Our horses were tolerable, but we had eighteen miles to Pello, the next station, which we reached about ten o'clock. Our road was mostly upon the Torneå River, sometimes taking to the woods on either side, to cut off bends. The morn was hours in dawning, with the same splendid transitions of colour.
Beyond Pello, where we stopped to "fire up," our road lay mostly on the Russian side. While crossing the Torneå at sunset, we met a drove of seventy or eighty reindeer, in charge of a dozen Lapps, who were bringing a cargo from Haparanda. We were obliged to turn off the road and wait until they had passed.
"I say, Johnny, is pulsum from pulco?" "Never heard of it." "Bobus, is it pulco, pulxi, pulsum?" "Pulco- I make an ass of myself," muttered Bobus. "O murder," groaned Johnny, "it has come out 213." "Not half so much murder as this pulsum. Why it will go in them both. I can see with half an eye." "Isn't it pello -pulsum?" "Pello, to drive out. Hurrah! That fits it."
On approaching Pello, we saw our first reindeer, standing beside a hut. He was a large, handsome animal; his master, who wore a fur dress, we of course set down for a Lapp. At the inn a skinny old hag, who knew a dozen words of Swedish, got us some bread, milk, and raw frozen salmon, which, with the aid of a great deal of butter, sufficed us for a meal.