- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
116

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
spot where they could rest, and tired-out ptarmigans
settled among the men on the roof—one even sat on the
head of a man, and some others settled on the dogs.
At last, after they had been a week on the roof, the
water began to fall on June 23, and by the 25th it had
sunk so much that they were able to move back into the
hut. Soon the captain, Schwanenberg, arrived from
the south ; by chance they were able to buy another
little vessel of 56 feet length, which had also been built
on the Yenisei. She was given the hopeful nåme of
Utrennaya Sarya, i.e., " The Dawn," and in that little
craft they actually came safely through the Kara Sea
and over to Norway.
What sufferings men can go through, to no purpose,
and in such a country as this, too, which certainly would
not tempt anybody—though who knows ? perhaps
Nummelin, if he is still alive, may sometimes think
with melancholy longing of this watery land, of the
river, of the shore in the spring sunshine, when patches
were clear of snow and the birds came, and of the hut
where they fought for their lives. Wc men are strange
creatures : our longing often returns to places where
wc should least expect it, and where wc have suffered
the greatest hardships.
But this is not the place to fall into reveries. I must
get on somehow across this watery island ; surely to
goodness it must be possible to find some sort of a bird
at last ; this wretched dog picks up their scent among
the osiers everywhere. Poor Scotch boy ! he comes
striding behind through scrub and bog, wet as a crow.
At last a bird got up at long range, put up by the
dog, which of course had got the scent. It was a young
ptarmigan, upon my word ! I fired, and it fell ; but,
poor dog, she had had enough of it long ago, and
could not be got to search among the tufts of long
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