By Claude Levi-Strauss
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The boys whose task it used to be to force those lorries have been conversant in trips lasting weeks or occasionally months. They labored in pairs – the driving force and his assistant, one on the wheel and the opposite perched at the footboard to observe for stumbling blocks and ensure that the best way used to be transparent forward, like a sailor status at the prow to assist the pilot to barter a slim strait. They continuously stored their rifles nearby, because it was once common for a dollar or a tapir to prevent in entrance of the lorry, extra out of interest than worry. One or different of the lads could take a pot-shot and the outcome may ensure even if we halted at that position: a slaughtered animal needed to be skinned and gutted and the meaty components become slices by way of slicing in a spiral, as though a potato have been being pared to the centre. The slices of meat have been instantly rubbed with a mix of salt, pepper and beaten garlic which used to be constantly stored prepared. They have been unfolded within the solar for numerous hours, and so may retain until eventually the operation used to be persisted the following day and accomplished throughout the following days. The carne de sol therefore received is much less tasty than carne de vento, that is dried by way of being fastened to the pinnacle of a pole and uncovered to the wind instead of the solar, yet which retains much less good. those specialist lorry-drivers lead a truly unusual life. they must manage to perform the main problematic fix jobs; they remake and dismantle the line as they move alongside, and they're vulnerable to be stranded for a number of weeks deep within the bush on the spot the place their lorry has damaged down, until eventually a rival lorry comes alongside and provides the alarm at Cuiaba, from the place a request is going to São Paulo or Rio for the mandatory spare half. in the meantime the lorry males camp, hunt, do their washing, sleep and own their souls in persistence. My most sensible driving force used to be a fugitive from justice as a result of a criminal offense to which he by no means referred. the folk in Cuiaba knew approximately it yet stated not anything, considering that there has been not anyone else to hold out the most unlikely trips he finished. It used to be typically idea that, by way of risking his lifestyles day-by-day, he used to be making considerable restitution for the existence he had taken. once we left Cuiaba at approximately 4 within the morning it used to be nonetheless darkish. shall we simply make out a couple of church buildings adorned with stucco from base to belfry. The lorry jolted over the past streets paved with stones from the river and coated with mango bushes clipped into rounded shapes. The generally orchard-like visual appeal of the savannah – as a result average spacing of the bushes – gave the appearance of a synthetic panorama, while we had already reached the bush; the music quickly grew to become tough adequate to persuade us of this truth: it climbed clear of the river in stony curves intersected via ravines and muddy fords, overgrown with capoeira. once we had reached a undeniable top, shall we see a faint rosy line, too desk bound to be stressed with the 1st glint of sunrise. but for a very long time we have been doubtful approximately its nature and its fact. yet after traveling for an extra 3 or 4 hours, we arrived on the best of a rocky slope, from the place shall we experiment a much wider horizon, and there, undeniably, ahead of us we observed a purple wall-face, working from north to south and emerging a few or 300 metres above the fairway hills.