- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
144

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
144
of them were too. One might almost be tempted to
think there had been some connection with Scandinavia
here.*
We looked in on a young married couple, two decent
people. The two rooms they lived in had the same
whitewashed walls and were bright and clean. As
usual there was a large baking-oven in the wall beween
the rooms, as well as a little iron stove in the inner room
to give warmth on the coldest days of winter, when the
temperature goes down to 40, 50 or 60 degrees below
zero (F.).
On board the Lena was a Russian who was to have
joined the Brusilov Expedition in a scientific capacity ;
he was a geographer, he said. He had expected to find
the expedition somewhere here in the north. " But
where ? " I asked him. Well, he didn’t know exactly.
Brusilov would go to Dickson Harbour for coal, if he
could get there, he thought, and so he would have to
look for him there. But had he a boat to take him
there ? No, he hadn’t. And had he any reason to
suppose that Brusilov would get there ? No, he hadn’t
that either. It was not quite clear to me how he was
going to look for him in that case. Going out in this
way to hunt for an expedition in the Arctic, seemed to
me rather like looking for a needle in a haystack. I
have seen many careless ways of preparing for a polar
voyage, but this beat them all ; and if the rest of the
expedition was as thoroughly equipped as this specimen,
the result is not to be wondered at. He confided to me,
by the way, that there was little probability of the
* A man in Krasnoyarsk told me that Nikodem, the first bishop of
Yeniseisk (1861-1873), in a book on Mangaseya, has written about
Norwegian intercourse with this former town on the Tas, and about
Norwegian coins found among the shamåns of that district. I have
not yet had an opportunity of seeing this book.

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