Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 242
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 242
 
pastureland. The valleys were densely wooded, palms of several kinds being conspicuous among the other trees; and the brooks at the bottoms we crossed at fords or by the usual rude pole bridges. On the open pastures were occasional trees, usually slender bacaba palms, with heads which the winds had dishevelled until they looked like mops. It was evidently a fine natural cattle country, and we soon began to see scores, perhaps hundreds, of the cattle belonging to the government ranch at Tres Burity, which we reached in the early afternoon. It is beautifully situated: the view roundabout is lovely, and certainly the land will prove healthy when settlements have been definitely established. Here we revelled in abundance of good fresh milk and eggs; and for dinner we had chicken canja and fat beef roasted on big wooden spits; and we even had watermelons. The latter were from seeds brought down by the American engineers who built the MadeiraMarmoré Railroad—a work which stands honorably distinguished among the many great and useful works done in the development of the tropics of recent years.
  Amilcar’s pack-oxen, which were nearly worn out, had been left in these fertile pastures. Most of the fresh oxen which he took in their places were unbroken, and there was a perfect circus before they were packed and marched off; in every direction, said the gleeful narrators, there were bucking oxen and loads strewed on the ground. This cattle-ranch is managed by the colonel’s uncle, his mother’s brother, a hale old man of seventy, white-haired but as active and vigorous as ever; with a fine, kindly, intelligent face. His name is Miguel Evangalista. He is a native of Matto Grosso, of practically

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