- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
230

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
About half of this quantity was obtained in a small
tract along two little rivers on the north and south
sides of the watershed between the Pit River and the
Podkåmennaya Tunguska.
All this gold brought both advantages and disad
vantages to the district. To the villages along the
Yenisei in the district where gold was found in the
mountains, it was of course a great source of income,
as the placer miners gave them a market for their goods ;
besides which many of the inhabitants themselves
became mine-owners and wealthy people, as could be
seen in many of these villages to the south. But the
price both of labour and of produce rose, and this was
anything but an advantage to the villages along the
river in Turukhansk district to the north of the gold
fields, where they had little or no income from the
mines, but only enhanced prices for everything they
required ; while there was little more demand for the
things they were able to supply, though they could seil
their fish somewhat more advantageously. It may
therefore be supposed that this enhancement of prices
due to the mines has contributed to the decline of the
northern portion of the Turukhansk district.
We were now beginning to approach the rapids,
but it was already drawing on towards evening. There
were fine wooded islands ahead. The banks had the
look of a well-kept park with a mixture of foliage,
mostly birch, besides the various conifers, and with a
floor so clean that one involuntarily looked for gravel
paths along the bank under the trees. Then the rock
began on the western shore, and after that on the eastern :
argillaceous-schist in inclined layers, here and there with
white veins. Ahead of us were steep, waterworn rocky
sides crowned with forest, exactly like the banks of
a river in Norway ; and in the middle of the river lay a
230

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