Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
VII. With a Mule Train Across Nhambiquara Land
FROM this point we were to enter a still wilder region, the land of the naked Nhambiquaras. On February 3 the weather cleared and we started with the mule-train and two ox-carts. Fiala and Lieutenant Lauriadó stayed at Utiarity to take canoes and go down the Papagaio, which had not been descended by any scientific party, and perhaps by no one. They were then to descend the Juruena and Tapajos, thereby performing a necessary part of the work of the expedition. Our remaining party consisted of Colonel Rondon, Lieutenant Lyra, the doctor, Oliveira, Cherrie, Miller, Kermit, and myself. On the Juruena we expected to meet the pack ox-train with Captain Amilcar and Lieutenant Mello; the other Brazilian members of the party had returned. We had now begun the difficult part of the expedition. The pium flies were becoming a pest. There was much fever and beriberi in the country we were entering. The feed for the animals was poor; the rains had made the trails slippery and difficult; and many, both of the mules and the oxen, were already week, and some had to be abandoned. We left the canoe, the motor, and the gasolene; we had hoped to try them on the Amazonian