sunnuntai 28. elokuuta 2011

Päänsä menetystä pelännyt Iisakki Antinpoika Niemi

Jo aiemmin täällä mainitun (tässä ja tässä) Bayard Taylorin matkamuistoja pohjoisesta löytyi lisää niteestä The R.I. schoolmaster, Volume 3 vuodelta 1858. Taylorin näkemys kohtaamastaan 73-vuotiaasta suomalaismiehestä Iisakki Antinpoika Niemi, joka pelkäsi kallonsa menetystä:
Ludwig was dispatehed to procure an old fellow by the name of Niemi, a Finn, who promised to comply with my wishes; but his ignorance made him suspicious, and it was necessary to send again. "I know what travelers are," said he, "and what a habit they have of getting people's skulls to carry home with them. Even if they are arrested for it, they are so rich, they always buy over the judges. Who knows but they might try to kill me for the sake of my skull?" After much persuasion, he was finally induced to come, and, seeing that Ludwig supposed he was still afraid, he said, with great energy: "I have made up my mind to go, even if a shower of knives should fall from heaven!" He was seventy-three years old, though he did not appear to be over sixty—his hair being thick and black, his frame erect and sturdy, and his color crimson rather than pale. His eye-brows were jet black and bushy, his eyes large and deep-set, his nose strong and prominent, and the corners of his long mouth drawn down in a settled curve, expressing a melancholy grimness. The high cheek-bones, square brow and muscular jaw belonged to the true Finnish type. He held perfectly still while I drew, scareely moving a muscle of his face, and I succeeded in getting a portrait which everybody recognized.

I gave him a piece of money with which he was greatly delighted; and, after a cup of coffee in Herr Knoblock's kitehen, he went home quite proud and satisfied. "They do not at all look like dangerous persons," he said to the carpenter; "perhaps they do not collect skulls. I wish they spoke our language, that I might ask them, how people live in their country. America is a very large, wild place. I know all about it, and the discovery of it. I was not there myself at the time, but Jenis Lampi, who lives in Kittila, was one of the crew of the ship, and he told me how it happened. Jenis Lampi said they were going to throw the captain overboard, but he persuaded them to give him three days, and on the third day they found it. Now I should like to know whether these people, who came from that country, have laws as we have, and whether they live as comfortably." So saying, Isaaki Anderinpoika Niema departed.
Pääkalloja oikeasti keränneestä ruotsalaisesta kirjoitin alkuvuodesta.

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