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farmhouse, very neatly kept.  He told me his land produced in sugar 1500 wt. to the acre, and in cotton one bale.

Neblett and Dobie went on four miles further to Dr. Robt. Neblett's.

Tuesday, April 26, 1836

Left Cowherd's after breakfast, at 8 o'clock.  Bill, $1.  Stopt a short time at Dr. R. Neblett's, who then rode with us to Calcasieu ferry, thirteen miles from Cowherd's.  Calcasieu is a very beautiful stream, very deep and clear.  Dr. R. Neblett says it is the largest river between the Mississippi and the Rio Grande.  The publick house and ferry is kept by Mr. Rees Perkins; very decent people; decent dinner; dinner 25 cents, ferry 50 cents.

At night we reached the house of Arsen Le Blue Comarsac, the French Creole drover whom we had seen in Texas at Wallace's.  He was not at home, but his wife a Virginian and a sensible woman, received us civilly.  He is said to be worth $100,000; their little girl, Minerva, is beautiful; living coarse and mean; could get no corn for our horses, which we had to turn out on the prairie; no sugar in our coffee, no butter, and sour milk, although they said they had 1,000 to 1,200 calves.  We slept on the floor in a new house, not yet inhabited, and were dreadfully annoyed by fleas.

Wednesday, April 27, 1836

Paid Mrs. Comarsac fifty cents, and left her dirty mansion at half past 6 o'clock.  Passed a drove of cattle belonging to Taylor White, from near Anahuac; started with 500; said to have lost 170; had now only 330.

Early in the day we were overtaken by a heavy shower of rain, and I got very wet.  We reached Miles Welch's cabin in the prairie about 11 o'clock, having rode twenty miles over poor prairie land.  His cabin had only one room, which was kitchen, chamber, parlor and hall, and let the rain in through every part.  His [wife] cooked us a coarse dinner; he refused us corn for our horses; after dinner he gave us corn; bill, 50 cents.  Went on over a boggy prairie, and in a hard rain.  Crossed a marsh in the midst of an extensive prairie, which is here called Grand Marais.  In the evening it cleared up, and the moon shone out.  We reached the Bayou Mermentou at 7 o'clock; a beautiful stream, and a good ferry boat.  Small house, and rather shabby French style.  Andrews, the landlord, a loquacious, vulgar, beastly looking man, but jolly, and civil in his way.  Jabbers Creole French and English indiscriminately.  His son-in-law, John Moutan, a civil, whiskey-drinking fellow, who was dreadfully afflicted with the hiccough.  I dried my dripping clothes as well as I could, and got a good lodging.  It rained excessively hard in the night.  The thunder resembled the discharge of cannon.  From Welsh's to Mermentou, twenty miles.  The journey today has been forty


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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