Home  »  Through the Brazilian Wilderness  »  Page 220

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

Page 220

elapsed, when the Telegraphic Commission not only descended, but for the first time accurately placed and mapped its course.
  There were several houses on the rise of the farther bank, all with thatched roofs, some of them with walls of upright tree-trunks, some of them daub and wattle. Into one of the latter, with two rooms, we took our belongings. The sand-flies were bothersome at night, coming through the interstices in the ordinary mosquito-nets. The first night they did this I got no sleep until morning, when it was cool enough for me to roll myself in my blanket and put on a head-net. Afterward we used fine nets of a kind of cheese-cloth. They were hot, but they kept out all, or almost all, of the sand-flies and other small tormentors.
  Here we overtook the rearmost division of Captain Amilcar’s bullock-train. Our own route had diverged, in order to pass the great falls. Captain Amilcar had come direct, overtaking the pack-oxen, which had left Tapirapoan before we did, laden with material for the Dúvida trip. He had brought the oxen through in fine shape, losing only three beasts with their loads, and had himself left the Juruena the morning of the day we reached there. His weakest animals left that evening, to make the march by moonlight; and as it was desirable to give them thirty-six hours’ start, we halted for a day on the banks of the river. It was not a wasted day. In addition to bathing and washing our clothes, the naturalists made some valuable additions to the collection—including a boldly marked black, blue, and white jay—and our photographs were developed and our writing brought abreast of the date. Travelling through a tropical wilderness in