- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
237

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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FROM SUMAROKOVA TO YENISEISK
237
many of them, and not a few were fair, and would not
have looked out of place on a landing-stage in a
Norwegian fjord.
But there, to be sure, comes the youngest uniformed
telegraphist ; so he has time to go out, in spite of our
telegrams. But perhaps there is no more hurry about
them than about anything else in this country, and
anyhow the other three can do some of the work. He
joins a group of girls that are standing there and they
talk and laugh together. Then comes another fellow
with a bag of provisions and a kettle, and there is an
eager discussion. They go down to one of the boats
lying there, put the things in and get it ready. Evi
dently they are going for a row this evening, or perhaps
for the night as well. They laugh and are so bright
and cheerful that they must be going to enjoy them
selves. Now they are ready and shoving off, and
away they go with the telegraphist at the steering-oar ;
and the telegraph station and our telegrams will only
have three men to attend to them.
Then our crew returned, wc weighed anchor and
went on at about half-past five. Wc kept going for a
long time that evening in the bright moonlight and fine
weather, to make as much progress as possible, and
anchored at 10 p.m.
The night was perfectly calm and wonderfully
beautiful. A sky so vast and blue, the water as smooth
as a blue mirror, reflecting the river bank with its great
birches. To the east of us the black forest rises up
the steep ridge, to stretch away over the boundless
plains. It fades away in the hazy moonlight. One
feels the unbroken stillness within that great forest
world, on the floor of which the trees east deep shadows
in the faint moonlight. How strange it is that these
endless wooded plains, with their rivers and their natives,

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