- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
181

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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181
EXCURSIONS IN DAGHESTAN
this; and Quisling and I were then given the
choice in the afternoon between either driving out
there or going to see the remarkable sulphur baths
at Talgi on the plain to the south. Wc chose the
locusts, and motored north-west along beside the
railway over a rather uneven road, and were well
shaken up. The Commissary for agriculture went
with us, a young and wide-awake man, with a
remarkable likeness to Charles XII of Sweden.
Wc drove on a long time, but saw no locusts, and
the fields lay fruitful and green with no sign of
anyblight. But when wre had gone about twenty
kilometres, far away in front of us towards the
setting sun it looked as though a mist was lying on
the fields. It spread out more and more as wc went
on, grew higher and thicker. When wc came up to
it, it turned out to be made up wholly by thick
swarms of locusts, that now towards evening were
settling and not flying so high in the air as earlier
in the day. But how unbelievably many of them
there were ! When one of our men fired his rifle
over the maize-fields, the swarms rose up like dark,
billowy clouds, and one understood how they can
cover the sky in dense masses and darken the sun.
And it was the same over the maize-fields in every
direction—a distressing and hopeless sight. The
leaves were all eaten off every maize-plant; the
bare stalks showed starkly everywhere. The people
were utterly powerless against a plague of this
kind, and had to look on helplessly while the whole
of their crop was eaten up and destroyed. They said
that something can be done by sprinkling sulphur,

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