- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
153

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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DUDINKA TO THE KUREIKA
153
do, except to read. No work for them was to be had
here. They might have found some amusement at
least in shooting, but that was out of the question, as
the exiles are not allowed to have arms. The only
other thing was a little fishing when they had the chance,
and, otherwise, they had to let the summers and winters
slip by as best they could, till their time was up and they
were free again to return to life and the world.
The political exiles receive 15 roubles a month
from the Government, so that they may not starve to
death ; but as soon as they earn any money themselves
by work, this monthly allowance is stopped.
These 15 roubles (£1 Ils. Bd.) a month may thus
easily act as a premium on laziness, even though they
may be given for philanthropic reasons.
Nor is this enough to live on in this country, where
everything is fairly dear. And when the exiles come
to the place assigned to them as a residence, the peasants
there cannot, of course, let them starve, but are obliged
to give them board and lodging for what they are able
to offer, which as a rule is only these 15 roubles ; and
this may be a severe tax on the peasants as well. But
these two exiles had no difficulties of that kind, as they
seemed to be comparatively well off.
The Armenian’s father had come all the way from
Caucasus last year to see his son. But he reached
Yeniseisk too late ; the last steamer of the season had
just started for the north. He could not wait for the
chance of an occasional boat, as he had to be back in
the Caucasus for the vintage. So he started on the
long journey home again without håving seen his son,
and, what was perhaps worse, without the son håving
seen him and heard all the news from home.
As we were going aboard in the twilight, a man came
and spoke to us on the shore. He had been on Baron

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