From Redd’s journal, 1914: “Ever since being invited to accompany President Roosevelt on his tour of the Amazon, I’ve found myself utterly captivated by the man and his sense of the hunt. This afternoon, we stalked a crocodile along the riverbank, lurking in the thick greens of the jungle bush, battling mosquitoes and a variety of other nasties without name. The beast eluded us for nearly six hours, slipping in and out of the muddy waters, and I was on the verge of despair when Roosevelt called out to me in a booming whisper: ‘Redd. Stay absolutely still.’
Teddy Roosevelt (left) during a 1914 tour of the Amazon rainforest
I froze. Immediately to my right, the crocodile lay waiting—twelve feet long, teeth bared. I stepped backward. The beast lay still.
It seems we’d found our game. ‘What do you think?’ I asked the President. ‘Shall I shoot?’
‘Hmm.’ He lowered his rifle. ‘Perhaps we ought to give the croc his victory.’
‘Suits me,’ I said. ‘I’m much more disposed to chasing some of the indigenous ladies.’
We left the reptile in peace. That night, I found the only game I ever needed on the beach, by the glittering sea—a lady in my arm, and a coconut in each hand.”
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