Iquitos Peru is, believe it or not, an Atlantic port 2,000 miles up the Amazon River. During a brief stop we wanted to see a little of the vast rainforest that surrounded the remote town so we hired a local guide to take us for a tour in a small boat. He said he could take us up a tributary of the Amazon and show us where savage Indians lived.
So, after churning upriver along a jungle-lined stream for an hour we were put ashore on a mud flat where the guide told us to wait while he went into the jungle to make peace with the savages. Soon he came back with several fierce-looking indians armed with blow guns and spears. We cringed but our trustworthy guide said that not only were we safe but he had persuaded the indians to give a demonstration of their blow gun accuracy.
After the demo the guide said that, even more surprising, the savages had agreed to sell us some souvenirs. Not wishing to antagonize them, we promptly bought a spear and a blow gun, complete with poison darts and cotton-like wadding.
No doubt some cynical reader will say that we were duped and our guide had rigged the whole episode – on which he collected handsomely. Maybe so, but there are times when you enjoy being duped. Today the blow gun is a treasured exhibit in our family library.