- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
180

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
1 80
it spreads out wide in the low-lying swampy land
about the Terek. To the south it runs with a
varying breadth between the coast and the eastern
slope of the Caucasus to its narrowest part at the
town of Derbent, which for centuries was the gate
from the south to this northern world. Farther
south again it slightly widens towards Baku with
its wonderful oil-fields.
As I was standing after lunch in the passage at the
top of the stairs in the President’s house, a child
came tottering along the passage. I was quite
spellbound—an angel of God cut straight out of a
picture by Correggio—I had not thought that wc
had such beings from Heaven in the house. It was
Korkmazov’s son, who lived there alongside us on
the same floor, and the boy had come to look for
his father. Then the overwhelming joy when he
came, and the boy sprang into his arms—it was an
irresistible sight.
In the afternoon I went for a walk along the
shore where there was a crowd of naked boys and
men bathing. They all kept in the green water,
where they paddled about, dipped, and swam a
little ; but none swam out into the deep water. All
seemed to be living God’s joyous days to the full.
Only here and there a few groups of small girls and
young women could be seen bathing, but they kept
far away from the others, and but few women met
the eye anywhere.
When I heard that in the west of the plain there
were great swarms of locusts that were wholly
destroyinglthe^fields, I wished very much to see

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