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In addition, fine cotton is still far from profitable, at least inland, while nearby seaports are crammed with England's cotton fabrics, and the little cotton produced is not worth the soil in which it is planted. Also, it is known that Captain Bento has not yet made a profit from his company, which he attributes to the lack of assistance from the government. For this reason, I wanted to go under the auspices of the Count of Palma, Governor of Bahia, to the small town

Caitete, Bahia today

of Caitete, within that province, which had recently become famous for its large cotton trade.

Not far from his house, Captain Bento showed us, in a streambed, the deposit of

a hematite, which, however, is not rich enough to be explored. He then led us half a league from there to a decaying farm, Pe do Morro, which belongs to the once very rich family of diamond contractor Joao Fernandes de Oliveira, where

Ribeirao de Sao Domingos

we found the desired copper in Ribeirao de Sao Domingos. The metal occurs in


the greenish-gray native keratite disseminated in granules in the streambed, and, on the western bank of the stream, agglomerates in large mass, while on the eastern bank, it presents in quartzite.


Metal shines in this green-blue prison of keratite, but very rarely branched or appeared as green copper and blue copper; in its vicinity, the stone looks porous; and, at the edges, becomes strongly translucent. We were not fortunate to find big pieces of loose metal. This occurrence, probably due to silico shale, reminded us of the diabase


rocks in Vao, in the Diamantino District; it seems, like those, deposited on quartzite. The region was very deserted, and only animated by flocks of small green parakeets (Psittacus gregarius, Spix), which filled the whole valley with their shrill voices.

Psittacus gregarius

When, the next morning, we continued our journey on the plateau, covered with high gramineas and bushes on the way to Calumbi,

owned by our guide, Jose Fernandes, we saw in the deserted extension of the horizon a spine of hills that, in the monotony of the region, gave us a peculiar impression. It seemed to us as if in the sea of greenness, where we rode, blue islands appeared, for sometimes the plain stretched so far and so shallow that it touched the horizon like a vast mirror of water. The breeze, which played frantically in the foliage of sparse trees in the plain, added to the magic of the scenery. This plateau occupies the entire length of the territory, interrupted only by two shallow valleys between two diamond rivers, the Jequitinhonha in the west and the Arassuai in the east. To the right, we saw the Serra da Penha, which takes its name from the village located

House on Serra da Penha