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

Page 394

weeks were spent in slowly and with peril and exhausting labor forcing our way down through what seemed a literally endless succession of rapids and cataracts. For forty-eight days we saw no human being. In passing these rapids we lost five of the seven canoes with which we started and had to build others. One of our best men lost his life in the rapids. Under the strain one of the men went completely bad, shirked all his work, stole his comrades’ food and when punished by the sergeant he with cold-blooded deliberation murdered the sergeant and fled into the wilderness. Colonel Rondon’s dog running ahead of him while hunting, was shot by two Indians; by his death he in all probability saved the life of his master. We have put on the map a river about 1500 kilometres in length running from just south of the 13th degree to north of the 5th degree and the biggest affluent of the Madeira. Until now its upper course has been utterly unknown to every one, and its lower course although known for years to the rubber men utterly unknown to all cartographers. Its source is between the 12th and 13th parallels of latitude south, and between longitude 59 degrees and longitude 60 degrees west from Greenwich. We embarked on it about at latitude 12 degrees 1 minute south and longitude 60 degrees 18 west. After that its entire course was between the 60th and 61st degrees of longitude approaching the latter most closely about in latitude 8 degrees 15 minutes. The first rapids were at Navaité in 11 degrees 44 minutes and after that they were continuous and very difficult and dangerous until the rapids named after the murdered sergeant Paishon in 11 degrees 12 minutes. At 11 degrees 23