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

Page 342

canoes, and, borne swiftly on the rapid current, we passed over one set of not very important rapids and ran down to Senhor Caripe’s little hamlet of São João, which we reached about one o’clock on April 27, just before a heavy afternoon rain set in. We had run nearly eight hundred kilometres during the sixty days we had spent in the canoes. Here we found and boarded Pyrineus’s river steamer, which seemed in our eyes extremely comfortable. In the senhor’s pleasant house we were greeted by the senhora, and they were both more than thoughtful and generous in their hospitality. Ahead of us lay merely thirtysix hours by steamer to Manaos. Such a trip as that we had taken tries men as if by fire. Cherrie had more than stood every test; and in him Kermit and I had come to recognize a friend with whom our friendship would never falter or grow less.
  Early the following afternoon our whole party, together with Senhor Caripe, started on the steamer. It took us a little over twelve hours’ swift steaming to run down to the mouth of the river on the upper course of which our progress had been so slow and painful; from source to mouth, according to our itinerary and to Lyra’s calculations, the course of the stream down which we had thus come was about 1,500 kilometres in length—about 900 miles, perhaps nearly 1,000 miles—from its source near the 13th degree in the highlands to its mouth in the Madeira, near the 5th degree. Next morning we were on the broad sluggish current of the lower Madeira, a beautiful tropical river. There were heavy rainstorms, as usual, although this is supposed to be the very end of the rainy season. In the afternoon we finally entered the