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

Page 39

II. Up the Paraguay
  ON the afternoon of December 9 we left the attractive and picturesque city of Asuncion to ascend the Paraguay. With generous courtesy the Paraguayan Government had put at my disposal the gunboat-yacht of the President himself, a most comfortable river steamer, and so the opening days of our trip were pleasant in every way. The food was good, our quarters were clean, we slept well, below or on deck, usually without our mosquito-nettings, and in daytime the deck was pleasant under the awnings. It was hot, of course, but we were dressed suitably in our exploring and hunting clothes and did not mind the heat. The river was low, for there had been dry weather for some weeks—judging from the vague and contradictory information I received there is much elasticity to the terms wet season and dry season at this part of the Paraguay. Under the brilliant sky we steamed steadily up the mighty river; the sunset was glorious as we leaned on the port railing; and after nightfall the moon, nearly full and hanging high in the heavens, turned the water to shimmering radiance. On the mud-flats and sandbars, and among the green rushes of the bays and inlets, were stately water-fowl; crimson flamingoes and rosy spoonbills, dark-colored ibis and white storks with black