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to control the hostile Indians of these places; the fort, however, lies in ruins. As we watched, not without interest, the overpowering force of the vegetation, which zealously endeavors both to destroy the vestiges of human activity, as well as to garrison it, the crew was busy steering the overburdened boat through the cliffs, through which it sailed. The river stretches far in front of the ruins of

Itapicuru River

the fort. This place is the most dangerous in all Itapicuru River navigation, and requires extreme caution. In general, the passersby, who live beyond the shore, steer their barges during the flood through a narrow channel of raging waters, and only dare to route very small hulls the distance of a rifle shot when the reefs extending the width of the river are discovered in the ebb.

Waterfalls of Rio Itapicuru

We had the happiness of overcoming the dangerous waterfall, already with the lowest water level, at noon, and in the afternoon we anchored in Mangue Alto, between several islands covered with enclosed mangroves, as it were outside the river, whose emptying into the marshy plains of the coast, by means of several arms, already begins just below the waterfall. From what we could see of the river, of the orogenic formation of the mountains of this region, we found to be


granite, which, like the Serra de Itiuba in Bahia, contains large clumps of


pistacite from the same stone and the tile of the parish of Itapicuru Grande. In the vicinity of Cachoeira appears the granite with a mixture of amphibole, which replaces the mica, making transition to a stone of the genus of Syenite.


Moreover, in the lower region of Itapicuru, such as, for example, Pai Simao and elsewhere, there is often a formation of grains, consisting of quartz granules, coarse and minute obtuse angles, which are linked by oxide of reddish-brown iron or rape. Here and there, the formation, by the considerable content of iron oxide, transitions to a rich grain.

Iron oxide

The same mineral constitutes, as will be mentioned throughout this narrative, are the orogenic formation of Maranhao Island and a large part of the Amazonian regions.

Southern sky

As the night grew dark, and the sky in majestic pomp boasted the equatorial constellations above us, we heard again, for the first time after so many sufferings, the roar of the ocean. So far, hardened by so many deprivations, so many scares, shocks, afflictions, we had been able to contain our sorrows; but now, when the very separating element reminded us of the distance from our country, we were most deeply touched. The horror of our helplessness and the state of sickness and weakness we were in was clearly evident. We had no idea yet