Verdant Inferno

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    The birdcage that had left him in the upper Juruá was now just a grey blur, quickly fading away to nothing, obscured by the lush mass of canaranas, sororocas, and embaúbas. Souto was now an exile, committed to this struggle, this delirium of exploring the wilderness. The little boat rushed back downstream. It had been the last to come up here, in a feat of reckless daring, and was then prompted into a hurried return by the fear of being trapped by the fast-moving river, ending up skewered on the trunk of a piranhea tree or run aground on some beach. If something like that had happened, the boat would have been in the same position as Souto, stuck waiting for the return of the flood in order to go back down to Manaus. A fate which could spell profit and good fortune for an engineer like Souto would have been costly for the shipowner….…