- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
208

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
of the Samoyedes on the Obi, and I was glad to hear
that he had come as far as here, to this people, among
whom, as a philologist, he would certainly have been
able to do valuable work.
After receiving a present of bread from the priest
and his amiable wife, we went aboard again at last in
the fine moonlight.
Sunday, September 14. The same landscape to the
southward, the same forest—but steadily becoming
thicker and higher—and the same sunny weather.
Since, as I said before, I was beginning to be seriously
afraid that we should see no more Yenisei-Ostiaks to
the south, we stopped, on passing some birch-bark
tents in the course of the morning, and went ashore in
the hope of finding some natives ; but the tents were
empty, and the only living creature we found was a
sturgeon, which was swimming about in a little dammed
up pond in the sand, just at the edge of the foreshore.
Later in the forenoon we passed a boat-load of
people and dogs, crossing the river from the west side.
As soon as they reached the east bank the dogs were
put ashore with towing-lines and they came after us.
For several hours they kept up so well that we could
see them behind us. Here there was also a whole herd
of cows on the bank. We could see that the country
was becoming more populous, as we went south. We
often saw ponies on the bank, and could count as many
as thirty together. Once we saw a herd of tame reindeer,
at least thirty animals, running along the edge of the
bank in front of us ; but they finally disappeared into the
forest on the west.
Here and there I noticed small fences of timber and
twigs, built from the water’s edge up to the steep sandy
slope below the forest. In one place there was always
an opening in the fence. For a long time I tried to make
208

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