"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

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Journal of Matthew Stirling
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August 7, 1926 : Motor Camp ; Rouffaer River

August 7

Water still higher; if it goes six inches more we will have to add another story to our structure. Dick went hunting in the jungle back of camp in the small canoe and reported the country inundated as far as he went. He got one pigeon. Again spent the day largely in reading. This afternoon there was a great hullabaloo in front of the Dyak house and I saw two Dyak canoes putting out into the river in the greatest possible haste, the men dressed or undressed just as they happened to be. They paddled as I never saw them paddle before. It turned out that they had seen a cassowary swimming across the river. We saw him too, his neck sticking up like a periscope, working his way across the stream but at the same time being rapidly carried down by the current. The canoes reached him and after a fierce struggle which necessitated two Dyaks being put under the doctors care, he was hauled into one of the canoes and trussed up so that he could not move. They intend to keep him alive and Tomalinda wants to bring him back to Borneo.

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