Study Guide

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon Chapter 8

By David Grann

Chapter 8

Into the Amazon

  • Before going to the Amazon, Fawcett is enlisted by the British government to be a Moroccan spy.
  • Chatting with Moroccan officials, Fawcett works his way into the royal court to spy on the sultan.
  • Fawcett returns to England without incident. Mission: Impossible, this isn't.
  • Back in foggy London, Fawcett attracts the attention of George Taubman Goldie, the president of the Royal Geographic Society.
  • Goldie recruits Fawcett to map the border between Bolivia and Brazil.
  • Fawcett says yes. He believes this is his destiny.
  • Off Fawcett goes in 1906, leaving behind his pregnant wife and three-year-old son.
  • With a surveyor named Arthur John Chivers, Fawcett descends the Andes toward the jungle.
  • The altitude sickness is rough, especially for the mules, who sometimes fall right over the cliffs.
  • The dudes eventually abandon their pack animals and continue alone.
  • Fawcett and Chivers travel from one isolated little town to another, shocked at how the rubber industry treats the native people.
  • Many indigenous people are forced into slavery by rubber barons.
  • Fawcett and his men scour nearly six hundred miles of jungle, battling electric eels, piranhas, and anacondas.
  • Worse than the big creatures are the little critters: gnats, millipedes, worms, and mosquitoes.
  • Many of Fawcett's men get sick with yellow fever or malaria.
  • To top it all off, some of the Amazon tribes, like the Guayaki, are known to be cannibals.
  • On one memorable night, Fawcett and his men must flee downriver from "savages" (8.39) throwing spears.
  • In 1907, Fawcett, who appears to be impervious to snakes, spears, and diseases, emerges victorious from the jungle. And he did it a year ahead of schedule.
  • Someone get this guy to edit James Cameron's next film.