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Singular indeed are the circumstances in which the journal of the lost young explorer Raymond Maufrais was written and discovered. Maufrais started his diary in France as he prepared to make a solitary jungle trek into the Tumuac-Humac Mountains. He carried it with him to French Guiana, where he remarked on the suppurating, stultifying life of the native miners and embarked with companions on the first stages of his journey. Traversing dangerous rapids, killing caiman and other creatures for food, he and various natives worked downriver toward the Amazon. The day came when he went on alone with only a scraggly canine called Bobby for company. With a strength of body lessened by dysentery and hunger and a strength of spirit which rose above the waking dreams of Lucullan feasts and the presence of beloved parents, he forced himself on through forest jealous of intruding life. The horror of killing and eating Bobby, the loss of a wounded pheasant; the joy of discovering a wild avocado, an orange tree, a tortoise; the terrible ordeal of hunger, thirst, illness, aloneness are impressively recorded. As a final attempt to live, Maufrais prepared to swim down-river and left at his last camp the journal which Indians found. Passionate, perceptive, youthful, honest, Maufrais sought a self-reckoning in the most demanding surroundings available to man. His journal is a legacy to all seekers.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1954
Publisher: Crowell