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

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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four hours to say good-bye to me and give me a big
At last, at 7.80 p.m., everything was packed and
lashed on to the carriages ; we climbed up into these
remarkable vehicles, got under the tarpaulin and a sort
of hood, and found inside a regular bed of straw and
pillows. Just as I had arranged myself on this couch,
in a half-lying, half-sitting position, and it was beginning
to dawn on me that one might be quite comfortable,
or at any rate warm, in there, Madame Kitmanov’s
kindly hand came and pushed a big pillow behind my
back, just under the loins. This worked wonders,
and for a moment I thought it impossible to sit or lic
more comfortably—but then we were off in the pouring
rain and pitch darkness on our wild drive to Krasnoyarsk,
while Madame Kitmanov and her daughters and all her
household shouted and waved their farewells in the
flickering light of lanterns.
The roads were wet after a month’s rain and very
uneven. The wheels sank in deep in many places,
and often there was one hole after another, especially
before we got out of Yeniseisk, and in every village we
passed through. Going at full gallop as we did, this
springless tarantass shook so that one could only think
a broken bone or two was the cheapest one would get
off with. I was often anxious about my teeth ; one
had to keep them well set all the time and not allow
oneself to be surprised by a hole in the road in an
unguarded moment when one’s mouth was open. But
strangely enough everything held, wc were warm and
comfortable in our tarantass, and wc had chiefly to
thank Madame Kitmanov’s pillows that wc were not
smashed to pieces and could even get some sleep at
times. After a while the ram stopped and wc went
forward rapidly.

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