The boatswain turned
to me and said in Portuguese that it was a good night for hunting; we
could easily capture five or six crocodiles. I was devastatedcrocodiles
are an endangered species. Of course, they have never been anything
but trouble for the Brazilian natives, so they enjoy the sport and excuse
themselves by saying they dont really kill the crocodiles. The
Italian looked at me questioning. This was my great moment, and I am
proud of how I played it. I asked the boatswain in Portuguese if the
fishing was good at night. He looked puzzled, but replied, Sim.
I turned to the Italian and I said in Spanish, It looks like a
great night for fishing; now that you have your crocodile, do you want
to fish? He seemed disappointed, but did like the idea of fishing.
I told the boatswain that the Italian wanted to fish. The boatswain
suggested just two or three more crocodiles first. I said, No,
he wants to fish.
The boatswain was well prepared and came up with some fish hooks about
one inch long. I wondered about bait, but he just laughed and proceeded
to troll the bare hooks behind the boat. In five minutes, we had our
first 16-inch fish; in 15 minutes, we had a half-dozen, and that ended
our night of sport. The following morning the fish were servedthe
most delicious breakfast that I had ever had. After breakfast, the crocodile
was handed to the Italian who posed for his pictures. The crocodile
was then dropped into the lake. It didnt swim away but just sank
to the bottom. The crew insisted they didnt kill crocodiles, but
I really doubt that this one recovered. I was doubly glad that I had
saved the others.