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

Page 190

lonely little town. The tomb of the old colonial explorer still stands in the ruined cathedral, where the forest has once more come to its own. But civilization is again advancing to reclaim the lost town and to revive the memory of the wilderness wanderer who helped to found it. Colonel Rondon has named a river after Franco; a range of mountains has also been named after him; and the colonel, acting for the Brazilian Government, has established a telegraph station in what was once the palace of the captain-general.
  Our northward trail led along the high ground a league or two to the east of the northward-flowing Rio Sacre. Each night we camped on one of the small tributary brooks that fed it. Fiala, Kermit, and I occupied one tent. In the daytime the “pium” flies, vicious little sand-flies, became bad enough to make us finally use gloves and head-nets. There were many heavy rains, which made the travelling hard for the mules. The soil was more often clay than sand, and it was slippery when wet. The weather was overcast, and there was usually no oppressive heat even at noon. At intervals along the trail we came on the staring skull and bleached skeleton of a mule or ox. Day after day we rode forward across endless flats of grass and of low open scrubby forest, the trees standing far apart and in most places being but little higher than the head of a horseman. Some of them carried blossoms, white, orange, yellow, pink; and there were many flowers, the most beautiful being the morning-glories. Among the trees were bastard rubbertrees, and dwarf palmetto; if the latter grew more than a few feet high their tops were torn and dishevelled by