"for about a verst"

A verst is an old-fashioned Russian unit for measuring distance, the equivalent to 1.0668 kilometres or  3500 feet. The basic unit of length is the cubit, or arshin, which is 71.1 cm or 28 inches. Next comes the sazhen at 2.1336 m or 7 ft, and then the verst. These measurements were abandoned in 1924, under the Soviet Union, when Russia moved to the metric system.