Tent Life in Siberia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 392 pages of information about Tent Life in Siberia.
The fact that nothing had been heard from Bush in four months proved that he had met with some misfortune, and it was clearly my duty to go to Anadyr Bay in search of him if there was a possibility of doing so.  On the following morning, therefore, I began buying a supply of dog-food, and before night I had collected 2000 dried fish and a quantity of seals’ blubber, which I felt sure would last five dog teams at least forty days.  I then sent for the chief of a band of Wandering Koraks who happened to be encamped near Penzhina, and prevailed upon him to drive his herd of reindeer to Anadyrsk, and kill enough to supply the starving inhabitants with food until they could get other help.  I also sent two natives back to Gizhiga on dog-sledges, with a letter to the Russian governor, apprising him of the famine, and another to Dodd, directing him to load all the dog-sledges he could get with provisions and send them at once to Penzhina, where I would make arrangements for their transportation to the famine-stricken settlement.

I started myself for Anadyrsk on November 20th with five of the best men and an equal number of the best dog-teams in Penzhina.  These men and dogs I intended to take with me to the mouth of the Anadyr River if I heard nothing from Bush before I reached Anadyrsk.

[Illustration:  Box for holding cups and teapot]

CHAPTER XXXIV

A MEETING IN THE NIGHT—­HARDSHIPS OF BUSH’S PARTY—­SIBERIAN FAMINES—­FISH SAVINGS BANKS—­WORK IN THE NORTHERN DISTRICT—­STARVING POLE CUTTERS—­A JOURNEY TO YAMSK

Availing ourselves of the road which had been broken by the sledges of the priest, we made more rapid progress toward Anadyrsk than I had anticipated, and on November 22d we camped at the foot of a range of low mountains known as the “Russki Krebet,” only thirty versts south of the settlement.  With the hope of reaching our destination before the next morning, we had intended to travel all night; but a storm sprang up most inopportunely just before dark and prevented us from getting over the pass.  About midnight the wind abated a little, the moon came out occasionally through rifts in the clouds, and, fearing that we should have no better opportunity, we roused up our tired dogs and began the ascent of the mountain.  It was a wild, lonely scene.  The snow was drifting in dense clouds down the pass, half hiding from sight the bare white peaks on either side, and blotting out all the landscape behind us as we ascended.  Now and then the misty moonbeams would struggle faintly through the clouds of flying snow and light up for a moment the great barren slope of the mountain above our heads; then they would be suddenly smothered in dark vapour, the wind would come roaring down the ravine again, and everything would vanish in clouds and darkness.  Blinded and panting for breath, we finally gained the summit, and as we stopped for a moment to rest our tired dogs, we were suddenly

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Tent Life in Siberia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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