Are you still enjoying the story? Have you been inspired by Fawcett and are now itching to go and explore? I think this story is reinforcing my inclination to stay inside and not go into creature-infested jungle water.
The hardest and most disgusting thing to read in this section was the description of James Murray, the polar scientist who accompanied Fawcett on one exploration, and the maggots that infested his body. I almost passed out when I read that he had maggots growing under his skin and was able to count 50 around his elbow alone. Just thinking about that now makes my skin crawl and makes me start to itch all over. I cannot imagine seeing such a sight. The physical toll that these explorations took on the men is just astounding. Everything they encountered was extremely dangerous and left them with all sorts of injuries and ailments. Could you believe that Fawcett appeared to be unaffected by the conditions, though? He seemed to be the only person who didn’t have some sort of horrible injury.
Wasn’t it so cool that Grann was able to connect with one of Fawcett’s granddaughters? It was really neat that she was willing to share documents with Grann and was willing to let him look through Fawcett’s journals. The little tidbit she shared about Fawcett’s signet ring bathed in blood was pretty chilling. Do you think that shows that Fawcett was brutally murdered on his last expedition? What do you think about the Dead Horse Camp and the fake coordinates? Do you really think that Fawcett left those behind in an effort to stop people from finding Z?
If you’re interested in learning more about Fawcett, author Ben Hammott’s website has historical articles and modern information about him, including a photo of Fawcett’s granddaughter wearing what she claims to be his signet ring.
This section ends with Grann describing a historical document that he viewed in Rio de Janeiro. It was pretty brave of Grann to travel all the way to Brazil without knowing for sure if he was going to be able to look at the document. This document was really important, though, because it claimed that a Portuguese soldier found an ancient city in the middle of the jungle. This document was enough, in Fawcett’s mind, to prove that there was a lost city to explore. What do you think? Do you think this document was definitive proof that there was an ancient city like Z? Why didn’t more people know about it, and why couldn’t anyone find it?
What were your impressions of this section? Do you think that Grann will be able to discover a lost city by the end of the book? Do you have any ideas about what might have happened to Fawcett during his last journey? I’m anxious to hear what you’re thinking about the book so far.
Make sure to finish the book before you join us next week. I look forward to hearing from you in the comments section.