The Treasure of the Amazon

People don’t believe me when I tell them the truth of my experience.  They smile and tell me the memories were created by the raving mind of a man sapped of strength by the intense heat and fear of death. I have proof that my memories are accurate. I still bear the scars from the rough, bark ropes that bound me until it was time for me to be used, and Iana sits at my side as I pen this story, but they still do not believe.  

At first, I was dumbfounded at the rejection of my experiences.  I was a man of science, not some carnival barker trying to convince those who strolled by to part with their money to see what was only a man in an ape suit.  I would receive no great wealth if they believed, for archeologists seldom become wealthy no matter what their discoveries.  I only wished to open their minds to the possibility of a society that had never before been studied.

After a while, I realized that though academia portrays itself as a community of open minds, in reality, those minds are open only to those ideas that conform to the opinions of the majority.  In order to vindicate myself, I would have to go back and bring obtain tangible proof.  Unfortunately, financing for archeological expeditions is controlled by the people who equated my story to those of unicorns and dragons.  I would have to finance the expedition just as I had the first – with my own money.  

Such will never be.  I know that now.  While I have managed to accumulate sufficient funds over the years, I have grown too old in the process.  To attempt such a journey again would no doubt result in my bones becoming the fodder of the creatures of the Amazon.  I do not relish that idea.  It is not the thought of the creatures spreading those bones hither and yon that dissuades me, for the animals who would benefit would be only following their nature.  It is only that when my clock strikes midnight, I wish Iana to know where I pass my days in eternity.  She will join me when her time comes and we’ll spend eternity together.

Some believe some of my story and call it “divine providence” that Iana and I survived.  Call it that, call it luck, call it fate, call it what you will, but in reality, it was only Iana who saved me from what would have been an unholy demise.  Without her help then, I would not be writing these words.  Without her by my side now, my life would not be worthy of such an activity.

I will tell you my tale in hopes someone else much younger and stronger will take up my quest and discover what I know, but cannot prove, to be factual.  I do not seek the honor of that discovery when it is finally made, but perhaps the scientific literature will grant me the occasional footnote as the man who inspired others to trek into the rain forest in search of the tribe that should not be, but is.

I had been inducted into the US Army on my eighteenth birthday, that being January 5th, 1945.  After completing my training, I was assigned to a combat unit in Germany, and participated in some of the final battles that ended the terror of the Nazis.  I continued to serve as part of the occupation forces in Germany until my term of service ended.  I was discharged in January of 1947, and used my benefits under the GI Bill to go to college.

From my earliest memories, I have been interested in the past.  I spent many hours of my youth combing the local fields and streams around Knoxville, Tennessee for the arrowheads and spear points that were plentiful at that time.  I also visited every museum I could convince my parents to take me to.

For this reason, my chosen field of study was archeology, and I spent the next two years grudgingly studying the subjects that were requisite for actual studies in my field.  The second two years were more pleasure and excitement than study.  Most were classes that examined the various archeological explorations in far-flung parts of the world.  My enjoyment of those classes confirmed my choice had been a sound one.

Between my junior and senior year, I participated in a dig at the site of an ancient Native American town, and that summer only whetted my appetite for more discoveries, for during that dig, I unearthed a metallic disk with strange symbols that was identified as being made of gold.  

All evidence other than that disk, a sort of pendant, pointed to the working of stone as the height of technological achievement for that particular area and time.  The origin of the pendant was a mystery until I was back at school and researched the symbols on the face of the disk.  The symbols were very similar to those found in artifacts from the Mayan civilization of the Amazon basin.

I competed my studies, including a thesis that presented an argument for the presence of the pendant as proof of trading between the Maya and the ancient Native American populations.  My thesis was accepted, and I received my degree.

The prudent course of action would have been to join forces with another archeologist in an exploration of some site to gain experience before striking out on my own.  I was filled with the impatient confidence of youth though, and determined to investigate one of the mysteries of archeology I had studied.

In 1925, an archeologist named Fawcett had embarked upon an expedition to the Amazon in search of a place he named “The Lost City of Z”.  He had learned of the supposed existence of the place from a document known as “Manuscript 512”.  The document was written by a Portuguese settler in Brazil named da Silva, and described the ruins of an ancient city with many artifacts and hieroglyphics of an undecipherable nature.

Fawcett traveled to Brazil with a small party and set out up the Amazon River in search of the city.  He was last known to have entered Mato Grasso, where the entire party vanished.  Subsequent searches yielded only some second and third hand stories that the party had been killed by natives, but no proof in the way of bones or equipment from the expedition.

I was first interested in the expedition, then became obsessed with finding the city.  I envisioned coming upon the ruins, photographing them, retrieving as many artifacts as it was possible to carry, and then returning to study them.  My resulting papers would earn me renown and the respect of the archeological community.

I obtained every scrap of information relative to the expedition I could find and spent hours reviewing the route of travel that Fawcett had planned.  In the end, I thought I had a fair idea of the city’s general location.  I would need only trek in that direction until I found it.

On the eighteenth of October in 1952, I landed on the docks of Manaus, Brazil and set about arranging my expedition.  Porters were an absolute necessity, for I could never manage to carry enough supplies to last what I estimated to be a two month adventure.  I hired twenty natives and four large dugout canoes, and struck out up the Amazon for Mato Grasso.

The trip up-river was uneventful except for the presence of a bewildering array  wildlife.  By the time we beached the canoes at the small river I believed to be Fawcett’s starting point, I had taken numerous photos of the animals as well as the indigenous peoples we saw on the river banks.  After a day to pack everything into equal loads for the porters and a night to rest, my expedition began hacking its way through the dense vegetation as I monitored my map and compass.  

Each porter carried about sixty pounds of food and supplies.  In the Army rucksack on my back, I carried a canteen, two spare sets of clothing and something I hoped I would not need – a Model 1911 pistol like I’d carried in Germany, four extra magazines filled with rounds, and 200 more cartridges in boxes.  I did not wear the belt with the holster for the pistol.  It would have only frightened any natives we met.  It was within easy reach though.  I only needed to reach into my rucksack and pull it from the holster.

In a pocket sewn on the inside of the rucksack was a small amount of my money, the equivalent of about fifty dollars, that I had converted into Brazilian currency.  That would pay my porters upon our return.  I had put the rest of my funds in a bank in Manaus, and would withdraw it when I purchased passage for myself and my artifacts back to the US.

After a day’s travel, I deemed us to be nearing the most probable site, and we began stopping in the early afternoon.  While two of the porters prepared our nightly meal, I would send the rest into the jungle to search for indications of the city.  It was the second day when one of the porters came running back into our camp and jabbering away in his native language.  

After calming the man, the lead porter translated his story.

The man had walked until he came to a tall rise in the land, and upon this rise was a large stone structure.  He had observed the structure for some time and had seen no people or animals, and so believed it to be the city I sought.

The next morning we set out in the direction the man indicated and came to the same rise, though it was not so high as the man had indicated.  The structure was also not what the man described, being only a high, stone wall perched at the edge of the rise.  I thought it was probably not Fawcett’s city, but would still be interesting.  I decided to camp there for the night as it was too late in the afternoon to attempt the climb.  After dinner, we all took to our beds and were soon lulled to sleep by the drone of the insects and creatures of the night.

I woke at some point during the night, I could not tell the hour, to the sound of my men crying out in agony.  I rose from my hammock to determine what had happened, and was nearly on my feet when a coarse sack of some sort was thrown over my head.  I did struggle, but the many hands that threw me to the ground rendered that effort fruitless.  I was tightly bound, hand and foot, then picked up and carried away.

I could only assume natives had attacked the camp and I was about to suffer the same fate as Fawcett.  I vowed not to be killed easily, though my present predicament ruled out any attempt at escape.  I would wait until I knew my surroundings and then plot my plan.

After a time of being carried, I was dropped to a stone floor and the rough sack was removed from my head.  After the few minutes it took to accustom my eyes to dim light of early morning, I was able to see where I was.

The stone floor was the floor of a stone room of rectangular shape with a heavy wooden door at one narrow end and two windows barred with wooden poles on each side.  For a few minutes, I saw nothing else.  Then, the door opened and a woman entered carrying a tray of fruits.  She was as white as I and that was unusual.  All the natives I had seen so far were brown.

She was dressed only in a short skirt of leather, her full breasts being as bare as the day she came into the world.  She appeared to not have a shred of modesty, for she did not attempt to cover herself when she saw me looking at her.  Instead, she smiled and brought her tray to where I lay, then picked up one of the fruits and moved it toward my mouth.  She opened her mouth and moved her jaws as if biting, and then closed her lips and made the motions of chewing.

I understood her meaning but was reluctant to do as she indicated.  I was not about to die a painful death by eating poisonous fruit offered by my captors.  I shook my head that I would not eat the fruit.

The young woman smiled, took a bite of the fruit, chewed, and then swallowed.  She then once again offered me the fruit.  I reasoned she would not eat the fruit if it would harm her, so I opened my mouth, took a bite, and then chewed.

The flavor was unfamiliar but very tasty, being somewhat like a tart apple.  When I swallowed that bite, the woman again offered the fruit, and continued doing so until I had consumed three more of the same.  She then left, and returned shortly with a wooden cup of water which I drank without fear after she also drank from it.  When I finished, she smiled and pointed between her breasts.

“Iana”, she said, and then smiled and pointed to me.  When I did not answer, she again pointed to her chest and repeated “Iana”.  I then understood that to be her name and I replied with, “Robert”.

She smiled and said, “Ahbit”, pointed to her chest again and said “Iana”, then pointed back at me and said , “Ahbit”.  Then, she rose and left me alone again.

I saw no other people while the woman was there, though I heard them speaking outside the cell where I was imprisoned.  The voices were all female and this did not surprise me.  It would be the women of the population who remained in the town or village, whichever this might be.  Women would be the ones who cared for the children and the elderly.  The men would be in the forest hunting or fishing to feed the population.

After she left, I wondered about my fate.  Surely if they were going to kill me, they would not feed me.  I didn’t object to being fed though.  The strenuous activity of walking through the jungle combined with the heat and necessary strict rationing food had caused me to lose some weight.  I was not weakened to any great extent, but my clothing did not fit so well as when I began the trip.  The fruit was also a welcome change from dried meat and beans.

I was also encouraged by learning her name.  If I was to be killed, there would be no reason for introductions.  That Iana wanted me to know her name and to know mine must mean some other fate would befall me.  I could not imagine what that might be, but it would probably be preferable to dying.

A while later, Iana came through the door again, this time accompanied by two other women, but such unusual women they were.  While Iana was about normal height, that is to say perhaps five feet three inches, the two others were well over six feet tall.  They were dressed in the same manner, just a short skirt with nothing covering their breasts, and as they moved, corded muscles rippled under their pale white skin.

The two women easily lifted me to my feet.  Iana untied the ropes that bound my ankles, and then the two women who held my arms walked me through the door.

I was amazed by the view outside my cell, both for the expanse of jungle that had been cleared and now was dotted with stone houses and also by the fact I saw no men anywhere.  There were many children playing on a large courtyard in the center, but no man was to be seen.  In the groups of indigenous peoples we had passed in coming up-river, there were always one or two old men present.  The same would be true for any society no matter what the stage of development.  

As I was walked down a stone path, I saw more women standing upon the tops of buildings, but they were not women as I knew women.  These women wore the same short, leather skirts and sandals, but carried bows and a quiver of arrows upon their bare backs.  Each held a long spear with one hand.

I was walked to an area some distance from the buildings and saw a row of wooden seats.  The pungent odor of the place revealed its use.  It was a latrine.

While the two women held me in place, Iana unbuttoned my pants and pulled them to my ankles.  The two women lifted my feet from the ground, and then Iana pulled my pants away.  I was then taken to one of the seats and forced to sit down.  

While the two tall women held me in that position, Iana pushed my legs apart, made a face as if she were straining, and then pointed down between my open legs.  I understood what was expected of me, and while it was extremely embarrassing they evidently knew more about my condition than I had let on.  The fruit was delicious, but apparently had more effect than simply sating my hunger.  I could no longer contain that which wished to leave, and closed my eyes so I wouldn’t have to watch them watching me.

When I finished, the two women stood me on my feet, and Iana took care of the necessary cleaning activity with some soft leaves.  As if that was not sufficiently embarrassing, once she was done, I was then walked back to my cell in only my shirt.  Iana had thrown my pants into the pit beneath the seat.  Once I was back in my cell, my ankles were again bound.

I received the same treatment for what I estimated to be a month, though after that first day, Iana brought meat and some sort of vegetables in addition to fruit.  I could not identify the meat, and the vegetables were also unknown except for a variety I could identify as a sort of squash.  All were pleasant to the taste and very filling.  By the end of the month, my shirt fit nearly as well as before.  

The tall women who lead me to and from the latrine varied with the day, though they were all very similar.  All had long, blonde hair, heavy breasts, and the wide hips of a mature white woman.  All were more muscular than any woman I had ever known, and more so than some of the men I’d served with.  Only Iana looked to be what I would have considered normal.  Her breasts were of a pleasing size, her hips wide enough to be sensuous, and her face was very pretty.  Unlike the taller women, Iana’s hair was as black as coal.

After the first week, I’d become impressed with the way in which Iana was able to communicate with me.  She obviously knew nothing of the English language, but the signs and facial expressions she used could only be invented by a very intelligent woman.  I began trying to teach her English while she fed me my meals.

It took two days to teach her the word “eat”, but when she connected the word with the action, she smiled.  The next time she brought my tray of food, she held out a piece of meat, smiled, and said, “Ahbit eat”.  

After that first word, Iana would point to objects and give me a questioning look.  I’d give her the English word and she’d touch the object, repeat the word, and then look at me to see if she’d said it correctly.  Usually she did, but I could not teach her to make the sound of “r”.  It always came out of her mouth as “ah”.  Just as “Robert” became “Ahbit”, so “rope” became “ahope”, “door” became “doah”, and so on.

Other than her inability to say the sound of “r”, Iana became quite conversant.  She could usually pick out enough words from what I said to understand me, and she liked replying in English.  Her syntax was not usually correct, but as English syntax is considered by most linguists to be more than a little confusing, I could forgive her that failing.

One night after she fed me, Iana left with her tray, but came back a few minutes later carrying a cup that could only have been made of gold.  It had the same luster and color of gold, and it was obvious the cup was much heavier than the normal wooden cups she brought on the tray.  

Iana knelt by my side, sat the cup down, and then reached for my cock.  I tried to tell her not to do that, but Iana said, “No talk.  Still be.  Iana hurt not, only good feel make.”

Since I was still bound at the wrists and ankles, there was little I could do to stop her anyway, so I asked what she was going to do to me.  Iana’s face was serious.

“Highest Highest want know will come seed.  I make come seed and her show.”

I asked Iana why she would do that.  I saw a tear trickle down her cheek.  She wiped it away before she answered.

“Highest seed need soon.  Babies need make.  You baby make all Highest.”

Iana held up her hands and opened and closed both fists eight times by my count.

“This times you baby make.”

I’d already seen children from toddlers to adolescents in the square, so this must have happened before.  I asked Iana if that was their way and she nodded.

“Highest no men here want.  Flood time go, Highest go town far away night steal white man.  Man seed go woman inside, baby make.  Go no this flood.  You seed baby woman make.”

I asked her if she would be one of the women, and Iana shook her head.

“Baby Iana small, not high.  Baby Iana yellow hair not. Iana work, no baby make ever.”

I was beginning to understand a lot of things now.  They’d fed me to make sure I was healthy enough to service what Iana said were eighty women.  They also considered Iana to be too small to birth what they considered an acceptable child.  Instead, she was a slave to the tall women.

What I didn’t understand was why they needed a new man every year.  I could understand why a man impregnating his daughter would be a taboo, for in almost all cultures it is, but a different man wouldn’t be needed every year.  I asked Iana why a new man every year.  Her answer sent a chill down my spine.

“Why every flood time.  Why don’t you just keep one man here all the time.”

Iana frowned.

“Man Highest all baby make, Highest man eat.”

I saw another tear stream down Iana’s cheek.  She wiped it with the back of her hand and then touched my cock.

“Eyes close. Iana know good make feel you.  Iana seed come make.”

It was a strange feeling when she began stroking my cock. Had it seemed as if Iana was abusing me, I doubt my cock would have responded, but her touch was more that of a lover than that of a slave girl sent to relieve me of my sperm.

I was seized by the urge to take her in my arms and tell her I thought she was intelligent and beautiful, but I could not as I was still bound.  Instead, I said, “Iana, it isn’t right to treat you this way.  You should be the same as the others.”

Iana shook her head and wiped her eyes again.

“Can be not.  Highest Iana kill if baby make.  Iana baby small.  No small baby want.”

“Then why don’t you run away?”

Iana looked at me and sniffed.

“Where go Iana?  Iana not by self leave.  Highest Iana find, kill.”

I saw a possibility of escape then.  It was obvious Iana didn’t like her status and conditions.  If I could convince Iana to leave and take me with her, she might be able to guide me to the river again.  If we could find the river and if the canoes were still there, we could make it down stream and away from this tribe of women who wanted me only to impregnate them before they killed and ate me.  I knew the chances of success were slim, but it was the only chance I saw.

“Iana, I wouldn’t let them hurt you.  If we ran away together, I could protect you.”

Iana looked at me and I thought I saw hope in her face.

“How away get?”

“Do you know the way to the river?”

Iana nodded.

“Iana, I came up the river in a canoe.  We hid them in the vines so the canoes should still be there.  If we can get to the river and in a canoe, the river will take us away before they can find us.  Do you know where I was camped when I was taken?  The river is two days from there, probably less than one if the trail is still open.”

Iana’s mouth turned up at the corners a little.

“Iana camp know.  Iana trail know.  Iana watch Ahbit two days walk.”

“You knew we were there and watched us?”

Iana nodded.

“Iana small, good hide.  Highest big, good hide no.  Highest Highest say Iana men watch, say close come when.  Iana say close come men, Highest go, kill all men brown, you bring for baby make.”

I looked Iana in the face.

“Iana, I want to run away, and I want you to go with me.  Would you go with me?”

“You safe Iana keep?”

“Iana, I will do everything I can to keep you safe.”

Iana touched my arm.

“Go Ahbit, go Iana.”

“Then we should leave right now.”

Iana shook her head.

“Leave now, Highest see, kill.  Iana seed take, Highest Highest show.  Highest happy, watch not close.  Iana, Ahbit go dark.”

Iana reached for my cock again, and because I believed she knew best, I didn’t resist.

Like many of the GI’s in Germany during the occupation, I thought the young German girls were very attractive.  There were many who were willing to share their charms for something to eat as in the first days, there was little food to be found.  I wasn’t like some of the men who slept with the girls.  I couldn’t bring myself to do that knowing why they were doing it.  Instead, I made friends with a German girl named Gerta.  Gerta was from a good family, and whenever I could, I took food to them.

One night while we sat on the stoop of what had once been her home, she asked if there was a way she could repay me for the food I’d brought that afternoon.  I knew what she was asking, and I couldn’t let her ruin herself like that.  I said I didn't need any payment besides her friendship.  Gerta didn’t say anything then.  She just took me by the hand and led me to the rear of the bombed out house.

There in the darkness, she unbuttoned my uniform pants, pulled out my cock, and began stroking it.  It didn’t last very long.  Her strokes were so quick I spewed my sperm in a couple of minutes.  Gerta let my cock slip from her hand, kissed me on the cheek, and then ran back inside her house.  It was her way of thanking me that continued until I left Germany.

What Iana was doing was so gentle, so unhurried, I was groaning by the time she lifted the cup to the tip of my cock and made another stroke.  Sperm erupted from my cock and splashed into the cup, then again, and then again.  When the last spurt was only a trickle, Iana stripped up my length, caught the few drops in the cup, then stood up and went out the door.

The inside of my cell was pitch black when I heard the door open again. Sandals scuffled quietly over the stone floor, and then I heard Iana’s whisper.

“Highest together happy all.  Ahbit go Iana now.”

In less than a minute I was free.  Iana took me by the arm, led me through the door, and then down the stone path toward the latrine.  A few feet before we reached that spot, Iana turned into the jungle.

I had no choice but to follow her.  I could barely see her even though she was still holding my hand.  If I lost her, I’d be truly lost.  Iana didn’t say anything until we reached the camp where I’d been taken.  When I ran to the hammock where I’d slept that night, she followed while pleading, “No stop.  Run now.”

I had only one thing I needed to take and that was the rucksack.  I opened the rucksack, strapped the pistol belt around my bare waist, then slung the rucksack over my shoulder and told Iana I was ready.     

I knew we’d made some turns to avoid obstacles when the expedition left the river.  I didn’t think those turns had cost us so much time, but they had.  Iana didn’t follow the trail we’d blazed.  She ran through the jungle along a different trail, the trail I assumed to be the trail she used when she watched us.  In a matter of only a couple hours, she stopped and turned me to the right.

“Here river.  There canoe.”

It took us only a few minutes to pull one of the dugout canoes from the undergrowth and pull it to the water’s edge.  I pushed Iana into the canoe, then pushed off the bank as I got in.  The canoe floated out to the center of the river and began following the current.

We were none too soon.  I heard a shrill cry, then a thunk and then saw an arrow sticking in the side of the canoe.  There was another thunk and Iana cried out.  I pulled the pistol from my belt and began firing at the bank.  After I emptied the first magazine and the slide locked back, I listened while I dug in the rucksack for another magazine.  For a second, I heard nothing, then there was a another shrill cry and the sound of an arrow whizzing by my head.  I fired three times in the direction of the sound, and heard a scream of agony after the third.  After that, there were no more arrows.

We floated down the river in nearly total darkness.  When the first rays of sunlight peeked over the canopy above and I could actually see, I was shocked.  I saw Iana lying there in the bottom of the canoe with blood seeping from a wound in her thigh.

“Iana, why didn’t you tell me.”

Iana gave me a half smile.

“Hurt no bad.  Just cut small.”

I used one of my spare shirts to bandage her thigh.  I put on one of my spare pair of pants and gave my other shirt to Iana then.  She didn’t understand why she should wear it, but she finally relented.  It was much too large for her, but if we met someone, it would at least keep her breasts covered.

I watched Iana carefully over the next two days.  The cut didn’t seem to be getting infected though I didn’t know how it couldn’t, and she didn’t develop a fever.  I began to believe she would be all right once I got us out of the jungle.

Iana laughed at my careful attention.

“Iana baby not.  Iana woman.  Man no need Iana care for.”

On the third day, we floated around a bend and saw a white man down by the river.  I used a paddle to steer the canoe to the bank in hopes the man could tell me where we were.

His name was Samuel Jones, and he was doing missionary work among the local natives.  When he asked our names, I hesitated for a moment.  He would never believe the truth, so I told him my name, and said my wife Iana and I had been searching for native artifacts when our porters stole most of what we had and then deserted us.  

He nodded and said he could believe as much, and then said we could stay with him and his wife until the weekly riverboat came by in two days.  He said he noticed Iana’s bandaged thigh and said his wife should probably take a look at it.  I reluctantly agreed.  I wasn’t a doctor so I wasn’t sure Iana’s leg wasn’t hurt more than she said.  I did take the precaution of telling him I’d met and married Iana in Germany after the war and she was still learning English.  I hoped that would be enough to explain how she talked.

Mrs. Jones was a plump woman with a kind smile and when Mr. Jones explained Iana had a cut, she bustled Iana off into what I assumed to be their bedroom.  About half an hour later, she brought Iana back out and Iana was wearing a flowered dress.  Mrs. Jones smiled.

“Iana is such a beautiful girl I couldn’t bear seeing her dressed in that leather skirt and a man’s shirt.  This is a only dress we brought to give to the savages, but on her, it looks like a proper dress for a proper lady.”

I was nervous until the riverboat docked at the missionary’s house.  Iana was as curious as a cat about everything, and I feared she might tell Mrs. Jones something that would expose us.  After I paid for our fare down-river and Iana and I were safe on board, I breathed a sigh of relief.

As soon as I closed the door to our cabin, Iana pulled the dress over her head and grinned.

“Too hot dress.  Need open.  Better now.”

I smiled because she was serious.  I just cautioned her that most of the people she would meet from now on expected women to be fully dressed.  I said she could do as she wanted while we were in our cabin, but if she went out she should put the dress back on.  

In my mind, I was wishing she’d left the dress on.  Before, her skirt had covered her lower regions.  Now, without the dress, I was looking at her round hips and the thick thatch of black hair between her soft, slender inner thighs.  The man in me was reacting and I couldn’t control that reaction.

Iana seemed fascinated with the bed, but since she’d only slept on a hard floor, I didn’t wonder why.  She curled her naked body up and grinned.  

“Bed like feel moss.  Good sleep.”

I smiled, but I was concerned.  Now that I was reasonably safe, I wasn’t certain what I was going to do with Iana.  She didn’t want to go back, and she couldn’t go back.  She couldn’t stay in Manaus because she wouldn’t know how to survive in civilization unless I was with her.  If I took her with me, how would I explain her?  I was thinking about that when Iana said softly, “Iana baby want.  Ahbit baby make Iana.”

Her face was pleading me, pleading me to do what I had been opposed to doing with the women in her village.  She evidently felt safe now, safe from the orders of the tall women and out of their reach.  All she needed now was what she’d wanted all along, to be accepted as a woman and treated as a man treats a woman.

I sat down on the side of the bed.

“Iana, where we’re going, women don’t have babies unless they’re married to a husband.”

Iana wrinkled up her brow.

“Husband is what?”

“A husband is a man who pledges to look after his wife, to care for her, and to hold her above all other women.”

“Iana want Ahbit make Iana baby.  Iana how make Ahbit husband?”

“We would have to go to a church and have a pastor marry us.”

Iana grinned then.

“Ahbit church take Iana husband be.  Baby make then.”

I shook my head.

“No, it’s not just a church wedding that makes it right.  It’s the way a man and a woman feel about each other.  The woman wants to be with the man and the man wants to be with the woman, not to just make a baby, but always.”

Iana smiled.

“Iana not want go Ahbit.  Ahbit want Iana go?”

“No, Iana, I don’t want to leave you, and I don’t want you to leave me.”

She stroked my arm again.

“Iana say church matter no if Ahbit want stay Iana and Iana want stay Ahbit.”

I thought about that while Iana lay there smiling at me and stroking my arm.  In my world, what I’d told her was true.  In her world, marriage didn’t exist, and she couldn’t understand what I was saying.  It was the same as if she’d told me all the women in her village were over six feet tall and kidnapped white men to impregnate them.  If I hadn’t experienced it, I couldn’t have understood her either.

Iana was as intelligent as I’d first thought, but her mind worked in a very simple way, more like a child’s mind worked.  Iana was as mature as any woman I’d ever known, but she was as honest and forthright as a child.  She had no knowledge of how to lie, and no way to say anything except her true thoughts.  

As I stood there looking at her, I realized what I felt for Iana was not thanks for helping me escape, and it wasn’t pity for her.  It was an attraction born of her calm voice, smile, and caring nature when I was first captured that had changed into an intense desire to be with her.

What was marriage anyway, except a man and a woman pledging to stay together?  Why did it require a preacher?  All the preacher did was say a few words and then pronounce the couple to be man and wife.  At that moment, I knew I could never leave Iana even if we weren’t legally married.  It wasn’t just that she’d be lost without me.  It was that I’d be lost without her.

I turned to Iana.

“Iana, do you promise to never leave me?”

Iana nodded.

“Iana leave never.”

“I promise I won’t leave you either.”

I smiled and touched her cheek.

“I think that’s about as married as we can get right now.”

Iana grinned.

“Ahbit baby make?”

“Yes, Ahbit make baby now.”

Iana smiled and held out her arms.

“Iana know baby make men how.  Come baby make Iana.”

I was sure it must be the first time for Iana.  I knew it was the first time for me.  Because of both, I was as gentle as I could be.  The last thing I wanted was to hurt her more than necessary.  I need not have been so concerned.

Iana wrapped her arms around me when I knelt between her spread thighs, and then touched my cheek.

“Ahbit Iana inside want.”

“I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Ahbit hurt Iana small, not big.  Iana hurt want so baby make.”

I didn’t do what she asked.  I couldn’t just push my cock inside her.  That was something I could never do to a woman I felt this way about.  Instead, I fondled her breasts.

I didn’t expect the way Iana’s eyes opened wide and the little moan that slipped from her lips.  When I stroked her nipples, they became stiff and swollen, and Iana murmured, “Iana like fire warm.  Iana feel before never.   Ahbit Iana make good feel”.

I was fascinated by her breasts.  They were so firm and yet so soft and yielding, and the way touching them caused Iana to shudder and catch her breath made me want to continue fondling them.  Once her nipples stood proud from her nipple beds, they stayed that way, and with each caress, Iana would push my hand down a little firmer and moan.

When I closed my lips around one nipple, Iana gasped and I felt her fingers tighten into claws on my back.  After another gentle sucking, her fingernails poked my back and she arched her breast up into my face.

When Iana began to breathe faster, I slipped my hand down to the thatch of black hair on her mound and then cupped her sex.  Iana rocked her hips then, and one of my fingers slipped inside her.  I couldn’t believe she could be so wet and slippery after such a short time, but the slippery/sticky wetness I felt told me she was ready.

As gently as I could, I moved my cock toward Iana’s slippery lips and when I felt them close around it, I pushed in a little.  Iana sighed and tried to lift herself into me, but I raised up just enough I still felt the same pressure.  I then pulled back until I felt her lips fold around the head of my cock.  Iana pulled on my back and murmured, “Ahbit Iana inside all way go.  Iana need.”

I pushed in once again, and felt Iana open her thighs wide.  I continued pushing, felt a tightening, and then heard Iana gasp as my cock slipped inside her.  She groaned then and her body shuddered.  I felt her dig her nails into my back, and then her voice.

“Ahbit baby make fast.  Iana need baby make fast.”

I couldn’t bring myself to do that.  She felt so wonderful I didn’t want it to end, and tried to prolong that feeling as long as I could.  My slow strokes didn’t seem to be hurting her.  I’d thought the first time would do that, but instead, Iana began lifting her hips into each stroke a little.

Over time that little lifting became a slow rocking that pushed her body over my cock, and a little later became contractions I felt around my shaft.  I felt Iana slide her hands down to my hips, and with the next stroke, she pulled me into her and held me there for the second or so it took before I felt the tightening around my shaft relax.  Then, she sighed and moved her body back down.  I pulled back, then pushed in again only to have the same thing happen.

I was quickly reaching the point where it would be impossible for me to stop.  Iana couldn’t have known how she should be acting, so she wasn’t acting at all.  Every moan, every sigh, every time she pulled on my hips were just her body reacting in the only way it could.  Those little sounds and other reactions filled my mind with a confusion of intense sensations and a feeling for Iana stronger than I thought possible.

It was when she made a little cry, dropped her hands to the bed sheet and clawed it in each hand, and then arched up off the bed, that I couldn’t hold back any longer.  I groaned as I pushed my cock deep inside her and then groaned again as the first spurt of seed raced from my loins.  Iana cried out again, and just as I was making another stroke, arched even higher and drove my cock so deep I felt her soft, wet lips flatten against her inner thighs.  After the third stoke and spurt left me gasping for breath, Iana cried out once more and her body shook hard.  

When she fell back to the mattress, Iana pulled me down on top of her and stroked my back.  After a while, she whispered, “Iana feel Ahbit baby make.  Iana like feather feel.”

I had thought I would hurt Iana when I entered her, but it didn’t seem that I had.  She would not have reached such a release of her passion if I had.  I later read that some woman who do vigorous exercises sometimes lose their maidenhead without being penetrated.  When I read that, it was an explanation I could believe.  That night in our cabin, I was very concerned.  Iana was just happy.

Iana was happy all the way down-river.  We made love every day, and sometimes twice.  Iana wanted more, but after twice, I was unable to perform for a while.  It was wonderful to just lay beside her, stroke her body, and watch as she closed her eyes and sighed at my touch.

When we docked in Manaus, Iana was afraid and held my hand so tightly it was nearly painful.  Her fear soon gave way to wonder, and she asked a million questions about everything.  

After withdrawing my money from the bank, our first stop was to obtain a passport for Iana because I would never be able to get her into the US without one.  After a bit of searching, I located a man who didn’t ask many questions and after taking Iana’s picture, handed me a Brazilian passport that said she had been born in Manaus, Brazil, was twenty three, and was my wife.  After that, I purchased two tickets to New York, and then we went shopping.  

She would need more than one dress before I got her home, and we’d both need at least one suitcase of clothing or we’d cause suspicion when we went through Customs in New York.  Iana was all wide eyes and smiles as she looked over the meager supply of dresses in the shop.  Like any woman, she had to look at them all and then spend a while deciding.  When we walked out of the shop, she was wearing a red dress that formed around her curves, and she blushed as men stared at her.

“Why men Iana long look?”

I chuckled.

“Because you’re so beautiful.”

“Beautiful is what?”

I put my arm around her and pulled her close.

“Beautiful is what a woman is when every man who sees her wishes he were with her.”

Iana stroked my chest.

“Iana Ahbit want only, no men other.”

During the voyage to New York, I began writing down what I’d experienced.  My thoughts were to publish a paper describing the unique civilization I’d discovered and devising some theories about it’s origin and why it had remained hidden.  Iana’s story of the origin of her people became one my primary theory.  She said the women of the village had come to the Amazon from a place where the sun was born after a great battle with men from that place.  

They had come in large canoes and the journey had been long and hard.  Because it was men they’d fought, the women had decided to form a society where no men were allowed to live.  Men were only permitted for the purpose of impregnating the women, and after serving that purpose, were killed and eaten to show the women considered men to be little more than breeding animals.

She also began teaching me a little of the language spoken there, and once I heard it spoken slowly, I realized there was a strong flavor of the Greek language imbedded in the sounds.

I’d read the story of the Amazon warriors as written by Herodotus.  These warriors were women, tall in stature and fierce in battle.  They were defeated by the Greeks, and afterwards, those female warriors who were still alive were loaded onto Greek ships for transport back to Athens.  According to Herodotus, the Amazons had attacked the ship’s crews while at sea and after taking command of the ships, had sailed them to Scythia.

The story of Herodotus was generally considered to be only myth, but when Iana told me the story of the origin of her people, I realized Herodotus was probably being truthful, but mistaken about where the Amazon warriors took at least one of the ships.  It would indeed be a difficult journey from Greece through the Straits of Gibralter and then to Brazil, but a similar journey had been made many times by the slavers in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s.  

They would sail from England to Africa, trade their goods for black slaves, and then take the shortest route to the Americas, that being the narrowest stretch of ocean between Africa and Brazil.  They would then sail north up the coast to trade the slaves for sugar, molasses and tobacco, and then sail back to England.  It wasn’t a great stretch of the imagination to believe the Amazon warriors might have taken the same route.  The reason the slavers chose the path between Africa and Brazil was because the ocean currents were favorable.  If the Amazon’s could navigate a ship, they would have quickly figured that out.

Iana was even more afraid when we landed in New York. She hardly said a word as I navigated us through customs.  She did have to answer a few questions from the customs agent and we had rehearsed her answers.  I was still concerned about her speech, but when the customs agent saw she was from Brazil, he didn’t seem all that surprised by how she spoke English.  After about an hour, I hailed a cab, and asked the driver to take us to the train station where I purchased passage to Knoxville, Tennessee in a Pullman car.  I wanted to hide Iana as much as possible, not because I didn’t want to be seen with her, but because I needed to protect her.  Iana was seeing things she’d never even imagined, and she was terrified.

At my parent’s home, there were more questions, of course, but my parents took an instant liking to Iana, I think because she was the daughter they weren’t able to have.  I invented another story to explain her poor English.  I told them Iana was the daughter of an Englishman and his Portuguese wife.  Her father was elderly when she was born, and had passed away while she was still a baby.  Her Portuguese mother didn't know English very well, but had taught Iana as much as she could.

In my story, I said Iana and I had been married by a Nazarene missionary in the village where she grew up.  My father didn’t care much for the Nazarene religion, and asked if we would consent to another marriage in their Methodist church.  

Iana was as beautiful as ever in her cream-colored dress.  My mother balked at a white wedding gown because girls who weren’t virgins weren’t suppose to wear white, so she helped Iana pick out the cream one.  I didn’t care and neither did Iana.  She listened to the preacher, and then said “I do” when I squeezed her hand, just like we’d rehearsed.

I still felt the need to protect Iana, but I would have to have an income at some point.  Because I hadn’t needed to ship several crates of artifacts from Brazil as I’d planned, I had enough savings to tide us over for perhaps a year, but after that, we’d need money.  Archeology would take me away from her, so I thought about getting a regular job, but that would mean leaving Iana alone during most of the day, and she wasn’t yet able to cope with much without me.  

We also needed a place to live, and after some thought, I used half my savings to buy a small house in the mountains about thirty miles from Knoxville.  It was remote and had no electricity, but that wouldn’t matter to Iana, and by being remote, it would make unwanted visitors a slim possibility.  We moved into the house a month after we arrived in Knoxville.

As for an income, I thought if I was able to publish the work I’d already begun, I could possibly begin lecturing at the local university.  I would get paid, not a lot, but still paid, and it wouldn’t require me to leave Iana alone every day.  I finished writing the paper and included my theory that Iana’s people were the same Amazon warriors from Herodotus’ time.

I took the manuscript to my old advisor at the college and asked him to read it and then tell me what he thought.  He asked me to give him a week and then come back.

His answer wasn’t at all what I’d expected.  I’d anticipated either “Interesting and should create some discussion”, or maybe even, “This is tripe not fit for any serious consideration”.  I’d heard both from him when I was in his classes.  Instead, he looked at me and smiled.

“I knew you had potential when you were a student.  I thought that potential would be as an archeologist.  I never dreamed it would be as a writer of novels.  This was so captivating I couldn’t put it down.  I hope you don’t mind, but I sent it to my publisher and he wants to speak with you as soon as possible.”

It was published as a novel, complete with a half-naked woman with a bow, arrows, and spear standing in the jungle on the front cover.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but the initial payment I received and the royalty contract I signed would take care of Iana and I for at least a year if the book sold reasonably well.  I also accepted another check, this time an advance for another story about my Amazon women warriors.  Iana helped me write that one, just as she did the next three and is currently helping with the sixth.

She’s sitting there right now, proof reading the last chapter I’ve finished.  Once she learned what the little scribbles meant, I bought her some children’s books to read.  She finished them all in a week, so I bought her more books of a more advanced level.  After six months and books that were at the high school level, Iana was reading my English literature texts from college and there was only one other activity she enjoyed more than reading.

Up until she told me she was pregnant - well, what she said was, “Ahbit Iana baby here” and pointed to her stomach - we made love every day.  After that, it was still almost every day until she got so big it became uncomfortable for her.  

A month after our son Robby was born, she snuggled up to me and whispered, “Iana want baby make again”.  We have three now, though they’ve all left home.  Robby is an engineer, Mark is working on his Phd in Archeology, and Brianna is happily married to a doctor.  I’ve always thought it funny that Iana can’t say the “r” sound, but the names she picked for all three have r’s in them.  To her, Robby is “Ahbby”, Mark is “Mahk”, and Briana is “Bahiana”.  

Iana is past her time to have more, but she still likes trying.  Almost every day, she’ll come up behind me, push her breasts into the back of my head and whisper, “I think Ahbit needs to ahest.  Come ahest with Iana.”  I know we aren’t going to rest, but I still stand up and walk to the bedroom with her.  I figure I can rest when I die, but I can only have Iana while I’m still alive.

As you can see from that last, reading also helped her learn to speak English much better.  If she spoke to you today, you’d just think she has a strange accent because she still can’t make the “r” sound.  

Even though Iana is perfectly capable of doing most things by herself now, she  still doesn’t like going shopping alone.  She doesn’t like doing anything alone for that matter.  She’s happiest when she’s with me, and I’m happiest when I’m with her.  I expected to find a treasure of artifacts in Brazil.  Instead, I found a treasure far more valuable to me than all the artifacts I could ever have discovered.

I can only hope my tale has spurred some young mind to think about finding that city of women warriors and studying them.  It would probably only be possible if that mind is female, but unlike when I was in college, many women seem to be entering the field now.  A young woman might be able to gain the trust of the Highest Highest, and learn more of their history and current way of life.  

As for me, after this novel which I’ve titled, “Iana And The Forgotten Queendom”, I have a contract for another.  That one will be about a man who is captured by the women warriors of the Amazon.  The Highest Highest is going to fall in love with him and go against the centuries-old tradition of eating him after he services all the Highest.  That sin will cause the tribe to plot her overthrow, and she and the man will escape the city for a better life.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the middle yet, but Iana will help me with that.

She’s smiling at me right now, so I might as well stop typing.  I know what that smile means.  My treasure wants to feel treasured again.

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