Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
Caripe, a first-class waterman, cool, fearless, and brawny as a bull, came with us as guide. Half a dozen times the loads were taken out and carried down. At one cataract the canoes were themselves dragged overland; elsewhere they were run down empty, shipping a good deal of water. At the foot of the cataract, where we dragged the canoes overland, we camped for the night. Here Kermit shot a big cayman. Our camp was alongside the graves of three men who at this point had perished in the swift water.
Senhor Caripe told us many strange adventures of rubber-workers he had met or employed. One of his men, working on the Gy-Paran´, got lost and after twenty-eight days found himself on the Madeirainha, which he thus discovered. He was in excellent health, for he had means to start a fire, and he found abundance of Brazil-nuts and big land-tortoises. Senhor Caripe said that the rubber-men now did not go above the ninth degree, or thereabouts, on the upper Aripuanan proper, having found the rubber poor on the reaches above. A year previously five rubber-men, Mundurucu Indians, were working on the Canum´ at about that level. It is a difficult stream to ascend or descend. They made excursions into the forest for days at a time after caoutchouc. On one such trip, after fifteen days they, to their surprise, came out on the Aripuanan. They returned and told their patron of their discovery; and by his orders took their caoutchouc overland to the Aripuanan, built a canoe, and ran down with their caoutchouc to Manaos. They had now returned and were working on the upper Aripuanan. The Mundurucus and Brazilians are always