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

Page 199

he top of the head. It is hard to decide whether to wonder most at the dexterity and strength with which it is hit or butted with the head, as it comes down through the air, or at the reckless speed and skill with which the players throw themselves headlong on the ground to return the ball if it comes low down. Why they do not grind off their noses I cannot imagine. Some of the players hardly ever failed to catch and return the ball if it came in their neighborhood, and with such a vigorous toss of the head that it often flew in a great curve for a really astonishing distance.
  That night a pack-ox got into the tent in which Kermit and I were sleeping, entering first at one end and then at the other. It is extraordinary that he did not waken us; but we slept undisturbed while the ox deliberately ate our shirts, socks, and underclothes! It chewed them into rags. One of my socks escaped, and my undershirt, although chewed full of holes, was still good for some weeks’ wear; but the other things were in fragments.
  In the morning Colonel Randon arranged for us to have breakfast over on the benches under the trees by the waterfall, whose roar, lulled to a thunderous murmur, had been in our ears before we slept and when we waked. There could have been no more picturesque place for the breakfast of such a party as ours. All travellers who really care to see what is most beautiful and most characteristic of the far interior of South America should in their journey visit this region, and see the two great waterfalls. They are even now easy of access; and as soon as the traffic warrants it they will be made still more so; then, from São Luis C&áceres, they will be speedily