Amazon Rally by Amos Eduardo
‘Look, Brian! Those are our motorcycles!’ David says.
David and Brian are at Heathrow Airport in London. They are motorcycle racers from Enfield, a small town in England.
They usually race in England, and in European countries, but this time they are going to Brazil. Racers from many countries are going there, too. They are all going to race across the Amazon jungle. Brian is reading a newspaper.
‘Listen to this, David!’ he says. ‘There’s a problem in the Amazon. The Indians are very angry because miners are going into the jungle. The miners are taking their homes.’
But David isn’t listening to Brian. The race is going to be good,’ he says.
‘Yes… and difficult, David.’
Two days later, the racers are in Brasilia. Brian and David are there, too. A lot of people come and watch. It is a beautiful, sunny morning.
There is a lot of noise. People are talking to the racers. Photographers are taking pictures.
‘The race is going to start,’ a young man says. ‘Listen.’
‘Good morning!’ a man says. ‘This is the start of the Amazon Rally. Forty-two people are going to race from here to Manaus.’
‘Are you OK, Brian?’ David asks.
‘No,’ Brian answers. ‘I’ve got a problem. Look! Oil is leaking from the engine of my motorcycle.’
‘Where’s that glue for oil leaks?’ Brian asks.
The racers are putting on their helmets.
‘Here, try this,’ David says. He gives Brian some glue. Brian puts some glue on his engine, but it comes out very slowly.
‘Quickly, Brian! The race is going to start,’ David says.
But oil is leaking from Brian’s engine.
‘Quickly!’ David says again.
The oil stops. Brian puts on his helmet and gets on his motorcycle.
The engines of the motorcycles make a lot of noise.
‘The race is starting,’ David says.
‘Let’s go!’ Brian says.
The Amazon Rally starts!
The first day is OK. The roads are good. The racers see many small towns and villages. People stand near the road and watch them.
On the second day, the roads are not very good. Two Italians, Luigi and Enrico, are in first and second place.
On the third day, the racers are in the jungle. The roads are very bad. The Brazilians are in first and second place now. Then come Luigi and Enrico. David and Brian are behind the two Italians.
The race always stops late in the afternoon.
Those Brazilians are very good, and they know the road, Brian says that evening.
‘The Brazilians aren’t a problem. The rain is our big problem. Look!’ David answers.
This is our second day in the jungle.
A difficult day! The rain never stops and the road is very bad. There are trees across the roads. Sometimes we can’t stay on our motorcycles.
I am first in the race now, and David is second. The two Italians are behind us. We are happy about that.
It is seven o’clock now and it is very dark. The days are very hot in the jungle, but the nights are beautiful.
David is in bed. I am going to bed, too.
The race starts very early on the third day in the jungle.
In the afternoon Brian and David stop. The jungle is very beautiful, but they aren’t looking at it. They are looking for the town of Una-Una.
‘Where are we now?’ Brian asks.
‘I don’t know.’
‘Is this the road to Una-Una?’
‘I don’t know,’ David says again.
‘Where are the racers?’ Brian asks. ‘Can you hear them?’
They stop their engines and listen. The jungle is quiet. Then they hear a noise.
‘Listen, David!’ Brian says.
‘What is it?’ David asks.
‘It isn’t a motorcycle,’ Brian answers.
Suddenly they see some men. They are walking to Brian and David. ‘Look at those men, David!’ Brian says.
‘Who are they?’ David asks.
‘They aren’t racers, David. They’re… Indians!’
The Indians come and talk to Brian and David.
But the two young men can’t understand them.
‘These Indians are very angry, Brian. But why?’
‘I don’t know. I can’t understand them.’
‘We’ve got a problem, Brian,’ David says. The Indians take the two young men to an Indian village. A woman with blue eyes comes and talks to Brian and David.
Her name’s Astrid and she’s German.
She lives in the jungle because she’s working there with the Indians.
‘Who are you?’ the woman asks.
‘I’m Brian, and this is my friend David.’
‘Why are the Indians angry?’ David asks.
‘Are you miners? The miners want this place. Sometimes they come here and they kill the Indians,’ Astrid says.
‘We aren’t miners. We’re motorcycle racers,’ David says. ‘We want to go to Una-Una.’
Astrid talks to Maoni, the Indian chief. Maoni listens and talks to his men. They aren’t angry now.
‘The miners are coming to the village,’ Astrid says. ‘Chief Maoni knows that. They’re going to kill his men.’
‘Let’s get the police, Astrid,’ Brian says.
‘How? There’s no time.’
‘I can go to Una-Una. There’s a police station there,’ Brian says.
‘But you don’t know the road to Una-Una,’ David says.
Astrid and Chief Maoni talk again.
‘Caruak is going to go to Una-Una with you tomorrow. He’s Chief Maoni’s son, and he knows the road,’ Astrid says.
At seven o’clock in the morning, Brian and Caruak get on Brian’s motorcycle. Caruak isn’t very happy. He doesn’t know about motorcycles.
The Indians watch them. Brian starts the engine, and Caruak gets off the motorcycle quickly. The Indians run to the trees.
Astrid talks to Caruak. Then he gets on the motorcycle again. The Indians watch from the trees.
Brian starts the engine again.
‘Go!’ David says.
Brian and Caruak take the road to Una-Una.
It is difficult in the jungle. But Brian is a good racer and Caruak knows the road. He knows every river and tree in the jungle.
Early in the afternoon, they come to a big river. Brian looks in his road book. They are near Una-Una now.
Then Brian looks at the engine.
‘Oh, no! Oil is leaking from the engine again!’ he thinks. He stops the motorcycle.
‘I haven’t got any glue. Where’s David’s glue?’ he thinks. ‘This time I’ve got a big problem!’
Caruak looks at the oil. Then he walks to a tree and takes a green fruit. He puts the fruit on the hot engine. The leak stops.
‘That’s very good,’ Brian says. ‘Thank you, Caruak. Let’s go.’
They start to drive again. The oil often leaks from the engine, but Caruak stops it with the green fruit every time. They arrive in Una-Una in the evening.
They meet Captain Silva at the police station, and Brian talks to him.
‘The miners are coming, Captain. They’re going to kill the Indians,’ Brian says.
‘You’re right, young man. We don’t have much time!’ Captain Silva talks to a policeman. ‘Let’s go to the Indian village. I want twenty men. Quickly!’
They get to the Indian village late in the afternoon.
‘Let’s wait for the miners,’ Captain Silva says. ‘Go behind the trees.’
It’s night again. They are all waiting for the miners.
‘Look!’ Captain Silva says. ‘They’re coming.’
The miners are coming from the jungle. They’re moving very quietly. There are a lot of miners in the village now. They are looking for the Indians.
The village is quiet.
Then Captain Silva says, ‘This is Captain Silva. Don’t move!’
The miners run, and the Indians run, too. They make a lot of noise.
Two miners find David and catch him.
‘They’re going to kill me,’ David thinks.
But then two policemen run to him. ‘Stop!’ they say. ‘We’re policemen.’
In the morning, Chief Maoni and his people are very happy. A lot of Indians are dancing.
Chief Maoni has two beautiful necklaces in his hands. He smiles and gives a red necklace to David.
‘Jaguari,’ he says.
‘He’s giving you an Indian name,’ Astrid says. ‘Jaguari is a small jaguar.’
Then Chief Maoni gives a black necklace to Brian.
‘Manaue,’ he says.
‘Quick runner,’ Astrid says.
Brian gives his helmet to Caruak.
‘Champion,’ he says.
They all smile.
Captain Silva takes Brian and David to Manaus. The racers are there.
There are photographers, too.
They are taking pictures of the champions – Luigi and Enrico, the two Italians.
‘Brian? David? Hello!’ Enrico says.
‘Look. We’re the champions,’
‘Congratulations!’ Brian and David say.
‘Are you OK?’ Enrico asks.
‘Now we are,’ Brian says.
Brian and David talk to Enrico and Luigi about the Indians and the miners.
‘You’re champions, too,’ Luigi says.
‘Yes, they’re champions of a very important race,’ Captain Silva says.
Brian and David look at their Indian necklaces.
‘Congratulations, Manaue!’ David says to his friend.
‘Congratulations, Jaguari!’ Brian says.