- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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with all kinds of medals and metal badges, even
two heavy brass messenger-plates marked "No. 17" ;
these he said he had got from Stambul.
He had a striking likeness to a half-witted man
who in my childhood used to wander from farm to
farm in south-eastern Norway. Wc used to call him
"Kaiser Dahl" ; he had gone mad when Grue
church was burned down and so many perished;
he escaped through a window, but could not save
his betrothed, who was burned to death inside ; he
could hear her shrieks. He went about, got up in
just the same way as this man, with a sword and
cartridge-pouch on a broad strap over his breast,
on which hung all kinds of medals and stars, even
cotillon favours of gilt paper. What an event it was
for us children when he came wandering along and
solemnly entered the kitchen, always taking his seat
on the same chair; wc used to crowd round him
to see all the wonderful things he had on him,
while he was given food and coffee with lumps of
boiled brown sugar in the saucer.
I did not find out how this "general" of ours
here had gone mad; but anyhow it is a curious
thing that madness in two such different peoples
and lands could take forms so like one another.
Does it come from a fundamental likeness in the
minds of these two peoples, or from a general
sameness of human nature? Our "general" said
he was not married now, but certainly thought of
marrying again ; it was not easy, however, to find a
likely wife ; women were so little to be trusted.
If he heard there was anything wc wanted, he at

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