- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
82

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
and if they did see them, they would probably only
take them for meteors or northern lights.
Thursday, August 28. At 5 a.m. we saw the smoke
of a steamboat, and immediately afterwards we also
caught sight of the masts of three lighters, which lay at
anchor on the other side of the flat island ahead. Later
in the morning we saw the steamer coming down towards
us slowly and cautiously ; she was sounding her way
with a long pole. Finally she anchored a good way to
the east of us. A boat put off and sounded ahead of
the vessel ; it must have been shallow water. But then
the boat came nearer, steering straight for us, and came
alongside.
Two men in uniform and one civilian came aboard.
The last was Lied’s manager, Mr. Gunnar Christensen,
an extremely agreeable young man, who had been some
years in Russia and in Krasnoyarsk and spoke Russian
to perfection. He had now come from the south with
the goods which the Correct was to take back. One of
the men in uniform was the captain of the steamboat
Turukhansk, and the other was a Custom House official,
who, with two of his soldiers, had made the long
journey all the way from Irkutsk, simply to check
our goods.
He and his men made the whole journey both ways
at the expense of Lied’s Company. The year before,
as already mentioned, a Custom House officer and his
soldiers had made the same journey, also at the Com
pany^ expense, and waited in vain, as the ship did not
get through.
The Turukhansk with her lighters had arrived on
the morning of the previous day at the anchorage on
the south of the island, and we had come the same after
noon ; it must be said that we hit it off well, considering
that they came about 1350 miles from the south, and
82

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