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We had to climb to the village up a ladder, which is fixed against the bank, and, on arriving at the top, took possession of a room, which Senhor Seixas had given orders to be prepared for us. He himself was away at his sitio, and would not be here until the next day. We were now quite dependent upon him for men to enable us to continue our voyage, and so had no remedy but to wait his leisure.
The deep and narrow valley of the Cupari has a moister climate than the banks of the Tapajos. We have now frequent showers, whereas we left everything parched up by the sun at Aveyros. After leaving the last sitio we advanced about eight miles, and then stopped at the house of Senor Antonio Malagueita, a mameluco settler, whom we had been recommended to visit.
He told me his neighbours were a kindly-disposed and cheerful people, and that the onslaught of the Araras was provoked by a trader from Bara, who wantonly fired into a family of them, killing the parents, and carrying off their children to be employed as domestic servants. We remained nine days at the sitio of Senor John Trinidade.
At midnight we made a fire and got a cup of coffee, and at three o'clock in the morning reached the sitio of Ricardo's father, an Indian named Andre, where we anchored and slept. September 22nd Old Andre with his squaw came aboard this morning. They brought three Tracajas, a turtle, and a basketful of Tracaja eggs, to exchange with me for cotton cloth and cashaca.
Presidente y Caballeros del Senado: Pocas veces me he sentido tan orgulloso de ostentar la representación popular como esta vez que me permite abogar por una causa que no puede ser representada ni defendida en este sitio por la parte a quien directa y particularmente interesa, merced a esa levadura de prejuicios que han dejado en la mente del hombre moderno las creencias e ideas del antiguo.
We started early in the morning, paddling vigorously up the stream, which we found a very different thing to going down with it. At first we kept along the shore, opposite Senhor Pimento's sitio, and then crossed over, that we might have a better chance of seeing our friends, should they be coming down.
My confessor was kind enough to give me a certificate to the effect that I had been obliged to keep my bed since my arrival 'al sitio', and that in spite of my extreme weakness I had gone to church, and had confessed and communicated like a good Christian. He also told me the name of the priest who had affixed the paper containing my name to the door of the church.
After his death the widow with several daughters, married and unmarried, retired to this secluded spot, which had been their sitio, farm or country-house, for many years. One of the daughters was married to a handsome young mulatto, who was present, and sang us some pretty songs, accompanying himself on the guitar.
I was rather surprised to find the grounds around the establishment in neater order than in any sitio, even of civilised people, I had yet seen on the Upper Amazons; the stock of utensils and household goods of all sorts was larger, and the evidences of regular industry and plenty more numerous than one usually perceives in the farms of civilised Indians and whites.
At the end opposite the door there sat at a table all alone a big, portly, kindly-faced man, of a startlingly fatherly appearance, clean-shaven, gray-haired, and with fine features. This was the Abbot. Above him hung a crucifix, with the single word "Sitio" beneath it on a small black label. The meal began, however, with the ceremony of singing grace.