Home  »  Through the Brazilian Wilderness  »  Page 156

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

Page 156

peccary. Thus far we had seen but one dog as good as the ordinary cougar hound or bear hound in such packs as those with which I had hunted in the Rockies and in the cane-brakes of the lower Mississippi. It can hardly be otherwise when every dog that shows himself worth anything is promptly put out of the category of breeders—the theory apparently being that the dog will then last longer. All the breeding is from worthless dogs, and no dog of proved worth leaves descendants.
  The country along this river is a fine natural cattle country, and some day it will surely see a great development. It was opened to development by Colonel Rondon only five or six years ago. Already an occasional cattleranch is to be found along the banks. When railroads are built into these interior portions of Matto Grosso the whole region will grow and thrive amazingly—and so will the railroads. The growth will not be merely material. An immense amount will be done in education; using the word education in its broadest and most accurate sense, as applying to both mind and spirit, to both the child and the man. Colonel Rondon is not merely an explorer. He has been and is now a leader in the movement for the vital betterment of his people, the people of Matto Grosso. The poorer people of the back country everywhere suffer because of the harsh and improper laws of debt. In practice these laws have resulted in establishing a system of peonage, such as has grown up here and there in our own nation. A radical change is needed in this matter; and the colonel is fighting for the change. In school matters the colonel has precisely the ideas of our wisest and most advanced men and women in the United States. Cherrie