January 12th, 1925
We’re in New York at Rimmel’s place, after a long journey across the Ocean. Tomorrow we will get back on a ship and set off to Brazil. Once we’re there, we can’t waste time. We will head towards the Cuiabá of the Mato Grosso right away. We will be able to refill our supplies there and buy everything necessary to enter the jungle and complete our journey. We especially need a couple of mules to carry the luggage and tools.
I’m proud of Jack; it was his first trip on the open seas, and he did surprisingly well. Obviously, he got seasick a couple of times, but at least he was trying to put on a tough face. This is great – it shows character, which will be needed later on. I was a bit worried that his age might surface, but he’s not even worried about tomorrow, and he’s even more excited now to see our goal through.
I’m ready too; failure isn’t an option this time. I’ve retraced all the steps from the previous expeditions, and I’m pretty sure that we will be able to find ‘Z’ this time. Ever since I’ve figured out its possible location, I can’t sleep. My dearest Nina couldn’t stand seeing me like this, and I believe this is the main reason she didn’t argue very much when I decided to sail off for the last time, to check my assumptions. That’s probably also the main reason she allowed me to take our son on this journey.
‘Z’ – a missing piece, I know it – once we find it, everything will change. If my calculations are correct, it would mean that I’ve passed near it several times at least. Five years ago, during my last expedition there – I believe that’s when I got closer to it than I ever did. But I wasn’t prepared; the fever got the best of me. I knew it was a mistake to travel alone. I was doomed to fail from the very beginning, but this time will be different. This time must be different. This time it’s all or nothing…