Parthagica Directory 06
Benedicto was certainly very plucky that day. All of a sudden he dashed inside the tree and proceeded to climb up. We heard wild screams for some minutes; evidently the bees were protecting their home well. While Filippe and I were seated outside, smiling faintly at poor Benedicto's plight, he reappeared. We hardly recognized him when he emerged from the tree, so badly stung and swollen was his face, notwithstanding the protection he had over it. All he brought back was a small piece of the honeycomb about as large as a florin. What little honey there was inside was quite putrid, but we divided it into three equal parts and devoured it ravenously, bees and all. A moment later all three of us were seized with vomiting, so that the meagre meal was worse than nothing to us.
Some 13 kil. farther, the river being smooth but swift, we came to a basin 700 m. broad, where the river described a turn toward the north-east. We came upon a large clearing on the hill-side on the left bank. There we saw the remains of two or three huts which had been destroyed by fire. We perceived one or two people, and we landed. We found that it was the shed of an enterprising Peruvian trader who had established himself there in order to collect rubber. Only a few days before we arrived a great fire had taken place, which had destroyed nearly all he possessed; but--fortunately for us--they had saved a few things, and I was able to purchase a quantity of rice, biscuits, dried meat, beans, _farinha_, condensed milk, _banho_ (liquid lard in tins), and a number of other things, such as clothes, shirts, rope, nails, axes, etc., which we needed badly.