The Marshall Field Chilean Expedition of 1922-23
Volume 2: 14 Apr 1923-18 Jul 1923
Apr. 14-Friday-Puerto Montt-A very nasty rainy morning and the hotel too cold and damp to sit and write. Cleared a little at noon and I went to my traps and found more than I expected considering the abundance of house rats. The mice appear to be of two species only, however, and the majority are young of the year. The dripping bushes along the R.R. embankment are alive with hummers mostly feeding on the fuchsia which is still in flower. Other flowers linger on but many shrubs are in fruit. One was covered with brilliant purple berries about the size and shape of good, big huckleberries but with a color seldom seen in nature. A wealth of heavy ferns of several species grows along the banks.
Apr. 14-Saturday-Partly rainy but managed to get out to traps and back without getting soaked. A low grayish green shrub with foliacious spines is common on gravelly soil and
our friend Mr. Ross of the Laquna Blanca Estancia near Punta Arenas says down there they call it "whin." Photos developed by a sloppy Spaniard here didn't turn out too well. Thought I was getting a German workman, or wouldn't have trusted him. Passed the big freezer, new but unoccupied and representing a big loss of perhaps a quarter million.
Apr. 15-Sunday-Took traps up and will look for new country. Conover went out with a local sport and dogs, and put up three tinamous, getting one. Saw many birds this morning including one lone Vio, several white-headed Scytalopus, a few Phrygilus. one Leptasthenura, many diucas and chincols. Conover brought in a peche or a lloyca and a sparrow hawk. The "frazzle-tails" are here in some numbers. They have a plaintive wistful little call which is distinctive. Saw oyster pounds on way. Had oysters yesterday with Mr. Ross. The Chilean oyster probably tastes good to Europeans and Chileans
but it won't stand comparison with ours. It is quite small, smaller than a blue point. The shells are thin and of various shapes, often rather rounded. The inside of the shell has a brassy rather than a pearly look after the oyster has been removed and I couldn't avoid a conviction that the oyster itself had a brassy taste. Some of the outer lamellae are black-edged and this helps the impression that one is eating not oysters, but some kind of snail. Aside from this, there is a nice oyster flavor and for one who knew nothing better there should be no complaint. It is a little early for them as the season is the months without R. [rain] instead of the reverse. Apparently they are only eaten raw and only lemon juice is put on them. A knife is furnished with the service and the custom is to cut them loose from the shell with the blade and give them the vuelta and then to place the edge of the shell
and suck down the morsel. A fastidious Chilean can do this very neatly, but evidently it requires practice to become expert. Two dozen makes a helping and we found no difficulty in disposing of this number.
Band concert in the plaza every evening and today a long session of the Salvation Army which I think I have seldom or never seen before in South America.
Apr. 16-Monday-Took traps out behind the town where I found swamps and timber in rather flat country looking something like parts of New Brunswick and eastern Canada. Considerable Cyprus but mostly small trees. Others [are] Luma, Manin, etc. Myrtus.
Apr. 17-Tuesday-Caught only the common mouse. Saw lapwings, aprostura, etc.
Apr. 18-Wednesday-Took up traps this A.M., hardly anything but one Oryzomys longicaudatus in last trap. Many house rats.
Apr. 19-Thursday-First day of good weather in Pt. Montt. Imperial came in with our stuff ok and began packing this afternoon.
April 20-Friday-On the jump packing and getting ready to leave. Made the 4 o'clock train by an eyelash. Shipped thru Grace & Co. 5 boxes & 1 bale of skins. Reached Osorno about 7:30, dark and rainy but cheerful welcome from the German proprietor of hotel.
Apr. 21-Saturday-Up to catch train at 8 o'clock and a long dreary day raining continuously until we neared San Rosendo after dark. Usual crowd of people struggling with all sorts of baggage. Reached Concepcion about 10:30 where Sanborn met us and all went to Hotel France again near the station.
Apr. 22-Sunday-Concepcion by daylight improves the impression very much. A very clean, neat city. Went
to Alameda where saw a couple nice live condors. The head of the male has less color than I expected and is mainly dull, sooty with a little orange-yellow showing thru on the top of the cranium and somewhat more on the neck just above the ruff. No real bright color anywhere. He looked adult, but perhaps would be brighter in breeding season. In afternoon went to Hacienda Gualpancillo with Sanborn to see his stuff and get specimens to take to Santiago for comparison. It is a big dairy farm with modern barns, separators, etc. and a big supply of hay, corn silo, etc. etc. Quite up-to-date. The country is flat and rather sandy, some of it overflowed by the Bio Bio at times. One or two small hills rise mound-like from the plain which is mostly covered with bushes (poison) where not cultivated. Near
the sea and about halfway between Concepcion and Talcahuano, had tea with a jolly crowd of Scotch and English Morvairs & Turners with whom Sanborn has had a pleasant stay for several weeks.
Apr. 23-Monday-Went to the market this morning and found it one of the best we've seen, very neat clean and airy. Meat stalls run around the outside and inside are vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc. The high-vaulted roof covers all and the fish and mariscos are in an adjoining room. Many nice fish, some lobsters, crabs, oysters, choros, navajuelas, sea urchins, etc. Found four tinamous in one stall of which Conover bought one. Otherwise no game. Fine cabbages, lettuce, beets, turnips, tomatoes, etc. Splendid grapes including a big black one I haven't seen before. Three kinds--white, small blue and large black.
Spent most of the day at the Museum of Concepcion, a small museum founded by Carlos Reed and now under the direction of a young man named Carlos Oliver Schneider who is young, energetic and enterprising but has rather a hard task. The museum is near the center of town in a building of one story, continuous with others of the same height and style so it has no individuality. There is quite a good collection of Chilean birds, if anything better mounted than those of Santiago, but crowded together in the cases and the labeling is quite bad. The rooms are small and in many cases badly lighted. The struggling young director is somewhat pitiful and one cannot help but wish him success in an undertaking which is difficult. He has a woman assistant
who acts as taxidermist and whose work is not very good but she has made several small groups with some accessories which are at least enterprising and to her credit. Brought a few skins from Oliver, including a pudu from just across the Bio Bio to the south and a couple foxes.
Took the "Nocturno" at 7 o'clock or 19 as the Itinerario has it. Could get only upper berths and these only in a car taken on at San Rosendo. There were two porters, both rather blowsy and unshaven and at first we had difficulty in determining whether they were porters or not. One of them managed to answer any question in a bored manner and showed no great alacrity in serving us. Later he smoked a cigarette and ate a bunch of grapes at the end of the car and seemed to have nothing to do. The car was a
Pullman but of a very old vintage with tiny little washrooms and upper berths with overhanging fixtures so it was difficult to get in without bumping one's head. Once in, I slept fairly well. There was no place under the seats for luggage and this was stored by the porter in the towel compartment at the end of the car. Many passengers turned in with at least part of their clothes on and no one seemed to expect real comfort.
Apr. 24-Tuesday-Coming into Santiago early this morning, the country seemed excessively dry, perhaps because we've traveled in the dark since we left the wet forests of Valdivia and Temuco. Arrived at 8:50 and went to Hotel Mundial where they said all the hotels were full and directed us to a pension where we decided to stay in a house near the plaza
where we have a nice front room and good meals at a much lower price than a hotel. The rate is 300 per month but we got it on a weekly basis the same. Went to the Embassy and received mail and then to the museum where we found Luis and I began work on the Philippi types. Weather most delightful like the best California can offer, cool evenings and bright sunny days, never hot. Went to Am. Club in afternoon at 5 and met various men in their new quarters, 95 Ahumada, much more like a club than the old place.
Apr. 25-Wednesday-Continued work on types. Met the Director of the museum Eduardo Moore who is the medico of the senora of the Presidente and thus has his sueldo which is probably all he cares for in the museum. Carlos Porter, little short roly-poly man with beaming face and bustling manner, probably the only man connected with
the museum with any fitness for his position. The other jefes come for an hour a day or not at all and mostly do nothing, "Politico" and influence have ruined what might have been a fine museum. The birds in the museum are practically all mounted and there are many duplicates, sometimes fifteen or twenty of one species and still Luis keeps on mounting more. The mammals are mostly very badly mounted, old, faded and dirty. The cases are loose-doored wall cases with dirty white walls. Some specimens as the huemules, guanacos, pudus, etc. are merely fenced in on the open floor.
Went for a little shopping before dinner and had tea in a neat little shop. Saw many fine stores including large dept. stores, many jewelry stores, and others with expensive goods. Streets full of people, well-dressed etc.
Apr. 26-Thursday-Caught a little cold and dosed myself yesterday - hot bath etc., and feel better today. Met Carlos Reed and went to his house to look at some birds etc. He had left Mendoza where he had built up a good small museum and then seen it lack support and appreciation and fall into the hands of politicos. Many interruptions and didn't get far with work on types. Reed says a former assistant in the museum went with Philippi to Atacama where they got five rodents from a nest, 2 females & 3 yg. and Philippi gave 5 different names to them. His collection of rodents is practically all types and it is evident, as they all say, that he named every specimen that came to his hand. They say he was 93 years old when some of his stuff was done and couldn't distinguish colors and had to be helped to write.
Reed had two specimens of Chlamydophorus which he had brought from Mendoza and one of which he was shipping to Rosenberg for a consideration of --5. It is quite rare and is only found "por casualidad." In Reed's eleven years at Mendoza only 5 specimens came to him. It seems restricted in range and practically all known specimens have come from the immediate vicinity of Mendoza.
Apr. 27-Friday-A slight rain last night and a gray sky all day and damp chilly air something like San Francisco but not so raw. The climate of Santiago must be a good deal like that of San Jose, CA. Met Reed at the market and bought some birds. It was the Mercado Central only a few blocks from the plaza and not very large, considerably smaller than the one in Concepcion and not so neat but with greater variety of vireos.
Found a great many Perdiz or tinamou, some large dark ones from as far south as Valdivia and smaller paler ones from the central valley and northward. No exact figures, but Reed believes about 500 a day come to Santiago during four months, April, May, June, and July. They sell for 2 pesos each which is much cheaper than
gallinas at 6 to 8 or 10. I suppose we saw between 100 & 200 in one or two stalls. There is another market where more come in. There were also many California quail which come in much greater numbers. One vender told us he received about 70 doz. of these per day and Reed thinks 10,000 a day come in, which scarcely seems possible. We didn't see more than 200-300 in this market. There were very few ducks, only a half dozen pintails, and this scarcity was said to be due to the dryness of the season. A considerable number of songbirds were on sale,
one of the principal ones being the goldfinch, their bodies picked and only their heads still feathered, hanging in bunches of 15 or 20. There were also a lot of Argentine cowbirds, said to have been introduced here, quite a number of robins, and some others. Small pigeons were in quite large numbers but I didn't notice any of the big torcazas.
Continued work at the museum getting on pretty well with the types which are more easily identifiable than I had supposed. The great difficulty is that [there] are a large number missing. Before dinner, strolled a half hour on the street and in the numerous arcades, watching the throngs of people in the busy time between 5 and 7. People well dressed and interesting physiognomies. Not many very pronounced native types. English, German, Spanish, and mixtures prevail. The streets are asphalt paved in the
central district and with sidewalks about 5 ft. wide on each side. The numerous street cars run close to the curb on one side leaving room for an auto to pass on the other. One constantly has a feeling that a passing car will brush him off the curb and drag him in the gutter. There are thousands of autos including many high-priced ones, but Dodges, Studebakers, and Cadillacs seem to be most common after the Fords. All of them seem to delight in opening their cut-outs and there is a constant and largely unnecessary racket on this account.
Apr. 28-Saturday-Went to Embassy for mail. Met First Sec. Martin, who looked worn out and says he has indigestion for the first time in his life due to the successive festivities connected with the Pan American Conference. Met Collier, as before, hurrying thru the office and stopping only to urge me to come and see him after the rush is over.
On the way over, visited the Nat. Mus. of Art, a large building in the Parque Fuestal, near the Embassy. The bldg. looks like a relic of an exposition but contains quite a large collection of pictures including old masters which if genuine must be very valuable. One Rembrandt, several Teniers, Hobbema, etc. Two halls of Chilean painters with some rather good stuff. Two or three large canvasses by Correa of groups of cattle were very good.
Worked on accounts and shopping most of day. Dined at a restaurant with Reed and had oysters, and perdiz. The oysters were "especiales es cogida" at 4 pesos a plate of a dozen and much more like real oysters than the little ones we had at Pt. Montt. They were of quite good size, but rather flat, not thick and fat like ours.
Apr. 29-Sunday-Went to the Club Hipico to see the races this afternoon. Much the same as when we were here before but crowd a little larger. Bad cold and more indigestion. Can't do much writing because impossible to find a place warm enough. No heat in the houses
as in Calif. Today the sun came out and brightened things again, but much of the time it is overcast and cold.
Apr. 30-Monday-Spent the day getting ready to leave tomorrow for Banos de Cauquenes. Took birds bought from Reed to Museum but Luis not there. He mounts birds on museum time for sale and Reed says he's as big a grafter as the higher ups.
May 1-Tuesday-Out early in a raw morning over slippery streets to the station to take 8:30 train. Hard to keep warm in train with overcoats on and winter clothes. Bad cold in head makes so much worse. The valley below Santiago is pretty dry but there is much irrigation. Many pastures, fields cleared of harvest, now and then a vineyard. Things look rather unkempt and the neat division of farms one is accustomed to in northern counties does not appear. Beyond Paine at Hospital, low brushy hills visible in mist. Girl selling fish at Hospital says they come from a big lagoon 20 kilometers west. Artificial lagoon near Hospital. Fifteen min. later at Argostena, hills close in on both sides rather separating valleys above
and below. Arrived in Rancagua an hour late and had a hectic time getting baggage and two "coches" to take us across town to the Copper Co.'s station. Made it by an eyelash with a crowd of red-capped mozos swarming around us. Narrow gauge road. Cozy little coach in rear of train of 4 or 5 freight cars. Sun began to shine as we left Rancagua going thru fields and pastures and with the landscape enlivened by low rows of poplars, now golden-leaved and contrasted with all other vegetation. In 3 or 4 miles we start into low foothills covered with scattered bushes of several species something-like central Sierra of California. Soon we rise on the north side of the Rio Cachopoal which runs below over a wide gravelly bed, the water in forks and fingers inoculating. Saw little quebrados with trees much like Calif. live oaks. Brush all over hills but not in absolutely solid stands so always a spotty appearance reminding somewhat of models with their little tufty artificial trees. Soon we are in a canyon with hills on both sides and the R.R. rounding many
sharp curves, and almost before we know it, we are at the Banos station on the north side of the river which is here in a small gorge on the opposite side of which is the bathing establishment, "Las Termas," as we learn from numerous guide signs along the pathway which we take down one side of the gorge, across a suspension footbridge and by devious ways thru groves of exotic trees, maples, elms, ash, poplar, etc., until we finally reach the hotel. The hotel is in several divisions, evidently additions. We locate in the older one a big quadrangle with a large patio full of vines and trees and walks with a small fountain in center. After looking at several ones, chose the largest. All were dungeons with windows deeply recessed so the little light they gave was not well distributed. They might be cool and desirable in summer but at this season they are decidedly chilly and gloomy.
At lunch found a party of five young American engineers from the Braden Mine evidently on a lark, drinking champagne and enjoying themselves. They had been hunting "perdiz" in the morning, but the main object of their visit, as the proprietor of the hotel said, was to "tomar traigos," since there is a "ley seca" at Sewall where the mine is.
Went out with traps and found scarcely any indications of mice, but up on the steep side of the rocky cerro behind the hotel among cactus, agave, and small cane, found runways and used rock crevices of a rock rat. Altho it was a bright warm day, it is always cool in the shade and it is hard to keep warm in our room in the hotel. There are no fires anywhere and no means of getting any. The electic lights don't function and all we have is a candle. The sun drops behind the overhanging hills at 4:30 and
by six it is quite dark. From then until 7:30, the dinner hour, is a trying time, the best solution of which seems to be to get into bed, where at least we can keep from shivering.
Tried to order a horse for Conover to go to the Laguna tomorrow but the best we can get is a promise for Jueves.
May 2-Wednesday-Not a trap sprung on the hillside and so I'm completely "skunked" for the first time on the trip. The signs of rats are so good, however, I left the traps set and put out more for mice in a different place in brush piles etc. about the edges of some open pastures down the road. Found signs of house rats but nothing else. In a little quebrada found a tiny brook of clear water and managed to make my way along its bouldery bed thru the brush and here found more signs of rats, somewhat different, on lower ground burrows in earth
under rocks etc. At the mouths of some of these were acorn shells and loose debris. Set a few more rat traps in these places. In general the sign is very like that of Teonoma. In a sandy spot in one of the fields near the riverbank saw tracks of Grison.
May 3-Thursday-The rats still refuse to go into the traps and the mouse traps yielded only one small Oryzomys. Evidently the rats are very shy. Conover went out yesterday and beat over some fields managing to get two perdiz out of three that he flushed. This morning he started for the Laguna at Hacienda Canquenes "a caballo y con mozo baquiano."
After skinning my one mouse and a house wren that found a mouse trap, I went up the road toward Chacayes looking for new ground. Put in mouse traps and a steel trap along a small stream where a great deal of mint grows. Many of the shrubs are aromatic and in pushing thru
the brush one encounters various agreeable olores. Everything is very dry and there has been no rain for months. The roads are dusty and grass, except in irrigated pastures, is brown and withered. The general appearance is like late summer or early fall in the foothills of the southern and central Sierra of California. A common tree (Peumo) seems to be some kind of oak. Its leaves are hard and crackling but rich green as in a live oak. The fruit which is abundant is somewhat terminally borne and bright red in color giving something the effect of a holly but with larger fruit. On examination the fruit has resemblance to a thin-shelled red acorn without any noticeable barky calyx. A common bush reminds in its leaves and growth habit of manzanita but its bark is plain grayish. On the hillsides especially about ledges, a slender-leaved prickly
agave is common and in patches at a distance furnishes pearly gray green patches on the hillsides. A slender columnar cactus is common, scattered about at short intervals. It grows two or three columns, to 5 or 6 to a clump but each fairly distinct, 6 to 15 ft. high, very spiny. A small cactus about as big as a big man's fist is also common.
Conover got in early, having found the Laguna absolutely dry, but quite large and bordered by rushes and with an island in the center - probably a good place for ducks at the right season which must be at least some weeks later. His bag was 4 pigeons (Zenaida) which were in great abundance altho we've seen none whatever here.
May 4-Friday-"Skunked again." The rats have me guessing, but today I put out steel traps and meat baits for them. Weather
still fine, altho we can see clouds and mists especially in the morning hanging over the next hills to the north and it is probable the weather in Santiago is damp and chilly. The hotel is practically deserted and besides ourselves, the numerous ahumada's of the owner's family seem to be about all that are left. The ground is covered with dead leaves everywhere and the chill of fall is in the air. Sent a telegram to Houston, Santiago to arrange for a trip to the mine Monday.
May 5-Saturday-One good rat in a steel trap in the low brush under a big rock in the low ground at edge of stream and to my surprise another in a rat trap in the rocks. The first seems to be Abrocoma and the other, which is superficially similar, is perhaps Octodon bridgesi. Also got a big Oryzomys in a steel trap, apparently different from the small longicaudatus we've been getting. Set more steel traps.
Reply to telegram Houston came in English and had to be phoned up from Rancagua. Great time getting it letter by letter and then deciphering it.
This evening while setting last steel trap heard a whir of wings and some staccato pit pits which put me on the alert for my old friend the California Valley Quail. Poked around a little and put several out of a thick bush where they were evidently going to roost. A quick shot and a nice male came rolling down and as I picked him up I experienced something like a thrill. One of the first game birds I ever knew, it must be nearly thirty years since I've leveled a gun at one.
Birds are fairly numerous here but mostly of common species. Robins, very numerous and obvious. Their chirps or cluck has little of the sharp piercing quality of the Am. robin and even suggests the wheezy cheep of an English sparrow.
Mockingbird-Scattered birds, fond of perching on topmost twigs of tallest trees. Extremely slender and elongate in appearance.
Diuca-Abundant in large flocks mainly in fields and their brushy borders and along roads.
Tordo-A few small flocks of blackbirds.
Chimango-Only seen occasionally.
Sparrow hawk-Several pairs seen.
Barn owl-Remains of a dead bird found in rocks on hillside.
Lloyca-Two or three in fields.
Diucon-Very common in all sorts of places.
Small gray-headed flycatcher (specimen)-Common but shy and unobtrusive.
Gray-crested streaked flycatcher-Very common. Answers squeaks easily.
Grosbeak-Quite a number seen. Often with the diucas.
Cinclodes-One of the large dark species seen near an irrigating ditch.
Hylactes-The "Turco" is very shy. Am quite sure I saw one on the hillside but had no gun at time.
House wren-Quite common. Several caught in mouse traps.
Aphrastura-Only seen occasionally but probably common in heavier brush.
Hummer-Fairly common but not so obtrusive as in south.
Zenaida-Taken at Hac. Cauquenes by Conover where very common. One only seen at Banos.
Nothoprocta-Common in fields.
Siptomis-One taken. One other seen.
Nighthawk-Several seen. One taken.
Yellow Finch-One seen. Probably move among the diucas.
Dryobates-One taken, only one seen.
Strange to say, haven't seen a single chincol (Bachyspiza) [=Zonotrichia] and no ducks or vultures. The river is muddy either from the mine or from glacial action, but torrent ducks are said to occur.
The little museum here is a sad wreck. It was originally a fine little collection
but it looks as if the birds came from all parts of Chile. There are also two cases of foreign birds including Snow Grouse and pheasants from Asia and a lot of hummers etc. Many are well mounted, at least as well as in Santiago museum, but the moths have gotten in and the roof has leaked, and rats have had the run of the place. The proprietor offered the collection to me for 1,000 pesos.
May 6-Sunday-Early this morning we heard the soft steady patter of rain and it continued until noon, a calm peaceful drenching much like a Calif. rain. When it broke away, we could see the high cordillera blanketed with snow. My traps again yielded nothing and I pulled them up. Cleared this evening and we see the mountains above us covered with snow.
May 6-Monday-According to the wire received from Alfred Houston, a track auto came for us this
morning and we started up the R.R. line. At Coya, a few miles above the Banos, a Mr. Nuga, electical engineer for the Braden Co., got on and a Miss Condit who says she teaches in the high school of San Jose, Calif. The power plant is at Coya and the Americans there have a few nice looking cottages. It would have been a better place for us to stay than the Banos. Had a pleasant ride up. The vegetation continues much the same, gradually getting smaller as we ascend. The cacti and agaves stop somewhere not easily determined and probably new shrubs come in at higher levels but from the swift running car, the only change was a gradual reduction of the size and amount of brush. The heaviest growth is perhaps from 2,000 to 4,000 ft. Conover got off just
below Caletones where the smelter is, and here the brush is quite low and it seemed but a short climb to get above it. The present fall of snow extended down about to this point. Going on we wound around the side of a steep canyon rising rapidly and the whole trip was one of the finest mountain rides I've ever taken in my life. Long before this we'd left the Cachopoal and the Pangal and turned northeast up a smaller stream. To the south a long range of high snowy mountains stood out clear in a bright sun. One of these was pointed out as "the mountain Darwin climbed." Passing the smelter and settlement at Caletones we got into a more enclosed canyon with the steep, practically bare mountains on either side and curved and zig-zagged up to
7,000 ft. into the settlement of Sewell and the Braden Mine, the houses of which hang to the steep mountain side like a cluster of swallows' nests on a cliff. Terraced rows of tenement houses have in some places a suggestion of something that might have been in China or Japan. A Mr. A.L. Lewis, Asst. to the Gen'l Mgr. met me at the station and took me in [his] charge. Went to lunch in the clubhouse where the unmarried Jefes live and then to the mine, first into the lower horizontal shaft running on a wide electric track on a heavy car which took us straight into the mountain. Here we visited the great compressor room and power plant, a big room 250 ft. long full of big dynamos etc. all cut out of the solid rock and inside the mine. It might have been [left] outside but the danger of snowslides etc. so
it was put inside, altho of course the expense of doing so was very great. The Co. has spent about 40 million on the property. Then took a lift with an upper and lower cage each holding about 25 men and went up 1,800 ft. in 3 1/2 mins. to the upper level from which we could look down over Sewell and the canyon below and to the snow ridge behind. Magnificent. A trail goes across from here to Argentina and guanacos are to be seen within a day's journey from the mine.
Went into the shaft and saw trainloads of ore run out and dumped into a chute thru the solid rock straight down to the other level getting more or less crushed in the process. Saw the club rooms, schools, bunk cages with grated doors, like a locker room, dining rooms for men, rest rooms, kitchens etc. all built on the top of the mt. where there wasn't
a square foot of level ground. Came down and went thru the mill following the ore from one crushing machine to another until it was as fine as flour and came out in water on the rocker boards and into the flotation vats and finally to drying processes and the final concentrates being loaded into buckets to go on the aerial on down to the smelter. Everything on a tremendous scale. Miles of conveyor belts carrying ore from one process to another. Long rows of big machines revolving etc. In the mine, men were swarming everywhere, but in the mill it was all machines which seemed alive, and the workmen met here and there somehow surprised me, they were so few in comparison to the great work going on. Out rather late and down the track in another auto which coasted most of the way taking the
sharp curves over great precipices at a speed that made one wince a bit.
Picked up Conover about dark and reached Banos in time for dinner at 7:30. H.B.C. [Conover] found no Attagis and no game birds except some Calif. quail which he had no shot at. They were at about 6,000 ft. which seems pretty high for them. Several small birds he shot were all cordillera species. Mr. Lewis says the Attagis only appear after big storms usually in winter. Then they may occur down to Coya or lower. They must herd farther back, probably near the Argent. line.
May 8-Tuesday-Left the Banos at 2:50 P.M. and in a crowded train reached Rancagua about 4:30, catching express to Santiago at 5:30, arriving at 7 P.M. and went direct to our old quarters at Compania 1053.
May 9-Wednesday-Went right to Museum and to work on
types, trying to keep out of people's way and get ahead with the job. The Museum is pretty well deserted and Luis is the only one constantly on the job and he mostly on private jobs. His office [is cold], as everywhere else and I sit and shiver most of the time. The days are clear and bright but don't seem to have much warmth in them and the nights fairly shiver one's bones. However, I doubt if there is any frost and if the houses had just a little heat all would be well. One night at the Banos we had a sharp frost.
May 10-Thursday-Cleaned up most of Philippi's mice and made a list of the missing types which is very large. His work was worse than I expected and he named the same species over and over again. Practically all the
rodents in the collection are types. All are mounted and if the skulls are not inside they are loose in little open paper trays from which they easily fall out and get mixed up.
Carlos Porter comes in to see me every day, his arms full of papers which he is at great pains to show me as indicating the great amount of work he does. For his Revista, he manages to get a subvention of 2,000 pesos a year from the Gov't and the rest he supplies himself or gets from friends. It must cost him considerable, for subscriptions amount to little and he values his exchanges so highly he sends it gratis wherever he gets anything in return. He took me to his office where he has part of his library and where he showed me with great pride his collection of bound pamphlets relating to Chile, largely entomological
but including much other stuff. Besides his other work, he teaches elementary and economic zoology in the school of Agriculture which is evidently a branch of the University and has a nice modern building in the Quinta near the Museum. He has an excellent classroom with the walls lined with cases of specimens and preparations for demonstration. Learned today that transandine trains run only on Tuesdays and Saturdays, so wired Sanborn to get here Monday if possible.
May 11-Friday-Further work on types, which keep turning up as if there were no end. So cold last night we couldn't stay in the room so went to a movie "Madame Butterfly" and found a very well-dressed not to say distinguished-looking audience and an orchestra which rendered the music
of the opera in such form that there was much applause and disregard of the pictures on the screen. The show began at 9:30 and ran until 11:45 and the people acted more dignified and formal about the whole affair than in U.S. They make as much of a function of it as of the regular theater.
May 12-Saturday-Practically finished on the types today except the canids which are too much for me. Sanborn wired he couldn't get here until Tuesday night and it looks as if we'd have to wait till Saturday as I have a lot more small jobs to clean up.
May 13-Sunday -Spent most of the day on accounts and writing letters to catch mail just going north. Very cold in room and couldn't keep warm even when wrapped up.
May 14-Monday-Seem to have caught more cold which is principally evidenced by cough
and increased and very distressing indigestion. No ambish [=ambition].
May 15-Tuesday-Sanborn's train was 4 1/2 [hours] late with the usual broken down engine and he got in about 1:30, having had no sleep the night before. Reports rather poor luck and poor living conditions in Maule.
May 16-Wednesday-Weather still fine outdoors where the sun shines. Went to Museum with Sanborn to arrange with Carlos Porter about his connections with Wolffsohn.
May 17-Thursday-Packing, drawing money, and buying tickets at Villalonga Express, which takes charge of everything, forwarding baggage etc. The passage to B.A. is fixed in "libras esterlinas" _ 18-15sh. 3d. at present exchange being just $87 Am. gold. The baggage allowance is 50 kilos and excess is about 2.60 Chilean per kilo or about 11 cents a pound U.S. Sold some surplus photographic stuff but couldn't reduce very much.
May 18-Friday-More of the same, what a time it takes here for banking operations! Two hours to get a small draft and a half dozen men working on it. Still feeling seedy and dieting on eggs, milk and boiled rice. Conover isn't so much better than I, with a bad cold and a sore belly.
May 19-Saturday-All off and good bye to Santiago today at 3:55 P.M., Sanborn taking the train with us as far as Llai Llai where he continued on to Limache and we changed for Los Andes. At this place, which we reached at 7, we spent the night but were not able to get into the R.R. hotel, the only good one, but were obliged to go to a nearby dump where four of us slept comfortably in one big room fronting on the wide street which runs down from the R.R. On the train met Eugene Stebinger, 560 Av. de Mayo a geologist working for Standard Oil of N.J. in B.A. and since he was formerly on U.S. Geol. Survey we soon found much in common.
May 20-Out for a 7 o'clock start this morning taking the train which was backed into the courtyard of the Hotel Sudamericano. A big crowd and the usual fussing with baggage but 1st class passengers had received numbered seats which simplified matters very much. It is a narrow gauge track and the small narrow cars couldn't possibly hold all the people and their luggage if extra large and heavy racks were not provided above the seats running continously the full length of the coaches. One woman had what was nothing less than a small steamer trunk provided with straps and a handle. She got a guard to stow it for her in one of the small toilet rooms and this therefore was that much more difficult of entry. Going out from Los Andes it was somewhat greener and with more brush than on the Cachopoal above Rancagua, the valley apparently being better watered. There are many
rocks and boulders however no towns and few stops. At a place called Balneareo Rio Blanco there is a hotel of some size and that probably would be an easy place to stop and collect. Even from the moving train I thought I could detect signs of large rodents Abrocoma or Octodon under large boulders. Farther up vegetation gets scarcer but a few small plants continue to highest point. At Juncal, I believe, the train picks up the cog track and all the way it is a very steep grade. The mts. on either side and often the train is so directly under them the summits cannot be seen without leaning out the window. The scenery is very bold and magnificent but not until we are high up do we see any snow-caps. At the Arg. line we lose our trim gray and green uniformed Carabineros to whom we have become so familiar and in exchange have the Args. with bright red trousers. Fine looking chaps perhaps
selected for this detail to impress the traveler with their appearance. On the Arg. side the descent is more gradual but quite steep enough. If anything more picturesque - the mountains with fewer boulders and more color--gray, green, buff, reddish etc. the lower slopes often long smooth slides and the summits pinnacled and castellated in many beautiful forms. Most of afternoon getting down and it's dark before we get out of the mts. Thought it might be warmer as we got down out of mts. but it was even colder. Most of the passengers carry a poncho or blanket to wrap their legs in. Conover got off at Mendoza and hurried to a hotel to get warm while Stebinger & I passed to the dining car of another train which was waiting for us on the broad gauge.
May 21-Monday-A cold night but slept fairly well in the 4 berth compartment in company with a German from Santiago on his way to Germany and a Chinese tourist, one J.L. Hoo
Ex. Memb. House Rep. Chinese Republic, and Chmn. Chung Yuan Coal Mining Co., Peking. Later in the day he timidly advised me he was so short of cash he couldn't buy his dinner and I loaned him some money. When I got up we were somewhere about the station of Laboulaye on the flat limitless pampa passing scattered groups of cattle and soon much standing water in which there were many birds. For a good part of the day, perhaps at least 100 miles we were passing thru on continuous "magin" like the ones at Nireguao but larger. The water was evidently shallow and seemed almost like recent rain water but so extensive this could not account for it. Towns were few and of small aize. Rufino was the only one of consequence and this could scarcely have more than 1,000 people. Stations there were, but no towns and the estancias are mostly hidden in the distance away from the R.R.'s. I suppose I
never before saw so many marsh birds in such a limited time. I suppose coots were most abundant scattered or in rafts sometimes distant, sometimes within a few yards of the train from the approach of which they skittered away. Thousands of ducks were seen now and then rising in small flocks, but it was difficult to distinguish species - at least there were five or six. Geese I could not distinguish but probably there were a few. Gulls in great numbers sometimes in the water and again on the intervening grassy pampa, where plover (Sterna terns) were common. Ibises, a dark species, were very abundant and stilts were invariably seen in every wet place. Swans appeared first in small numbers and later some large ponds had a great many, at least 100 in one place and doubtless more. Flamingoes scattered and in rather small numbers, not easily seen at a distnace. As we
neared Buenos Aires we got out of this region into the drier and more settled part where there were more planted trees, hedges, poplars, willows, etc. and estancia houses could be seen more frequently. Here we saw a great many big storks, now and then some ostriches. In one place I noticed a small herd of what seemed to be fallow deer.
Reached B.A. at 7 P.M. and went with Stebinger to Avenida Palace Hotel.
May 22-Tuesday-B.A. makes a good impression, at least superficially. Despite its situation in a flat river plain without relief, it is a pretty city, distinctly European in many respects. The Avenida de Mayo running from the Capitol to the President's house, the "Casa Rosada," is bordered by sycamores which altho now without leaves add a great deal to its appearance. The buildings on either side are of regular size, some 6 or 8 stories
high and present rather a Parisian appearance. The Plaza de Mayo on which our hotel fronts has the Casa Rosada at one end, a cathedral and some well built bank buildings on one side but the rest of it is a bit unimpressive with small shops, cafes, bootblack and cigar stores and even these scarcely of the better class. The Av. de Mayo is a fine wide street with commodious safety islands for pedestrians running down the middle. The main business section to the north or northwest is well laid out but the streets and sidewalks are narrow and traffic is continually crowded. Went down the calle 25 de Mayo, changed some money etc., and went to Consul General's office for mail. Found a long line of immigrants there filling the entrance and the hallway. It seems Argentine citizenship can be obtained after 6 months residence and some Europeans are perhaps going to the U.S. via Argentina
when they are unable to go directly.
Lunched at a restaurant known as Rotisserie Sportsman where I was able to get poached eggs and boiled rice, about the only things I can eat. In the evening went with Stebinger to his apartment occupied by one of their topographic engineers, a Mr. Morris and his wife. They had an interesting lot of Indian ware and skins brought from Bolivia where they have been working. Skins included jaguars, puma, spotted cats, yaguarondis--gray and red, anteaters, and various armadillo including one "Peludo" on which they insisted the hair had grown nearly an inch since they had had it. This phenomenon is said to be well known and the Indians sell the fresh shells promising that the hair will appear later. Certainly the one they showed me seemed to bear out their very positive evidence, for the hair on it seemed very fresh, abundant, and long. Undertakers who shave corpses are supposed to have some testimony on
this subject, but I wasn't able to offer any very satisfactory explanation. The Morris's also had a lot of interesting old silver utensils and ornaments made by the Indians.
May 23-Wednesday-Today looked up F.B. O'Grady who took me to lunch and gave me a card at the American Club, a nice large place well situated on Calle Flinda just opposite the imposing Jockey Club. Later O'Grady recommended a Dr. Hallahan, surgeon of Brit. Hosp. to me and I went to see him about my digestive troubles. He heard my story and gave me a slight examination and said I'd better have x-ray examination when I get home, but otherwise he could only say what I expected and knew already. However he gave me some dope-magnesia, bismuth, and soda in a liquid combination which said might help.
May 24-Thursday-Don't feel like doing much but rest and take care of myself here for a
few days. Walked the streets for awhile and then went to the Jardin Zoologico out adjoining the big park known as Palermo. It has rather spacious grounds and a fair collection of animals. It is autumn and fallen leaves debris, and the slightly sad effects that go with that season caused it to look a little less smart than it might at other times. It is much like the average European zoo altho of course it has more than the usual number of South American animals. The ground is of course flat and this is a disadvantage. It favors water, however, and a great deal of space is devoted to lagoons and water birds. There were a great many swans including both So. Am. species, the European and the Australian Black. The Coscoroba I saw for the first time alive and found it quite a beautiful bird even beside its larger relatives with their longer and more slender necks. Quite a good
variety of ducks, herons, storks, gulls, plover etc. including the common species of the pampa. A good many domestic birds and mammals, pheasants, poultry, pigeons, llamas, even cattle and various breeds of sheep, some rather interesting. The usual hippo and two small elephants, camels etc. the finest giraffe I ever saw, probably a 20 footer - very tame and in fine condition. The ducks, swans, etc. were not fenced and these as well as peacocks etc. sometimes strolled among the visitors on the walks. Especially interesting to me were a number of Patagonian hares
(Dolichotis) which were loose feeding on the lawns. They like to sit on their haunches and seem almost willing to drag themselves along this way rather than get out and walk. In this position they lean forward and nibble the grass, spreading their forelegs and altogether presenting a very awkward appearance. There were some
fairly good apes including one small chimpanzee. A large number of the bestial baboons. One little golden marmoset was very pretty. One good, spectacled bear, some seals, etc.
May 25-Friday-Independence Day for Argentina and the town is decked with flags everywhere, the simple blue and white Argentine banner lending itself beautifully. Seems rather nicer than the usual riot of red. Quite a number of Brit flags appear but hard to find American. One at Consul's and a few elsewhere. Witnessed a big parade and demonstration for good roads mostly by dealers in autos and accessories but very well done and showing enterprise and spirit in the the printed placards and banners carried, many of which drew attention to comparisons with the U.S. and Canada. Looked at maps etc. in Standard Oil office and as everything else was closed
went out to the suburbs with Harrington to the place called Flores where he used to live and then farther on where we took a short walk. Looks like outskirts of a California valley town. Everything very dusty. Trees are Eucalyptus etc. Saw few birds: Pitangus flycatcher, ovenbird, Eng. sparrows, pipits, small doves etc.
May 26-Saturday-Drew money, wrote letters etc. and left this evening on Midland R.R. with O'Grady for his place at Enrique La Valle. Narrow gauge road, long ride to small station, good train, estancieros returning after visits to B.A. Dinky new coaches - queer little cross compartment sleepers, small but with full equipment, good dining car.
May 27-Sunday-Out at 7 on the open pampa at a little station where we were met by a little Frenchman with a Ford in which he drove us to the house of Santiago Campion only half a mile away.
While O'Grady awakened bachelor Campion
I walked in the garden which was swarming with birds all in a great chattering cheers mostly English sparrows and blackbirds, but also ovenbirds, Pitangus, etc. On the ground were numerous Zenaida and a small white-winged dove. After coffee took the Ford and drove several miles thru the flat pampa smooth and grassy except where planted to corn or broken by a clump of trees. It's the flattest flat possible and one looks off in the distance to a straight-cut horizon with nothing to obstruct the view. There are as a matter of fact a few sandy little hills or medanos here as I learned later but they are insignificant. Not far south are the considerable hills which rise behind Bahia Blanca. The soil is wonderfully loose and arable and as Campion says one could start a plow at Bahia Blanca and go all the way to Tucuman without ever striking a stone or bad ground of any kind. Along the road shot several of the small perdiz (Nothure) which are common everywhere. They
get up with a buzz and are fast fliers and I found myself missing my first shots. They don't fly readily but will fly and are fine sport. Often they are seen in the open road and as we get near they utter a plaintive peep peep as they take alarm and then off they go. Coming back saw a couple of the large Perdiz Colorado (Rhyuchoters) and O'Grady shot one on the sit. In the afternoon set traps for Ctenomys, signs of which were numerous along the R.R. track and in sandy soil in a cornfield. While doing this saw a skunk ambling along in an open pasture. He was between me and the setting sun and certainly before he had seen me he raised his tail and I could plainly see the puff of oliferous moisture rise in funnellike form and float away on the breeze. Perhaps he was just exercising or maybe relieving himself for his carcass proved to carry a taut bay of scent. I walked up to him and shot him
in the back and shoulders and he wilted without wasting any of his stored product, but I left him out to air for the night.
O'Grady left for B.A. after supper.
May 28-Monday-Caught 3 tucos and a number of small mice from the sandhills, 2 species of Eligmodontia, both quite pretty when fresh - white spots behind the ears being prominent tho mostly concealed in made up skins. Campion got interested in the game and sent men with water to drown out some Peludos or banded armadillos which are exceedingly abundant. They were more than successful for 5 big fat Peludos boiled out of the first hole they tried. They were easily handled and made no show of defense and scarcely any struggle to get away. In a box they made for the corners as if to hide but could be picked up anywhere. When held in the hand on their backs they curled somewhat and partly drew in their extremities and sat there quietly. They were more than I could skin but Campion impressed a
couple peones and somehow the skins got off. They were excessively fat and evidently had been eating corn altho I neglected to examine stomachs.
Expected to move to other hacienda but finally decided to wait so I finished skinning in the house after supper.
May 29-Tuesday-Off early in the Dodge car to the other place where the hogs are raised. Drove some 30 miles northeast to Est. Diseado near Tenecita station on Ferrocarril Ind. The roads were wide and fairly good most of the way and on account of the sandiness probably would not be ruined by rain. Campion is a reckless driver ---- hit 50 miles an hour most of the time so it is clear the roads are not too bad. Toward Diseado the soil seems a bit richer the grass is greener and probably there is more humidity altho they say there's been no rain for a very long time. Apparently this is near the edge of two divisions of the pampa. There are no more sandhills and I don't find signs of Ctenomys. Met Campion's
brother Robert and a young English Portano named Nelson who has come to get pointers on the hog-raising business in which Campion Bros. are the most successful of anyone in the country. They came here as boys with their father from California where they were born in Madera Co. settling near Bahia Blanca and making several later moves until in 20 years time they have become wealthy - owning over 15,000 acres of land and selling as many as 15-20,000 hogs in a single year. Their land is now worth only about 350 pesos papil per hectare and will produce as much corn and alfalfa as their pigs need to eat. Drove around the place shooting tinamou and getting acquainted with the layout, mostly corn and alfalfa fields. Found some more viscacha holes and set some traps in them. Yesterday we tried drowning some out without successs altho we poured two wagon loads into one hole and afterward did some digging. The holes are
about a foot in diameter and on opening them up we uncovered some caverns big enough for a man to crawl into. They come out after dusk but do not enter traps readily. All the octodonts seem to be shy of traps. Saw one Capeton martineta but made the mistake of trying to make it fly and it sneaked away on its legs.
May 30-Wednesday-Caught a Huron in one of the viscacha traps. Set mouse traps in the waste land between boundary fences along the R.R. track where there are weeds and long grass. All trailed up by Cavias which come out to the edge of the road at dusk and can be shot. In another place found a great colony of them in pampas grass. Fun to see them sitting out and scampering back when alarmed.
May 31-Thursday-Caught plenty of Eligmodontia and Akodon along the R.R. track. One in practically
every trap. Never saw mice more abundant. Two in one trap in one place same as Nireguao.
June 1-Friday-So much to skin I can't keep up with it and have to throw away mice. A so-called Camadreja (Lutreoline) got in the viscacha trap. It is a curious color - almost orange - never saw a mammal so-colored before but seems to be normal - very fat like everything here.
June 2-Saturday-Expected to leave tonight but found there was no train and none tomorrow morning. So set more mouse traps and shot one or two birds. Chincols are here and diucas - goldfinchs, robins, titlarks and a number of small birds I don't know.
June 3-Sunday-A big day skinning and cleaning up. Don Santiago came in unexpectedly and took the midnight train for B.A. with me.
June 4-Monday-Most of the day getting settled etc. and taking the damp salted hides to
O'Grady's "deposito." Maddren and Stebinger came in from Neuquen and I went to see them at their office and then to lunch etc.
June 5-Tuesday-At lunch at Am. Club met a Mr. Estabrook of Bureau Farm Economios, U.S. Dept. Agriculture. Later went to see Dabbene at B.A. Museum. The museum was a great disappointment but Dabbene is delightful and I had a long talk with him. The museum is very crowded and small, but owing to its situation in the center of the city it has quite an attendance on the two days of the week it is open--Monday and Thursday. There are really only three rooms for Zoology, one with mammals, one with skeletons and fossils, and one with birds. Fishes and reptiles are in a sort of hallway. These rooms are on the 2nd floor. At the foot of the stairs just inside the entrance are some whales' skulls and some large mammals. Many of the specimens have come from the zoo.
A small piece of the skin of Neomylodon and some claws were very interesting. A very fine skeleton of Smilodon. Some good bones, skulls, etc. of Toxodon, Glyptodon, Megatherium etc. Nearly the whole collection is from Argentina and the birds are well represented. Small birds are on perches and face the visitor so they are hard to see, but they can get more in that way. Quite a good many duplicates as in Santiago. Better kept and better mounted.
June 6-Wednesday-Did some writing and packing and buying maps, looking at specimens etc. A taxidermist furrier here named Hilzinger, Calle Nureno has a lot of mounted birds and a few mammals including a giant armadillo for which he asked 170 pesos and I considered it too much. They come in from the Chaco and Argentina in considerable numbers and cannot be very rare there. I've seen a number in shop windows etc. and
Dabbene says his museum has about a dozen, one or two of which they would be glad to exhange. For vicuna robes they want 400 pesos for those of best quality. In the evening dined at Stebinger's apartment with Maddren and Harrington and they invited me to their camp on the Bermejo River in Bolivia and strongly advised at least a hurried trip to northern Argentina.
June 7-Thursday-Spent the day in a trip to the La Plata Museum. It takes about an hour by fast express train and considerably longer by local. A good dining car makes it easy to go at lunch time. The route runs near the river but this can scarcely be seen. Passed a big estate about midway which looks more like a park with many groves of introduced trees, eucalyptus, pepper, cypress, etc. etc., but their real business is cattle and agriculture which produces a big revenue.
On landing in La Plata, I thought
I'd walk a bit and see the town which is the provincial capitol and rather a unique place with a population of about 150,000. Starting down a broad street, I was entertained at seeing at the first corner the label "Avenida Florentino Ameghino." The town has very broad streets and is specially laid out--a made-to-order city. Many public buildings, rather florid in style in terra cotta color and all looking very new and fresh. The town is said to have 150,000 inhabitants, but the traffic on its streets would scarcely indicate such a large number. A cochero informed me that the museo was in the "Bosque" and in a few blocks drove me into a park of large trees--eucalytus, pepper, cypress, etc., and passing the small zoological garden swung up a curved drive to the museum, also terra cotta colored like the big public buildings but more
severe in style. Flanking the broad entrance steps are a pair of big Saber-toothed tigers couchant done in soft stone, almost the only outward sign of the nature of the building. The entrance is thru a small anteroom from which one goes into a small rotunda occupying the middle of the front part of the building. Around this rotunda are a series of paneled paintings illustrating the history of Argentine life--man and animals. One striking one shows Indians crouched in tall grass watching a huge ground sloth nearby. Another is of a big Smilodon, another a glyptodont, and others take up more recent times showing Indians on horseback hunting guanacos, etc. Starting at the right from this small rotunda one goes into a paleontological hall, the principal feature of which is the dinosaur
skeleton of Diplodocus carnegis presented by the Carnegie Museum. Halls then continue around the building being curved quadrangular in shape and leaving several quadrate halls in the center. The vertebrate fossils occupy some 4 or 5 of these halls--mounted skeletons in the center and fragmentary material, of which there is a great deal, in curved wall cases fitted to the outer walls of the building. These cases are alternated with the windows and face away from the light which makes the material in them difficult to see. In the vertebrate fossils, first come 10 or 15 skeletons of Glyptodonts nearly or quite complete, sometimes 3 or 4 in one case. There are at least 2 Daedicurus, 3 Hoplophorus, 6 Panochthus, 8 or 10 Glytodon. Then came sloths--Mylodue (4+/-), Scelidotherium (1), one large
and very fine Megatherium americanum. Then a fine Lestodon, 2 splendid Toxodons, 1 Maerauchenia--fine but perhaps not quite perfect, 1 Smilodon only and perhaps not so good as the one in B.A., 1 Hippidium, and a model of Iguanodon. On one of the sloth cases a part is devoted to the celebrated pieces of skin, hair, and dung of Grypotherium or Neomylodon from the cave at Ultima Esperanza. The piece of skin is many times larger than the one in B.A. and in a fine state of preservation. Its reality is apparent at a glance. Some section of the skin show the irregular nodules and small ossicular subcutaneous structure. Foot bones and claws and dung which beside recent elephant dung doesn't look very old. In a little side hall are a few incomplete skeletons of cetaceans. Then begin the collections of
recent animals which are quite complete for Argentina but include very little from other parts of the world. The mounted fishes are quite numerous but uncolored and stuffed in old-fashioned style so have the usual ghastly appearance. Snakes are on side walls in unnatural position. Frogs and quite a considerable collection of marine invertebrates in alcohol in jars. One or two cases of shells and some insects. The mammals and birds are much crowded and not all well mounted but the quality is above the average in European museums. A few small groups are better done than anything elsewhere in S. Am., but they are a bit pitiful as compared to the best work in the U.S. & Eng. Groups include Guanaco, Rhea, Huemul, Swamp deer, Agouti, Condor, and a group of seals now
under construction. What strikes the zoologist most is the wonderful collection of mounted skeletons, all very well done and representing a very large proportion of known groups of importance. There are, for example, no less than 12 complete whale skeletons and many porpoises, down to the tiny Stenodelphis. All skeletons--fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals, extraordinarily good, probably almost undoubtedly better than any museum in the U.S.
The central halls on 1st floor are devoted to mineralogy and geology in general and to physical anthropology with an immense series of aboriginal skulls mostly from the Paraná delta. On the second floor is general Ethnology, mostly collections from So. Am. countries. Good lot of Peruvian pottery, lot of stuff from So. Argentina and Tierra del Fuego.
I called to present my respects to the Director, but as usual, was told he hadn't been in that day, in fact he wasn't very regular in attendance. His secretary thought he could find someone connected with the zoological work, but he wasn't sure. Finally he took me to the basement where we found a taxidermist in a cold damp poorly-lighted shop, worse than ours. Then we found an embryologist who was very nice and very cordial, but frankly ashamed of the museum with which he is connected. Thru him, I was shown some neglected bird skins in cases in the basement and some small mammals recently sent to Thomas for identification. Then the taxidermist took me to visit Dr. Carlos Burch, who is the real zoologist in charge, but who was at home with a bad cold.
I found him most cordial and interesting, but bitter against the lack of support for his museum. His very fine collection of beetles is his private property kept in his own house and he says it will never go to the museum because there it would be lost and destroyed for want of care. Museum open only Thursdays & Sundays 1 to 4 P.M.
June 8-Friday-Went to see Mr. W.A. Barr, Mgr. of Swift de La Plata, to whom presented my letters from Harold Swift and was most cordially received. Arranged a possible trip for Conover and received an invitation to play golf Sunday.
June 9-Saturday-Had another visit with Dabbene etc.
June 10-Sunday-Played golf with Barr at Swift Golf Club down near La Plata. Interesting time, new club and house costing 150,000 pesos quite like best U.S. clubs.
Conover arrived while I was out but showed up at dinner with a good report of Mendoza. Brought me a Chlamydophorus which he bought from a small boy who had it alive. He was impressed by its pinkness before it died which was the day after he got it. He says he didn't notice it had a tail until after it died. The looseness of the carapace was new to me. It is almost wholly free from the body and one can pass his finger under it easily. I don't think they are so rare for I see them in curio shops in B.A. frequently and every museum down here has several. Nearly all come from Mendoza, however.
June 11-Monday-Took Conover to see Barr and met an estanciero named Mc Guire who invited him to go out to his place. Went to a big
furrier's place to look at a chinchilla. It had been kept alive as a pet for several months. Said to be very tame and easily cared for--eating almost anything, table scraps etc. It had been nicely mtd. and I tried to buy it for 150 pesos but the owner said he had been so fond of it while it was alive, he wouldn't sell the mtd. specimen. The skins come into this market in considerable numbers, mainly from the territory or "gobernacion" of Los Andes. The price this year was about 1,500 pesos per dozen. B.A. had many fine fur shops and a feature of them are many beautiful robes of a size to make a double bed spread. They are made of vicugna, guanaco, fox, skunk, and small spotted cats and are very beautiful. The best vicugnas are made from the neck and are a beautiful color of dark yellowish
buff, almost old gold color. For these they ask 400 pesos. Others are from the legs and are a little cheaper. The same could be bought in northern Chile and in Bolivia much cheaper. Guanaco robes sell for 150 to 200 pesos, but I got a perfectly good one in raw state from Harrington for 60 pesos which is what it cost him in Comodoro Rivadavia.
June 12-Tuesday-Completed arrangements and left for Tucumán on night train at 5 P.M. in F.C.C.N company with Schultz, Mgr. Stand. Oil NJ development in Bolivia and two geologists of Stand. of Calif., Hawley and Bontz, both Stanford men. Left Conover ready to start tomorrow morning for his trip for the pampa S.W. of B.A.
June 13-Wednesday-This morning at 7:30 we were still in pampa, altho I wasn't up in time to see it. Bontz was up earlier and reported seeing
considerable water with ducks and other water birds as elsewhere in the eastern pampa. At about 9 when I got in for desayuno we were in low scrub in dry hot-looking country. This scrub became a little thicker later on and cacti appeared scattered thru it--a branched flat-leaved prickly pear. The brush is largely a sort of mesquite or algarroba with several other grayish green shrubs and a good deal of a rather dark green brush like greasewood and some sagey-looking low stuff. Except for the flatness, the country reminds quite a bit of parts of our southwest. The brush reaches a uniform height from 12 to 20 ft. and is uniformly distributed. The soil looks good but very dry. This sort of thing continued all the forenoon. The thickness of the scrub varies from time to time often being
very thick, [it] suggests what one imagines the chaco to be. Doubtless this is the transition from the chaco to the pampa. As we approach the small junction station which connects with Santiago del Estero, we go for some miles thru a stretch of good trees 40 to 50 ft. high, regular arid forest in which we begin to see the famous quebracho, unber, algarrobo etc. The quebracho has a pinnate leaf a little larger and heavier than that of the Calif. pepper to which it has some resemblance. It has a winged fruit like a maple which hangs in rounded clusters dark brown and scattered over the tree at this season which make it easy to recognize at a little distance. At the station we see it piled up in small lengths for fuel and in some places
in big logs to be used as R.R. ties for which it is especially suitable. The heart wood is deep mahogany red in color and very hard and heavy.
See but few birds--the Casandeo hawk, a few pigeons and a small white flycatcher which has a habit of perching on top of a thin-leaved bush at the end of a slender branch where it is very conspicuous and furnishes various exceptions to certain theories of coloration. Many large nests of sticks hanging in brush and trees all along the way. These are globular or purse-like elliptical and the rough look with the ends of the twigs bristling all over them make them suggest big caddis fly cases rather than birds' nests. They are exceedingly numerous. A small brown bird is said to make them.
Some 10 or 15 miles before
reaching Tucumán came to stretches of cleared land, dry grassy pastures and then some stands of sugar cane. Reached Tucumán at 6:30 and went to the Savoy Hotel, a fine large bldg. on the outskirts of town but recommended to us because it is one of few hotels in [the] country where all rooms have private baths.
June 14-Thursday-Spent the morning getting acquainted with the town and trying to find the people I want to see. Drive around in the omnipresent "coche"--one or two horse chaises most of which are rubber-tired and fairly comfortable. The streets are fairly wide but not all paved and some of the paved ones are worn and full of holes which makes a trip rather bumpy. In some streets there is considerable traffic and the drivers have to stop to wait for wagons to pass. Saw the market which
is not large and [had] no game today but perdiz and pigeons come in some numbers. The central plaza is quite good with the elaborate gov't bldg. on one side and cafes, shops, etc. around. A new hotel The Plaza looks very good and is more centrally located than the Savoy. The plaza is bordered by a row of mandarin orange trees which are now in fruit and look very pretty. No one seems to rob the trees, but one can imagine how long the fruit would last in such a public place if it were accessible to an Am. small boy.
In the afternoon drove to the Universidad de Tucumán and found Dr. Miguel Lillo at the Oficina Chimica but he was too busy for today and made a later date. In evening called on Emil Budin who works for R.R. and gets home at about 6 P.M. to his wife and two youngsters in a little house on a side street (Cordoba 144)
not far from el centro. His sitting room was decorated with mtd. birds and a number of mtd. mammals of species he has discovered for Brit. Mus. Arranged to buy a small collection of birds skins from him. He says he is thru with Thomas and would like to make a contract with us. He wants more money and would like to put his children in school and take his wife with him on trips.
June 15-Friday-Took train early this morning for Concepción to look up Mr. Stewart Shipton. Several hour trip thru well-cultivated country of mixed crops, by no means all sugar cane. Puzzled at first by numerous gardens with small plants under little inclined rows of thatch for protection--proved to be tomatoes and the thatch not for sun protection but for frost. Drove out to La Corona to the "ingenio" or sugar mill
which is under Shipton's direction. Luckily found him in his office at headquarters and altho it is the season for cutting cane and the mill is busy, he seemed to have time to show me around. Englishmen never seem to have any use for their business and the only important thing is sport. This of course is superficial, but they don't have their business arranged so it will interfere with play. His house near the office is not imposing and appears like the ordinary whitewashed one-story affairs seen everywhere, but it angles about in various directions with connecting courts, passageways and patios from one big cool room to another and is very roomy and comfortable. His collection of birds and mammals is distributed all thru it and makes the whole place a fascinating sort of museum.
The birds are all mounted in plain homemade cases fitted against the walls of the rooms like so many sectional bookcases. Usually one species to a case--male and female and frequently young birds. There were 703 species all from Argentina, mostly pretty well-mounted, and fresh-looking, but here and there were signs of dermestid work and it is evident the collection will require much care. His office and library are very attractive rooms, with selected cases of birds, horns, skins of puma, foxes, cats, etc., and cases of ornithological books and pamphlets. He has made the coll. during the last 10 years and most of the specimens were taken by a Danish collector whom he sent to various places after particular species, even to Tierra del Fuego, Falkland Ids., Misiones, etc. etc. The coll. is
well catalogued and identified. He also had a lot of mtd. mammals including all the larger species, but these were out in the open corridors, badly mtd. and much affected by exposure to light. He had a lot of skins of birds and mammals, the mammals including some rare things but poorly prepared and very buggy. All these he said he was going to clean up at once and ship to the Brit. Museum at once as a gift. I hinted at buying them but it roused no interest, esp. as I was an American and his patriotism for the B.M. was above a few hundred dollars. Had lunch in his attractive dining room surrounded by cases of ducks, tinamous, pigeons, hawks, etc., and later he drove me to the station in a rattling flivver, meanwhile conversing about Henry Ford, our best known citizen. Reached
Tucumán for dinner in evening.
June 16-Saturday-Had my visit today with Dr. Lillo, a native of interesting character, an old bachelor, chemist, zoologist, and botanist and evidently well-to-do. He is Prof. in the Univ., member of various committees, officer of gov't agencies, many of which he serves without pay, and all around prominent citizen. Rather quiet, almost diffident in manner, but very courteous and likable. He drove me to his house, a large one on outskirts of town where he lives alone, in a garden of trees and flowers. On the upper floor of the house is his library and collections all very well kept. He has about 5,000 birds all from Argentina, nicely cased and labeled, a few mammals, especially bats, of which he kindly presented me several specimens. His herbarium, which occupies one large room, seems to be very large, and has
interested him most in recent years. His library is large and covers general science with many expensive books. Britton & Rose's Cactaceae was on his desk and he mentioned that it was "muy caro." He dreams of founding a museum in Tucumán but doesn't wish to present his stuff until he can get a bldg. for it, a good man for curator, and assurance of maintenance. He took me to a small school museum where a series of mtd. birds were the best I've seen in S.A., done by a young taxidermist who unfortunately died recently.
Expected to leave for north tonight but found there was no train.
June 17-Sunday-Drove over the wooden blk. pavements in coche on a misty morning to station of Ferr. Car. Norte del Estado to take train at 9 for north. There are some 4 different R.R. stations in Tucumán which is rather too many for such a city. Yesterday had quite a time
trying to get a timetable, going to the general offices and then to the station when they finally consented to show me a timetable and a young man condescended to work it out for me until I was able to learn that I should take my ticket for Salta as there would be no connection to Calilegua where I am going with letters provided by Mr. Shipton. Also had considerable trouble finding the Post Office and once there in finding the stamp window and the letter drop. The poorest P.O. I've seen, tho it has a lot of business. The R.R. is the first of the gov't roads I've struck and instead of English equipment has American, quite new and built for this service. The Salta train carried a "coche salon"--a Pullman observation coach with moveable wicker chairs "muy lujoso" and the extra charge for riding in it all day was only 2 pesos. Nevertheless
I had it pretty much to myself, for altho a number of others took seats they soon moved to the dining car and as is their custom, spent most of the day there. Leaving Tucumán passed several football fields with boys out practicing in gay colored sweaters etc. It seems to have spread all over. Besides canefields, there are many trees and fields of alfalfa, green despite the dry season. Towers of smokestacks of sugar mills (ingenios) scattered about horizon. Many trees, some large acacias which look like oaks in distance. Thick tangle along tracks indicated moister and warmer climate. Small houses, with tangarines, lemons, & caster beans about. Within 10 miles of Tucumán we leave the flat country for gently rolling hills and beyond Tapia Viejo we entered well wooded small hills medium sized trees and thick brush, unlike anything farther south, a mt. forest. Sunday morning
and a number of passengers have guns and hunting togs getting off a few station up the line to hunt perdiz or tinamou of which several species are found. Saw a number of Mex. hairless dogs, evidently quite common.
Pass from hills into a flat valley surrounded by hills like a valley in California. Stations of Traucas and Benjamin Paz are in this valley. It is full of small bushy trees with a little cleared ground and pasture, but few houses and little settled. Saw a few caraucho hawks, some parakeets, big cuckoos, small doves, and the white flycatcher. [Saw] many of the pendent nests of sticks all day. Signs of Ctenomys all along. Crossed several rivers flowing east. Mts. on west forested about halfway to top where bare and brown, probably grassy. Saw one ostrich near track
The valley rises to a sort of plateau - a cattle country with scattered trees and grass between. See many large burrows in groups of 4 or 5 and judge they must be viscachas altho this is pretty far north for them. A little farther on is Rosario de la Frontera, first town of any size, looks fairly neat and prosperous. Probably could get an outfit of mules here for a trip and there is river near along which camping would be easy and pleasant. We are getting into warmer country as indicated by the dress of the people at the stations and on the train. Many of the men are wearing linen or palmbeach combined with leggins and somberos. A bombacho effect with linen trousers is rather striking. The train is full of a good natured crowd. During the afternoon it was hot and dusty. The curse of R.R. travel is dust all over Argentina.
It was quite dark when we reached Salta and I was whizzed in a brand new flivver over its cobbled streets - to the plaza and the principal hotel which was full of people and I got one of the last rooms on the ground floor with two doors opening into areas but no windows. Big mosquito nets hung over the beds to remind that this is a fever district altho at this season there is little danger. The hotel was full of activity and the slap dash service in the dining room almost reminded of a frontier town in our west. Work is going an with the R.R. to Autofogasta and the old town, which has seen much in the past, is having a revival. Everybody seemed happy and full of enterprise. Outside the hotel on the plaza were a couple big open billiard halls, well patronized, several
flaming cinemas and in one place an auctioneer selling cheap watches and jewelry to a crowd whose money evidently burnt their pockets. The plaza is large with a fine liberty statue in the center anf various nice trees, cypress, peppers, royal and date palms. On one corner is a fine cathedral and another is a club house which from outside looks very luxurious - probably a casino like the one in Tucuman.
June 18-Monday-The sun was barely up as I drank a hasty cup of coffee and piled off to the station and took the train. The air was fresh and fine as we pulled out of the pocket in the hills in which Salta is situated. There is a light forest, now mostly without leaves and in the morning light the lower hillsides appear as if covered with pale lavender lace.
This rises only a few hundred feet above which it is grassy bare and brown. It is the western limit of tree growth and beyond are the pumas and the bleak trail to Atacama. The train winds along above a wide gravelly river bed, now with very little water. The pendent stick nests of small bird are very abundant. Not much sign of cultivation until we drop to a broad valley brushy with few fields of corn and cane just before we reach the junction of Guernes where I change to the northern train. In the station we noticed the colored placards illustrating the mosquito transmission of malaria, the maps of the province, and the notice for clearing out Russian thistle. The platform is piled with the big wicker baskets like laundry hampers which are used for carrying mail.
βeyond Guernes we pass thru a flat valley with rich dry grass growing under thick scrub. Low hills at a distance bound the horizon, with light forests nearly or quite to top. Towards Perico some burned over cleared land with new alfalfa, the greenness of which is refreshing to the eyes. Hot and dusty at Perico - women selling food, chicken, sausage, bread, oranges, bananas, etc. Above Perico along river, leave scrub for dry forest crossing low hills to enter a smaller valley with richer soil. On the east is the Santa Barbara range of hills, well wooded and with tops in few places bare. Seems to be an isolated range. On the west mts. are higher with layer areas about the forest and in a few places to the N.W., probably in Bolivia, peaks could be seen carrying light patches of snow.
Passed San Pedro de Jujuy, the main station for Leach's Arg. Estates where their principal sugar mill is situated. Canefields for miles around irrigated by water from the western hills which is brought easily over the gentle slopes of the valley.
Reached Calilegua at 2:40 P.M. and met Mr. Robert Mc Clintock Smyth at the station with a fishing rod in his hand and climbing on to my train. Hastily presented my letter and he told me to go to the house and make myself at home until he gets back tomorrow. A Ford car soon appeared for me and drove me thru a long lane beautifully shaded by arching bamboos to the long rambling house set about with palms, mangos, rose gardens, and a
generally entrancing arboretum, a most delightful place. A rather stupid young English bookkeeper was the only person about and I managed to beat into his head how I happened to be in his midst. The housekeeper then appeared and had my things taken to a big airy room fit for a king. Later I found a small room in an outbuilding, stored with incubators and parts of beehives where I fitted up working space and hurried out a few traps in brush near the bank of the San Lorezye river a half mile or so from the house. In the evening Mr. Howe, the active mgr. returned and took charge.
June 19-Tuesday-Caught a young Marmosa and a Hesperomys(?) in the traps near the river. Took them up and set more out in fields and orchards especially in a plot of oranges, lemons and grapefruit where
a cover crop of velvet leaves formed a thick mat over the ground and in which there were innumerable runways of large and small rodents. The orchards are bordered by irrigating ditches along which are hedged and thick growths of heavy grass in which are trenches and runs big enough for Cavias. Mr. Howe told me of some Ctenomys work in one of their canefields and gave me a horse and a guide to take me there. Rode out thru the extensive peones quarters and then eastward along a pretty road bordered by acacias, algarrobas, etc. in which were many robins, mockingbirds, ovenbirds, pigeons etc. About 2 miles out came to a new clearing in good forest where new canefields were being developed. The cane is planted by laying the old stalks lengthwise in trenches
which are dug 12 to 16 inches deep.
The Ctenomys, or occultos as they are called here, were working in these trenched, or really in the solid ridges between the trenches. They were not numerous and it was some time before we found a colony of a dozen or more in a corner of the field. The soil was sandy but packed very hard and setting the traps was quite a task.
Not far beyond this place is said to be a big cienega or swamp, probably chaco-like, in which Swamp deer were formerly abundant and easily obtained, but now practically gone. A small rabbit is said to be fairly common in some places and my man thought he could get some for me with traps. An agouti is common also, but really abundant in the monte or the lower hills to the west and N.W. At a "cafetal" where
they tried an experiment with coffee, they are said to be very common. Monkeys and even sloths formerly occurred. A few days ago two jaguars were killed at a place only a few miles away.
Mr. Smyth returned in the evening and I found him sitting with the others having whiskey and soda before dinner. He has been in Argentina 30 years and 20 of them right here with Leach Bros. At times the sugar has been more than the mills could handle and he has persuaded the owners to let him play with fruit. His bananas have been most successful commercially, one year showing a net profit of 160,000 pesos, but he also does well with oranges and grapefruit.
June 20-Wednesday-Awakened this morning by the maid, a shy criolla girl, bringing
me a pot of tea to enjoy as an eye opener before leaving the big luxurious bed in which I spent the night. Later a big fresh grapefruit, oatmeal, and toast was a welcome change from the black coffee and hard rolls of recent days. My long period of indigestion is slightly improved by use of Dr. Hallahan's medicine but am still on the ragged edge.
Found my traps full of mice, every one sprung at least and many of the specimens torn to shreds by their cannibalistic mates. Most common is a Peromyscus-like white-bellied and white-footed mouse, probably Hesperomys, but a big Holochilus is probably just as numerous but too big for my small traps. Spent day skinning and resetting traps in evening. Tracks of a coon along ditches but no time to set steel traps. The peon is watching the 6 traps set for
Ctenomys and brings in one per day reporting much work to find new burrows. There seems to be a jinx on these things, as they are abundant but always seem to be a little too far from the place where I am camped.
In the evening talked with Smyth on his favorite subject, avocados. He brought in some big Guatemalans, with thin black hard shell and delicious nutty meat. They are the biggest and finest I've ever seen. Some of his trees near the house, including some special mangoes and avocadoes are covered with big canvas canopies as frost protection, for the proximity to the mts. here makes the nights cool in winter and frosts are occasionally known. The avocado is slightly more susceptible than oranges, but he thinks the Mexican varieties
would do [well] wherever oranges will. He asks me to go with him tomorrow to some small lakes in the mts. above Jujuy where he has a fish hatchery and I'm bound to accept.
June 21-Thursday-Out early to get a couple more Holichilus and skin them before packing to leave on train at 11 A.M. After lunch on train, including a big avocado brought by my thoughtful host, reached Perico in afternoon and changed to train for Jujuy which takes on an upgrade up the valley of the Rio Grande. Saw a number of ostriches scattered in small groups along the way, probably 20 all told. Seems they are hunted but little and their feathers only used for dusters etc. Reached Jujuy before dark and drove over the smooth asphalt streets in a coche to the Plaza
Hotel, another rough and ready place, much honored by Smyth's patronage so we are received with effusive welcome.
Went about shopping an hour or so - pretty cold and snappy. The town looks unusually neat probably due to the asphalt streets put down by Leach Bros. from the deposit near El Quemado and as Smyth informs me, not yet paid for. It is more of a mountain town with a good Bolivian flavor - even suggest Peru.
At dinner there was much of the rush and dash seen at Salta, the dining room crowded etc., etc. Just why it is isn't clear but the hotel proprietor simply stated that there is "mucho movemiento" due to traffic back and forth with Bolivia.
June 22-Friday-Out in the chilly morning to catch
the 7 o'clock train for Yala only a few miles above Jujuy. Reach there in about an hour and Smyth's man meets us at the station with 2 saddle horses and 2 pack mules. By 8:30 we are on our way, starting up the bed of the Yala River towards the mts. which are invitingly overhanging us. At Yala station the altitude is given as 1,444 meters and the distance to B.A. 1,654 kilometers. At Perico, the alt. is only 936 meters, so we've made quite a climb. In a garden at Yala (there is no town) saw a number of tangerine trees with ripe fruit and Smyth says, that strangely oranges grow here in spite of heavy frost.
It was a pretty ride up along the river and for 4 or 5 miles we were in a nice open dry forest of mixed trees. Saw
various small birds, not identified but including several tanagers and dendrocoloptids, Doves (rabiblanca) and small Paloma Francesa or Piciu doves [are] common. Heard some guans calling which Smyth says are always there. Several parties of big blue black and yellow jays called Urracas. Farther up passed along one side of a pretty gorge with fine rushing stream below and on cold side many ferns and rich growth. Here we climbed rapidly and crossed the stream and started up a grassy slope where we saw big black Planesticus characteristic of the upper zone. A walnut tree is the common tree, although near the river are many good-sized alders. Saw one rupus-throated ouzel and Smyth says he usually sees Torrent ducks.
Continued over the ridge and a little farther on came to the 1st laguna and the houses,
one for the peones and another for himself and the hatchery building all surrounded by light forest of walnut trees and behind are the high mountains with brushy timber straggling up their sides. The house is neatly built of stone and has two nice rooms and a wide veranda - well supplied with cots, bedding, furniture and provisions, an ideal place for me. Weather beautiful. Black robins about the house and a light-colored Cinclodes roosting under the eaves. A big flow of clear cold water comes out of the side of the hill as spring flowing into the lake. This water he has run thru his hatchery and some breeding pools, all well-built of cement and stone. Here he showed me the small fry and some of the larger fish one and two years old, nice rainbow trout. A half-dozen stilts
were about the lake and kept lighting in several feet of water where they swam about as freely as so many ducks. They were undoubtedly swimming as we watched them closely for some time.
In the afternoon, set traps on a cool steep slope on the side of the cascading outlet of the lake just below camp. Found abundant sign and many small burrows with dirt thrown out by some small mouse, perhaps Oxymycterus. Put up one small tinamou a Nothoprocta, from a thick brushy and grassy hillside where I was setting traps. It got up close with a plaintive peep peep and lit some 60 yds. away hiding effectually. The country is very rocky and altho well grown with trees, small bushes and grasses, these impede walking less than the rocks. Several large hawks flying about. Condors said to be very rare.
June 23-Saturday-A pocketful of mice this morning in spite of fact that many are eaten in the traps by their mates. In the kitchen shed caught small Eligmodontias which at first I thought were house mice. Kept me going to get them all skinned and do my share of the housework. Smyth left in the afternoon and I am alone except for the peones in the house a few 100 yds below. At night it gets very cold and I bless the kerosene stoves and the very convenient alcohol lamp. The traps down the river are where there are really too many mice and 2/3 are eaten before I get to them, so took most of them up and set over among some big boulders. Akodons seem to be the most carnivorous and don't eat each other if they can
find some other species. Oryzomys and Phyllotis are almost invariably eaten to shreds. This evening late after sunset, suddenly came on a small spotted cat. I came to the brow of a wooded canyon where I was nearly on a level with the treetops below and in a tree right in front of me the kitty started up and sinuously climbed a few feet and crouched to look at me when I fired and brought her down with #6 shot. Some little job to get down thru thick brush and very steep and thought I'd lost her until I suddenly came on her stretched dead among ferns and dead grass a strikingly beautiful sight.
June 24-Sunday-Had expected to go up the mt. for viscacha but the weather turned to rain and continued
all day so the trip was postponed. I have plenty to do with cooking and skinning etc. A little boy comes mornings and makes a pass at washing the dishes, but I do the rest. Decided to do my skinning in the kitchen so I can work and watch my stews, beans, etc. at the same time. A small bunch of about 20 traps including 7 rat traps in and about a big pile of timber grown rocks which I visit twice a day gives me all the skinning I can do even by working until 10 every night by lamplight. The days are short. Sun goes down at 4:30 but still shines on Jujuy which can be seen in the valley below and it isn't absolutely dark till nearly 6:30. At 7 in the morning it begins to get light and I go to my traps with rubber packs on thru tall grass hanging heavy with glistening and
June 25-Monday-Clear and bright again. Many mice. In fact, for abundance and variety, I believe this exceeds any locality I've ever been in, not excepting California and Arizona. There are small rodents to the number of about 8 species and nearly all are common. As it happens, I have few traps left, but with plenty of traps and a little time one could get tremendous series of all of them. The Akodon and the Eligmodontia are the most common. Walked around the upper lake today and found scattered signs of Ctenomys but set no traps. There are four lakes, one is stocked with pejerrey, one with rainbow trout and the others unstocked as yet. One is quite small and very deep with steep banks rising all around and shaded by mountains.
A flock of a half dozen ducks, probably teal, stays on this pond but can't get a shot at them. Tinamous are scarce and I've seen only the one species which is always in the woods and doesn't flush well. Altogether 4 birds are all I can find and lucky to get two of these. Two or three other species are said to occur but not my luck to strike them. The one high up is called Guaipo and is probably a northern form of Rhynchotus.
June 26-Tuesday-Something new in small mammals practically every day. The abundant Akodons and Eligmodontia keep out better things and the tiniest mice seem to prefer to get caught in the big heavy rat traps. Twice here, making five times on this trip, I've had the rather unusual experience of finding two mice caught in the same trap.
June 27-Wednesday-Weather still fine and snow on mts. above slowly disappearing. They look tempting so arranged for peon and horses to go up tomorrow. Saw an ouzel at outlet of lake but missed it. Smyth said he had seen Torrent ducks get up this far - certainly some job as it's almost straight up and down for a half mile. The lake is full of little fish called "mojoritos" which Smyth says are wonders at ascending swift water, in proportion to their size doing stunts that beat any large fish. One of the commonest birds here is a yellow green tanager with orange brown head markings. A few Derby flycatchers are about the houses and the lake but don't see them elsewhere. The elevation is said to be about 6,700 ft. and things from above and below may
occur, altho the majority are high temperate things. Down at Yala it is subtropical, at Perico it is almost tropical, here it is temperate and above there is a good puna zone.
June 28-Thursday-Got away at about 9 after going to traps, getting breakfast etc. Rode thru the walnut trees, rocky winding trail and passed a "puesto" where the peones are raising goats. Then a steep climb and came out into a pretty pampa almost meadow-like, full of long dry grass and scattered trees on the sides. In front are the high peaks. Crossed this pampa and climbed thru some more trees over very rocky ground. These trees are the "Quinoa" with small leaves and very characteristic trunks which are irregular, not straight, and longitudinally folded
wrinkled or plicated with scaly bright reddish brown bark. This is the uppermost tree of any size. Leaving this we come out into grassy swabs with rock slides on either side in which I supposed we were to took for the viscachas. But no, the peon said there might be a few there, but the only sure way to find them was to climb to the very top of the high ridge in front of us. Very sorry I had no aneroid. Judge timberline to be about 7,500-8,000 ft. Went on as far as horses could climb over a trail diminishing in distinctness although it is said to cross the range somewhere near here. Left the horses and started climbing a very steep ridge thru long grass and heather under which was 3 or 4 inches of lightly crusted snow. The peon had his bare feet
only protected by flat leather sandals held on by a thong passing between the great and the 2nd toe, the 2nd toe as in many of these mountain Indians being almost as big as the first. It was stiff work carrying guns, camera, steel traps and lunch but within an hour we had reached the top of the ridge and turned along its crest to the eastward where it was not so steep. The view on all sides was magnificent. Below we saw Las Lagunas, the four set in their wooded basins serene and shining. Beyond was the Rio Grande Valley in which the city of Jujuy was clearly seen, its white bldgs. and few spires showing up well. To the left of it the broad gravelly bed of the river looked like a big paved highway stretching away in the distance in
long sweeping curves until lost in far away haze. North and west were big mountain masses with patches of snow - long ridges, domes, and scarred rock exposures, but all grown with grass practically to the top. In fact on some distant slopes we made out with glasses, a few houses and cattle and their trails in places where it scarcely seemed possible for them to go. Looking directly down, we saw our picketed houses 2,000-3,000 ft. below us, little specks on which it seemed we could easily toss a pebble. We were after viscachas and made for black broken rocks forming the high points at the end of our ridge. Reaching a little cup-like swale we dropped our impediments and crawled to the edge to look at the rocks some 200 yds. beyond where to my great satisfaction
we saw a suspicious looking lump on one big rock and the glasses showed it to be viscacha, the first live one I had ever seen. It would be necessary to stalk him carefully so I decided to eat lunch first. It was then about 12:30 midday with a warm sun shining and proved the viscacha does come out at other times than early morning and late evening. The peon said "desde las doce adelante" and seemed to be right. While I was opening the lunch, the peon was still looking around and suddenly said calmly "Alli hay tres venados." This observation was quiet enough, but he soon became more excited saying "Que bonito!," "Que grande! Que bueno suesto," etc. while I ranged about with the glasses trying to locate them from his directions which included some of his Bolivian
physiographic terms not in my Spanish vocabulary. I expected them to loom up rather conspicuously as they had in Patagonia, but when I finally saw them, I realized there was considerable difference. They blended with the rocks and hillsides and even when moving were difficult to see. Doubtless I should have discovered them with the glasses later on, but with the unaided eye, I hardly think I should have seen them. The natives eye in such places is almost invariably superior to ours, but so it probably would be to that of a native from the forest lowlands. The viscacha was forgotten but not the lunch and decided to eat it before any deer stalking and they were nearly a mile away with much climbing to do before getting within range and we had already to our credit a lot of exertion since eating anything. While eating
we could watch them and, altho feeding and moving about somewhat, they did not go far. Once one of them walked out on the top of big rock like a goat. We marked their position at the head of a long draw and with reference to some conspicuous isolated rocks. A long ridge stretched toward us on one side of this draw and another similar one nearly parallel was beyond. There were no trees or bushes, only dry grass and heather, so there was no cover except one occasional exposed rock big enough to hide a man, but the stalk looked simple and so it proved. The peon continually admonished me that they were "muy manoso" and urged the greatest care in approaching. This didn't coincide with my experience in the south
and I told him so, but he insisted that these animals were different, that they were now scarce from much hunting, and that those remaining were very wild. At any rate I took no chances and we dropped out of sight immediately in the big swale on our side of the long ridge leading up toward the position of the quarry. Then a hard climb up the far side of this swale to the top of the ridge. We were climbing hard at an elevation of 10,000 to 12,000 ft. and it was necessary to guard against overexertion stimulated by the nearness of the game. I rested frequently but once or twice I found my heart going at a rate that startled me. It seemed as if it couldn't possibly go faster and yet it must or
I would explode. The distressing point didn't come while I was actually climbing but always a few seconds after I had stopped to rest and it would cause the thought to flash to mind that the next second might be my last. After a long rest under the crest of the ridge, to be in full command of myself for shooting, I crawled over the edge, hatless and rejoicing in the fact that I am tow-headed and therefore inconspicuous in dry grass. As expected, the deer had moved somewhat during the half hour we had been out of sight, and only one of them was now visible, a doe lying down in the grass on a small knoll overlooking the sweeping draw. Only her head and neck could be seen and she was more than
[p 300 yards away, so there was no question of attempting a shot with my uncertain rifle or the 3 bbl. gun. She was alert too, and looking directly my way, so I made a melting retreat after noting a rock higher up on my side of the draw from which I could get a good shot. Then more climbing and in 10 or 15 minutes I was again wiggling over the crest. The entire performance from beginning to end was exactly what one goes thru in hunting mountain sheep in Alaska. This time I could see no living thing - the knoll where the doe had been lying was across the draw just below me, but she had vacated and I began to curse myself for having permitted the peon to stick his jet black head over the ridge where I had
my first look. Probably she had seen him and the trio had cleared out. However, I continued looking carefully over every inch of ground in sight, meanwhile gradually edging forward until I could look up the draw to its head at the junction of the two ridges. I was craning my neck to the left to do this when I suddenly looked around a corner and saw the head and neck of one of the deer apparently looking for me just as I was looking for it. It was a fine buck and perhaps 175 yds. away - not a very clear shot, but too good to lose. However, as I leveled my gun, the deer came out into full view with a few stiff-legged steps evidently to get a better look at me, for certainly he could see little
more than a few inches of my head. This gave me a good shot and I fired and evidently hit altho the animal only winced slightly and started at a trot towards the other ridge where I had another shot and he staggered in before I could reload had slumped to the ground. There the doe appeared and a hasty shot at her broke her foreleg. I was getting a little excited and wishing I had a better rifle. Fired twice more at her and missed and she then limped down into the draw and lay down in thick grass. Then, to my dismay, the buck got up and began walking away presenting only his rear to me, which I knew was to small a mark for me to hit with such a gun at over 200 yds. Meanwhile, I was more than conscious that I had only
two cartridges left, haven't brought only 7 and expecting to see nothing bigger than viscachas. However, the buck laid down again only 100 yds. farther on near the brink of a second canyon. A few minutes later I decided to show myself and he got up but slipped and fell over into the canyon, at least I thought he did and I saw a little puff of dust as he disappeared. I crossed over to come on him from below. Meanwhile, the peon who was watching everything, insisted he was still on top, when I got into the canyon which was small and grassy but with pretty steep sides, I could hear the deer's labored breathing, but kept looking for him near the top, being influenced by the peon, but suddenly the buck jumped up right in front of me not
[p 50 ft. away and bounded across until I fired a load of No.2 shot when he went up into the air and then over and over down the canyon in a most spectacular collapse. He lodged some 200 ft. below dead and I called the peon, who then said the doe was hiding just beyond the next ridge and guided me to the place where I was able to finish her, also with No.2 shot. It was, therefore, successful if a rather inglorious hunt, and went to show that the little 3 bbl. gun will do the work as it always has done, but it cannot paralyze with one body shot as the more powerful rifles do. The buck had two bullets through the body just behind the diaphragm and they went all the way through, but in a brushy country he
might have gotten away. He had four regular points like my Patagonia buck, but one was broken in his fall and a piece of hide was scraped from his back. He is much smaller than the southern Huemul and much grayer. The peon easily shouldered him to carry him down where the doe lay and I judge his weight may have been 125 to 150 lbs. and the doe considerably less. Measurements had to be taken with a string. The skins came off quickly and some of the meat was cached under rocks as I decided to come back tomorrow for viscachas. On the way down set some steel traps for Ctenomys in loose ground where they were abundant on the side of the ridge from which we had stalked
the deer. Also set some mouse traps under rocks near where the horse were left. Got started at 4:30 and reached camp at 6:30 just in the nick of time to escape absolute darkness. Skinned the only good Phyllotis thus far taken, altho a lot have been caught and eaten by Akodons
June 29-Friday-Off again this morning a little earlier than yesterday, but made slower progress for my horse had developed a sore spot in front of the cinch and the little mule ridden by the peon seemed tired out. However, before one o'clock we were again in the little sunny swale peeping over at the viscacha still or rather again sunning himself on his chosen rock. It is one of the finest of all experiences to sit and eat a good lunch in choice
spot in a high mountain after a hard climb. A fine sunny day, the hardest of the work over, the keen appetite, the wonderful panorama all around, the warm grass in which one can lie at full length easily finding curves of the ground to fit oneself into etc. etc. This was really our experience yesterday, for today I went alone to the grassy nest, while the peon went after his meat which he tied in a sack and rolled down the hill toward the horses. Found two nice Ctenomys in the upper traps and several Phyllotis in the mouse traps. At the highest part of the viscacha ridge chased a mouse under a small rock and dug out an Akodon of a species not found below (No.5917), evidently a puma form. Before lunch started to stalk
the viscachas, but showed ourselves too soon at 200 yds. and two of them ran up the rocks to their burrows. They carry their tails straight out behind them which gives them a curious kite-like appearance as they run up a steep place. A little later from a different approach located another one and easily killed it, using No.2 shot at about 40 yds. They have been hunted little here and perhaps are not so shy as they would otherwise be, but it is necessary to keep well out of sight to get a shot. Their abodes are in the rocks themselves and there are no signs of burrows. A little later shot another and then had lunch on a big flat rock near the very top. No water but plenty of snow. My feet were wet and cold from climbing
thru the snow, but I had brought an extra pair of socks and enjoyed the change at lunchtime. Climbed over the whole rocky end and summit of the ridge but saw only one other viscacha until returning near where the 1st ones were found, had another shot, but altho the fur flew and the animal was evidently killed he gave one convulsive wiggle which dropped him into his retreat which went straight down indefinitely and recovery was hopeless. It would be very difficult to trap them and in shooting they must be paralyzed at an instant. Saw very few birds on the heights - only a few pipits and a couple Muscisaxicola. Reached camp again at about 6:30.
June 30-Saturday-A full [day working] on skins - first the huemules and then a start on the
viscachas. The frosty nights make stuff easy to keep. Managed to get out for a few minutes just before dark to reset rat traps.
July 1-Sunday-Still working, mostly on viscachas which are too delicate to be salted and like rabbits, must be made up. Their tails must be skinned from end to end and the skin is glued, riveted, and box-mortised to the bone in changing fashion from the base to the top so no one method succeeds and it is a slow fussy struggle with scalpel, fingernails, swear words and perspiration to get it off. Then of course it must be sewed up completely when the skin is made up. It was certainly a relief when the two specimens were finished. Smyth says there used to be chinchillas in these mountains and
probably a few still remain. Guanacos and vicuguas are said to be common on the far ridges which we could see beyond our highest point. Had the peones catch me a bucketful of "mojoritos" and used them as bait for a half dozen steel traps. Foxes are said to be numerous. Peccaries and brockets also occur in the wooded canyon below here.
July 2-Monday-The mice sprung most of my steel traps, but one of them, well down the creek in a wooded region, had a young Cavia. Have tried to see these elsewhere but can't get a shot altho I hear rustlings in the grass.
July 3-Tuesday-Shot a few birds in hopes might get time to skin them but could only do one or two.
July 4-Wednesday-Cleaned up
odds jobs, pickled some frogs from the lake, packed up and left this afternoon. A beautiful ride down to Yala. Saw no less than 5 torrent ducks in the river and very sorry wasn't prepared to shoot them. They always saw us at a distance riding on the trail well above the river and they acted like maniacs going up or down stream nervously seeming to seek a hiding place but never satisfied to stay in one place and always preferring to be in the swift water. They rise and fly easily but won't leave the course of the stream. Going down stream one of their best stunts is to let the swift current throw them out on a rock as if from a catapult. They shoot out of the water and up to the top of the rock as if guided on a
greased track. Male and female are usually together and where one goes the other follows. They looked somewhat larger to me than the ones we saw in southern Chile. When we left the upper canyon for the wooded valley below in the soft evening light, the warmer heavier air, the many new birds, and the general feeling of peace and wildness was wonderful. Some parts of California would equal it, but it's hard to beat. Took the 6:20 P.M. at Yala and reached Jujuy and its Plaza Hotel a little after 7.
July 5-Thursday-Between Jujuy and Perico again in dry country--algarroba and quebracho, but considerable grass - must be pretty in spring. Again saw a number of ostriches. A hot ride up from Perico to Ledesura. Many "palo borracho" trees
a silk cotton tree of quite regular bottle-shaped dropsical trunks. Fruit is hanging, looks like big avocados. With it are a few starry white flowers and also in some cases the fruit has burst exposing fluffs of the creamy white silk which at distance looks like flowers of magnolia. Reach Calilegua and find Smyth at the station, again with a fishing rod, this time receiving a borrowed one from the Mgr. of Los Pozos a Leach place up near Embarcacion which Smyth says is greatest place for waterfowl he has ever seen. Soon established again and put out a few traps near house.
July 6-Friday-Pleased to get a new Oryzomys and a Zygodentomys. Smyth asked me to go with him up the river where he has his avocados, chirimoyas, and mangoes and where he
thinks I would find "monte puro." Drove up in the Ford and hastily set traps in dry monte where no good sign, but he was waiting for me so had no choice. Usual result when people are too anxious to help.
July 7-Saturday-Had the Ford and chauffeur ready to drive to my traps at 7 this morning. Deluxe collecting it seems, but had no luck and caught nothing. Spent part of day packing. In late afternoon played 9 holes golf with Smyth on their little course which they have cleared. Clay greens very hard and rough but good fun. On way in saw bats, so returned with flivver for gun and came out and shot 3 small free-tailed bats probably Nyctinomus.
July 8-Sunday-Off on the 11 A.M. train, all coming to the
station with me and Smyth at the last minute appearing with a big ripe papaya for my breakfast tomorrow. Reach Perico in early afternoon and go to Hotel de Paris one of two or three on the single street like a rather dirty Arizona town. Amused myself photographing horses equipped with the big leather guardamonte, a much bigger and heavier affair than I had supposed. Took a walk down R.R. track and saw many birds mostly same as at Calilegua. Hotel furnished a clean bed in a box room opening on a dirty patio. Boys in cantina playing cards in the evening. On way down saw many Chaco Indians at the stations--Ledesura, San Pedro de Jujuy, Mendieta, etc. where the sugar mills are. They were out in Sunday finery and the
women were quite picturesque. A dark cloth pinned around them, with bare brown arms, a lot of colored beads on their necks and frequently babies on their hips. Men less attractive and more store clothes - mostly carrying bottles and many drunk.
July 9-Monday-Left Perico at 9:15 A.M. thru algarroba scrub with 3 or 4 species of cactus, mostly prickly pear. Many bushes have little air plants on them very thickly that look like grayish green sea urchins from the size of a chestnut to that of a man's fist.
Near Metan large cornfields and just below begin to see pampas viscacha holes again. A big flat valley with mts. rather distant. Rosario de la Frontera again impresses me as a good place to work from.
At Troncas, several hunters get on with bags of birds, perdiz, pavas, pigeons, and parrots. Getting cool as we pull into Tucuman about 6:30 P.M. where I meet Budin in station and give him my surplus traps. Buy a whole section in "Dormitorio" paying an extra half fare, but previous experience says it's worth it.
July 10-Tuesday-Awoke at station Argentina in S.E. corner Province Santiago del Estero. Open grassy pampa on all sides - few cattle here and there. Had a fairly comfortable night mainly because, having the whole compartment, I was able to appropriate the blankets from the upper berth as well as the lower. Passed thru a little corner with low scrub, palmettos, greasewood etc. rather different from anything farther north. Nice grass under scrub which is rather fresh and green looking.
Soon passed to plain pampa plowed or planted to alfalfa, wheat, etc. This is at the station called Selva. A cold cloudy morning and soon began to rain. At Monigote, regular B.A. pampa and a little beyond are the familiar patches of water with a few ducks, many coots, gulls, avocets, ibises, several species of grebes. Ground with innumerable small grass grown mounds probably old ant hills. Rain and wind increase and soon we are in the teeth of a real temperal. Wind whistles against the coaches and at the stations people huddled and shivering. All passengers wear heavy overcoats. Very disagreeable day, quite impossible to keep warm except by going to bed and piling on blankets. Reached B.A. in evening and great relief to roll to Av. Pal. Hotel again.
July 11-Wednesday-Find there is an Italian steamer for Rio tomorrow and no other for a week, a most unusual situation for boats of some kind are usually scheduled every day. Kept on the jump, collecting the specimens left here in various places, getting passport viseed for Brazil etc. Found Riggs here, but left Av. Pal. last night so hunted him up at Pension Tucuman 81. Had dinner with him and O'Grady after visiting Dabbene for last chat.
July 12-Thursday-Steamer sailed at 4 P.M. giving me time for a further visit with Riggs who came down to see me off. Big crowd at dock and much Italian effervescence. Riggs has brought his stuff here to submit it to the gov't commission under which he is working and which has the power to appropriate anything new he get or
any duplicates to which they take a fancy. The newspapers have made quite a noise about him which may prove to be a disadvantage.
July 13-Friday-Got into Montevideo on a cold raw morning to stay only a few hours, so I could only take a cab to el centro and walk about the streets which were rather disappointing. The place didn't make a very good impression, but seemed old, worn and dirty. However, the place has just passed thru a big storm which makes a great deal of difference. One big ship is wrecked near here and many others suffered. The So. Cross is lying at the dock with our Duca degli Abruzzi. She put out to sea during the big storm and will reach B.A. several days late
July 16-Monday-The Duca degli Abruzzi proved to be a good old ship of the general Italian navigation company and made fairly good time and served exceptionally good food. One American, J.B. Havre of San Francisco and one Englishman, a Mr. Sterndale, only English speaking passengers besides myself. Steerage loaded with Italians returning to Genoa. Among 1st class are a number of Argentines going to Italy and continent of Europe as summer tourists. They are of Italian blood but prefer to speak Spanish and proclaim themselves downright Argentines and their country destined to stand second only to the U.S. which they all admire.
Got into the pretty harbor of Santos early this morning and took most of the morning getting up to the long well-equipped dock where the coffee bags come underground
by belt carriers to the ship's side. The harbor has the little knobbly hills covered with verdure so characteristic of tropical ports. Great crowd of banana and other fruit vendors at ship's side, dealing principally with steerage passengers. Finally got ashore but can't get at my baggage until they choose to take it to the custom house, which they promise to do at 12, then at 2, 3, & 4 which last hour is when I got it passed just soon enough to catch a 4:42 train for Sao Paulo. Had quite a bit of trouble with the inspectors who had orders to pass no firearms or cartridges during revolution in Rio Grande de Sol, but finally persuaded them to let me by. Meanwhile went up town where I met Mr. Havre, changed money, went thru pretty little park. Sun warm but not hot and
it feels indescribably pleasant to be in a warm country. It's seems as if I hadn't been comfortably warm since I can remember. The streets of Santos are broad and well-paved and the town looks clean and neat with a certain air of fixed prosperity and solidity of years that is a change. In the center are some good business bldgs., banks, etc. The coffee exchange is prominent and one street is given up to pedestrians who mingle on its smooth asphalt pavement as they do at the curb market in lower New York. Many coffee houses and open refresco places and indications of the hot season. Stepped into one and had a tiny cup of delicious black coffee and the price for two, Mr. H. and myself, was 300 reis, or less than 4 cents Am. Later I had lunch at the hotel called
Rotisserie Sportman where a good meal a la carte and a pint of Caxambu mineral water cost me only 6 milreis or 65 cents. Somewhat different from the prices when I was in Brazil 10 years ago. Hearts of Palm revueltos in butters was one of my vegetables, tasting much like artichokes.
Found seats on the Tren de Lujo at 4:30 all taken so had to wait for the next at 4:42 and barely got a seat there. The same system prevails of reserving a seat by putting a coat, ____, or even a newspaper in it. Our course from a time was thru low ground for long tidal slews grown with mangroves run back some miles to the foot of the mts. on which is a good dense tropical forest with many palms, etc. Few flowers at this season, however. At the foot of the hills picked up cable which rapidly pulls us up a steep
grade giving a beautiful view of the low ground behind. We pass between cut banks grown to ferns and lush grass of moist climate and pass along the side of a deep valley, looking down into the fresh varied green of the treetops almost directly below us and across to the other side where great slopes of solid green forest cover the mountains. The road is wonderful well kept up, it is said with profits in excess of what it is permitted to pay in dividends. Splendid stone embankments, culverts, stone or cement drainage, good houses for laborers etc. Beyond the summit darkness overtook and we rolled into Sao Paulo at about 7 P.M. and the usual waiting Ford took me to my hotel, another Rotisserie Sportsman where I was shown to a nice airy room with
a good bath and toilet only two doors away. The first thing that impressed me was the furniture in the room, which was in good taste and of most excellent quality made of fine dark wood neither mahogany nor walnut but suggesting both. The name of this wood I think is "Jacarana" or something like that. Had an excellent dinner--the menu is printed in French and the service rather Parisian. After dinner a walk in well-lighted streets disclosed a surprisingly fine city at least by night view with much character and beauty.
July 17-Tuesday-Walked about the city for an hour of so. It is a mixture of old and new and has great individuality. Broad streets and noticeably broad sidewalks so one can walk fairly comfortably. Many very substantial buildings
of solid stone, the abundant granite of the region. The varied resources of Brazil everywhere evident and things made in Brazil or distinctly Brazilian mart are everywhere in contrast to the imported things one sees in B.A. Side streets show old bldgs. of old architectural styles but well built. Early German influence is seen but in more recent things are many signs of Italians, but on the whole it is Brazilian and one feels that he is in a new country, separate from all other S. Am. states collectively. The new P.O. bldg. centrally located is a splendid bldg. inside and out. Very commodious and well-arranged inside and postal rules, rates, etc. placarded in some 6 languages. My hotel is an older one. A much finer one, brand new, called the
Esplanade seems 1st class in every way and equal to any in any part of the world. The hilly ground on which a great part of the city is situated gives many fine prospects. A big viaduct leads across a deep gulch parked below right in the best part of the city. The eastward is lower ground where there are manufacturing concerns and the big Antarctica Brewery. Went to Nat. City Bk. and got a little money, the process seeming to be a little quicker than in Arg. & Chile. Hired an Essex car and driver and went out to Butantan to see the "snake farm," so-called by all resident English and Americans. It is some 4 or 5 miles out on a hill with lawns and trees nicely parked and looking back across low sweep of outskirts of city beyond which is S.P. itself. It is
open to public 2 days a week but not today of course, so had to persuade the gatekeeper to let me thru and then present my card at door of the museum and laboratory. This worked well and one of the Drs. or investigators assigned a lab. assistant to show me the place. The interior has the air of a hospital and is mostly laboratories and offices but in the corridors and walls of landings etc. are charts, photos, etc. illustrating the work. A large map showing the distribution of poisonous snakes interested me. It is made with paper plaster spots of different colors, one for each species and probably is fairly reliable. A good-sized room on 2nd floor contains an exhibition of snakes, frogs, and a few poisonous or noxious insects. The snakes are in glass jars in alcohol and
well-labeled and displayed. Especially interesting was a series showing the food-habits, consisting of specimens opened sufficiently to expose the recently swallowed prey, small mammals, frogs, lizards, or other snakes. Dissections show differing fang mechanism etc. In a corner was the photo of Col. Roosevelt examining snakes when he visited the place. One or two stuffed specimens only fairly well done. A few specimens from U.S. Nat. Mus. but most of the material is Brazilian. Outside we went to the enclosure of nonpoisonous snakes 1st where saw tree snakes etc. The attendant hooked them out of the little cement domes and held them up to view. Then the same for the poisonous ones, the attendant wearing leather guard spats and going amongst them very
unconcernedly. Several species are kept together without trouble. The rattler is the most aggressive and seems very common. The others required considerable provocation to strike at the hook or the attendant's boot. The snakes come in from various sources and after being used are killed and thrown away. The supply seems continuous and local museums have all the species represented. They are not fed, since they are not kept long enough to require it.
Returned to hotel to lunch and then took cab for Ypiranga also a few miles from the center of Sao Paulo. The Museum, which may now be called the Ypiranga Museum instead of Museo Paulista, has a wonderful location at the head of a long broad avenue which is now undergoing reconstruction and will some day be a wonderful street.
Down below and in front of the museum is an elaborate bronze statue with many figures commemorating the declaration of independence which was made here by Dom Pedro in 1840 (?). The ground is somewhat torn up at present and some allowance must be made for the city to grow out to it, but indications are that it will do so. It reminds a little of the Field Mus. in this respect. The museum building itself has been done over for the recent century and appears as if new altho it is really 40 or 50 yrs. old. It is brick and buff stucco, quite handsome. The west half of the 1st floor has a series of rooms with historical paintings and relics, the east half more of the same, and the Director's office and the library. The second floor has the princ.
natural history collections and is reached by a real marble bifurcated stairway around the walls being niches with bronze statues of Brazilian explorers, pioneers, and historical heroes and in panels higher up painted mural portraits of nearly 30 or more. On 2nd floor is a pleasing open-air passage fronting a series of rooms each devoted to a special subject. Hall of botany is on 1st floor--table cases, with nuts, seeds, fibers, etc. old but quite good.
Two small rooms devoted to biology of insects are quite good. A nice lot of butterflies, spiders, millipeds, etc. Beetles fine, simply pinned on a white background, 4 or 5 of each species, nothing which is not Brazilian. Maevopus longinamus is a fine species.
A reptile room has some mounted and some in jars and altho not modern they
are in good well-lighted clean cases. A case of frogs and toads in jars includes many interesting forms. Shells and invertebrates - not a large collection, but fairly representative. The museum as a whole has a good balance and each group of importance is shown. The birds are mostly on perches in fairly natural attitudes - by no means a full coll. from Brazil but fairly good. The mammals at the opposite end of the bldg. are rather old and many are badly faded. Most of the important larger mammals. of Brazil are shown. Very good Red wolf, good swamp deer, some fair monkeys. No groups anywhere. Called on the Director who was very cordial and seemed quite enterprising if not scientific. Says he is sort of Mgr. for this and a couple smaller
museums, Santos & elsewhere. Took me to the study colls. of birds and mammus. on top floor in a tower up a winding stair. Met a native assistant there, meek-eyed and apologetic, apparently not a taxidermist nor a janitor, but not much better. The birds number 4 or 5 thousand good skins mostly, in good cases, drawers with sliding glass tops--in no immediate danger of being lost as Dabbene predicted, but with little care or interest bestowed on them. The mammals are nearly 1,000 skins, including quite a number of von Ibering's types which are kept the same as the birds. The skins and skulls are numbered correspondingly and in good condition. Examined some of the types and found them in fair shape.
Suggested exchange, but he said
they only wanted Brazilian material and supposed we wouldn't have much. Presented me with a good spiny rat from Sao Sebastian Id., which they had a number of duplicates. Whatever is said, the collection of mammal skins is problably the best in South America.
July 18-Wednesday-Took 7 A.M. train for Rio with seat in coche salon a good coach made in Brazil first native made R.R. coach I've ever seen in S.Am. The woodwork etc. is A No.1 and the trucks etc. are patterned after Am. models if not actually assembled. A foggy misty mirning which seems to be usual at this season and can't see much for first hour or so. This mist sitll hangs at 10 A.M. Between stations Luz Carlos and Guararema looks like good ground for small mammals - wooded hills, grass, swamps,
etc. all quite near Sao Paulo and all in the coast belt affected by the fogs. Then near Jacarehy run along a nice rather sluggish river which could easily be worked with a boat. N. of J. is more open country cleared and cultivated. Much country covered with anthills the size of a beehive and gray in color as if of stone unless old enough to be overgrown with grass. Often suggest haycocks. At San Jose los Campos we seem to be up on the interior plateau. Later pass along the side of a broad valley with rounded hills on W. side. Thebande good little town. Begin to get into coffee. It seems to be planted with bananas and often in patches entirely exposed with shade. Well settled region. Begin to see the long-eared Indian cattle with semi-erect horns. Cuckoos and avis in fields.
The train is full of priest two of who talk German and have Univ. student duel scars on their cheek. A red-capped bishop of some sort gets on with an attendance kissing his hand and at every station crowds gather to smack his fat fist some more. Pass into well-cleared cultivated country along nice river showing good canoeing waters, evidently the Parahyba. Lorena good small town, hotels etc. W. of it are mts. with peaks not timbered clear to top. They form a distinct range to which we get nearer later, probably station of Cruzeiro where we turn almost into, then in a small gorge where the river has quite a drop. In some places the route reminds of western Pennsylvania. The river is about the size of the upper Potomac and after a short cut comes out into
another valley where sluggish. Then more small Sosquehanne effects--brown grassy hills with trees in sheltered draws etc. Well settled region. Mts. left in N.W. More and more small towns. Royal palms about stations and streets always effective.
In the cool of this evening we begin cutting through the hills directly toward the coast, the hills still grassy but more and more trees and patches of thick forest, narrow canyons and several tunnels soon change of landscape. This would doubtless be a very hot trip in summer. Quite a good grade "rolling down to Rio" from this side and the train whizzes thru narrow gorges twisting and turning. At one stop saw about 1,000 of the interesting Indian cattle in a station corral awaiting shipment. Some slight resemblance to coast range
hills of California or near S.F., San Bruno, etc. Put in a few bananas nearby and change distant forest only slightly and it would make it nearer. Nearing Rio many domed mound-like hills suggesting the formation of those in Rio harbor. These have been cleared in many cases are now raggedly mown so they look like heads with a rough haircut.
Belem, 61 km. from Rio is in wild swampy region good place to work near Rio. Farther down much fruit, especially kumquats. Darkness spoiled any sight of the bay and we came into the city and the customary Ford took me to my hotel on Av. Rio Branco.