Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett—no relations to Colonels Mustard or Sanders—is an intrepid explorer preparing for an Amazonian expedition.
Inspired by legends of the golden city of El Dorado, Fawcett believes that a mythical city exists in the Amazon, one that proves civilization can flourish in the harsh climate of the jungle.
Fawcett believes the discovery of this city will "forever alter the Western view of the Americas" (1.11).
But Fawcett worries that another explorer, like Alexander Hamilton Rice, will beat him to it.
Fawcett is only bringing two people with him on this dangerous expedition: his son, Jack, and Jack's best friend, Raleigh Rimmell. They're in their early 20s, but Fawcett trusts they will be able to handle the grueling wilderness.
The dudes set off for South America from New Jersey, a place that makes piranhas in the Amazon River seem friendly.
They tell reporters, "We shall return, and we shall bring back what we seek!" (1.25).
The next chapter is titled "The Vanishing," so don't count on it.