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Across Unknown South America by Landor

And directly facing the Juruena Arinos


When

after a couple of hours the storm cleared, I took my departure, on August 24th. During my stay at S. Manoel I had taken observations for latitude (7 deg. 16'.9 S.), longitude (58 deg. 34' W.), and elevation (601 ft. a.s.l. on the river, 721 ft. at the _collectoria_).

[Illustration: Author taking Astronomical Observations on a Sandy Beach of the River Arinos-Juruena.]

Just across the river, at the mouth of the Tres Barras, was the _collectoria_ for the State of Para. The Para _seringueiros_ worked on the Rio Tres Barras and its tributaries on its right side--that is to say, the Annipiri, the Igarape Preto, the Cururu, and another (nameless) stream. There were, perhaps, altogether some eighty or a hundred _seringueiros_, all told, working in that immense region on the Para side. In the year 1910, 90,000 kil. of rubber were collected by those few _seringueiros_, and in the year 1911 a slightly larger amount was sent down the river from that point. The Para Fiscal Agency was only established there on December 11th, 1910. The _collectoria_ was situated in a most beautiful spot on a high point overlooking the mouth of the Tres Barras, and directly facing the Juruena-Arinos. On the Juruena previous to reaching S. Manoel on the left side was a stream in which gold was to be found.

Amid the affectionate farewells of Mr. Barretto I left S. Manoel in a beautiful boat belonging to the

fiscal agent. The effects of light on the water were wonderful after the storm. The river, immensely wide, flowed in a N.N.W. direction, then due north in great straight stretches from 2 to 4 kil. in length. As we had left late in the afternoon we were not able to go far. We passed some beautiful islands, one particularly of immense length, with an extensive sandy beach at its southern end. After going some 18 kil. we came to a great barrier of rocks extending across the river from south-west to north-east. Some distance below those rocks a great sand-bank spread half-way across the stream.

We halted for the night at the _fazenda_ of Colonel Gregorio, a _seringueiro_ from whom I expected to get an Indian who knew the forest well and who could be of some assistance to me in going across it. The house of Col. Gregorio--a mere big shed--was a regular armoury, a great many rifles of all ages, sizes, and shapes adorning the walls; then there were fishing spears and harpoons, vicious-looking knives and axes. In the principal room was a large altar with a carved figure of the Virgin standing with joined hands before lighted candles and a bottle of green peppermint. The latter was not an offering to the sacred image, but it was placed on the revered spot so that none of Gregorio's men should touch it. Enormous balls of rubber filled the greater portion of the floor, waiting to be taken down the river.

With great trouble the Indian--a man called Miguel--was induced to accompany me; also a young boy, who, at a salary of 15_s._ a day, agreed to act as carrier.

It was not until late in the afternoon on August 25th that we left the _fazenda_ in order to proceed down the stream. We passed the tributary river Roncador on the left side, with its beautiful high waterfall a short distance before it enters the Tapajoz. We came soon afterwards to the island of S. Benedicto, south of which on the left bank was the hill of the Veado, 120 ft. high. Directly in front of the island, also on the left bank, was the Mount of S. Benedicto, where legends say an image of that saint exists carved out by nature in the high rocky cliff.


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