Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On the Origins of the Anglisky:

"Immediately after leaving Harbin we crossed the finest bridge of the whole journey to Omsk. It carries the railway over the River Sungary, which meanders about over the enormous yet fairly well cultivated plains of Northern Manchuria. ... It is an education in itself, especially if, like us, one had to stop occasionally to drive bargains, negotiate help, and have the closest and most intimate intercourse with the common people. None of them had even seen the British flag, few of them had the slightest idea where the "Anglisky" lived, and one old Kirghis explained to his wondering tribemen that we were a strange tribe that had broken away from "Americanski" and gone to live on a great island in the middle of the lakes, where no one could touch us unless they risked their lives on great wooden rafts. I thought the amount of inverted truth in this charming description very pleasing if not very flattering to our national vanity."

--Col. John Ward, "With the Die Hards in Siberia," 1920.

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