Home  »  Through the Brazilian Wilderness  »  Page 6

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

Page 6

and another 16-gauge gun, and a couple of revolvers, a Colt and a Smith & Wesson. We took from New York a couple of canvas canoes, tents, mosquitobars, plenty of cheesecloth, including nets for the hats, and both light cots and hammocks. We took ropes and pulleys which proved invaluable on our canoe trip. Each equipped himself with the clothing he fancied. Mine consisted of khaki, such as I wore in Africa, with a couple of United States Army flannel shirts and a couple of silk shirts, one pair of hob-nailed shoes with leggings, and one pair of laced leather boots coming nearly to the knee. Both the naturalists told me that it was well to have either the boots or leggings as a protection against snake-bites, and I also had gauntlets because of the mosquitoes and sand-flies. We intended where possible to live on what we could get from time to time in the country, but we took some United States Army emergency rations, and also ninety cans, each containing a day’s provisions for five men, made up by Fiala.
  The trip I proposed to take can be understood only if there is a slight knowledge of South American topography. The great mountain chain of the Andes extends down the entire length of the western coast, so close to the Pacific Ocean that no rivers of any importance enter it. The rivers of South America drain into the Atlantic. Southernmost South America, including over half of the territory of the Argentine Republic, consists chiefly of a cool, open plains country. Northward of this country, and eastward of the Andes, lies the great bulk of the South American continent, which is included in the tropical and the subtropical regions. Most of this territory