- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
257

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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YENISEISK TO KRASNOYARSK AND BEYOND
257
big map how we had sailed along the north coast of
their great Siberia and then drifted in the ice. I
spoke in English, of which they did not understand a
word ; but Vostrotin interpreted, and they seemed
to be interested and grateful for our visit, which lasted
about three hours. The whole boys’ school got a
holiday that day ; as we left we saw them rushing
home through the streets, and I am sure that at any
rate these boys blessed us.
I went into a barber’s to have my hair cut. The
man was a Georgian from the Caucasus, so here again
Loris-Melikov, who was with me, met a fellow country
man. He was a political exile, who had tåken up
the business of a hairdresser and found it paid him
well.
The Mayor and Corporation gave a big lunch in
our honour in the Club at half-past two, and all the
notables and most important business men of the town
were present. There was good-will and cordiality on
all sides, and great enthusiasm for this sea route through
the Arctic Ocean which had again been tried in the
Correcfs voyage, and for which we, or perhaps I in
particular, quite undeservedly received the honour,
although we had only made the trip as invited guests.
It was almost as though we were inaugurating a new era
in the history of the town and of Siberia. All this, and
much more, was expressed in a long series of speeches
in fluent Russian, of which I did not understand a word ;
but some of it was translated. Then the principal of
the school made a speech, if you please, in Esperanto,
of which I understood just as much and which was not
translated, as there was nobody else who understood it
either. I replied to all these speeches in English,
which none of our hosts understood, but which Vos
trotin translated into Russian ; but the reception given

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