Restless days and bad omens

May 13th, 1925

The jungle is as hostile as it ever was. It has already been 23 days of travel through it, and even though we are doing fine, something weird is going on. Rimmel got severe food poisoning, and he’s not looking good, but that’s not what I mean. All I know is that right now we cannot stop, even though both Rimmel and Jack asked me to slow down. We should reach the Bakairi post in a day or two, and I will be able to help him there. For now, I must push harder because I cannot shake off a feeling that we’re being watched…

It started a week ago, the day that one of our cargo mules died. Animals tend to get weaker; that’s normal due to the high temperature and the environment. We had to stop earlier that day to let them rest. It was getting darker, and we were all preparing a camp while the Brazilians were unloading the cargo mules. That’s when all of us heard it – a weird, terrifying howl not so far from our position. We just stood there, wondering what the noise was, prepared to fight back anything that might attack us. It lasted for over 5 minutes. Scared and tired, we weren’t able to do anything else. Even when it was over, we still waited for about 10 minutes, wondering what was going on. When we finally went to check the source of that sound, we found one of the mules gutted and left to die. I didn’t know that mules could even make such a noise. We were wondering, what kind of beast could have done that? There were no traces or marks – not even a footprint. How did it get there, and what was its purpose? I have no idea.

Since that evening, I’ve been on high alert. I think that the rest aren’t seeing it the way I am, and I’ve decided to keep it that way. There’s no point in making them nervous as well. But even Rimmels’ poisoning is making me question our overall safety. Who knows? Maybe I’m just tired as well. Perhaps I need to rest, but for now, we push forward. For now, there’s no stopping. For now, I’ve decided not to take any chances, and to be prepared for anything…

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