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

Page 49

worked around them. At one such yard the Indians were evidently part of the regular force. Their squaws were with them, cooking at queer open-air ovens. One small child had as pets a parrot and a young coati—a kind of long-nosed raccoon. Loading wood, the Indians stood in a line, tossing the logs from one to the other. These Indians wore clothes.
  On this day we got into the tropics. Even in the heat of the day the deck was pleasant under the awnings; the sun rose and set in crimson splendor; and the nights, with the moon at the full, were wonderful. At night Orion blazed overhead; and the Southern Cross hung in the star-brilliant heavens behind us. But after the moon rose the constellations paled; and clear in her light the tree-clad banks stood on either hand as we steamed steadily against the swirling current of the great river.
  At noon on the twelfth we were at the Brazilian boundary. On this day we here and there came on low, conical hills close to the river. In places the palm groves broke through the belts of deciduous trees and stretched for a mile or so right along the river’s bank. At times we passed cattle on the banks or sand-bars, followed by their herders; or a handsome ranch-house, under a cluster of shady trees, some bearing a wealth of red and some a wealth of yellow blossoms; or we saw a horse-corral among the trees close to the brink, with the horses in it and a barefooted man in shirt and trousers leaning against the fence; or a herd of cattle among the palms; or a big tannery or factory or a little native hamlet came in sight. We stopped at one tannery. The owner was a