- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
177

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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DUDINKA TO THE KUREIKA
177
taking a walk outside the town he went into a little
hut to get something to drink. He found the peasant
or fisherman who lived there, and was given some very
good milk. He then asked for news of what was going
on in the world. The man, who could talk Russian,
answered that the Dreyfus case had been tåken up again,
and gave Vostrotin all the details of the trial. Vostrotin
thought there was rather a big difference between this
poor fisherman in a desolate part of Norway, who
regularly read his newspapers and knew the details of
the Dreyfus case, and the prosperous traders in Siberia,
who did not even know with whom their country was at
war, when they themselves were called to the colours.
Here in Siberia, however, the question is not merely
that there are no papers, but that only a small fraction
of the people would be able to read them, if there were
any.
I privately wondered whether, after all, this was as
great a loss as people generally imagine. Think of all
the mud they are spared, and all the dirty politics that
they don’t have to touch. But I did not say this aloud.
Tuesday, September 9. We had not gone far from
the mouth of the Kureika next morning, when we came
into a thick fog and had to anchor. We could not see
the bank close to us. It was a heat haze, which occurs
when the vapours from the warmer river water are
condensed in the colder atmosphere. As soon as the
power of the sun increased, after a few hours, it cleared
again and we were able to go on ; and by midday we
had the most glorious sunshine. We then saw to the
north of us a blue wooded ridge inland. It must have
been north of the Kureika. It was low ; but still it
was really a ridge that rose above the plain—the first
hill we had seen on the whole voyage up the Yenisei,
if we except the little mound at Dudinka.

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