- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
340

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
Chinese, out of the whole of this eastern government,
as he foresees a danger in an inundation of them. Chinese
who are found in the streets without håving their pass
ports in order, are often tåken by the police in large
numbers, put on board the first steamer that comes,
and sent back to China. It was asserted that they
are not even permitted to go home and fetch their things.
But this is not an unmixed joy to the Russian inhabi
tants. When, on the day following one of these raids,
the housewives go into the town to make their pur
chases, they find to their annoyance that the price of
vegetables has gone up a few kopecks. The Chinese
market-gardeners regret with a shrug of the shoulders
that they have been deprived of their labourers and
consequently cannot supply their vegetables at the old
prices. This is a pretext, but it is their way of taking
revenge, and one can hardly expect them to be satisfied
with this policy. Against the Japanese the police
cannot proceed in this fashion, much as they might
like to do so. According to the treaty with Japan
after the war, the Japanese have the same rights as
the most favoured nations and may travel and reside
where they please, although the universal belief among
the Russians is that every single Japanese is a spy.
We took a drive up on the heights and had a grand
view of the town, the harbour, the promontories and
the islands outside. There are defences and forts every-
where. Wc also saw the numerous fortifications on
the landward side, line after line. The whole gives an
imposing idea of inpregnability—but in the farthest
distance, behind it all, on the south-east, there was a
streak of blue. It was the Pacific, which I saw for the
first time.
All these heights were once overgrown with thick
forest, mostly oak, of which we saw some remains on
340

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