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

Page 285

the stories of the rubbergatherers, or seringueiros, Colonel Rondon had come to the conclusion that this was the largest affluent of the Madeira, with such a body of water that it must have a big drainage basin. He thought that the Dúvida was probably one of its head streams—although every existing map represented the lay of the land to be such as to render impossible the existence of such a river system and drainage basin. The rubbergatherers reported that they had gone many days’ journey up the river, to a point where there was a series of heavy rapids with above them the junctionpoint of two large rivers, one entering from the west. Beyond this they had difficulties because of the hostility of the Indians; and where the junctionpoint was no one could say. On the chance Colonel Rondon had directed one of his subordinate officers, Lieutenant Pyrineus, to try to meet us, with boats and provisions, by ascending the Aripuanan to the point of entry of its first big affluent. This was the course followed when Amilcar had been directed to try to meet the explorers who in 1909 came down the Gy-Paran&á. At that time the effort was a failure, and the two parties never met; but we might have better luck, and in any event the chance was worth taking.
  On the morning following our camping by the mouth of the Rio Kermit, Colonel Rondon took a good deal of pains in getting a big post set up at the entry of the smaller river into the Dúvida. Then he summoned me, and all the others, to attend the ceremony of its erection. We found the camaradas drawn up in line, and the colonel preparing to read aloud “the orders of the day.” To the post was nailed a board with “Rio Kermit” on it; and