- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
167

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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DUDINKA TO THE KUREIKA
167
the shore as we landed. He had not a particularly
Asiatic look.
As we came down to the shore to go aboard, the
owner of the place and his men were just coming back
from fishing. They had only caught a few big pike,
which looked unpleasantly thin and voracious with
their huge heads and jaws. One pike was as long as
the boy who was carrying it ashore. In the boat was
the other Yenisei-Ostiak and we wanted to see him
too. Wc struck a match to look at his face, but we
thought he looked as if there was a good deal of
Russian blood in him. They were evidently very mixed,
these Yenisei-Ostiaks.
Monday, September 8. On to the south. The same
landscape, but beautiful sunny weather and a wind,
so that we can use the sails. It is curious how the trees
on both sides are mostly foliferous everywhere here ;
the high larches and firs, and the Siberian cedar, which
is also beginning, tower up here and there like giants
above the foliage, which is chiefly yellow birch, with
some alders and osiers among it, and scattered splashes
of red mountain ash. The coniferous forest has been
destroyed by fire over and over again in course of time
along this river. Careless travellers or fishermen land
to cook food—or nowadays to boil water for their tea
—and leave their fires behind without taking the trouble
to put them out. Then the forest often catches fire,
and the flames may spread unhindered over an immense
range. Nobody takes any notice of this. The forest
has no value here.
So it has gone on from time immemorial. First
it was the primitive hunters and fishermen who went
up and down along the river. In recent centuries the
Russians have joined them. One cannot, therefore,
expect to find the primeval forest undisturbed any

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