- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
196

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
196
and then to dip one’s head down and fill one’s mouth
with the grateful coolness.
It was very touching to see the hospitality of the
peasants ; they came from the houses below bringing
their precious Daghestan rugs, and spread them
out on the ground for us to lic on, and they brought
pillows and cushions to make us comfortable. Then,
when the sad discovery was made that through a
mistake in the names our lunch had gone to the
town of Talgi (which has mineral springs and
baths) down on the plain instead of up here to
Tarki, the peasants came up loaded with samovars,
bread, butter, eggs, cheese, cherries, and lots besides.
It was a lunch that could not have been bettered.
I did not get the impression that this extra
ordinary hospitality was only due to respect for
the two Presidents. It was undoubtedly the natural
way of these mountain people, and was meant for
us, too, as strangers. And, indeed, wc quite forgot
any presidential dignity when wc were together
with our two friends, nor in truth did it weigh
them down either. They treated all men as equals,
and as such they were also treated themselves.
A half-witted man, "the general" wc called him,
also made his appearance to welcome us to his
land, and to see that everything went on well, and
that wc were shown the honour that became him
and the dignity of his district. He believed himself
to be the head of the place. He was equipped with
a sabre, and was wearing the Caucasian dress with
a light-gray lamb-skin cap, and a long cloak
(ckerkeska) hanging over his breast and shoulders

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