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

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - IV. Open sea, eastward to the Yenisei

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a samovar in the corner behind the female, and various
other little things.
He was a big fellow of over six feet, with a powerful
face, a fair moustache, blue eyes capable of being either
keen or gentle, either very much on the spot or dreamy
and far away ; a well-developed, powerful chin and a
straight nose. He might have been about thirty. He
seemed as if he filled the whole room, that fellow, and
I could not take my eyes off him as he sat there on a stool
talking to Loris-Melikov, with his features sharply out
lined in the lamplight.
He had served his time of exile, and had been free
for the last three years ; but he still lived on here alone,
summer and winter. He had to get some money together
before he went home, and he was doing this by fishing
in summer and catching white fox and ermine in winter.
The foxes he took, some with traps, some with snares
and some with strychnine. Last winter he had got
26 white foxes and a couple of ermines. Blue fox is not
much found in this quarter. That was not such a bad
catch, when one remembers that each white fox’s skin
fetches 30 roubles.
When he spoke of Russia and of his native place,
Kharkov, tears came into his eyes. His wife had died
a year or two after he went to Siberia, and he had no
children. When he did go back, he said, he would not
have the heart to settle in the same part of the town as
before and meet her people again. He would have to
try some other quarter. He had not seen a newspaper
for several years, and such things as the Balkan War
were entirely new to him.
According to the hospitable Siberian custom, his
woman offered tea in flowered glasses and bread, and
wc had to drink a couple of glasses.
Then wc went out into the open air again. Day was

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