- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
191

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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EXCURSIONS IN DAGHESTAN
191
Persia, but thrice the Russians took the town
again: in 1775? 1 79^i and finally in 1806, since
when they have kept it. During the late World
War and the civil war it suffered much destruction
in the fighting against the Turks and the British.
Unfortunately I was suddenly attacked by a
serious indisposition, probably due to an infection
and the great heat, and I had to go back to Makhach
Kala by tram that same evening. It was hard to
have to give up Derbent and the interesting pro
gramme the Presidents had so hospitably planned
out; but their anxiety for my health was truly
touching.
I now had to lic quietly and go through a strict
milk-cure. But next morning it was announced that
a remarkable man had come to greet me. He was
the magistrate in an a-ul high up in the mountains ;
he had made a journey to the government at
Tiflis, then to Baku, and now had come this way
when he heard wc were here. I went into the
President’s reception-room and saw him. He was
one of the strongest-built men I have ever seen,
over six feet tall, with powerful shoulders and chest
and a body in proportion, mighty arms, and hands
like scoops, with which he shook mine with great
heartiness. He had a large, strong face, wearing a
childlike, kindly expression, as is usual with strong
men, dark eyes and hair, and somewhat coarse
features, reminding one rather of the Nordic type
than of the Armenian with its long narrow face.
He might have been tåken right out of the old
tales of giants and berserkers. He was wearing the

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