Study Guide

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon Chapter 4

By David Grann

Chapter 4

Buried Treasure

  • We take the Wayback Machine even further back in time, to 1888.
  • Fawcett is a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery.
  • The son of an elite aristocrat, Fawcett was educated in the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, where he learned to be a gentleman and a scholar. He's a 19th-century Professor Layton.
  • Fawcett never wanted to be a soldier, but his mother forced him to go because "she liked the splendid uniforms" (4.10).
  • The uniforms aren't that nice when riddled with bullet holes, but whatever you say, Mom.
  • Fawcett receives a month's leave in Ceylon, which is now called Sri Lanka.
  • Fawcett wants to use his vacay time to find the lost settlement of Galla-pita-Galla and the treasure he believes lies within.
  • Dude doesn't find it.
  • However, at a shindig in Ceylon, Fawcett meets his future wife, Nina Agnes Paterson.
  • For unknown reasons, Fawcett's mother disapproves of the engagement, and she spreads rumors that Nina is not a virgin.
  • Fawcett terminates the engagement.
  • Nina marries someone else, but this someone else drops dead in the summer of 1897.
  • This woman has bad luck with husbands.
  • Nina and Fawcett later reconnect and marry in 1901. They have a child, Jack.
  • Fawcett soon tires of the confines of Victorian civilization. Those collars are tight. He dreams of returning to the explorer's life.
  • There's only one place for Fawcett to go: Cabela's.
  • But before that, Fawcett has to go to the Royal Geographic Society in London.