has but one house servant, an Irish girl, the same that accompanied her to Paris, who is chambermaid and nurse, one black woman in the kitchen, who is cook, etc.  There are two or three Frenchmen about the establishment, who do all the outwork, attend the horses, cows, garden, etc.  The plantation is small.  They only took possession of it last fall, and have all the improvements yet to make.  When the foreign taste and skill of the proprietor and his servants shall have had time to make an impression on the face of nature, we may expect to see the desert smile.[ 8]

Young Zavala is preparing to join the army.[ 9]  He goes as a volunteer in the cavalry, to be accompanied by Joseph, a young French valet.  He is a fine, sprightly youth, small stature, black eyes, good teeth, a light, active person, Mexican in appearance and manners; good education, speaks Spanish, French and English; a native of Yucatan; mother's name Carrea.  His name, according to Spanish custom, would be Lorenzo Zavala de Carrea, but he follows the American style and writes it Lorenzo Zavala, Jr.

This afternoon the clouds, which had been lowering for some days, poured down a heavy rain.  The wind from the northeast blew a regular equinoctial storm, and being near the Bay of Galveston, it came up heavy and cold.  Mr. Baradere, a Frenchman, who is living at Lynchburg, had come up directly after dinner to see Mr. Zavala, and notwithstanding the wind and rain, he refused a pressing invitation to stay all night, and rowed himself back in an open boat, about one mile.  Mr. Zavala spoke of him as a scholar, and one that wishes to establish a seminary in this country.  He showed great deference to Zavala, who called him "Mon cher ami," and treated him affectionately.

The bed rooms of the little house being fully occupied by the family, a bed was spread for me on the floor of the sitting room, where, after some reflection on the circumstances in which I found myself, and the vicissitudes of human affairs, which had placed me under the roof of this remarkable man, in this remote region, far away from my family, I slept soundly.

Thursday, March 24, 1836

The rain has abated, but the wind is still strong from the northeast; cold and cloudy.  Went a short distance in the woods.  Vegetation very forward, trees in leaf, and a profusion of wild flowers blown.  Saw the mulberry in abundance, and the Sabinas, the tree from which the Sabine River takes its name -- a species of cedar, or cypress.

After breakfast went in a boat with Mr. Zavala and son to Lynchburg, about


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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