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

Page 131

temperate regions of the far north, now in the cold temperate regions of the south. These latter wide-wandering birds of the seashore and the river bank pass most of their lives in regions of almost perpetual sunlight. They spend the breeding season, the northern summer, in the land of the midnight sun, during the long arctic day. They then fly for endless distances down across the north temperate zone, across the equator, through the lands where the days and nights are always of equal length, into another hemisphere, and spend another summer of long days and long twilights in the far south, where the antarctic winds cool them, while their nesting home, at the other end of the world, is shrouded beneath the iron desolation of the polar night.
  In the late afternoon of the 5th we reached the quaint old-fashioned little town of São Luis de C&áceres, on the outermost fringe of the settled region of the state of Matto Grosso, the last town we should see before reaching the villages of the Amazon. As we approached we passed half-clad black washerwomen on the river’s edge. The men, with the local band, were gathered at the steeply sloping foot of the main street, where the steamer came to her moorings. Groups of women and girls, white and brown, watched us from the low bluff; their skirts and bodices were red, blue, green, of all colors. Sigg had gone ahead with much of the baggage; he met us in an improvised motor-boat, consisting of a dugout to the side of which he had clamped our Evinrude motor; he was giving several of the local citizens of prominence a ride, to their huge enjoyment. The streets of the little town were unpaved, with narrow brick sidewalks.