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miles, hard travelling, through mud and rain.  We had woodland on our left all the way, but on the right it was all open prairie, except where we struck watercourses.  Distance from the gulf, about thirty miles.  Here we got a plenty of corn for our horses.

Thursday, April 28, 1836

It having ceased to rain, and giving some indications of clearing up, we left Andrews about 1 o'clock.  Bill, $2.25.  At about six miles distant Cady, Fleury and Catlett left us, to go by St. Martinsville, on the Teche.  We continuing lower down, towards Vermillion.  In crossing a little bayou, my mulish mustang horse bogged and fell down in the water, and I under him, by which I was thoroughly wet, and my saddle bags filled with water.  At night we got to Abshear's, eighteen miles, where I did my best to dry my things.

Friday, April 29, 1836

It continued all the morning to rain hard; heavy showers at intervals.  Dr. Neblett insisted on going forward through the rain.  I determined to stay and dry my things, so he and Dobie left me.  I would not consent to set out in the rain again.  I found my watch had got wet and stopt, and the crystal, which I had cracked in the famous passage of the Naches, now came entirely out.  So I took a lead bullet and beat it out in size and shape of a crystal, and fixed it in, to protect the hands until I can get a crystal put in.

About 3 o'clock, it being fair, I started, with Asa Abshear for my guide.  We encountered a very heavy shower of rain, but I only got my boots wet.  In a pond of water in the prairie I discovered an alligator about six feet long, which I rode up to near enough to shoot in the neck with my pistol.  The blood flowed, and he did not move much, so concluded it was mortal, and left him.  Arrived after dark at the house of a herdsman, a Spanish Creole, named Sebastian Nunez, where we were kindly treated.  These herdsmen live very simple and apparently happy lives.  They have little intercourse with the world, very little learning, no ambition, and have a ball every Saturday night.  Sebastian Nunez and Asa Abshear are both going to a ball tomorrow night.

Saturday, April 30, 1836

Left Nunez's after breakfast.  He would receive no pay, but rode with me to near Perry's Ferry.  His brother, at whose house we called, gave me an alligator's tooth.  Paid Asa Abshear for piloting me $1.25.  Stopt at Berry's, and tried to sell my horse.  Left after 12 o'clock, having taken directions from Perry, but the road was by no means plain, and was so interrupted by the numerous houses of the Creole French and Spaniards, herdsmen, that I missed my way, and lost


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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