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town were connected by a me I do not know. I trust ferry service of oanoes man- not. aged and propelled by the The channel was marked, local flappers, who must, like with a charming rustio simmany of their kind at home, plioity, with the branches of have hoped that a war which trees stuok in the sand. Trees brought their average earnings with a certain variety of leaf up to about eighty roubles had to be left on the port (£1) & day would continue hand, those with another for ever.
species on the starboard-80 They conducted across odd that, as an aggrieved naval British, French, Americans, officer remarked to me after Italians, and Serbians, with he had piled up a picket-boat good - humour, but without through disregarding these ouriosity, and no over-pay- marks and trying to come in ment, however large, could by the chart at full speed, extort from them any expres. “You've got to be & sion of gratitude or even sur. botanist as well as & prise.
navigator in this place.” I shall always remember my The branches were, of oourse, first sight of the Ulidia. She carried away by the ioe every was lying about four miles from winter and replaced by the the shore, and normally little oldest inhabitant every spring, more than her masts and as nearly as possible in the funnels would have been same place. visible from the beach. But It surprised me when our when the sun shone, as it did tug bumped continually over on the day we arrived in banks and shoal all the way Soroka, by some curious effeot down the channel, but it of mirage she appeared to be caused Belaieff's manager no floating in air, overy detail of oonoern; and I learned later her distinct, just above the that these bumps were a part surface of the sea.
of the daily routine, whioh From the sawmill we ohar- explained another local custom, tered , tug and went out to that of ordering spare pro. her. The channel into Soroka pellers for the tug-boats by would only allow of small tags the dozen. going up it, and then not at There can be nothing, I dead low water. Big ships think, so pathetio, or which so had to load their timber from gives the effect of loneliness, lighters a couple of miles out desolation, and deoay, as a in the bay. Later I grow to wrecked and deserted ship. know this channel, and I am It is the most melancholy one of what is, I suppose, & sight in the world, more melanlimited number of people who choly than overgrown gardens oould find their way success- or uninhabited oities. fully up and down it. Whether We came alongside the this aooomplishment is likely Ulidia and climbed up a boatagain to prove of value to fall. Our footsteps sounded
hollow on her iron deoks, on patob of, fortunately, flat rook which the rust was thick. on whiob she had lain for over The batohes were gone, and, two years, there was no sign looking down the holds, one of her having broken her back. could see the ioe, which had Stanobions in the holds were, disappeared from the sea out. it is true, set up, and there was side, still floating in the dark a perceptible upward bulge in body of the ship in huge lumps the deck; but a very small which the sun could not reach strain down below is sufficient to melt. The engine-room and to show considerable indicastokehold were more gloomy tions above, and, had the ship still, as one peered down been broken or very seriously through the gratings and strained, there would have been saw the level of the water muoh more evidence of it. Moreshowing black and oily over, though every compartamong the rusting masses of ment in the ship had water machinery. There was no in it, observations showed that trace of life aboard, save the they were not all equally mosquitoes rising in clouds damaged, and that some at from the piles of old rope. least of the bulkheads must be There had been a watohman intaot. the first winter, but the dark- The total rise and fall of ness and the ice grinding tide in the White Sea is only against the sides of the ship, about six feet. and the water moving about In the two after - holds, in her empty holds, had been Nos. 3 and 4, the water only too muoh even for Russian rose and fell eight inches, nerves, and he had left. while it rose and fell bix
Everything portable, down feet outside. This clearly to the brass handles of the showed that the leak in these cabin doors, had been stolen compartments was trifling, and by the natives who had come that the greater part of the across the ice in the winter water here was probably rainfrom Soroka.
water accumulated through None the less, in the rake the hatohes being off. The of the masts and funnels there fore-peak was dry. was something of life, and she In No. 1 the water rose looked too good a ship to be and fell about two feet, while left there until the ioe and the in No. 2 and the engine-room galeg should destroy her. Then and stockhold it rose and fell again I felt (or perhaps I only equally with the tide. The feel now that I felt) 8 pre position was therefore clear monition that our hopes and enough, even before the diver's interests were to be bound up examination. with hers.
In the ordinary way this More important, however, would have been a simple oase, than premonitions was the fact since the ship would easily that, in spite of the pounding have floated with the foreshe must have received on the peak, Nos. 1, 3, and 4 holds
6 who had inter water herecumulated
empty, even though there was did, that we would make the water in No. 2 and the engine. attempt to salve the ship. room and stookhold.
Another decision had to be The problem here, however, made at the same timewas not how to give the ship whether I should cable to sufficient buoyanoy to float, England for our salvage but how to make her light steamer, which was ready to enough to float off the rook. sail with motor- and steamShe had been half-loaded when pumps, pneumatio tools, oxyshe went ashore, but as the acetylene plant, air comprescargo was discharged she had sors, and all the rest of the worked farther and farther up gear necessary for salvage on to the rook until it was as work, and a pioked crew; or if she had gone ashore empty, whether I should listen to the that is, at her minimum draft, old salvage expert from the whereas she was now partially Baltio, oharter a ship looally, loaded with water.
colleot pumps, diving gear, &o., Had there been a big rise and men in Archangel, and do and fall of tide it would only the work with local resouroes. have been necessary to make This was not so wild an tight and pump out Nos. 1, 3, idea as it may seem, for I and 4, where the damage was know that in Arohangel were obviously slight; but with a a number of divers, engineers, rise and fall of only six feet &o., who had fled from the it was evident that the Baltio, and had had long exongine - room, stokehold, and perience with Captain G. before No. 2 must be emptied also to the war, and were really good give the necessary flotation workmen, as the Baltio salvage From the way in which the workers are known to be. water rogo and fell in these It would be at least a fortcompartments with the tide, night before our own ship it was clear that there was oould arrive, and then there very serious damage (looal was not enough water for her rumour said that there was to come olose to the wreck, & rook through the bottom Also, she oould not carry as of the engine-room), and this many men as it was obvious must somehow be dealt with. we should require, and I knew
Fine weather could only be that the experiment of trying expeoted until the end of to make English and Russians August or middle of Septem- work alongside each other ber. We had therefore very would be foredoomed to failure. little time, for already it was Moreover, there was to be Jane 19th.
taken into acoount the dead It was a time for quick loss on wages, provisions, and, decision; but I often wonder above all, bunkers, on the whether, had I been able to voyage to and from England. foresee the hazards and an. I therefore made up my xiety of the next few months, mind to employ Captain G. I should have deoided as I and local labour. Though I
it was orious what there ttom
always had, and still have, a I was not conscious of havgreat admiration and even ing insulted any one, excusably affeotion for Captain G. him. or not, and oame to the conself, it would be hard to say olusion that the polite bat how much I regretted this persistent obstruction which I decision afterwards. The rea- encountered from every RusBons will be apparent enough. sian with whom I had business
Our decision made, the next in Archangel was either a step was to get to Archangel national charaoteristio or the as quiokly as possible. To result of the intrigues of the any one who knows Russia it various interests wbioh B&W will be needless to say that the prospeot of buying the the only boat had left the day Ulidia for a song fading away before, that no one knew when from them. there would be another boat, I arranged to oharter a tugor, indeed, believed that there boat, and she was promptly would ever be one. We were requisitioned by the harbour told that it would be quite authorities. I engaged men, useless to go to Popoff," the to find them immediately oalled port of Kem, which was the up for military service. I port of departure for Aroh- wanted to hire & donkeyangel, and that even if we boiler, and the owner disdetermined to go there was no covered an urgent need for train. I was already a little it, though previously it had suspicious of Russia, and there- not been used for months. I fore made my way to the sta- tried to book pasgages in the tion, struok up an acquaintance looal steamer to take the men with an Amerioan private who whom I had secured baok to was olerk to the R.T.O., and Soroka, and was informed by the following day we reached the agents that no accommodaPopoff, to find a steamer just tion was available, and by the leaving for Archangel. There, Intelligence Branch that the two days later, we arrived, necessary passes could not be and began at once to collect issued. men and plant.
All this only after long There is a story of Conrad's interviews, conduoted through -'A Smile of Fortune'- an interpreter, and by the end which tells how the captain of a week I had formed a of a ship in a foreign port hearty dislike of Russiads and encountered an inexplicable everything Russian, and parshortage of the particular kind ticularly of Archangel, wbich of bag which he needed im- even the lapse of time has not peratively for his loading, as dissipated. à sequel to a very exousable The weather was very hot, loss of temper with a certain and by the time I had made Mc Jacobus, of how his ship three or four journeys from was delayed and he himself one end of the interminable reduced to despair and to des. Troitzky Prospeot to the other perate remedies,
in & tram-bar orowded with
Russians, I was half inclined the Murman Steamship Co. to abandon N. Russia and the made more or less regular Ulidia for ever,
voyages between Arobangel I remember partioularly the and Onega, Soroka, Kem, Chief Engineer of the Port. Kandalaksha, the ports of the He had the unusual reputation White Sea, and on board one of being an honest offioial, and of these the salvage gear (such perhaps deserved it; but he as it was) was loaded and the had a passion for conversation, salvage party mustered. for dookets and minutes and The latter oonsisted of sixty for red tape, which no one in odd men and three or four
Goverament Office in Eng- women. It was the first time land oould hope to rival. I had heard of women on a
A few months ago the Bol. salvage job, but all Russian sheviks shot him, I believe, ships oarry women as cooke. and I am not surprised, for The practice, dietetically, has he was an irritating old something to be said for it, man.
though it leads (however anFortunately for me, the first prepossessing the ladies oonperson I met when I called at cerned, and these had faces the office of the Prinoipal Naval and figures apparently carved Transport Officer in Archangel harriedly out of well-seasoned was the D.N.T.O. - Captain mahogany with a blunt axe) Dawes, who was universally to the troubles whioh might known in both services as one be expeoted. of the ablest officers in North The vessel's sailing was deRassia, as well as one of the layed by one of the divers, best of fellow g.
who, having drunk two bottles We had last shared a house of whisky neat in quick suotogether at Portsmouth, and cession on the quay, fell off it this fact, ooupled with a sym- into the Dwina, and was only pathetio dislike of Russiang, resoned with some difficulty made him find time to give me and much excitement. Eventinvaluable help. The Russian ually, however, we cast off, officials were terrified of him, towing astern a small steamfor he had a blunt method of launoh belonging to Captain dealing with them to whioh G., and astern of that again & they were not acoustomed. ship’s lifeboat to serve as a But he had a perfectly mar- diving boat. vellous kaaok of getting things The voyage across the White done, for he spared neither Sea, in radiant sunshine day himself nor those under him, and night, was very pleasant, and it was entirely due to him and thirty-six hours after that we got together the gear leaving Arobangel, on the and men we wanted, and evening of 1st July, we oame secured military exemptions to an anchor off Soroka, which and passports.
we had left ten days before, and The small coasting-vessels of boarded the Ulidia again.