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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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for the black head, for the grinding machine, but bring it in a wheelbarrow or on wheels.

Villa Rica to Minas Novas

That same afternoon we bid farewell to the practical philosopher in his solitude of

Royal Village of Sabara

harsh beauty, and made our way to a secluded hut near the Royal Village of Sabara, three leagues away from here. This small village is very well situated among banana plantations, in a valley formed by hilltops, on the slope of a low hill, on the edge of the Rio das Velhas, which is about thirty feet wide, and flows into the Sao Francisco River. A wooden bridge over the graceful river leads to the village, which is lined with scattered rows of low, clean houses whose well-stocked business houses and partly well-paved streets attest to the wealth of the inhabitants. The number of houses amounts to 800 and the inhabitants to 5,000. There you will find an ombudsman, such as the Sabara County Judge, a district Judge, as well as other District officials, a priest, a Latin school and a royal foundry. Sabara County is one of the most important of the four in Minas Gerais, and has been reduced by the recent institution of the farm in Paracatu County. Gold smelters currently produce a larger proportion of gold bars than the other

three counties in the province, and melted gold is estimated at 300,000 to 400,000 guilders. The richest mines, whose production is benefited here, are those of the neighboring Vila Nova da Rainha or Caete, and the Arraial de Santa Luzia, through which the gold goes on its way to Paracatu and Goias. The outskirts of Sabara also produce much gold; A quartz strand of the nearby Morro do Valerio made such incredible profits a few years ago that each load of gold was valued at 150 florins. A few years earlier the judge had received a fist-sized piece from which 80 octaves of gold had melted. Gold here varies greatly from 19 to 23 3/3 carats; but 24 is rare. The main formation of the surrounding zone consists of quartzite, oligysts and ardosia; On the north bank of the Rio das Velhas, there is also a beautiful compact marble, flesh-colored and white.

Rio das Velhas

It was not yet noon when we reached Sabara. As we did not consider it convenient to interrupt the usual day of travel by the mule train, we ordered the troops to continue forward, to the Arete de Caete, distant three leagues; but we went to visit the district judge, to whom we brought our letters of recommendation from Rio de Janeiro and Vila Rica. We could not have been more pleased in meeting Mr. Teixeira, Portuguese by origin, for this illustrious and gracious man was as great a cultivator of natural history as of jurisprudence. When he took us to his library, we saw

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