- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
209

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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VERKHNE-IMBÅTSKOYE TO SUMAROKOVA
209
out what they could be for, until I discovered that they
were for catching birds, chiefly capercailzie cocks and
hens, which frequent the shore. Snares are set in the
openings.
In the evening wc anchored off the village of Mirnaya
(i.e. peaceful). Loris-Melikov and I took a walk ashore
in the moonlight, at about eleven o’clock, to stretch our
legs. The whole village was asleep ; there was not a
light to be seen in any of the windows. But the dogs
were not asleep ; they made a fearful noise as wc came
strolling along the slope in front of the row of comfortable
low houses which lay there with their handsome doors
and windows in the moonlight, while the broad, shining
river flowed on silently below. But the people did not
seem to be disturbed in their sleep by this devilish bark
ing and howling in every key. Wc thought it more
considerate, all the same, to direct our steps to another
quarter, and turned northward into the birch forest,
where the white stems shone.
A path led for a long way among the trees. There
were stacks of birch-logs about ; but the trees had been
felled at the height of a man’s thigh. I thought they
must have been cut down in deep snow during the winter ;
but no, there were leaves on the cut-off branches that
lay there. I have never seen such stumps in my life
before. So they won’t take the trouble to bend down
here, when they fell trees, for, of course, they have the
whole forest at their disposal.
Here ran the new telegraph with its posts and wires,
that was to connect these desolate forest regions with
the great world. But there was no connexion now.
There had been in the spring, as far as Verkhne-Imbåt
skoye to the north of this ; but during the floods the
river was so high that the masts of a steamboat carried
away the wire, which was stretched across the river at

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