Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
of palm. In the village dwell several hundred souls, almost entirely the officers and soldiers and their families. There is one long street. The one-story, daub-and-wattle houses have low eaves and steep sloping roofs of palm-leaves or of split palm-trunks. Under one or two old but small trees there are rude benches; and for a part of the length of the street there is a rough stone sidewalk. A little graveyard, some of the tombs very old, stands at one end. As we passed down the street the wives and the swarming children of the garrison were at the doors and windows; there were women and girls with skins as fair as any in the northland, and others that were predominantly negro. Most were of intervening shades. All this was paralleled among the men; and the fusion of the colors was going on steadily.
Around the village black vultures were gathered. Not long before reaching it we passed some rounded green trees, their tops covered with the showy wood-ibis; at the same time we saw behind them, farther inland, other trees crowded with the more delicate forms of the shining white egrets.
The river now widened so that in places it looked like a long lake; it wound in every direction through the endless marshy plain, whose surface was broken here and there by low mountains. The splendor of the sunset I never saw surpassed. We were steaming east toward clouds of storm. The river ran, a broad highway of molten gold, into the flaming sky; the far-off mountains loomed purple across the marshes; belts of rich green, the river banks stood out on either side against the rose-hues of the rippling water; in front, as we