- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
411

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XVIII. From the Buréya to Transbaikalia

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FROM THE BURÉYA TO TRANSBAIKALIA
411
During the afternoon, on our way from Alexéyevsk,
the tram suddenly pulled up in the middle of the line.
WTrat had happened ? There had been an accident ;
wc had run over a man. Some said that he had been
walking towards the tram, others that he had tried to
jump across the line in front of the engine. Was he
drunk ? Nobody knew. The other workmen, who had
been a little way off, had not seen him coming. Poor
man ; there he lay, a fine, big, powerful fellow, with
one leg severed at the knee and his skull fractured in
two places. He was unconscious. The doctor put a
tourniquet on his leg to stop the bleeding and bound
up his head, but there was no hope. The arm hanging
limply over the stick on which he was lying, was quite
blue and cold, with no pulse that could be felt ; but he
still breathed. Several labourers were standing round,
and some of them helped the doctor. There were
women, too ; but no tears or lamentation ; it all
seemed an everyday affair. Had he no friends then,
this fine fellow ? I saw a boot up on the rails, which
no one had noticed ; it was the severed leg lying where
it had fallen, and there was ragged flesh, too, along the
line. Then he was laid on a tarpaulin and carried into
the tram ; a man came with the severed leg, and it was
put in after him. The engine whistled and wc went on.
Soon the laughter and talk in the carriage were going as
merrily as before. But in the evening the man died.
Outside the deep, calm night lay over the forest, and the
moon was shining.
Tuesday, October 14. At Gondatti station, where wc
spent the night, wc saw all kinds of vegetables,
big cabbages, cauliflowers, carrots, beetroot, kohlrabi,
tomatoes, etc, all large and flourishing ; they are forced
there during the summer, in spite of the long, cold and
snowless winter. The soil is good and the summer is

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