I thought of the Indian superstition of the Curupuri the dreadful, lurking spirit of the woods and I could have imagined that his terrible presence haunted those who had invaded his most remote and sacred retreat.
On the longer stretches one could hardly tell as one looked ahead where the distant green water ended and the distant green archway began. The deep peace of this strange waterway was unbroken by any sign of man. "No Indian here. Too much afraid. Curupuri," said Gomez. "Curupuri is the spirit of the woods," Lord John explained. "It's a name for any kind of devil.
On no account must he leave us. "No no!" he cried. "I not leave you. Whatever come, you always find me here. But no able to keep Indians. Already they say too much Curupuri live on this place, and they go home. Now you leave them me no able to keep them." It was a fact that our Indians had shown in many ways of late that they were weary of their journey and anxious to return.
You have heard, no doubt, of Curupuri?" "Never." "Curupuri is the spirit of the woods, something terrible, something malevolent, something to be avoided. None can describe its shape or nature, but it is a word of terror along the Amazon. Now all tribes agree as to the direction in which Curupuri lives. It was the same direction from which the American had come. Something terrible lay that way.