Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 240
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 240
 
a beautiful open country, where grassy slopes, dotted with occasional trees, came down on either side of a little brook which was one of the headwaters of the Dúvida. It was a pleasure to see the mules greedily bury their muzzles in the pasturage. Our tents were pitched in the open, near a shady tree, which sent out its low branches on every side. At this camp Cherrie shot a lark, very characteristic of the open upland country, and Miller found two bats in the rotten wood of a dead log. He heard them squeaking and dug them out; he could not tell by what method they had gotten in.
  Here Kermit, while a couple of miles from our tents, came across an encampment of Nhambiquaras. There were twenty or thirty of them—men, women, and a few children. Kermit, after the manner of honest folk in the wilderness, advanced ostentatiously in the open, calling out to give warning of his coming. Like surroundings may cause like manners. The early Saxons in England deemed it legal to kill any man who came through the woods without shouting or blowing a horn; and in Nhambiquara land at the present time it is against etiquette, and may be very unhealthy, to come through the woods toward strangers without loudly announcing one’s presence. The Nhambiquaras received Kermit with the utmost cordiality, and gave him pineapple-wine to drink. They were stark naked as usual; they had no hammocks or blankets, and their huts were flimsy shelters of palm-branches. Yet they were in fine condition. Half a dozen of the men and a couple of boys accompanied Kermit back to our camp, paying no slightest heed to the rain which was falling. They were bold and

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