- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
246

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
deal of searching in the moonlight down the long
street of the village we found at last a house formerly
belonging to a rich old owner of gold-mines, in a garden
with a large wooden gateway, a really grand gateway,
richly carved with lions on the solid square gate-posts.
After some knocking it was opened to us. There was
really a telegram for Vostrotin, the first we received ;
but still I was unable to send any off, as here again they
could not manage the ordinary Roman characters.
In other words, it was impossible to telegraph beyond
the borders of Russia ; there may be some advantage
in håving, not only one’s own language, but one’s own
characters which nobody else can make out, but I
can’t say it is convenient, if one has to form part of
this little world.
We also wanted some bread, as there was none
left on board. We had to go on a voyage of discovery
to find some. But the whole village was asleep, except
the dogs, who were all the more wakeful and started
a concert wherever we went, which soon spread over the
whole place. At the first trader’s we tried we had to
knock at the gate for a long time before a man came
and opened it and we entered the yard. He got hold
of the trader, who had to turn out of his warm bed.
Unfortunately he could not get us any bread ; his
wife had been ill and none had been baked for a long
time. Then we had to go all through the village again
to the other end, and try a fresh trader, while the dogs
kept up an even louder music than before. We found
the gate in the moonlight, a big, showy gate ; for he
owned gold-mines, this man. There was the same
knocking and the same waiting. At last we got hold
of this trader too ; but unhappily bread was not to be
had. His wife had gone away, as far as I could make
out. Yet a third place was tried ; as we fared no
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