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

Page 200

reached by light steamboat up the Sepotuba and by a day or two’s automobile ride, with a couple of days on horse-back in between.
  The colonel held a very serious council with the Parecís Indians over an incident which caused him grave concern. One of the commission’s employees, a negro, had killed a wild Nhambiquara Indian; but it appeared that he had really been urged on and aided by the Parecís, as the members of the tribe to which the dead Indian belonged were much given to carrying off the Parecís women and in other ways making themselves bad neighbors. The colonel tried hard to get at the truth of the matter; he went to the biggest Indian house, where he sat in a hammock—an Indian child cuddling solemnly up to him, by the way—while the Indians sat in other hammocks, and stood round about; but it was impossible to get an absolutely frank statement.
  It appeared, however, that the Nhambiquaras had made a descent on the Parecís village in the momentary absence of the men of the village; but the latter, notified by the screaming of the women, had returned in time to rescue them. The negro was with them and, having a good rifle, he killed one of the aggressors. The Parecís were, of course, in the right, but the colonel could not afford to have his men take sides in a tribal quarrel.
  It was only a two hours’ march across to the Papagaio at the Falls of Utiarity, so named by their discoverer, Colonel Rondon, after the sacred falcon of the Parecís. On the way we passed our Indian friends, themselves bound thither; both the men and the women bore burdens—the burdens of some of the women, poor