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

Page 213

sometimes himself put up the family shelter. They were mainly of negro blood. Struck by the woman’s uncomplaining endurance of fatigue, we offered to take her and the baby in the automobile, while it accompanied us. But, alas! this proved to be one of those melancholy cases where the effort to relieve hardship well endured results only in showing that those who endure the adversity cannot stand even a slight prosperity. The woman proved a querulous traveller in the auto, complaining that she was not made as comfortable as apparently, she had expected; and after one day the husband declared he was not willing to have her go unless he went too; and the family resumed their walk.
  In this neighborhood there were multitudes of the big, gregarious, crepuscular or nocturnal spiders which I have before mentioned. On arriving in camp, at about four in the afternoon, I ran into a number of remains of their webs, and saw a very few of the spiders themselves sitting in the webs midway between trees. I then strolled a couple of miles up the road ahead of us under the line of telegraph-poles. It was still bright sunlight and no spiders were out; in fact, I did not suspect their presence along the line of telegraph-poles, although I ought to have done so, for I continually ran into long strings of tough fine web, which got across my face or hands or rifle barrel. I returned just at sunset and the spiders were out in force. I saw dozens of colonies, each of scores or hundreds of individuals. Many were among the small trees alongside the broad, cleared trail. But most were dependent from the wire itself. Their webs had all been made or repaired since I had passed. Each was