- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
235

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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FROM SUMAROKOVA TO YENISEISK
235
for us, and wc arrived at the little telegraph station,
which was also post office and savings bank.
A telegraphist in uniform appeared at the counter.
There were no telegrams for us ; so one had to console
oneself with the old saying that " no news is good news,"
for bad news usually travels fast enough. But they
could not accept telegrams here written in our usual
Roman characters ; they could only manage the Russian
ones. This made it impossible to send a telegram
home to Norway, or anywhere else outside Russia.
But at any rate, with the help of my kind friends, I
could telegraph to Mr. Wourtzel in Russian, to say
that I hoped to reach Krasnoyarsk by September 25 ;
and Vostrotin could telegraph to his brother in Yeniseisk
and ask him to send a telegram in some Western language
home to my children, telling them that I was still alive
and asking them to telegraph to Yeniseisk at once.
To look after the telegraph there were four
men, who of course were all in uniform, in this land of
uniforms. But apparently there was not very much
for them to do ; one telegram had arrived during the
last two weeks, I was told, and four men might easily
manage that. This was almost worse than the Nor
wegian telegraph station at Spitsbergen during some
winter months ; when, from what I heard there, the
Norwegian Government earned more by seiling the
puppies of the station sledge-dogs than by sending
telegrams. Vostrotin had some telegrams of his own
to send, and so had Loris-Melikov, and these four tele
graph men had more work to do than they had had
for many months.
When wc had got this done, Vostrotin naturally had
to go off to his friend the trader and buy a lot of pro
visions. He always took great care of our cuisine,
and regarded himself as our host in his country ; and

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