Straker travels to San Paulo, Brazil, to inspect the country’s ostensibly sluggish South American activities. Lieutenant Gomez greets Straker at the airport, but he is struck by a blowpipe dart from a disguised native indian and collapses – dead! Foster flies out to the SHADO base to investigate and sees that the glass panel in the coffin lid is misting over, indicating that Straker is still alive but in a profound suspended animation. The dart had an unknown nerve-paralyzing toxin, but the indian had been slain while attempting to flee. Major Enchada recognises him as a Curura Indian, a savage tribe that no white man has ever visited. SHADO Scientists may discover an antidote, but Straker could suffer severe brain damage if he waits another twenty-four hours. Foster has no choice except to transport Enchada and Straker’s bodies up the Rio del Muerte river by Mobile in search of the indians and a cure. They see two Indians spearfishing in a canoe a few hours later, but Enchada’s sloppy handling of the Mobile causes it to capsize. Foster has to fight an alligator to save the boy, but the guy is saved. The two indians are now in debt, and Foster is able to convey their situation through sign language.