- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
233

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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FROM SUMAROKOVA TO YENISEISK
233
easily get to the bottom in this way and take specimens
of the strata underneath, to see whether they contain
gold. On the marshy ground by the side of the rivers
they often proceed in the following way : in the winter,
when everything is frozen, they make a fire on the sur
face, which melts the soil to a certain depth. They take
away the thawed earth, make a fresh fire, which again
melts the soil under it, and so they go on till they reach
the desired depth. By making a series of these holes
side by side to a suitable depth, it is easy to obtain
a section of a river valley from one side to the other,
and across the river, in order to see whether there are
gold-bearing strata at any depth.
It was an autumnal morning, with drizzling ram and
a cold wind, but in the course of the day the weather
cleared and the sun broke through again. On this day
wc had an event to look forward to : that of coming
into communication with the world for the first time.
Wc could expect to reach Vorogovo during the afternoon,
and there was a telegraph station. Were any telegrams
awaiting us ? Above the rapids the banks became
lower again, and were formed of loose strata, mostly
sand as before, and the country again appeared to be
tolerably flat.
In the afternoon wc passed a boat full of fishing-nets.
In the boat were some women, and a man sat aft
steering, while a man and a dog walked along the bank
and towed the boat upstream with a long line. They
had been out to try the fishing and were on their way
home. Farther on blue smoke was rising from a row of
tents, which stood among willows near the flat sandy
beach, where boats were lying and long lines of nets
were hanging to dry. The whole scene looked like
a wild Indian camp from one of Cooper’s romances, and
wc might have expected to see Deerslayer with his long

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