Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
In the afternoon of the day following our arrival there was a heavy rain-storm which drove into the unglazed windows, and here and there came through the roof and walls of our daub-and-wattle house. The heat was intense and there was much moisture in this valley. During the downpour I looked out at the dreary little houses, showing through the driving rain, while the sheets of muddy water slid past their door-sills; and I felt a sincere respect for the lieutenant and his soldiers who were holding this desolate outpost of civilization. It is an unhealthy spot; there has been much malarial fever and beriberian obscure and deadly disease.
Next morning we resumed our march. It soon began to rain and we were drenched when, some fifteen miles on, we reached the river where we were to camp. After the great heat we felt quite cold in our wet clothes, and gladly crowded round a fire which was kindled under a thatched shed, beside the cabin of the ferryman. This ferry-boat was so small that it could only take one mule, or at most two, at a time. The mules and a span of six oxen dragging an ox-cart, which we had overtaken, were ferried slowly to the farther side that afternoon, as there was no feed on the hither bank, where we ourselves camped. The ferryman was a soldier in the employ of the Telegraphic Commission. His good-looking, pleasant-mannered wife, evidently of both Indian and negro blood, was with him, and was doing all she could do as a housekeeper, in the comfortless little cabin, with its primitive bareness of furniture and fittings.
Here we saw Captain Amilcar, who had come back to hurry up his rear-guard. We stood ankle-deep in mud