- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
398

(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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THROUGH SIBERIA
that he would return with money on him ; so they just
waited for him and shot him down in his carriage. The
driver did nothing, whether it was that he was in league
with the ruffians, or that they had threatened his life,
he simply made off. The contractor had 3000 roubles
in a breast-pocket inside his waistcoat, and 1000 roubles
in a side pocket. The scoundrels found the latter sum
and took it, but they did not give themselves time to
make a further search before escaping to the woods.
These were perhaps the same ruffians who on the
following day attacked two labourers on the open road
near the houses. They knew that one of them had
received his wages. They hit this man on the head with
a stone to get him to say where he had the money ; but
it so happened that he had given it to another man a
little while before. Then they were disturbed by some
body coming, and with an excuse for their mistake the
villains jumped into their carriage and drove away.
A year and a half ago a small tradesman, who had
been carrying on business here, was going home to
Russia with his wife and children and his savings. At
the farewell party the evening before starting he
probably boasted a little too much about this money of
his. A few days later he and his whole family were
found murdered on the high road, and the money was
gone.
It scarcely ever happens that these scoundrels are
captured, as no one will venture against them ; anyone
who did so would be pretty certainly made an end of.
They have been known to shoot in broad daylight one of
the excise police, who have specially to deal with liquor
smuggling, and are therefore the chief objects of their
hatred ; this was on the way to the station, with plenty
of people about.
Next morning we were able to proceed by motor-car.
398

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