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

Page 67

to our approach and to the sound of the shots. Sometimes they ran into the water erect on their legs, looking like miniatures of the monsters of the prime. One showed by its behavior how little an ordinary shot pains or affects these dull-nerved, cold-blooded creatures. As it lay on a sand-bank, it was hit with a long 22 bullet. It slid into the water but found itself in the midst of a school of fish. It at once forgot everything except its greedy appetite, and began catching the fish. It seized fish after fish, holding its head above water as soon as its jaws had closed on a fish; and a second bullet killed it. Some of the crocodiles when shot performed most extraordinary antics. Our weapons, by the way, were good, except Miller’s shotgun. The outfit furnished by the American museum was excellent—except in guns and cartridges; this gun was so bad that Miller had to use Fiala’s gun or else my Fox 12-bore.
  In the late afternoon we secured a more interesting creature than the jacarés. Kermit had charge of two hounds which we owed to the courtesy of one of our Argentine friends. They were biggish, nondescript animals, obviously good fighters, and they speedily developed the utmost affection for all the members of the expedition, but especially for Kermit, who took care of them. One we named “Shenzi,” the name given the wild bush natives by the Swahili, the semicivilized African porters. He was good-natured, rough, and stupid—hence his name. The other was called by a native name, “Trigueiro.” The chance now came to try them. We were steaming between long stretches of coarse grass, about three feet high, when we spied from the deck a