No Indians Inhabit The Shores
Of The Lake Now, Perhaps Because Of This "Writing On The Wall."
With the leadsman in his place we slowly and cautiously entered the
unexplored lake, and thus for the first time in the world's history
its waters were ploughed by a steamer's keel.
Soon after our arrival the different guards were told off for the
silent watches. Night shut in upon the lake, and all nature slept.
The only lights on shore were those of the fire-flies as they danced
through the myrtle boughs. The stars in the heavens twinkled above
us. Now and again an alligator thrust his huge, ugly nose out of the
water and yawned, thus disturbing for the moment its placid surface,
which the pale moon illuminated with an ethereal light; otherwise
stillness reigned, or, rather, a calm mysterious peace which was deep
and profound. Somehow, the feeling crept upon us that we had become
detached from the world, though yet we lived. Afterwards, when the
tigers [Footnote: Jaguars are invariably called tigers in South
America.] on shore had scented our presence, sleep was often broken
by angry roars coming from the beach, near which we lay at anchor;
but before dawn our noisy visitors always departed, leaving only
their footprints. Early next morning, while the green moon was still
shining (the color of this heavenly orb perplexed us, it was a pure
bottle green), each one arose to his work. This was no pleasure
excursion, and duties, many and arduous, lay before the explorers.
The hunter sallied forth with his gun, and returned laden with
pheasant and mountain hen, and over his shoulder a fine duck, which,
unfortunately, however, had already begun to smell - the heat was so
Enter page number
Page 110 of 313
Words from 29266 to 29556