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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, January 29, 1929, Image 16

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Expedition Finds Explorer
Gave Out Misleading
Comdr. Dyott tells in the third of
his articles the story of the search
for Col. Fawcett, missing explorer;
of his party's trek, across the Matto
Grosso of Brasil and the country
visited by the hostile Gayapo In
Col. Fawcett left Baikari on May 21,
1925, and nine days later sent back
letters from a place he called Dead
Horse Camp. This was the last au
thentic news from him, but it did not
help us much because no one knew
where Dead Horse Camp was.
When writing to the Royal Geo
graphical Society he had disclosed his
plans to the extent of saying that on
leaving Baikari he would strike north
to the Paranatinga River, and at a
given point turn east toward the
Xingu. When we came to follow along
his trail we found it turned off to the
northeast and took an entirely different
direction. By a stroke of good luck we
fell in with a Baikari Indian called
Bernadino, who had accompanied Faw
cett. He steered us across country to
a stream known as the Kuluseu, down
which the Fawcett party had sailed
in two canoes. This saved us a world
of trouble and enabled us to get on the
scent without much loss of time.
There are no regular trails of any
sort in this region, only those made by
wandering tapir or Indian paths that
criss-crossed the open chapada in
rather a confusing manner. It was
obvious from the start that Fawcett
had not only taken no one into his
confidence, but had intentionally given
out information calculated to mislead
any one who tried to follow-. He had
good reasons for thinking others might
try to do this.
Followed by Prospector.
In one of his early trips a French
prospector had trailed him in for some
considerable distance, and as surely as
Fawcett broke camp in the morning the
prospector would be there by nightfall
pitching his tent and waiting for the
next move.
We came near to having a similar
experience. When we were in Corumba
a German clamored persistently for us
to take him. He followed us. to Cuyaba
and there again tried to force himself
upon us. When we finally started he
told every one that it was his intention
to follow close behind us and take ad
vantage of our presence to insure his
own safety in the district.
The lack of authentic information
upon which to work and the difficulties
we were up against can be gathered by
quoting from a letter Fawcett wrote on
March 14, 1925. It ran in part as fol
“I am not giving you any closer in
formation as to locality because I do
not want to encourage any tragedy for
an expedition inspired to follow- our
footsteps under the impression that it
is an easy matter. * * * It must be un
derstood that it is on the face of it a
highly dangerous undertaking. * * *
For the present no one else can venture
it without encountering certain catas
Desolate Country.
The country into which we were pro
ceeding with such light hearts was va
cant beyond belief. It is open, hard
and rocky. Nothing grows on the hills
except coarse grass and a few miser
able trees, twisted all askew- in their
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The radio station at Baikari Post, the last outpost of civilization. William De Mello, the Dyott expedition operator,
at the radio set. Jack Martin, assistant, standing.
life of agony, have a hard struggle to
1 exist during the six months when no
| rain falls.
In the hills, valleys and ravines are
I trees of better proportions. They mark
the water course. Alongside the big
ger rivers a belt of forest is usually
In all this vast sweeping country not
a solitary white man lives. As far as
human eyes can see and further there
is not even a half-white inhabitant.
Only Indians living by themselves in
the utmost simplicity. These consist
of a handful of Baikaris who cultivate
the soil in a crude way and are quite
Their enemies, the Gayapos, are more
numerous. They are hunters and travel
far in their quest for game. Pish, flesh
or fowl, it makes little difference to
them so long as they get it. From the
head waters of the Paranatinga north
ward for several hundred miles these
dreaded slingers of clubs may be en
countered. It is the Gayapos w'ho pre
vent settlers entering the region.
It seems strange to think of these
enormous spaces where nothing of any
moment happens. Murders and atroci
ties unheard of are committed by the
Indians without any newspapers featur
ing the events in glaring headlines.
Prior to our arrival the Gayapos killed
a number of Baikaris. This was too
much even for nature
and they retaliated by Killing .50 Gav
apos. But who cares or One
might as well squash a handful of
Freezing at Night
Our party rode through the dismal
wilderness hour after hour, day after
day. Roasting by day and frozen stiff
at night when the thermometer would
drop forty degrees within a few hours.
We must have presented a curious spec
tacle. Jack, with his long legs dang
ling on either side of a small mule,
reading a novel as he went, and Bill De
Mello, the wireless expert, perched up
on the back of another. It was the
first time he had ever ridden one, but
he got on famously and stayed on, too,
which was more to the point.
The camaradas walked on their own
i bare feet and had no difficulty keeping
i pace with our extremely slow rate of
travel. They had no desire to lag be
hind. They were afraid of Indians and
didn't wish to be picked off by a stray
arrow' from the bush.
Os all the men Jose, the cook, was
the most timid. The usual terrors of
the jungle assumed exaggerated propor
tions in his simple brain. He was
stuffed full of tales that would scare the
life out of any one who believed only
one-quarter of them. He was a good
cook but a bad character. He never
ceased complaining about his defense
less state and one evening spoke to me
on the subject, pleading for more ade
quate protection against wild beast, etc.
I was adamant. He was the sort of
fellow' who would be reckless with a
gun if he had one. Hence, I saw to it
that he w r as not provided with fire
arms, only the usual large knife which
is customary throughout South America.
He continued to elaborate on the risks
he w’as running and ended up by say
“I walk on foot through this dirty
wilderness with only a miserable knife
by my side to protect me. Nevertheless
if the patron does not mind if his cook
gets killed, all right—l will travel thus.”
Needless to say it was "thus” that he
traveled. The third day out he was
greatly perturbed. We had barely
started when far off on the side of a
distant hill little curls of blue smoke
were seen ascending heavenwards. It
was the bivouac of some w'andering In
dians. Such a sight caused us all a
certain amount of concern. We ex
pected to meet the Gayapo Indians, but
we were anxious to postpone contact
with them as long as possible, because
they have a bad habit of slinging clubs
at people. The idea being to break the
legs of their enemies and then finish
them off at leisure.
(Copyright, 1929. by the North American
Newspaper Alliance.)
(In his next article Cohadr. Dyott
tells of reaching the Amazon water
shed and preparation for the plunge
into the jungle.)
— « -
In 1783 there were but 43 newspapers
in the United States.
Driver of Machine Takes Her to
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Mrs. William Archer Dyer of 820 Con
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Elmer R. Hopwood, 19. of Yerkes, Pa.,
driver of the ear, took Mrs. Dyer to
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While going around the west side of
lowa Circle last evening, Mary Rudd,
38, of 1323 Ninth street, walked into
he side of an automobile being operated
by Robert A. Humphries of Berwyn,
Md„ Humphries picked her up and took
her to Emergency Hospital. She was
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Resolutions Adopted by Citizens’
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Commendation for the District Fire
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Credit Term, Os! S. N.W.
version into a pier for recreational ac
tivities was urged in resolutions sub
mitted by the committee on recrea
tion. Approval is given to a bill pend
ing in Congress for the removal of the
bridge structure, but it is desired that
the stone abutments of the Georgetown
span be permitted to stand.
It is also urged that an inexpensive
foot bridge be erected at Twenty-seventh
street extended to make Rock Creek
Valley more accessible to residents of
Dorsey W. Hyde, jr„ chairman of the
committee on streets and highways,
submitted a report, which was adopted,
and which recommended that roadway
surfacing and repair be undertaken on
Thirty-first and Thirty-second streets
between M and P streets, Reservoir
street from Valley street to Wisconsin
avenue. Thirty-seventh street north of
O street, the entire distance of Twenty
eighth street, and S street adjacent to
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throughout the entire section be given
attention. Elimination of projecting
curb lines at the southeast comer of
Thirty-first and P street* and the south
east comer of Wisconsin avenue and R
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The secretary was directed to com
municate with Senator Phipps, indi
cating the association's favorable action
with respect to furnishing free text
books in District public schools.
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I O /V/ Interest on checking accounts Ij
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Advantages of the Community Chest
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breaks” and who of necessity must be
cared for by those more fortunate.
President B. A. Bowles presided.

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