- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
268

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
Siberia ; they are big, fleshy cows, good for slaughter
ing, but give little milk.
Thursday, September 25. Across the undulating
land we are now beginning to see blue mountains far
to the south ; indeed, there are even sharp peaks and
rounded summits on the ridge. This is the northern
most part of the Sayan Mountains, near Krasnoyarsk,
or, more correctly, the Gremyachinsk range.
At several stations the elder of the village had
appeared to show us honour. These elders are chosen
by the peasants themselves. At the last station but
one before Krasnoyarsk not only the elder, but the
Isprovnik and the telegraph superintendent, besides two
or three representatives from the village came to salute
us. The telegraph superintendent brought a message
from the Mayor of Krasnoyarsk, asking if we could not
arrange to arrive in the daytime. This was in the fore
noon; we could not count on reaching Krasnoyarsk
until towards evening, and if we were to arrive by day
light,we should thus have to spend the night at the next
station, where we were due at about three in the after
noon. But time was short ; I had much to arrange
about the further journey, and I had letters waiting
for me at Krasnoyarsk. It could not be helped ; un
willing as we were to disoblige the citizens of Krasno
yarsk, we could not afford to wait ; but we would press
on as much as we could so as to arrive early in the
evening.
So now we drove on as fast as we could ; and fast it
was in all conscience—a gallop most of the way, through
long stretches of cultivated fields, or with meadows on
both sides, and through villages, always at the same
pace ; and the carriage shook and bumped and jolted
and jumped worse than ever, especially when going
through villages ; indeed, in one of them the road was
268

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