First published in 1898. When he learns the death from his wife and their daughter in a shipwreck, Colonel de Kermor decides to leave the French Army and to disappear after having trusted the custody of his estate to his faithful friend, Sergeant Martial. But his daughter Jeanne has in fact miraculously survived the shipwreck and comes back home. A few years later, Jeanne de Kermor learns that her father is in San Fernando in Venezuela. She convinces then Sergeant Martial to go with her to South America in order to find the Colonel.
Masqueraded as a boy and as the niece of the sergeant, Jeanne crosses the Atlantic and undertakes to go up the Orinoco river until San Fernando. During the way, Jeanne makes the acquaintance of the explorers Jean Helloch and Germain Paterne who were sent by the French government to Venezuela in order to go up the Orinoco river until its source. During the first part of the journey, the expedition discovers a country populated by rare settlers and by primitive Indian tribes. When Jean Helloch discovers that Jeanne is in fact a girl, he falls in love with her and decides to help her find her father.
In San Fernando, nobody remembers Colonel de Kermor and the local governor suggests to Jeanne to go up the Orinoco river until its source in order to speak to Father Esperante in the jungle. During the last part of the journey, the expedition must face a violent storm which misses capsizing their boats as well as attacks of various Indian tribes. Then Jeanne gets sick and will only be saved thanks to the intervention of an Indian settler who makes her drink decoctions of local plants. Finally, they will be attacked by the Quivas Indians whose chief is Alfaniz, a Spanish criminal escaped of the prison of Cayenne in Guyana.
This report prepared by Daniel Staebler