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LOWERING DR. KOCH-GRÜNBERG TO HIS LAST RESTING PLACE: VISTA ALEGRE An old explorer in this region, the jungle called him from Germany and finally claimed him (see text, page 377). To the right is the grave of an Englishman and the graves of Portuguese and Brazilians, most of whom had died of malaria.



This was the best place on the Rio Branco for pulling out a plane, as there was a good slope, a clay bottom, and plenty of help to push the heavy machine well out of the water. The hull and fuselage were sandpapered and repainted and the wings patched wherever holes were found.


DR. SHATTUCK CONDUCTS A CLINIC IN THE JUNGLE After the Indians have been given some physician examines them for tropical diseases. for the first time in their lives, look askance at

Boa Vista was our base for three months.

On November I Hinton and I made an experimental flight up the Tacutu, an eastern tributary of the Branco, and on November 3 we flew 140 miles up the Uraricoera, to civilization's last outpost, the two-hut settlement of Boa Esperança, where the river divides to form Maraca Island, 50 miles long and 30 miles wide. This brought us out of the campos region and into the forest again.

At Caracarahy Rapids, between Vista Alegre and Boa Vista, gasoline and oil had been transshipped and carried as far as Boa Vista in launches, but beyond this point the rapids became so rough that we had to rely upon canoes to advance the hydroplane's fuel and lubricant. Sometimes we used a portable motor canoe and sometimes, particularly in the upper stretches, Indian rowers.

The gasoline was in five-gallon cans. which had to be carried around falls and the worst rapids. The heavy loads very nearly sunk the canoes more than once (see pages 406-407), and only 50 per cent

clothes to protect them from insect bites, the The ladies at the left, having just been garbed their still naked sister.

of the fuel cargo taken on board at Boa Esperança ever reached the Parima-Aracasa junction, 250 miles upstream.

Up to this point the river had nearly always offered a landing place, but beyond Boa Esperança broad reaches had to be hunted. Sometimes we did not see smooth water for 90 miles at a stretch.


About 6:30 one morning we took off from Boa Esperança for a flight over the wildest country we had yet encountered. The jungle forced itself upon our consciousness now more than ever before, because there was no safe water below.

Those who have only a ground's-eye conception of a tropical forest think only of a high canopy of trees from whose branches hang vines and moss which spread their greedy fingers downward. Beneath this they conjure a picture of dense underbrush shrouded throughout the day in green twilight (see page 362).

We were privileged to view the jungle from the air, and so escaped from the moist, heavy atmosphere at the surface

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The captain of this boat came down river when the Amazon was at high stage. He thought he was in the channel, but stuck on what apparently was a sand bank. The river dropped rapidly, and in two weeks he found that his steamer was really on dry land, and there to stay for another year, until the river should rise again.


UNLOADING SUPPLIES FOR THE EXPEDITION AT BOA VISTA These stores had been transferred by launches from river steamers 100 miles to the south, at

the Caracarahy Rapids, the head of navigation (see text, page 385).

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In the cattle country along the banks of the upper Rio Branco the calves attract many jaguars from adjacent patches of forest. The ranchers hunt the big cats with packs of lean, scrawny dogs whose chief asset is a terrifying bark. The jaguar climbs a tree, and the rancher comes along and shoots it down. The hides are valueless, as the fur is sparse, coarse, and short.

into a temperate region at an altitude of 5,000 feet.

Below us a sea of green billowed away over the low hills to a slender blue-black shore of mountains far to the west. From our elevation the palms scattered through the forest below looked like hundreds of starfish at the bottom of an ocean, their lighter green focusing in strong contrast against the dark tones of the jungle (see illustration, page 366).

At first we could pick out creeks, streams, and rivers, over a tremendous expanse of country, by the lines of thin white vapor hanging a thousand feet or less above them. Three-quarters of an hour later this vapor was burned off by the hot sun; but while it lasted it enabled me to get the compass bearings of many watercourses and to note them on our sketch maps.

From the head of Maraca Island the south channel of the Uraricoera divides into many narrow streams studded with islets and thickly spotted with rocks, over which the water pours in foaming white

masses. Then comes a series of three cataracts, having a total drop of 80 feet. known as the Purumame Falls. Our supply canoes, which came on later, required from eight to sixteen days to pass this 40-mile stretch, over which we flew in 30 minutes! (see page 367).

Beyond Maraca Island the stream was still divided by jagged islets and outcropping rocks with angry rapids in the narrow channel. Not even the Indians seem to frequent this wild section. In three hours and ten minutes of flying we saw not a single sign of human life.

Having reconnoitered for landing places upriver, we returned to Boa Vista to wait until the expedition could push forward, as we could not outfly our gasoline and supplies.


It was not until January that we again took the air over the Uraricoera on what proved to be a most eventful trip. We swooped down to the surface of the river at a previously selected spot, called Ku



leikuleima by the Indians and Kuleikuleima Rocks by us, intending to make further reconnaissance for the location of a supply base. Hinton made a perfect landing and was taxiing toward shore when suddenly there was the sound of splintering wood. The hydroplane careened, hung for a moment at a drunken angle, and then slowly righted herself. We had run onto a submerged pinnacle of rock!

The two layers of wood planking of the hull were only a quarter-inch thick; so that, weight for weight, the hydroplane's sheath was far thinner and more delicate than the shell of an egg.

It seemed probable that the plane was mortally hurt, and even if we succeeded in getting the craft to shore, it would be many weeks before our companions could reach us.


It was a time for quick decision. Hinton risked tearing away part of the hull and gave the ship "the gun." We rose from the river and headed toward Boa Esperança and safety, 150 miles away.

Our race was with the sun, for it was already late in the afternoon. Twilight

began to settle as we came to Maraca Island, and Hinton turned the plane full speed down the north furo (channel). Darkness comes quickly near the Equator, and we soon realized that if we did not come down in a few minutes we would be flying over a dead-black. jungle without a landmark to guide us.

With the prospect of a crash among the trees before us, there was no alternative but to descend. Three small islands came into view, the middle one flanked by a sand bar, and we decided this was the safest place to beach the plane. Down we dived to the river's surface, Hinton driving the plane as high up on the sand as possible.

When the plane came to rest, we climbed out of the cockpit to explore the jungle isle where we were to establish squatter sovereignty for eleven days.

Our "Robinson Crusoe Island" was a mile long and a quarter mile wide. heavily forested with a great variety of trees, and apparently uninhabited.

Choosing the most likely spot for a camp, we stretched a cord between two trees for a ridge pole and suspended a canvas over it to make a shelter. Under this we hung our hammocks; for, like

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