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

Page 117

without interruption for forty-eight hours, let up, and in an hour or two the sun came out. We went back to the river, and found our rowboat. In it the hounds—a motley and rather worthless lot—and the rest of the party were ferried across to the opposite bank, while Colonel Rondon and I stayed in the boat, on the chance that a tapir might be roused and take to the river. However, no tapir was found; Kermit killed a collared peccary, and I shot a capybara representing a color-phase the naturalists wished.
  Next morning, January 1, 1914, we were up at five and had a good New Year’s Day breakfast of hardtack, ham, sardines, and coffee before setting out on an allday’s hunt on foot. I much feared that the pack was almost or quite worthless for jaguars, but there were two or three of the great spotted cats in the neighborhood and it seemed worth while to make a try for them any-how. After an hour or two we found the fresh tracks of two, and after them we went. Our party consisted of Colonel Rondon, Lieutenant Rogaciano—an excellent man, himself a native of Matto Grosso, of old Matto Grosso stock—two others of the party from the São João ranch, Kermit, and myself, together with four dark-skinned camaradas, cowhands from the same ranch. We soon found that the dogs would not by themselves follow the jaguar trail; nor would the camaradas, although they carried spears. Kermit was the one of our party who possessed the requisite speed, endurance, and eyesight, and accordingly he led. Two of the dogs would follow the track half a dozen yards ahead of him, but no farther; and two of the camaradas could just about keep up