- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
234

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
rifle and the familiar Indian chiefs with eagle-feathers
in their black hair appear through the thicket of willows
on the bank before the wigwams. But instead of them
wc only saw some peaceful Russians sitting idly in the
sun, while the boat, towed by the man and dog, came up
to them.
Far away I could already see the white walls and
cupolas of the church at Vorogovo, high above the plains
and the forest. With the glass I could also see the
roofs of the village. Wc now had to get ready the
telegrams that were to be sent ; for wc could not stay
long. Wc should have to go on if wc were to reach
Yeniseisk by the 21st.
At last, at about four o’clock wc anchored and went
ashore. The main road from the shore up to the village,
as usual in these Siberian places, led over a mountain
of nothing but cowdung, which year after year had been
swept out of the streets over the river bank, till it had
filled up a great part of the foreshore. The streets them
selves consist for the most part of cowdung, and one
sinks deeply into it on stepping off the planks, which
are laid along the streets as a side-walk. They are
specially bad after ram, as on this occasion. The
Siberian farmer has not yet got as far as manuring his
land. He thinks manure does harm to the soil. Nor
has he got as far as building cow-houses, where he could
collect the dung. Therefore the cows mostly roam
at large in the streets.
As soon as wc reached the top of this hill, Vostrotin
of course met an acquaintance, a trader, who greeted
him effusively as an old friend. He had a powerful
face with a fair brown beard, just like a Norwegian
peasant. I afterwards heard that he was one of Vos
trotin^ political friends, who had supported his election.
He showed us the way, driving the cows off the planks
234

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