Dalrymple succumbs to superstition

Percy Fawcett

Dalrymple writes that he finds snakes

fascinating and repellent. They are mesmerising and horrifying in equal measure.

The young reader Dalrymple delighted in stories of giant anacondas:

I lapped up Col Fawcett’s story of an anaconda 63 feet long.

Fawcett disappeared somewhere in the region of the upper Xingu in the Amazon basin in 1925, and Dalrymple explains that some years later he flew over the Peruvian part of that Amazonian jungle in an aircraft operated by Compañía de Aviación Faucett, which had been co-founded not long before by Elmer J. Faucett (no relation). Dalrymple comments:

It is a tribute to the human capacity for superstition that I was relieved to have survived the flight.

 

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