National Geographic : 1952 Sep
Young Muscles Do a Man's Work. Cubeo Miss Goetz and her guide (left) caught a ride with this but he handled the paddle with an adult's skill. Poor I looked up from bailing to see the whole expanse of river pouring in upon us-and my arm froze in mid-air! We were across in in stants, but this split-second dash seemed like an eon. The boys laughed weakly, and Sanuel shouted with relief. Though we had reached the Brazilian border, we still faced three days more of rapids, with all their devilish effervescence, whirlpools, and wide expanses of leaping waves (page 380), until we beached merci fully at a small cluster of huts deep in Brazil. I had had enough of the Vaupes and looked forward eagerly to reaching the Aiari, in the hope (which proved to be a false one!) that it was a quieter stream. Like a sign of peace, the sun came out whitely after a day's rain, lighting the jungle as if with a phosphorescent glow. Blossoms, silver backs of leaves, and glossy vines shone Lad Paddles Tirelessly Through the Day Indian father and son. The boy never saw a school, diet and hard life will make him an old man at 35. with an unearthly gleam. Bird songs rang out from the dripping growth, their liquid notes like quicksilver dropping in a rain bar rel. I, who had thought the jungle a tranquil garden inhabited by gentle conspirators, was the tamed one! "Is That a Woman?" A large boat with six oarsmen passed us, bound upstream. The chicle hunter sitting atop the palm thatch shouted to us in Portu guese and I answered. My "Boa viagem" (bon voyage) betrayed more than my taut nerves. The question came, "Is that a woman?" Like an eager crayfish, the boat rapidly drew near. The Brazilian swept off his pith hel met and presented me with a cigar! I recipro cated with cigarettes, and the craft bravely headed toward the rapids' furies.