Home  »  Through the Brazilian Wilderness  »  Page 46

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

Page 46

  The Guaraný-speaking Paraguayan is a Christian, and as much an inheritor of our common culture as most of the peasant populations of Europe. He has no kinship with the wild Indian, who hates and fears him. The Indian of the Chaco, a pure savage, a bow-bearing savage, will never come east of the Paraguay, and the Paraguayan is only beginning to venture into the western interior, away from the banks of the river—under the lead of pioneer settlers like Rickard, whom, by the way, the wild Indians thoroughly trust, and for whom they work eagerly and faithfully. There is a great development ahead for Paraguay, as soon as they can definitely shake off the revolutionary habit and establish an orderly permanence of government. The people are a fine people; the strains of blood—white and Indian—are good.
  We walked up the streets of Concepcion, and interestedly looked at everything of interest: at the one-story houses, their windows covered with gratings of fretted ironwork, and their occasional open doors giving us glimpses into cool inner courtyards, with trees and flowers; at the two-wheel carts, drawn by mules or oxen; at an occasional rider, with spurs on his bare feet, and his big toes thrust into the small stirrup-rings; at the little stores, and the warehouses for matté and hides. Then we came to a pleasant little inn, kept by a Frenchman and his wife, of old Spanish style, with its patio, or inner court, but as neat as an inn in Normandy or Brittany. We were sitting at coffee, around a little table, when in came the colonel of the garrison—for Concepcion is the second city in Paraguay. He told me that they had prepared a reception for me! I was in my rough hunting-clothes,