Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 110
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 110
 
if given the chance will bite a piece the size of a teacup out of either man or dog. It is found singly or in small parties, feeds on roots, fruits, grass, and delights to make its home in hollow logs. If taken young it makes an affectionate and entertaining pet. When the two were in the hollow log we heard them utter a kind of moaning, or menacing, grunt, long drawn.
  An hour or two afterward we unexpectedly struck the fresh tracks of two jaguars and at once loosed the dogs, who tore off yelling, on the line of the scent. Unfortunately, just at this moment the clouds burst and a deluge of rain drove in our faces. So heavy was the downpour that the dogs lost the trail and we lost the dogs. We found them again only owing to one of our caboclos; an Indian with a queer Mongolian face, and no brain at all that I could discover, apart from his special dealings with wild creatures, cattle, and horses. He rode in a huddle of rags; but nothing escaped his eyes, and he rode anything anywhere. The downpour continued so heavily that we knew the rodeó had been abandoned, and we turned our faces for the long, dripping, splashing ride homeward. Through the gusts of driving rain we could hardly see the way. Once the rain lightened, and half a mile away the sunshine gleamed through a rift in the leaden cloud-mass. Suddenly in this rift of shimmering brightness there appeared a flock of beautiful white egrets. With strong, graceful wing-beats the birds urged their flight, their plumage flashing in the sun. They then crossed the rift and were swallowed in the gray gloom of the day.
  On the marsh the dogs several times roused capybaras.

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