Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 232
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 232
 
later, in the afternoon, we camped by a beautiful open meadow; on one side ran a rapid brook, with a waterfall eight feet high, under which we bathed and swam. Here the feed looked so good that we all expressed pleasure. But the mules did not like it, and after nightfall they hiked back on the trail, and it was a long and arduous work to gather them next morning.
  I have touched above on the insect pests. Men unused to the South American wilderness speak with awe of the danger therein from jaguars, crocodiles, and poisonous snakes. In reality, the danger from these sources is trivial, much less than the danger of being run down by an automobile at home. But at times the torment of insect plagues can hardly be exaggerated. There are many different species of mosquitoes, some of them bearers of disease. There are many different kinds of small, biting flies and gnats, loosely grouped together under various titles. The ones more especially called piums by my companions were somewhat like our northern black flies. They gorged themselves with blood. At the moment their bites did not hurt, but they left an itching scar. head-nets and gloves are a protection, but are not very comfortable in stifling hot weather. It is impossible to sleep without mosquito-biers. When settlers of the right type come into a new land they speedily learn to take the measures necessary to minimize the annoyance caused by all these pests. Those that are winged have plenty of kinsfolk in so much of the northern continent as has not yet been subdued by man. But the most noxious of the South American ants have, thank heaven, no representatives in North America. At the camp of the

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