Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
nasty raw patch. It was some time before this healed up, and not until a few months after that
had the hair again grown where he had been burnt.
Insome places near the coast, the jungle and forests are not sodense, and there are patches
buzzards which were all around them on the ground trying to peck the little one's eyes out.
The cow was bellowing in desperation and fury, and in vain tried to fight off the birds. The
moment she was a few paces away from the calf other birds made a dash at it. Many young
animals fallvictims totheseotherwiseusefulbirds,unlesstheyarekeptnearthehutsuntilbig
enough to defend themselves.
According to stories I had heard and read, Panama ought to be literally carpeted with
snakes, but these reports must have been exaggerations. On the whole trip I had very little
trouble with these reptiles, but possibly this was due to the heavy steps of the horses that
frightened snakes away before we reached them.
South American Indians, particularly the Paraguayans, wear around their ankles feathers,
which are often thought to be a decoration. In reality these feathers have a very different use.
The Indians wear them whenever they go out into the forest or along the narrow trails, for
should a snake strike at them, the deadly fangs are not likely to reach the leg but strike at the
anklet of feathers.
I know of several cures that are effective in case of snake bite, scientifically prepared ser-
ums and a few other preparations that are supposed to be good. I had some serum at one time,
but unfortunately the delicate tubes broke with the many falls and knocks the pack suffered
along the rough route.
I always had a supply of permanganate of potash, and for a long time I carried curarina ,
which is a Colombian preparation, the last bottle of which I presented to a sheriff in Texas
who told me he would try it on his wolf-hounds which, he said, were frequently bitten by
of snake bite, and it may be of interest to readers to know some of these.
the tribe start a shuffling dance, holding on to each other in single file. They chant and slowly
move around describing snake figures. Every time they pass the victim they each spit at him.
This strange dance is kept up for hours and - stranger still - the 'patient' usually recovers.
parts rub the doorsteps and other openings that lead into their habitations with this strong-
smelling vegetable, while others affirm that no snake will crawl over a rope made of horse-
In different places on my journey, I heard peasants say that snakes will suck the milk out
of cows and goats, and that these become so used to this that they will return to the same spot
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