a hand at cooking. Our old sailing-master, Lyon, did the outdoor catering, browned the coffee, and superintended its grinding. A soldier's wife would grind it upon a flat stone, for which she would receive toll. Daniel Drake Henrie, of whom we shall have to speak more hereafter, usually called Dan, for short, sat upon the stone with a small Indian fan, and blew the coals, while he sung "Long, long ago," and the "Soldier's Tear." Colonel Fisher would hash up the meat; Captain Reese would stand by Dan, spoon in hand, and stir the milk, to keep it from boiling over; Lieutenant Clark would beat up the peppers and peel the potatoes, while I would cut up the onions and mix in the condiments. After frequent tastings, when I would pronounce the thing right, all hands agreed that "this was the very best dish we had yet cooked." Thus a keen appetite made each last dish the best. Each of the mess, like artisans in a pin factory, had his separate office to fulfil, but the fulfilling of that office depended upon his first washing his hands; for as yet we  were not so accustomed to the voracity of the vermin as not to make war upon them.
The burra's milk is very far superior in richness to that of either cow or goat; and the following recipe will make better coffee than was ever made in any other manner by the best cooks in Paris:
Take one pint of ground coffee, after being well browned, and not ground too fine; mix it up with the white of two hen's eggs, to which add two quarts of good water, and enough loaf sugar to make it as sweet as desirable; boil this fifteen minutes; to which add, after boiling it long enough to take off the "long-eared" smell, two quarts of ass's milk; take care that the milk does not burn.
This beverage, prepared in this manner, is so delicious, that the most fastidious will forget the "long-eared," comico gravity of the animal which produces it: for our countrymen, Colquhoun8 and Bradley,9 both Virginian epicures in coffee-drinking, pronounced it better than anything they had tasted, "even in the Old Dominion."
A short time after we were ironed, our fat friend very politely informed us we must prepare to go to work. We very politely replied that, as we were Texian officers, we would do no such thing.10 He went with our reply to the governor, when Colonel Fisher and myself addressed the following letter to the minister at war: