- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
106

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
they wear their hair long, curly, if possible, and
adopt the usual division of the beard into two. This
man, whose age might have been about twenty-five,
had succeeded so well in this respect that he will surely
turn out a very useful monk.
Then there was a fat youth of extraordinary appear
ance, who looked exactly like a cherub, with long
yellow locks, fair eyebrows, light sea-blue eyes, chubby
round cheeks, and a little red mouth. The expression
of his face was no more intelligent than that of an
ordinary angel, and he looked equally indeterminable
as to sex. He was dressed in a light linen blouse, with
a belt round his waist, which also made him not unlike
an angel, only he wanted wings. He did not often
open his mouth, and when he did he spoke in jerks ;
but he stared most of the time and gave one rather
the impression that he was imbecile, or at any rate
so simple that he will certainly find no difficulties at
the Gate of Heaven.
The elder nun was small and humpbacked, with a
kind and elever face, and wore speetacles. The younger
one looked like a cheerful Norwegian peasant girl, but
she, too, had passed her first youth.
There was only one room in the " convent," where
they all lived together. They slept on plank beds by
one of the longer walls, and the nuns lay at the far end,
separated from the others by a curtain.
They seemed to know all about fishing and how to
treat the fish. Most of it was cleaned, washed, and
salted in barrels ; but a small quantity was dried, and
their house was full of fish hanging from the roof to
dry ; these would be tit-bits for the monks at home ;
with a drop of good spirits these fat dried fish are not
bad and do very well for sakuska (hors-oVæuvre) in a
convent. Wc bought some dried omul of them ; it
106

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