- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
152

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
from the Caucasus, and from the very same place that
he came from, so that they knew his family there. Truly
it is a small world. A little later I went and called on
them, and was well received.
One of the exiles was an Armenian, twenty-four
years old ; he had lived at this place since 1912 ; at
home he had belonged to the political party called
Dashnaktsutyun, the object of which was the founda
tion of an independent Armenian kingdom in the
Caucasus. He had been exiled to Siberia for five years,
and he had now served three of them.
The other was a Georgian (or Grusin), and was rather
older. He had lately come to Siberia, lived in a village
higher up the river, and was here on a visit to his
countryman. He had been exiled for three years, but
did not know for what reason. He had been visiting a
sick friend at Rostov on the Don, when he was suddenly
arrested and sent to Siberia without trial, as usually
happens. The policeman or detective had said he had
seen him at Rostov in 1899, when there was some trouble
there. The Georgian admitted that that was correct ;
he had been there at that time ; but he had no know
ledge of any kind of revolutionary movement. The
prefect at Turukhansk, however, told us later on that
he was accused of being concerned in some larceny case
or other, probably of a political nature. He was a
remarkably handsome type, dark, with a short black
beard and brown, melancholy eyes, as soft as velvet,
though there might be fire in them at times. They are
generally reputed to be a fiery people, these Georgians,
and they do not think long before striking. He was a
nobleman, and knew Loris-Melikov’s cousins well.
Here, then, these exiles had their quarters ; but
they complained of the entirely unoccupied, inactive
life they had to lead. There was nothing for them to
152

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