barge, while they stood in a little space between coffee sacks and got practically no air. From
time to time I would throw a bucket of water on them to cool them off. I also covered the tin
roof with coarse grass which I cut at night when the ship tied to the side of the bank for wood,
until daylight.) This gave me opportunity to cut plenty of coarse swamp-grass for fodder. The
mosquitoes were terrible, especially during the night when they often found an opening in the
net under which the boy and myself slept. I regularly took small doses of quinine to prevent
malaria, but the boy flatly refused to do this, believing this bitter substance must be poison.
The river is full of caimanes (crocodiles) and some sand banks are literally covered with
these ugly brutes lying there sunning themselves. The capitan gave me permission to shoot,
so I had some good fun picking out the largest. Whenever a particularly huge specimen came
in sight the crew would excitedly call me. It is amazing how fast even the largest 'croc' can
move when he is hit, and it is very difficult to kill them on the spot, their skin being so thick
that the bullets ricochet off. To produce instantaneous death one has to shoot through the eyes
or hit the soft place immediately behind the left foreleg where the bullet will reach the heart.