Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey (2009)
TR wanted men to scout ahead for rapids, but Rondon dismissed that idea as a waste of time and effort, even though (according to Cherrie) a distant roar could be heard ahead. Sure enough, more difficult rapids awaited, but at least a large catfish (a pirarara) was caught for dinner. To the surprise of those cutting open the catfish, the head and arm of a monkey was seen. And then the two camaradas sent to find de Lima returned . . . alone. They never caught sight of Julio de Lima, who faced "Jungle Justice" after all. The 19 remaining members of the expedition knew they weren't much better off than de Lima.
Then Kermit and TR decided to spend a day looking for Kermit's lost dog, to whom he'd become beyond-attached. The dog had disappeared into the rainforest the day before; even Cherrie believed that it was a mistake to spend a day searching for the dog. The camaradas must have been very confused, in that TR and Kermit didn't want to spend a day searching for de Lima, but had no problem doing so for an animal.
Then two pieces of good news arrived. First, camaradas returned with Kermit's dog, but the news that had the potential benefit for all the men was that evidence was discovered that rubber tappers had been in the area. That meant that people had come upriver to tap trees for rubber sap; it was the first sign of civilization the men had encountered since starting down the River of Doubt.
15 April 1914 was what TR called a "Red Letter Day", in that after traveling on the river for over three hours, the men saw a simple house with a small rubber-smoking hut right next to it. Joaquim Antonio and his wife & child were not there, and Rondon refused to give his men permission to raid their stores. A mile downriver the men saw a canoe with one man, but Raymundo Marques fled to the banks of the river. However, when he heard Rondon call for him, Marques came back. Marques stated that he had been shocked to see any boats coming downriver, fearing the Cinta Larga.
But the expedition was still far from civilization, and TR was barely clinging to life. TR was so sick that he couldn't even sit up in his dugout, but neither could he lie down, due to a lack of space. If TR didn't reach help soon, he would die: his right leg was still (potentially lethally) infected, with a deep pus-filled abscess in his right lower thigh.
Joaquim Antonio found TR and Rondon in his hut while starving men made dinner over a fire his wife had started for them. Antonio agreed to sell provisions and two large canoes to the expedition, and even offered to help them hire a guide. More importantly, Antonio told the men of their exact location on the river. Along with the joy in receiving that news came the realization why they had made it that far: the Cinta Larga had let them live. In the end, the Cinta Larga favored concealment and flight over attack, taking the certainty of staying hidden over the uncertainty of engagement. As long as the expedition kept moving through their land without posing a threat, the Cinta Larga chose to not attack. For their own reasons, and on their own terms, the Cinta Larga let Theodore Roosevelt and the other men live.
Due to the generosity of the rubber tappers, especially Marques who provided a canoe and food for no payment, and a guide that knew that part of the river, the expedition was ready to go. Speed was now paramount, in that TR's infection had spread to his right buttock. And while there was now plenty of food, TR didn't want to eat; Kermit was obsessed with the thought that he might not be able to bring his father out of the river alive.
The only casualty was Kermit's dog, who once again wandered off into the rainforest, never to be seen again; Kermit was devastated, but TR was the priority. On 26 April 1914, the expedition passed through a stretch of rainforest that had been partially submerged during the rainy season. In the distance, the men saw a row of neat tents lined up on one of the banks of the river - Lt. Pyrineus and his six men had been at that location for six weeks, with their fears rising every day that Rondon hadn't made it through the River of Doubt.