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Etching 21 Burning trees and fleeing ostriches

clouds of black dust often, at the base of which sparks flashed, reminding us of the pillars that preceded the Israelites in the wilderness, pointing their way. As we approached the Paratinga Stream, which launches on the Uruguay River (1),

Valley of the Rio Sao Francisco

a tributary of the Sao Francisco River, the sun was rising, and a vast slash of smoke was rising west across from us cut by pits and swells. Some groups of isolated palm trees could not interrupt the monotony of this region. After a tiring march, we reached the edge of the deep Parana Valley, where we went down a steep, stony path, at least one league. We soon realized that we had now entered


the formation of blocks of gneiss, which generally follows that of veins of various colors. The color of the grains is grayish-white or ink by the iron oxide, which is more or less pure yellow-gray and brick red. Quartz granulations are firmly joined by a clay mortar. Sharp stratification is not seen; However, they pass through this small cracks and pieces of the mixture of little compact clay iron, with many firm granules of quartz,

Ferruginous gneiss

which is known everywhere by the name of ferruginous gneiss. As it defies disintegration, scattered pebbles are everywhere. In a strand of this mountain of gneiss, layers of yellowish-gray marl containing iron or grayish shale were layered here and there. They go one hour from northeast to southwest.

The western slope of this mountain, which, according to the sertanejos, extends from the Chapada dos Couros, which joins the Arraial dos Couros to the far north, forms the watershed between the eastern tributaries of the Tocantins River and the western Rio Sao Francisco, no longer belongs to the province of Minas Gerais, but to Goias. Arriving at the valley, we found ourselves in another domain, and directed our steps towards the border post of Contagem de Santa Maria, where our luggage was exempt from the customs tax, which would otherwise be charged here at 250 cruzados for imported goods, thanks to the letters of recommendation from the government. The same happened when we entered the other provinces of the kingdom, being exempt from the customs tax, which would otherwise be charged here at 250 cruzados for all imported goods.

The nearby surroundings of this border post, due to the characteristics of the vegetation and a sensible difference in the climate, were such that they would

Between Rio Tocatins and Rio Sao Francisco

have inspired us to move forward, either through the Tocantins Valley, or to the captaincy capital, Vila Boa, today Goias city. ; only our travel plan was already well determined, imposing on us

(I) Rio Fermozo, as found in the original, rather than Rio Formoso, and easier to understand. Not so as the author affirmed that the Paratinga launches in Uruguay, tributary of Sao Francisco. Where you read Uruguay, read Urucuia. (Rev. Note, Inst. Hist. And Geogr. Bras.).