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The Path of the Conquistadores, Trinidad and Venezuelan Guiana.

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Pages: 46

Language: English

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: General Books LLC (2 Feb. 2012)

By: Lindon Wallace Bates (Author)

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1912. Excerpt: ... IV UP THE ORINOCO A SHADOWY figure appears above us. 'Who's there?' a voice calls. We stumble up the bank and onto a crumbling concrete platform with a rusted iron framework built above it and scraps of broken machinery underfoot. Into the uncertain light of the lantern comes a well-built and almost white mulatto, clad in a ragged shirt, trousers, and a broad-brimmed straw hat. He reaches out to shake our hands. 'You Trinidad men?' he asks: ' I am Englishman, too.' A big negro and a little Venezuelan mestizo appear from the darkness. They talk together in Spanish. The boys work stolidly at the pumps, for we have shipped much water. Dead tired, you sit on the bank waiting for this necessary task to finish. A halfdozen mosquitoes appear and you brush them away. But now it is a score that are assailing you, every moment more. You feel the stings in a dozen places at once. The swarm is around you like a cloud. The natives, bitten themselves but not so badly, do not at first notice our martyrdom. The Trinidad boy perceives it first. He grins broadly. 'Mosquito very bad one here,' he says. 'I making fire for you.' He scrapes together an armful of dried grass and lights it in the lee of an engine which is falling to pieces from rust. Standing full in the smoke the mosquitoes are not so bad. We ask him how he bears them. 'I must, I watchman here. They being very bad, but I used to them.' 'What is your name?' 'Tom.' For a while, with streaming eyes, we stand in the smudge. Tom is lost in thought. 'Have you gun?' he presently asks. We say that we have. 'Will you shoot me tiger that come into building nights?' We get back to the boats and dig out our rifles and an electric flash-lamp. Machete in one hand and flash-lamp in the other, Tom guides the way through high ...

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