1st August

"Reached Ust Pinega at 5am on the 1st August. Stayed here till 2 o'clock. Heavy rains both yesterday and today. Flies, mosquitoes etc were exceedingly troublesome. Proceeded up the river at 2pm. Went ashore for wood at 5pm. The country here is beautiful, I wandered in the forest discovering some new specimens of ferns and flowers. This is certainly the most delightful spot among the many lovely places I've been in since arriving in North Russia.

"Tried our first steak pudding today and congratulated ourselves on a decided success. I also tried what to me was a new method of roasting meat that is to boil it in lard. This sounds paradoxical nevertheless it is certainly a splendid method of roasting meat. It takes less time, makes it more tender, preserves the flavour and retains the juice. The lard is not wasted it can be used again. We all enjoyed it immensely.

"There was a most glorious sunset tonight. It was far more exquisite than any painting. The colours, the reflection in the still waters of the wide river, the quaint houses with the dark forests on either side for a framework made a scene beautiful beyond description. Momentous developments are expected any day. Have just heard that a Ching is to be shot tonight for attempting to murder his officers.