- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
386

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
386
for the workmen’s children, and when Mr. Wourtzel
introduced me to the master, the latter was evidently
very proud of being able to show off his knowledge, and
tell the boys and girls who I was and where I had
travelled before, which he could safely do, as I did not
understand a word of what he said. The master seemed
to be a good sort of man, and the children looked healthy,
cheerful, and in good spirits.
We lunched with the section engineer, Franz Kholevo,
who had a comfortable little house and a pretty little
garden, where a year before had been a marshy wilder
ness. We ate his own cauliflower and his own pork.
He also had three cows. A little farther on we passed
a village which was one year old. It already possessed
a windmill, and not much more than a year before it
had been a swamp where corn-growing was out of the
question. In another place our train took us over an
almost finished piece of line, where the engineer who laid
it out two years ago could not proceed in the summer,
as the bog was too soft ; he had to wait until it froze in
the winter. Now this land is ready for cultivation.
Håving obtained a deep insight into the various
aspects and difficulties of railway construction in such
a marshy country as this, we arrived in the dark at the
station of In, where we were to spend the night, quite
a little town built for the railway men. It stands on
the river In, a tributary of the Unni, which again is a
tributary of the Tunguska. Here we were provided
with an ample supper, or rather dinner, by the res
taurateur of the place, a handsome Georgian, who
presented a fine appearance in his national dress, a
long caftan with rows of cartridge-holes sewed across
the chest ; but the cartridges had long ago been
replaced by corks. So here again we came upon
Caucasians.

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