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Abercromby, John / A trip through the eastern Caucasus
(1889)

A trip through the eastern Caucasus: chapter I: from Tiflis to Nukha,   pp. [1]-29


Page 2

2 A TRIP THROUGH THE EASTERN CAUCASUS. 
from the map, I selected the least beaten tracks, the 
by-ways of the Eastern Caucasus. It was an object, 
too, to pass through the country of the Avars and 
Chechents, for I had taken a cursory glance at the 
grammars of both their languages before leaving 
home. 
With the aid of a little commis voyayeur out of 
place, a native of Riga, who came from Moscow with 
me as interpreter in Russian, I bought the few 
articles necessary for the projected journey. They 
consisted of three Chechents saddles and saddle-bags, 
two Georgian costumes, a kettle, an iron tea-pot, two 
saucepans, a lantern, tea, sugar, and a few other 
small articles.  I had   besides two guns and a 
photographic apparatus brought from Moscow. The 
latter was bought at the instigation of the commis 
voyaTeur, who   affirmed  falsely he knew   how   to 
photograph. My private impression is that he took 
his first lesson in the shop where the camera was 
purchased. I certainly heard the man tell him, in 
answer to a question, how to distinguish between the 
sensitized and the reverse side of a glass plate. He 
made some ludicrous failures in the Crimea, and all 
the time he was with me in the Caucasus-it was 
not long, as I had to get rid of him-he never took 
a single photograph. The investment was a dead 
failure. On my return to Tiflis I found I could 
easily have engaged a competent photographer to 
come with me; but the information came too late. 
He also engaged for me a Georgian, named David, 
who spoke Russian and gave out that he knew 


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