- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
270

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
chance of an attack ; for on arriving at Krasnoyarsk
it was found that all the ropes that fastened our baggage
to the back of the carriage had been cut and were
hanging loose. Fortunately the provident Madame
Kitmanov had also had some sacks wrapped round our
things, and these had kept them from falling off. We
had noticed while going along that there were some loose
cords dangling about the wheels and making a noise,
and we said something about it, Loris-Melikov and I ;
but we had paid no particular attention to it. It
cannot have been so very long after we had passed the
scene of the former attack that we noticed the sound of
loose cords, and then it was already getting dark. The
thieves must have jumped up behind the carriage
and cut the ropes, but then they were probably scared
by somebody coming to meet us, and made off. While
going along, with all the shaking and noise, it is of course
impossible to hear or notice anything that may be
happening behind.
It had begun to rain as we went on. Cossacks
came several times riding towards us to see how far
we had come and how long it would be before we got in ;
for wc could guess that they were waiting for us at
Krasnoyarsk.
Then at last we came near, at about half-past seven,
in black darkness and streaming rain. The electric
lights of the town had a brilliant effect from the height
over which we came ; and then we saw flickering bon
fires and other lights before us on the plain. As we came
nearer we saw a great black moving mass in the light of
the big fires ; then there was a glimpse of a triumphal
arch with Norwegian and Russian flags, and dark forms
flitted to and fro in front of the bonfires, waving torches.
Our carriage was positively stopped by the dense
swarm of people that gathered about us with a roar of
270

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