- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
265

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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YENISEISK TO KRASNOYARSK AND BEYOND
265
roads are not altogether safe at night from people who
may make themselves unpleasant.
This good, kind woman entertained us while we were
at supper, and while she went to and fro and waited on us,
she told Vostrotin all about the posting business, and
about their life and how everything was going, and about
the horses and the driving ; and then she made minute
inquiries as to how everything was with him and his.
Of course I understood no more than was translated to
me, but the kind, honest expression, and the friendly
old-fashioned, homely feeling of it all, that I could under
stand. It was just as it used to be at home in old days,
when people considered themselves as belonging to the
family and shared each other’s good and evil fortune
long after they had been parted, and often as long as
they lived. I wonder whether that order of things
was not better than that which many people now want
to introduce, in which human beings are to become
more or less machines, without any interest in each
other, and society at all costs is to be divided into a
lower class which is oppressed, and an upper class
which oppresses, but which when all is said and done is
doubtless just as much oppressed.
Then it was good-bye and away again into the black
night, along the jorting road, while we tried to doze, or
even to sleep, as well as we could.
At last, after a few more stations, day began to
dawn over the undulating plain. It was not so flat here
as farther north, where we had been, and there was
remarkably little forest. It was usually far away,
while around us were grassy plains ; and then daylight
came and we could see more of the country. It became
more and more hilly, with ridges running southward.
Generally we saw wide, undulating plains, almost devoid
of trees, and with cultivated land here and there. On

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