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

Page 77

offspring which will breed with either parent stock; and tame dogs in different quarters of the world, although all of them fertile inter se, are in many cases obviously blood kin to the neighboring wild, wolf-like or jackal-like creatures which are specifically, and possibly even generically, distinct from one another. The big red wolf of the South American plains is not closely related to the northern wolves; and it was to me unexpected to find it interbreeding with ordinary domestic dogs.
  In the evenings after dinner we sat in the bare ranch dining-room, or out under the trees in the hot darkness, and talked of many things: natural history with the naturalists, and all kinds of other subjects both with them and with our Brazilian friends. Colonel Rondon is not simply “an officer and a gentleman” in the sense that is honorably true of the best army officers in every good military service. He is also a peculiarly hardy and competent explorer, a good field naturalist and scientific man, a student and a philosopher. With him the conversation ranged from jaguar-hunting and the perils of exploration in the “matto grosso,” the great wilderness, to Indian anthropology, to the dangers of a purely materialistic industrial civilization, and to Positivist morality. The colonel’s Positivism was in very fact to him a religion of humanity, a creed which bade him be just and kindly and useful to his fellow men, to live his life bravely, and no less bravely to face death, without reference to what he believed, or did not believe, or to what the unknown hereafter might hold for him.
  The native hunters who accompanied us were swarthy