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(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - V. Nosónovski Pesok and the Samoyedes

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there again. This accounts for the number of old
tent-rings that are seen.
Then wc went across to the tradefs, and wc were
told there was a convent there, too. While still at a
distance wc heard lovd yells, and saw two men lying
on the shore. They were his highness the " prince "
and his friend. They lay there dead drunk ; that is
to say, the " prince " was now half-sitting and roaring
like a bull something that was meant to be a song,
while the other lay with his face buried in the sand
groaning like an animal.
When he saw us coming, the " prince " got on all
fours, and then cautiously hoisted himself on to his
feet, just like a child learning to walk ; then he
staggered towards us, with lovd cries that he would
have vodka, while between his shouts he repeated
incessantly in Russian : " Tell me whafs right, tell
me whafs wrong, whafs right, whafs wrong." Quite
maudlin. It was difficult to get away from this
drunken man, but soon his highness was sprawling on
the beach again, and wc went on.
What an extraordinary thing it is with these
primitive peoples, worthy and honourable as they are,
with such power of self-control that they hardly ever
get excited or fly into a passion, that they are quite
unable to resist spirits ; and unfortunately there are
people only too ready to take advantage of this
weakness. But honest they are. I am reminded
of what Middendorff tells us of his journey northward
across the Taimyr tundra, that in spite of the perfectly
bestial and unbridled desire the Samoyedes showed for
his keg of spirits, he was able to leave that same keg
and some bottles of spirits on the tundra without any
protection or concealment, and they were never
touched by the Samoyedes. He found a stranded

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