your kind reply,
P.S.—If you should send out one of your collectors, or require any information, I shall be glad to give it.
One of the most experienced collectors, M. Oversluys, writes from the Rio de Yanayacca, January, 1893:—
“Here it is absolutely necessary that one goes himself into the woods ahead of the peons, who are quite cowards to enter the woods; and not altogether without reason, for the larger part of them get sick here, and it is very hard to enter—nearly impenetrable and full of insects, which make fresh-coming people to get cracked and mad. I have from the wrist down not a place to put in a shilling piece which is not a wound, through the very small red spider and other insects. Also my people are the same. Of the five men I took out, two have got fever already, and one ran back. To-morrow I expect other peons, but not a single one from Mengobamba. It is a trouble to get men who will come into the woods, and I cannot have more than eight or ten to work with, because when I should not be continually behind them or ahead they do nothing. It is not a question of money to do good here, but merely luck and the way one treats people. The peons come out less for their salaries than for good and plenty of food, which is very difficult to find in these scarce times....
“The plants are here one by one, and we have got but one tree with three plants. They are on the highest and biggest trees, and these must be cut down with axes. Below are all shrubs, full of climbers and lianas about a finger thick. Every step must be cut to advance, and the ground cleared below the high trees in order to spy the branches. It is a very difficult job. Nature has well protected this Cattleya.... Nobody can like this kind of work.”
The poor man ends abruptly, “I will write when I can—the mosquitos don’t leave me a moment.”
[Footnote 2: See a letter at p. 92.]
[Footnote 3: Vide “Orchids and Hybridizing,” infra, p. 210.]
By the expression “warm” we understand that condition which is technically known as “intermediate.” It is waste of time to ask, at this day, why a Latin combination should be employed when there is an English monosyllable exactly equivalent; we, at least, will use our mother-tongue. Warm orchids are those which like a minimum temperature, while growing, of 60 deg.; while resting, of 55 deg.. As for the maximum, it signifies little in the former case, but in the latter—during the months of rest—it cannot be allowed to go beyond 60 deg., for any length of time, without mischief. These conditions mean, in effect, that the house must be warmed during nine months of the twelve in this realm of England. “Hot” orchids demand a fire the whole year