Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
piums a column of the carnivorous foraging ants made its appearance before nightfall, and for a time we feared it might put us out of our tents, for it went straight through camp, between the kitchen-tent and our own sleepingtents. However, the column turned neither to the right nor the left, streaming uninterruptedly past for several hours, and doing no damage except to the legs of any incautious man who walked near it.
On the afternoon of February 15 we reached Campos Novos. This place was utterly unlike the country we had been traversing. It was a large basin, several miles across, traversed by several brooks. The brooks ran in deep swampy valleys, occupied by a matted growth of tall tropical forest. Between them the ground rose in bold hills, bare of forest and covered with grass, on which our jaded animals fed eagerly. On one of these rounded hills a number of buildings were ranged in a quadrangle, for the pasturage at this spot is so good that it is permanently occupied. There were milch cows, and we got delicious fresh milk; and there were goats, pigs, turkeys, and chickens. Most of the buildings were made of upright poles with roofs of palm thatch. One or two were of native brick, plastered with mud, and before these there was an enclosure with a few ragged palms, and some pineapple plants. Here we halted. Our attendants made two kitchens: one was out in the open air, one was under a shelter of ox-hide. The view over the surrounding grassy hills, riven by deep wooded valleys, was lovely. The air was cool and fresh. We were not bothered by insects, although mosquitoes swarmed in every belt of timber. Yet there has been much fever at this beautiful