- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
250

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
Our worthy pilot was as anxious to get on as we were.
It was about half-past ten when we finally had to
anchor ; but now we had only sixty versts more to
Yeniseisk, and even if the stream was strong here, we
could be certain of arriving in the course of the next
day.
Sunday, September 21. In the grey dawn we were on
our way again upstream. The country was flat, but we
saw ridges inland on the eastern side of the river. At
last we were approaching the great town ; by one
o’cloek wc could see towers far off, and as wc came
nearer the cupolas and spires of many white churches
rose high above the river and the plain, green and gleam
ing with gold. How many churches Ido not know, but
I saw at least twelve or thirteen. The rest of the town
was mostly low timber houses with a few higher houses
of white masonry among them.
But now we saw through the glasses that there were
a lot of people on the promenade along the bank and
down by the quays. Were they only out for their
Sunday walk ? But the whole place was black with
them. Could it be that they were waiting for us ?
Did they know we were coming ? I had a sudden sus
picion of Vostrotin ; perhaps he had been telegraphing ;
he seemed so busy with his glass. The little Omul
worked her way perseveringly against the stream, which
runs here at the rate of three knots ; and by half-past
two we at last came alongside the lighter that lay moored
off the shallow bank and formed a landing-stage.
The promenade and the lighter were black with
people, and there was a great reception, headed by the
mayor with a chain round his neck, the isprovnik in full
uniform, the principal of the school, also in uniform, and
other notables. There were speeches of welcome in
Russian and German, and presentations and everything
250

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