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

Page 132

The one-story houses were white or blue, with roofs of red tiles and window-shutters of latticed woodwork, come down from colonial days and tracing back through Christian and Moorish Portugal to a remote Arab ancestry. Pretty faces, some dark, some light, looked out from these windows; their mothers’ mothers, for generations past, must thus have looked out of similar windows in the vanished colonial days. But now even here in C&áceres the spirit of the new Brazil is moving; a fine new government school has been started, and we met its principal, an earnest man doing excellent work, one of the many teachers who, during the last few years, have been brought to Matto Grosso from São Paulo, a centre of the new educational movement which will do so much for Brazil.
  Father Zahm went to spend the night with some French Franciscan friars, capital fellows. I spent the night at the comfortable house of Lieutenant Lyra; a hot-weather house with thick walls, big doors, and an open patio bordered by a gallery. Lieutenant Lyra was to accompany us; he was an old companion of Colonel Rondon’s explorations. We visited one or two of the stores to make some final purchases, and in the evening strolled through the dusky streets and under the trees of the plaza; the women and girls sat in groups in the doorways or at the windows, and here and there a stringed instrument tinkled in the darkness.
  From C&áceres onward we were entering the scene of Colonel Rondon’s explorations. For some eighteen years he was occupied in exploring and in opening telegraphlines through the eastern or northmiddle part of the