Home » The Devil-Tree of El Dorado / A Novel by Frank Aubrey by Frank Aubrey
The Devil-Tree of El Dorado / A Novel Frank Aubrey by Frank Aubrey

The Devil-Tree of El Dorado / A Novel

Frank Aubrey by Frank Aubrey

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Kindle Edition
291 pages
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 About the Book 

Shall Roraima be handed over to Venezuela? Shall the mysterious mountain long known to scientists as foremost among the wonders of our earth—regarded by many as the greatest marvel of the world—become definitely Venezuelan territory?This is theMoreShall Roraima be handed over to Venezuela? Shall the mysterious mountain long known to scientists as foremost among the wonders of our earth—regarded by many as the greatest marvel of the world—become definitely Venezuelan territory?This is the question that hangs in the balance at the time these words are being written, that is inseparably associated—though many of the public know it not—with the dispute that has arisen about the boundaries of British Guiana.Ever since Sir Robert Schomburgk first explored the colony at the expense of the Royal Geographical Society some sixty years ago, Roraima has remained an unsolved problem of romantic and fascinating interest, as attractive to the ‘ordinary person’ as to the man of science. And to those acquainted with the wondrous possibilities that lie behind the solution of the problem, the prospect of its being handed over to a country so little worthy of the trust as is Venezuela, cannot be contemplated without feelings of disappointment and dismay.This is not the place in which to give a long description of Roraima. It will suffice here to say that its summit is a table-land which, it is believed, has been isolated from all the rest of the world for untold ages- no wilderness of ice and snow, but a fertile country of wood and stream, and, probably, lake. Consequently it holds out to the successful explorer the chance—the probability even—of finding there hitherto unknown animals, plants, fish. In this respect it exceeds in interest all other parts of the earth’s surface, not excepting the polar regions- for the latter are but ice-bound wastes, while Roraima’s mysterious table-land lies in the tropics but a few degrees north of the equator.Why, then, it may be asked, have our scientific societies not exhibited more zeal in the solving of the problem presented by this strange mountain? Why is it that unlimited money can, apparently, be raised for expeditions to the poles, while no attempt has been made to explore Roraima? Yet, sixty years ago, the Royal Geographical Society could find the money to send Sir Robert Schomburgk out to explore British Guiana—indeed, it is to that fact that we owe the discovery of Roraima—but nothing has been done since. Had the good work thus begun been followed up, we should to-day have been able to show better reason for claiming Roraima as a British possession. But, as the writer of the article in the Spectator quoted on page 3 says, “we leave the mystery unsolved, the marvel uncared for.” This article is commended to the perusal of those interested in the subject, as also are the following books, which give all the information at present available, viz.—Mr. Barrington Brown’s ‘Canoe and Camp Life in British Guiana,’ and Mr. Boddam-Whetham’s ‘Roraima and British Guiana.’ Mr. Im Thurn’s ‘Among the Indians of British Guiana’ should also be mentioned, since it contains references to Roraima, though the author did not actually visit the mountain, as in the case of the first named.As an illustration of the confusion and uncertainty that prevail as to the international status of this unique mountain, it may be mentioned that in the map of British Guiana which Sir Robert Schomburgk drew out for the British Government, it is placed within the British frontier. But in the map of the next Government explorer, Mr. Barrington Brown—‘based,’ he says, ‘upon Schomburgk’s map’—it is placed just inside the Venezuelan boundary- and no explanation is given of the apparent contradiction. Again, another authority, Mr. Im Thurn (above referred to), Curator of the Museum at Georgetown (the capital of the colony), in his book says that Roraima “lies on the extreme edge of the colony, or perhaps on the other side of the Brazilian bounda