a delightful touch, in its practical combination of those not normally kindred pursuits, ornithology and gun-running

From early in Theodore Roosevelt’s Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  I listened to a podcast this morning about photojournalist Loren McIntyre’s encounter with an uncontacted (or at least very little contacted) people of the Amazon, a story told in full in Petru Popesco’s Amazon Beaming.  That book I’ve had to buy to be able to read but the Amazon look inside preview included an epigraph from Roosevelt’s now public-domain work so here we are now, as Roosevelt describes one of the members of his expedition.

The men whom Chapman recommended were Messrs. George K. Cherrie and Leo E. Miller …. Cherrie had spent about twenty-two years collecting in the American tropics. Like most of the field-naturalists I have met, he was an unusually efficient and fearless man; and willy-nilly he had been forced at times to vary his career by taking part in insurrections. Twice he had been behind the bars in consequence, on one occasion spending three months in a prison of a certain South American state, expecting each day to be taken out and shot. In another state he had, as an interlude to his ornithological pursuits, followed the career of a gun-runner, acting as such off and on for two and a half years. The particular revolutionary chief whose fortunes he was following finally came into power, and Cherrie immortalized his name by naming a new species of ant-thrush after him—a delightful touch, in its practical combination of those not normally kindred pursuits, ornithology and gun-running.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s