- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
187

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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TROITSKIY MONASTIR, AND TO THE SOUTH
187
the language of the natives, and had to speak to them
through an interpreter. Although he, too, wore long
hair and a cassock and a priestly hat, he looked as if he
might belong just as much to this world as the abbot did
to heaven. He made an uncommonly straightforward
and practical impression. He was keen on politics,
and to Vostrotin’s great joy he was a liberal, so those
two had much to say to each other.
After seeing the church wc went back to the pristav’s
to drink a glass of tea together with the priests and
the superintendent of the telegraph station here, which
was nearly ready. They were working on the line
northward from Yeniseisk, and it was now open as far
as the village of Vdrogovo, about four days’ journey
north of Yeniseisk. But by the winter it would be
completed to this point, and it is to go as far north as
Dudinka. So even these regions will soon be drawn
into the mighty power of the telegraph.
The glass of tea to which the pristav and his amiable
wife had invited us, turned out to be a solid lunch with
several cold dishes and cakes and heady wine, and it
was not so easy to do justice to the repast when the
guest had just come from a breakfast on board ; nor
was the position made any easier by the fact that the
guest did not understand a word of Russian, and the
hosts not a word of any other language.
There was much conversation during the meal,
chiefly, no doubt, about Siberian affairs ; it was the
visiting priest who had most to say, he and the local
member, Vostrotin, and probably it was all very in
teresting, if one had been able to understand any of it ;
but it was carried on in Russian. The only thing I
could do was to photograph the company.
But time was getting on and wc could not stay too
long, as wc had to use the daytime for our journey. So

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