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

Page 193

oxhide, among the plates, where it reared erect and defied the laughing and applauding company.
  On the morning of the 29th we were rather late in starting, because the rain had continued through the night into the morning, drenching everything. After nightfall there had been some mosquitoes, and the piums were a pest during daylight; where one bites it leaves a tiny black spot on the skin which lasts for several weeks. In the slippery mud one of the pack-mules fell and injured itself so that it had to be abandoned. Soon after stârting we came on the telegraph-line, which runs from Cayub&á this was the first time we had seen it. Two Parecís Indians joined us, leading a pack-bullock. They were dressed in hat, shirt, trousers, and sandals, precisely like the ordinary Brazilian caboclos, as the poor backwoods peasants, usually with little white blood in them, are colloquially and half-derisively styled—caboclo being originally a Guaraný word meaning “naked savage.” These two Indians were in the employ of the Telegraphic Commission, and had been patrolling the telegraph-line. The bullock carried their personal belongings and the tools with which they could repair a break. The commission pays the ordinary Indian worker 66 cents a day; a very good worker gets $1, and the chief $1.66. No man gets anything unless he works. Colonel Rondon, by just, kindly, and understanding treatment of these Indians, who previously had often been exploited and maltreated by rubber-gatherers, has made them the loyal friends of the government. He has gathered them at the telegraph stations, where they cultivate fields of mandioc, beans, potatoes, maize, and other vegetables, and where he is