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With an engine near the boiling point because of the excessive heat of the region, the aviators could do nothing but follow the curves of the canyon for miles, until they struck smooth water at the Aracasa River, steadily losing elevation in the meantime. The photograph was made at a sharp angle, and therefore does not show the steepness with which the sides of the gorge rise from the river. Note that the forest grows to the very edge of the water. Pilot Hinton and the author were the first white men ever to gaze on this section of the Rio Parima (see text, page 415).

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of the rapids, the peculiar odor characteristic of all the forest, and even the harsh roar of the howler monkeys far inland, all add to the fascination of this wilderness.


Our expedition was a progressive medical and dental clinic as well as a party of exploration. We had not only our own sick to attend, but also the ailing for miles up and down the Branco. Word that our leader was a physician magically flew before us along the river, and although it was aside from their purpose, Dr. Rice and Dr. Shattuck could hardly refuse the requests for dental, medical, and surgical treatment, which was given to Portuguese and natives, alike.

To reduce the transportation of supplies, we lived off the country wherever possible. The chief foods obtainable were farinha (a sort of flour) and beef. Oranges, pineapples, and bananas grow wild along the river and they often provided welcome variety for our diet, while fish of many kinds also graced our board. The cowfish of the Amazon tributaries is similar in line and color to the American catfish, but sometimes grows as large as a tarpon.

Vicious piranha always offered good sport as well as good food, but these ferocious flesh-eating fish make swimming dangerous. Attracted by a little blood from a scratch or cut on any living thing in the water, or sometimes even without this invitation, these razortoothed creatures take only a few minutes to strip the flesh to the bone of either man or beast. Many a native has one or more fingers missing at the first joint. due to the voracity of a piranha, which took a bite while a hand pushing a canoe paddle was left carelessly in the water (see illustration, page 412).


Farinha, made from the mandioca root, which closely resembles our parsnip in appearance, is the Indians' staff of life, and it became an important addition to our own diet.

Eaten raw, this root is poisonous; but the natives have learned to pull the

mandioca's "fangs." Each family has a piece of tree trunk pared slightly concave on one side, and this shallow trough is studded with pieces of flint set in pitch. The women shred the mandioca roots on this grater, then pack the white fluff in long woven mat tubes (see pp. 414-415).

After soaking these tubes in river water the contents are partly drained by suspension and by pressure primitively applied on the principle of the tourniquet. This operation, which washes out the poison, is repeated a number of times before the farinha can be used as a coarse flour for bread.

We found this food satisfying and wholesome, but rather tasteless. Its link with Indian religion shows its importance in the scheme of jungle life, for the natives believe that their principal deity taught their ancestors the method of extracting the mandioca's venom.


Disease came closer to arresting the expedition than any other obstacle encountered. Despite the best mosquito nets, the use of quinine in 5-grain doses, and the presence of two physicians, many of us contracted fever. Our greatest loss was in the death of Dr. Koch-Grünberg, who was stricken early in September and died 10 days later, at Vista Alegre.

Besides Dr. Koch-Grünberg, both surveyors, one of the two wireless men, Dr. Grünberg's assistant, the airplane pilot and the mechanic, the launch engineer, and the cook, all had fever. Furthermore, the captain and almost all of the crew of the river boat that brought the expedition to the head of steamship navigation were stricken with the malady on their return to Manáos.

I escaped the fever for nearly a year, but finally contracted a "walking case." Prompt use of quinine in doses totaling 150 grains in three days proved effective.

The worst zone of disease is the lower river. After the mountainous region is reached, fever is no longer greatly dreaded; but, once contracted, it recurs from causes ordinarily insignificant. For instance, a flight by Hinton for a little more than an hour, at 6,000 feet elevation, put him flat on his back, although the temperature encountered was only 55



The black waters (right) of the Negro are mingling with the yellow waters (left) of the Amazon. This is the way the water appears, too, to the traveler gazing down from the bow of an ocean-going steamship, as it passes up the Amazon, just before turning into the Rio Negro. Manáos is located on the north bank of the Negro, less than ten miles from the junction.

degrees. When one has been experiencing 85 and 95 degrees for many months, this temperature seems very cold and is sufficient to offer the fever a foothold if the system is weak.


On October 25 we were glad to skim the waters before Boa Vista (Good View), the only considerable town on the

Rio Branco. The same reasons that make Omaha the biggest city of Nebraska and Simla, in the hills of India, the British summer capital, make possible Boa Vista. Its population, we were assured, is "over 500."

Like the Nebraska metropolis, Boa Vista is the shipping point of a cattle country, and, like Simla, it is high and relatively free from malaria. Close to the

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