Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
our march we were usually far ahead of the mule-train, and the rain was also usually falling. Accordingly we would sit about under trees, or under a shed or lean-to, if there was one, each solemnly reading a volume of Gibbonand no better reading can be found. In my own case, as I had been having rather a steady course of Gibbon, I varied him now and then with a volume of Arséne Lupin lent me by Kermit.
There were many swollen rivers to cross at this point of our journey.Some we waded at fords. Some we crossed by rude bridges. The larger ones, such as the Juina, we crossed by ferry, and when the approaches were swampy, and the river broad and swift, many hours might be consumed in getting the mule-train, the loose bullocks, and the ox-cart over. We had few accidents, although we once lost a ferry-load of provisions, which was quite a misfortune in a country where they could not be replaced. The pasturage was poor, and it was impossible to make long marches with our weakened animals.
At one camp three Nhambiquaras paid us a visit at breakfast time. They left their weapons behind them before they appeared, and shouted loudly while they were still hid by the forest, and it was only after repeated answering calls of welcome that they approached. Always in the wilderness friends proclaim their presence; a silent advance marks a foe. Our visitors were men, and stark naked, as usual. One seemed sick; he was thin, and his back was scarred with marks of the grub of the loath-some berni fly. Indeed, all of them showed scars, chiefly from insect wounds. But the other two were in good condition, and, although they ate greedily of the food offered