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

Page 106

bay, the spearman holding him off if the first shot fails to stop him, so that another shot can be put in. Altogether, our host and his son reminded one of the best type of American ranchmen and planters, of those planters and ranchmen who are adepts in bold and manly field sports, who are capital men of business, and who also often supply to the state skilled and faithful public servants. The hospitality the father and son extended to us was patriarchal: neither, for instance, would sit at table with their guests at the beginning of the formal meals; instead they exercised a close personal supervision over the feast. Our charming hostess, however, sat at the head of the table.
  At six in the morning we started, all of us on fine horses. The day was lowering and overcast. A dozen dogs were with us, but only one or two were worth anything. Three or four ordinary countrymen, the ranch hands, or vaqueiros, accompanied us; they were mainly of Indian blood, and would have been called peons, or caboclos, in other parts of Brazil, but here were always spoken to and of as “camaradas.” They were, of course, chosen from among the men who were hunters, and each carried his long, rather heavy and clumsy jaguar-spear. In front rode our vigorous host and his strapping son, the latter also carrying a jaguar-spear. The bridles and saddles of the big ranchmen and of the gentlefolk generally were handsome and were elaborately ornamented with silver. The stirrups, for instance, were not only of silver, but contained so much extra metal in ornamented bars and rings that they would have been awkward for less-practised riders. Indeed, as it was, they