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

Page 377

aboard canoes. A four-ply bolt rope of best manilla, made in New Bedford, Mass., should be taken. It is the finest and most pliable line in the world, as any old whaler will tell you. Get a sailor of the old school to relay the coils before you go into the field so that the rope will be ready for use. Five eighths to seven eighths inch diameter is large enough. A few balls of marline come in conveniently as also does heavy linen fish-line.
  A small-sized duffel-bag should be provided for each of the men as a container for hammock and net, spare clothing, and mess-kit. A very small waterproof pouch or bag should be furnished also for matches, tobacco, etc.
  The men should be limited to one duffel-bag each. These bags should be numbered consecutively. In fact, every piece in the entire equipment should be thus numbered and a list kept in detail in a book.
  The explorer should personally see that each of his men has a hammock, net, and poncho; for the native, if left unsupervised, will go into the field with only the clothing he has on.
  FOOD.—Though South America is rich in food and food possibilities, she has not solved the problem of living economically on her frontiers. The prices asked for food in the rubber districts we passed through were amazing. Five milreis (one dollar and fifty cents) was cheap for a chicken, and eggs at five hundred reis (fifteen cents) apiece were a rarity. Sugar was bought at the rate of one to two milreis a Kilo—in a country where sugar-cane grows luxuriantly. The main dependence is the mandioc, or farina, as it is called. It is the bread of the country and is served at every meal. The native puts