The Sun Was Not Confined To One Spot In
The Heavens, As In More Temperate Climes; Here He Filled All The Sky,
And He Scorched Us Pitilessly!
Only at early morning, when the
eastern sky blushed with warm gold and rose tints, or at even, when
the great liquid ball of fire dropped behind the distant violet-
colored hills, could you locate him.
Does the Indian worship this
awful majesty out of fear, as the Chinaman worships the devil?
Next morning dawned still and portentous. Not a zephyr breeze stirred
the leaves of the trees. The sweltering heat turned to a suffocating
one. As the morning dragged on we found it more and more difficult to
breathe; there seemed to be nothing to inflate our lungs. By
afternoon we stared helplessly at each other and gasped as we lay
simmering on the deck. Were we to be asphyxiated there after all? I
had known as many as two hundred a day to die in one South American
city from this cause. Surely mortal men never went through such
awful, airless heat as this and lived. We had been permitted to
discover the lake, and if the world heard of our death, would that
flippant remark be used again, as with previous explorers, "To make
omelettes eggs must be broken"?
However, we were not to melt. Towards evening the barometer, which
had been falling all day, went lower and lower. All creation was
still. Not a sound broke the awful quiet; only in our ears there
seemed to be an unnatural singing which was painful, and we closed
our eyes in weariness, for the sun seemed to have blistered the very
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