40 The Final Trip
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401 The Final Trip The Village of Kotelnoye. The Highway. Hospitality in the Village of Gogolevka. The Lower Reaches of the Iman. The Service Provided by a Fellow Traveler. Parting Ways with Dersu. Iman Station. My Return to Khabarovsk. We got up late the next day, ate some fish, and continued on our way. Sarl Kimunka took us to some Koreans who had recently settled near Parovoza. We needed to find a boat to cross the Iman as its lower reaches werenot yet frozen. We went from fanzatofanzabut foundonly women, who hid their children and observed us in silent fear. This approach was not getting us anywhere, so I gave up and ordered the men down to the river. Our Udege guide found a punt hidden in the bushes, and he used it to transport the lot of us across, one at a time. Then he said his goodbyes and turned toward home. We found four huts on the left bank of the Iman, at the base of a lone hill. It was the Russian settlement of Kotelnoye [“boiler”]. The immigrants had only just arrived from European Russia and did not yet have everything set up.1 We went into one of the mud-walled huts and asked to spend the night. Our hosts were very welcoming. They asked us who we were and where we were headed, then began to curse the fate that brought them to that place. 1. Arsenyev actually just says “Russia” here, not “European Russia.” 4O 402 The 1906 Expedition Howwonderfulitwastoeatfreshpeasantbread!Everyonegathered that evening in the hut to talk about their lives and experiences in this new place, and often sighed. The resettlement had been hard on them; if not for the keta salmon they would have all died of starvation, as this was practically their sole sustenance. A road marked with milestones began at Kotelnoye, and the marker near the village displayed the number seventy-four. We had no money to rent horses but we did not miss this luxury: I really wanted to finish my survey work, which I needed to be on foot to do, and besides our shoddy outfits forced us to move to stay warm. We left early the next morning, practically at dawn. The road ascended a pass on the other side of the Neytsukhe River, thencross-slopedfor9kilometerswiththeswampylowlandsoftheIman to our left and high mountains of old, oak-covered forest to our right. The road first led us north, and then turned west again by milestone fifty-seven. The next village was Goncharovka, which was larger than Kotelnoye , but similarly not prosperous. Poverty peered from every window ; it could be seem on the faces of the peasant men, in the eyes of the women, and in the children’s clothing. We reached the Korean village of Lukyanovka in the afternoon, which consisted of fifty-two widely scattered fanzas. We rested there a bit before moving on. Twilight caught us on the road. Everyone was very tired, cold, and hungry. Although I could still see the way, it was too dark to read the numbers on my instrument, so I had to work by match light. I’d signal one of the Cossacks to ignite a match, which he would then hold up close to my instrument. With that brief moment of light I’d quickly note the digits the apparatus displayed, markthemonthe planetable, then moveon. Atlast, wecouldsee a small light flickering ahead. “A village!” everyone shouted out in unison. “Fire always lie at night,” Dersu cautioned, and he had reason to be wary. A fire can be seen at a considerable distance in the dark and sometimes appears closer than it really is, but at other times it can turn out to be quite close. I was about to command a halt for the night when The Final Trip 403 suddenly the light seemed almost upon us. Through the dark we could see a hut, then another and another; eight houses in all. It was the village of Verbovka [“willow”]. Many of the peasant men were absent; they had gone to the city looking for work. The frightened women took us for Khunkhuz and refused to open their doors. We eventually located the village headman, who found room for me, Dersu, and Bochkarёv in his house, and settled G. I. Granatman, Murzin, and Kozhevnikov with a neighbor. We had covered 35 kilometers that day and were very tired. We had 43 kilometers remaining before reaching the railroad. After consulting...



Subject Headings

  • Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China) -- Description and travel.
  • Natural history -- Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China).
  • Dersu Uzala.
  • Arsenʹev, V. K. (Vladimir Klavdievich), 1872-1930 -- Travel -- Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China).
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