Home  »  Through the Brazilian Wilderness  »  Page 182

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

Page 182

and oxen; for some of them, especially among the oxen, already showed the effects of the strain. Travelling in a wild country with a pack-train is not easy on the pack-animals. It was strange to see these big motor-vans out in the wilderness where there was not a settler, not a civilized man except the employees of the Telegraphic Commission. They were handled by Lieutenant Lauriadó, who, with Lieutenant Mello, had taken special charge of our transport service; both were exceptionally good and competent men.
  The following day we again rode on across the Plan Alto. In the early afternoon, in the midst of a downpour of rain, we crossed the divide between the basins of the Paraguay and the Amazon. That evening we camped on a brook whose waters ultimately ran into the Tapajos. The rain fell throughout the afternoon, now lightly, now heavily, and the mule-train did not get up until dark. But enough tents and flies were pitched to shelter all of us. Fires were lit, and—after a fourteen hours’ fast—we feasted royally on beans and rice and pork and beef, seated around oxskins spread upon the ground. The sky cleared; the stars blazed down through the cool night; and wrapped in our blankets we slept soundly, warm and comfortable.
  Next morning the trail had turned, and our course led northward and at times east of north. We traversed the same high, rolling plains of coarse grass and stunted trees. Kermit, riding a big, iron-mouthed, bull-headed white mule, rode off to one side on a hunt, and rejoined the line of march carrying two bucks of the little pampasdeer, or field deer, behind his saddle. These deer are