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

Page 331

  For four days there were no rapids we could not run without unloading. Then, on the 19th, we got a canoe from Senhor Barboso. He was a most kind and hospitable man, who also gave us a duck and a chicken and some mandioc and six pounds of rice, and would take no payment; he lived in a roomy house with his dusky, cigarsmoking wife and his many children. The new canoe was light and roomy, and we were able to rig up a low shelter under which I could lie; I was still sick. At noon we passed the mouth of a big river, the Rio Branco, coming in from the left; this was about in latitude 9° 38´. Soon afterward we came to the first serious rapids, the Panela. We carried the boats past, ran down the empty canoes, and camped at the foot in a roomy house. The doctor bought a handsome trumpeter bird, very friendly and confiding, which was thenceforth my canoe companion.
  We had already passed many inhabited—and a still larger number of uninhabited—houses. The dwellers were rubbermen, but generally they were permanent settlers also, homemakers, with their wives and children. Some, both of the men and women, were apparently of pure negro blood, or of pure Indian or south European blood; but in the great majority all three strains were mixed in varying degrees. They were most friendly, courteous, and hospitable. Often they refused payment for what they could afford, out of their little, to give us. When they did charge, the prices were very high, as was but just, for they live back of the beyond, and everything costs them fabulously, save what they raise themselves. The cool, bare houses of poles and palm thatch contained