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

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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told that there are no horses to be had, so that more
money may be demanded for procuring them.
But we had no difficulties of this kind. The Isprov
nik of Yeniseisk had shown me, as a foreigner, the great
compliment of issuing an order to all post-masters
and others to do everything in their power to help us
on as quickly as possible. If some slight difficulty was
raised at one or two places, on the pretext that the mail
had just gone, that all the horses that were any good
were engaged, and so on, a word or two from Vostrotin
was usually enough to smooth the way.
But all the same a little patience was required at
every station. There was much to be done before we
could be ready. The wheels of each carriage had to be
tåken off and carefully greased, and I could easily
understand the necessity of that, after experiencing
their wild driving. Then the horses had to be harnessed
and brought out and put in. Then the driver wanted
time to rig himself out, and probably also for a final
glass of tea before starting—and then, of course, time
is not very precious here in Siberia.
At last he got up on to the box ; we stowed ourselves
inside again and arranged our pillows and rugs, and
then we were once more on the road.
It is almost inconceivable that any kind of conveyance
can stand this driving, but they are strongly built,
these vehicles. And it is certainly a fortunate thing
that they have no steel springs, for even if the springs
had lasted out, we should not have done so ; we should
soon have been sent into the air and far out over
the side of the ditch, when there was a jump over
one of the deep holes in the road. And whether the
road is rough or smooth, the pace is always the same,
a gallop if possible. The coachman drives his horses
incessantly with cries and shouts, and one jumps up

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