- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
6

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
Loris-Melikov, who for many years has been Secretary
of the Russian Legation in Christiania. By birth he is
an Armenian from the Caucasus ; he was educated for
some years in Germany, studied at a German university,
and, besides Russian and German, speaks excellent
Norwegian, French and English. And on this trip he
had opportunities of picking up some words of Yurak,
Samoyede and Yenisei-Ostiak. As a man whose
business it is to look after Russo-Norwegian relations,
he was naturally much interested in an undertaking
which was to open up a new trade route from North
Norway to the heart of the eastern division of the great
Russian Empire, and thus we had the pleasure of his
company on the trip. Always friendly and obliging,
always the well-groomed and elegant diplomat, always
an amiable and entertaining companion, he was just as
ready to make as to appreciate a quiet joke, and always
had the same immutable faith in the Russian system
of government and its excellence.
Then there was myseif. How and why I was of the
party is still a riddle to me. lam very far from being
a business man, and I have never had anything to do
with Siberia beyond once såiling along its northern
coast. But of course this does not prevent my håving
always tåken a lively interest in that immense country
and being very desirous of making its acquaintance.
Nor do I know of any other qualification which would
make it desirable to include me, except that I once
sailed through the Kara Sea, and that I have had some
little experience of going through the ice.
But however that may be, Lied had been to see me
once or twice to hear what I thought of the possibilities
of annual navigation through the Kara Sea. Thus he
probably got the impression that I was interested in
the question, and one fine day an invitation arrived
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