- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
391

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XVII. The Amúr district and the Amúr railway

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THE AMUR DISTRICT AND AMUR RAILWAY
391
his skin is handsomer. Last winter some workmen
were living in a hut near to this spot. One of the men
heard something moving at night outside the door. He
went out with an axe, saw an animal before him, and
brought the axe down on its skull. It was so dark that
he did not see what became of it ; but went back to the
others and said that he must have killed some animal
outside and thought it looked most like a roedeer.
When they went out to see in the morning, they found
a one-year-old tiger lying there dead. But when the man
who had struck the blow saw it, he wept with terror.
Some time ago a couple of would-be sportsmen went
shooting here. They had walked all day and it was
getting towards evening, when they suddenly caught
sight of two tigers among the trees. The range was short
and they had rifles, but they dared not shoot and they
let the tigers go ; but they dared not go home either, as
it had begun to get dark. So they made a fire and stayed
out all night ; but they got no sleep for terror of these
beasts, which might have been prowling round them in
the darkness, and it cannot have been a very pleasant
night. One of them, at any rate, was permanently
cured of his taste for shooting.
But in spite of all this big game, I am now longing
for a shot at a hare. Scent lies well on this ground, and
this must be an extraordinarily fine country for hunting.
One involuntarily longs to be able to give up one’s time
to the study of these forests, to search out the natives
and share their life, and to accompany them on their
hunting expeditions. They are hunters from the cradle
and know the haunts of the game. But wc must go
forward, ever forward, to inspect the laying of this line,
which winds through the forest and is to open up the
way for that so-called civilization, which will gradually
clear away forests and natives and game.

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