Wall Street Journal editor Stewart (Hunting the Tiger: The Fast Life and Violent Death of the Balkans' Most Dangerous Man, 2008) makes use of the legacy of a 1930s explorer and adventurer in a new attempt to locate a fabled city in the tropical rain forests of Honduras.
The author found a walking stick and map that once belonged to Theodore Morde, who claimed to have discovered Ciudad Blanca, the White City, in 1939. Stewart’s research also produced the logs and records, which included interviews with Indian inhabitants and uncovered Morde's great knack for storytelling. Even Stewart and his experienced archaeologist guide Chris Begley were unsure about what they had found and whether they followed Morde's trail to the city he claimed to have discovered. But they have crafted a clear trail to follow on the way. Set against a background of the latest military coup in Honduras and the activities of narcotraficantes, corporate jungle destroyers, pirates, robbers and other human predators, as well as deadly snakes and insects and almost impenetrable jungle, their modern search bears eerie parallels to the trail made by Morde and his companions. Back then, the United Fruit Company was on the march, and exiles from Nazi Germany were trying to scratch a living from the unforgiving terrain. Stewart left his wife and daughter in Brooklyn and traveled to the Mosquito Coast, from which he set off overland. Modern transportation, however, seemed less reliable than the river routes followed by the earlier crew, and the modern explorers embarked on an exciting journey in search of landmarks, tribes and, in the depths of the jungle, the Monkey-men, worshipers of the Monkey God.
A great revival of an older genre, the treasure hunt, and associated adventures.