Finnish author Akseli Kustaa Rauanheimo
A translation of the first part of a book entitled Stumbled to His Fate (Kohtaloonsa kompastunut) by Finnish author Akseli Kustaa Rauanheimo (also known as Axel Gustaf Leonard Järnefelt). Originally published in Finland in 1899. I am not familiar with this author but his Wikipedia page looks like he led an interesting life. And the resulting translation sounds interesting.
In Helsinki in 1899, Otava Publishing Company.
In Kuopio, Limited Liability Company Kuopio New Printing House.
Stumbled to His Fate
by Akseli Järnefelt
I was traveling abroad when I met Tauno Tavast.
My restless nature had driven me away and expelled me from my homeland and then rushed all over Europe, from city to city. My parents were dead, and I had a good legacy. May death tempt me from the dream of my life, the object of my love of youth. I also buried my joy in that beloved grave. So I left my career and as a middle-aged man, broken by the hopes of life, I tried to quench my longing in strange circumstances.
Just when I thought somewhere I had to feel the enjoyment of life again, I was sadly forced to move to other conditions, and it joked with this play with me incessantly. That was how I had crossed Europe without having to go further afield.
From time to time, the memory of my homeland, the earlier lifestyles of my childhood, the times when no pain tore my chest yet, when the little ones of Kotipello were peered with other peers. Oh fun childhood times! But its more painful was their sad ending. Therefore, when memories of loneliness tend to come to the fore, they increased unrest. At that time my heart was aching and I found no consolation in my travels. Both of my thoughts carried on them immensely and I had no ability to banish them away. Rather, when I met something reminiscent of domestic conditions, I clung to it, not knowing what power it took.
In such a contradictory state of mind, I sat in a train carriage for a few nights again, as usual.
I had left the strange city again, and unfamiliar areas were spent in a fierce ride. Twilight gave impetus to the painful feelings. Although the prolonged travel and the delay in the guests had experienced feelings of numbness, the pounding in the chest still came to naught.
I tried to put my thoughts into the current conditions and the everyday things that come into play. I measured the height of the wall and watched the smoke flutter behind the window. If the area that had been sown had been more varied, perhaps it would have banished black thoughts. But one and the same monotony! Sadly Hollando escaped the path of another equally sad. I wish there had been a solemn spruce, leafy dangers, or succulent waters on each side, of course it would have been the other. But even when they thought about them, the domestic memories ran into the darker mazes of the mind, and they longed more painfully. I thought luck would be if a person could get bored completely at times, or keep a sad mind, the hollow idea of a wave perch.
When I got tired of the unpleasant scenery, I looked at the passengers in the same wagon compartment. Most sat true and silent. The journey seemed annoying, the silence of the mouse annoying. Muita’s mother first fought with her little son, but then even the little one pressed to sleep. A painful state of mind manifested in all.
Indeed, the patience of a very gentleman sitting right in front of me seemed to be over. He closed his eyes and again squinted a little, felt relentless against the backrest, but didn’t seem so good. He improved his legs and alternately crossed them, but the restlessness increased. His behavior soon attracted public attention and some, looking for fun, looked at his hustle and bustle.
I, too, watched his gestures, and it produced some kind of satisfaction. One can enjoy the pain of another, especially when one suffers.
He looked like a fine gentleman, perhaps a little alive. Neither the costume nor the appearance could determine what nationality he was, although as a waste of my time I had also tried to make observations in this area while traveling. Carefree he seemed to be in his suit, which by the way was flawless. The face first focused on the strange eyes. They were deeply sunken and glassy, each with a strange, almost ferocious gaze. The forehead was high but rather slippery, the eyebrows slightly sloping and because of that the eyes also seemed to be in that position a bit. Conventional whiskers, trimmed and smoothly tapered. The face was pale and depicted great suffering. He almost looked creepy in that nervous, painful state.
Fear forced me to back down a bit, and only later did I dare to look more freely at the strange man. The unrest grew more and more, and gradually I began to think that the mere boredom of the journey, and the impatience that arose from it, alone could not be so mercilessly bothering and throwing human parka. Maybe he was a robber, a murderer plagued by a bad conscience. That is, perhaps he was a stranger, he had experienced sorrows, too, and bitter memories raged in his thoughts.
He seemed to be afraid of himself and must have spent the most painful moments alone with his thoughts. So the witch seemed creepy and forced akolla experienced an uproar in reality. But it was difficult. And finally the patience ran out completely. Once again, it felt obvious just like pushing to push away from the destructive inches. When it did not succeed, he let go of the bottom of his heart to alleviate his infinite bitterness with a cry of pain, a word clear – in Finnish.
All the passengers in the wagon understood the purpose uncomplicatedly, even if they did not understand the word themselves. For a long time it echoed in their ears and showed that it was the final bang of the show, a bomb that, after hissing, finally explodes and aches with what was intended to break.
But I rattled my ears. Finn! What had sent a citizen to a foreign land to torment and swear in a cramped railroad car? Unhappy, how hard suffering you may be! Your fiery pain is probably not minor as they strive so hard to pack out. Your heart is probably a cauldron of pain, where all the troubles of the world boil and finally swell over the edges.
I tried to send my unhappy countryman. I tried to get the most talkative with him. As the lightning flashed and thunder rumbled, the air inside him seemed sobered and cleansed. Calmly, he sat with his head with his elbows against his knees, his hands supporting his head, which was bent forward.
- Are you Finnish – born in Finland? I asked in my mother tongue.
- Yes, he replied briefly and dryly.
He both seemed amazed, though he tried to cover it up. His eyes depicted his astonishment and his gloomy lifelessness brightened to get wet again and more. But he avoided grabbing longer speeches. The unexpected acquaintance amused him considerably, but whether the natural rudeness or what must have kept him around the corner and dry talk. I moved closer on my bench, but he in turn backed the same way. I introduced myself and that’s when I got the answer.
And so we were acquaintances. But the debate did not want to arise. The answers he gave were as short and evasive as possible. I would have liked to know something about him and also to discuss a common homeland, but leading a speech there put an end to the discussion. I got to know the name of the city where I had last stayed, and the trip seemed to be the same as mine.
- Have you ever been abroad for a long time?
- For a long time, several years.
- Maybe you live in this country?
- Are you on a scholarship or just for fun?
My hobby was traveling. When he said this, the bitter, supposedly smile traits overshadowed the mouth game.