- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
155

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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DUDINKA TO THE KUREIKA
155
spond to a square of about 45 versts in length and breadth.
He has probably put in a few o’s too many.
Last year he had left two men behind on this island ;
he asserted that he had papers signed by them to prove
that they stayed behind voluntarily. But when he
went back there this spring, he found them both dead.
He travelled there with reindeer. In one month he
had got 18 polar bears, and he also found walrus on
that coast. I asked if he used poison and traps for
catching bears and foxes ; no, he only used his gun,
and he claimed to have shot 10,000 roubles’ worth of
game last winter ; but that again sounds rather
fantastic.
He looked big and powerful, this man, as he stood
there in the twilight, telling us all these strange stories.
He had a clean-shaven face full of character, which
was a little like Amundsen’s after he had shaved his
beard.
On the beach lay a square lighter, made of thick
planks nailed together. It was of the kind formerly
in general use —and still used a good deal—for floating
corn and flour and other goods down the Yenisei all the
way from Minusinsk. It looked more like a Noah’s ark
than anything else. These lighters are never tåken
up the river again ; they are sold as timber, tåken to
pieces, and the planks are used for building in places
which have no forest near them ; in towns like Yeni
seisk the pavements are also made of planks from these
lighters.
Inland of Dudinka there is a hillock with scattered
scrub, from the top of which there is said to be an
extensive view over the tundra. This was the first
high ground we saw on our voyage up the Yenisei.
Unfortunately our time was too short to go there.
There was nothing much in the way of trees, only

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