Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
IV. The Headwaters of the Paraguay
AT Corumb&á our entire party, and all their belongings, came aboard our good little river boat, the Nyoac. Christmas Day saw us making our way steadily up-stream against the strong current, and between the green and beautiful banks of the upper Paraguay. The shallow little steamer was jammed with men, dogs, rifles, partially cured skins, boxes of provisions, ammunition, tools, and photographic supplies, bags containing tents, cots, bedding, and clothes, saddles, hammocks, and the other necessaries for a trip through the great wilderness, the matto grosso of western Brazil.
It was a brilliantly clear day, and, although of course in that latitude and at that season the heat was intense later on, it was cool and pleasant in the early morning. We sat on the forward deck, admiring the trees on the brink of the sheer river banks, the lush, rank grass of the marshes, and the many water-birds. The two pilots, one black and one white, stood at the wheel. Colonel Rondon read Thomas à Kempis. Kermit, Cherrie, and Miller squatted outside the railing on the deck over one paddle-wheel and put the final touches on the jaguarskins. Fiala satisfied himself that the boxes and bags were in place. It was probable that hardship lay in the