- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
194

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
any we have seen before, this endless taigå. Assuredly
men were not made to live in towns.
Thursday, September 11. Early next morning we
resumed our voyage, but with a stiff breeze against us,
and we made little way against wind and stream. Still
the same landscape, but with bigger trees. There is
now more spruce, better timber. In some places the
pine-forest has been burnt, and there is nothing
but foliage-trees. Every day, as we have come up
the river, we have seen here and there wood-stacks
large and small, piled up on the edge of the forest at
the top of the river-bank. These are for the steamboats,
which lic to near the bank when short of fuel, and take
a supply of wood from these stacks.
This morning I saw a low ridge far away to the
south-east ; but otherwise it is the same flat country as
before ; here and there we pass a village. We frequently
see horses on the bank, and can tell that we are coming
farther south and into more populous country.
It is a curious thing about these villages, how they have
appeared and how they have increased, almost without
our noticing it. In the far north there was only one
house, or a group of houses here and there along the
river-bank, where a trader lived, or where there was
a mail station. Then wc saw a few more houses at
each such place, but it was still a long way between the
settlements. Then the number of houses increased,
and they began to arrange themselves in a street, until
here they have become real villages, and the distances
between them have also become shorter. They are all
pretty much alike. The low, square, well-kept timber
houses stand in a row on the flat ground at the top of the
river-bank. They all have the same steep incline below
them, down to the flatter foreshore, where nets are hung
to dry and boats are drawn up. The chief difference
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