- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
176

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
nearly 30 tons of it, which were brought here in two
journeys by the Angarå boat that lay on the shore.
There was a lot of graphite up there ; but it was not
worked, and this was only tåken as a sample.
They are badly off for communication with the world
in this country. As we were sitting in the house,
Vostrotin told us of his experience here thirteen years
ago. He was then going up the Yenisei from the
estuary, and met policemen farther down who were
going round to tell the fishermen that those of them
who were still on the roster as soldiers would have to
go at once to Yeniseisk and from there to Krasnoyarsk,
as there was a mobilization. Vostrotin could not find
out the reason of this mobilization ; the policemen did
not know that, and he could not imagine with whom
Russia was at war. When at last he got as far as this
Kureika River he was told that the Tsar was at war
with seven other Tsars, and that things were going well
for " our Tsar." Who these seven Tsars were, nobody
could explain ; but they were Angeleska * and Fran
seska and a few more ; that was all he could find out.
On arriving at Yeniseisk, Vostrotin heard that it
was the Boxer rising in China that had led to armed
intervention by the Powers and the combined march
on Peking. The English and French were there right
enough ; if we add Germany, America, Italy, Japan
and China, that makes seven.
Vostrotin was not very proud of the condition of
his country, as regards education, newspapers and
intellectual interests. He compared it with what
occurred to him in Norway in 1899. He had then been
on the Murman Coast, at Alexandrovsk, waiting for
Admiral Makårov in the Yermak, which did not come.
On the way back he came to Hammerfest, and while
* This was originally the designation of Queen Victoria.
176

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