- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
67

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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OPEN SEA, EASTWARD TO THE YENISEI
67
has been suggested in Russia that possibly he went
through Matochkin Shar, and then tried along the east
coast of Novaya Zemlya to reach Lonely Island (Ensom
heten) ; but it does not appear that the ice conditions that
year (1912) were favourable to såiling in that direction.
And if he reached that little island, it is very doubtful
whether he would find there any harbour for his vessel.
Wc took a turn inshore on the island to shoot, and
found a herd of fourteen reindeer, but they were in
such a position on a flat plain that it was impossible to
get up to them. Wc had to wait for them to move. But
that took time, and meanwhile a fog came on, as thick
as a wall, and blotted out everything. I tried all the
same to steal up to them, and got far enough to have a
glimpse of some big deer ahead of me through the
driving fog; but they saw me just as soon, and away
they went before I got a shot. There I stood, and the
other sportsmen were probably trying to stalk the same
reindeer from their side. I thought it best to hail
them, in case they might make a mistake and shoot me
for a reindeer in the thick fog. You never know what
may happen. I remember a mighty Norwegian Nimrod
who got into the middle of a flock of sheep in a fog
among the mountains, and shot fifteen sheep, thinking
they were reindeer ; not to mention the man who shot
a cow for a duck.
At 9 a.m. wc went aboard again. The weather was
still foggy and thick, and it was not tempting to go to
the southward. Another thing was that there was a
continual strong current setting northward through the
strait, which might be expected to bring the ice with it
from the south, and soon give us an ice-free channel
right into the mouth of the Yenisei, We therefore
stayed where we were that day.
In the evening wc took another turn ashore to look

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