Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
all were pleasant and well-behaved. The women ran the ferry about as well as the men. They had no cultivated fields, and for weeks they had been living only on game and honey; and they hailed with joy our advent and the quantities of beans and rice which, together with some beef, the colonel left with them. They feasted most of the night. Their houses contained their hammocks, baskets, and other belongings, and they owned some poultry. In one house was a tiny parakeet, very much at home, and familiar, but by no means friendly, with strangers. There are wild Nhambiquaras in the neighborhood, and recently several of these had menaced the two ferrymen with an attack, even shooting arrows at them. The ferrymen had driven them off by firing their rifles in the air; and they expected and received the colonels praise for their self-restraint; for the colonel is doing all he can to persuade the Indians to stop their blood feuds. The rifles were short and light Winchester carbines, of the kind so universally used by the rubbergatherers and other adventurous wanderers in the forest wilderness of Brazil. There were a number of rubbertrees in the neighborhood, by the way.
We enjoyed a good bath in the Burity, although it was impossible to make headway by swimming against the racing current. There were few mosquitoes. On the other hand, various kinds of piums were a little too abundant; they vary from things like small gnats to things like black flies. The small stingless bees have no fear and can hardly be frightened away when they light on the hands or face; but they never bite, and merely cause a slight tickling as they crawl over the skin. There