next arrow
previous

Remember the Rainforest 1

 

Home

Expedition Index

Itinerary

Etchings

Maps

Plants

Animals

People / Scenes

Lessons

Green Girl's Eco Club

Eco SuperHeroes RTR2

Free Posters

Authors / Artists

Contact us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The owner of the mine welcomed us into one of the worker’s huts, serving us food, especially with an abundance of candied fruit, whose preparation in Brazil is held in high esteem as the ladies' excellent domestic industry. The numerous company returned to Tejuco only when the moon appeared, for it enlivened lively conversation, whose main subjects were pilgrimages and loving adventures. The Brazilian talent for story-telling, and especially likes to describe romantic scenes. Each one, even the simplest, knows how to speak, sometimes with emphasis, sometimes with delicate elegance, with incredible tone of voice and choice of words, accompanied by eloquent gesturing. Not infrequently, we had occasion to admire this talent, even in our troop players, when one told anecdotes with inimical comic seriousness, while most of the rest listened complacently with pleasure, or fertilized the story with subtle jokes.

Our excellent host Ferreira da Camara was always willing to give us excursions of this kind to the most different areas of the District, and thus gave us the opportunity to admire his youthful enthusiasm. The next day, he came to pick us up at sunrise for another horse ride to enjoy the mine of Curralinho, which was then being explored.

Southwest of the Tejuco, we cross the stream called Sao Francisco, with very little water in an extremely long gravel bed; we climbed hills full of very flowering woods or covered with sparse trees, in which isolated blocks and

outcrops of quartzite stood out, on a plain all surrounded by higher cliffs, and a clear, springy bedrock meandering through them. Here they had experimented with digging pits two to four feet deep, at various points, in the weevil lining of consistent stone, and washing the diamonds.

Only the riverbed was not found to be quite productive; So it was a matter of digging up richer places and piling up the weevil to be washed afterwards. Along with this gravel, other heaps, made in previous years and already investigated, were washed again. It is common here for the folk to believe that diamonds are again formed in these mounds of washed gravel, and it is cited as evidence that those that are found in this manner are more brilliant after the second and third manipulation. This is not the case; These stones, found later, were simply the ones left behind, due to the haste and carelessness, especially in the time of the contractors, when the gravel was first turned, since, in the constant longing for greater benefit, only attention was paid to the places of abundant production. Also now, moreover, it is customary to handle the gravel again, already eight or ten years

36