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

Page 162

field equipment, suggested by what he had already seen. Some of us read books. Colonel Rondon, neat, trim, alert, and soldierly, studied a standard work on applied geographical astronomy. Father Zahm read a novel by Fogazzaro. Kermit read Camoens and a couple of Brazilian novels, “O Guarani” and “Innocencia.” My own reading varied from “Quentin Durward” and Gibbon to the “Chanson de Roland.” Miller took out his little pet owl Moses, from the basket in which Moses dwelt, and gave him food and water. Moses crooned and chuckled gratefully when he was stroked and tickled.
  Late the first evening we moored to the bank by a little fazenda of the poorer type. The houses were of palm-leaves. Even the walls were made of the huge fronds or leafy branches of the wawasa palm, stuck upright in the ground and the blades plaited together. Some of us went ashore. Some stayed on the boats. There were no mosquitoes, the weather was not oppressively hot, and we slept well. By five o’clock next morning we had each drunk a cup of delicious Brazilian coffee, and the boats were under way.
  All day we steamed slowly up-stream. We passed two or three fazendas. At one, where we halted to get milk, the trees were overgrown with pretty little yellow orchids. At dark we moored at a spot where there were no branches to prevent our placing the boats directly alongside the bank. There were hardly any mosquitoes. Most of the party took their hammocks ashore, and the camp was pitched amid singularly beautiful surroundings. The trees were wawasa palms, some with the fronds cresting very tall trunks, some with the fronds—seemingly longer