- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
87

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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OVER THE CAUCASUS
87
purpose, too, by opening the way to peaceful
men.
The town became the fortified capital of the
Terek province, and the central base for the relent
less advance from the north on the Caucasian
peoples. Its main value, therefore, has been as a
garrison town, and it has no antiquities of interest.
Wc walked a bit through the streets, which are
laid out with that extraordinary width usual in
Russia, where there is so much room to spare. Wc
went by the former governor’s palace; it looked
forlorn, and on the wide square before it grass was
growing between the flags ; instead of parades and
stiff soldiers and officers, and governors with flutter
ing cocked-hats, the only sign of life now was a
big pig rooting and grunting, and philosophizing
on this world’s ups and downs, together with a
flock of geese. Sic transit . . . But it may be that
these new-comers are just as useful.
Wc visited the museum, whose director received
us most kindly and showed us round. Its ethno
graphical collections from the many Caucasian
peoples were especially interesting to us. Among
other things wc saw here many of the Ossete
implements and utensils. From the roof wc had a
wide view over the trees in the luxuriant garden of
the whole mighty range to the south ; it rises like a
jagged wall straight up from the broad plain, which
spreads in all other directions.
It was over this plain that the Russians came down
from the north with their armies and Cossacks in
ever greater strength, but were held up at the foot

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