It is August afternoon. The shadows of the oldest lime trees and maple trees run in long dark streams on flat, light green grass strips and light sand corridors.
An almost sleepy peace reigns under the trees. It seems to flow here up the hillside from the city sleeping in the sunshine. Sometimes the bird chirps in the tops of the trees and every now and then there is a hint of pigeons from the eaves of the church.
Then again, everything is quiet.
Luminous fluxes go unnoticed and the grass becomes more and more translucent green.
A bell strikes the church tower. Slightly trembling, the relaxed sound waves fall through the crowns of the trees to the earth embroidered with lights and shadows.
The park is slightly rolling and ends at a piled quay that burrows into a small lake bay. It’s more lively there. The bay of the lake in front shimmers with the shine of the sun, and the aimless breathless wind draws its blue roads into it.
A few children are playing on the pier. Their exclamations and laughter are like bright, exhilarating color and sunshine. Some of them swim small cellulose fish, while others have bark boats. There are also a couple of real sailboats on the water, and their stages are sometimes followed by forgetting the whole pike, fish and bark boat.
They’re real sailing ships, everyone agrees. They have real sails and a pencil case, then they are even painted red and white. Real sailing ships they are…
The enviable owners of the sailboat are a boy of about eight years old and a girl who somehow looks the same age. At first glance, you will notice that they are among the better-off than most in the herd swarming around them. Running on the dock, they steer their swinging ships away from the wires until they are finally bored with play, winding their wires, pulling their ships ashore. Many possessive hands try to grab the ships, but their owners hijack them in their armpits and run to the park, where their mother sits in the shade of lime trees with her crafts.
As the children approach, the conversation breaks from the mothers. Smiling, they lift their faces from their work.
– Mom, I’d like to lower my ship, but this thread is so short. – The little girl wraps the wire around her ship, waiting for her mother’s advice.
– Yes, it gets far enough, replies the girl’s handsome mother, half distracted, looking at her child’s tanned face.
– But I would like to lower my ship to go farther, far away, says the girl again stubbornly.
– Then it may happen that you don’t get it back. – Once again, the young lady looks with pleasing blond eyes and a red mouth, which is like a flower bud.
The girl looks out of the trees at the glistening bay until she suddenly says:
– What it does, Mom, I want to watch my ship go.
“You don’t get a new ship,” says the mother sternly, as if suddenly remembering her duties as a breeder.
The little girl doesn’t ask for more, but looks at the mouth in the bosom of the lake.
Meanwhile, the little boy has lowered his ship to the bench next to the darker woman and stayed to listen to the conversation next door.
– Would you like to, Heikki, let your ship go that way? asks his mother, amused.
For Heikki, the question is quite insane. He grabs his ship as if afraid it will escape.
– E-en, he says with a laugh.
– Listen, Esther, how reasonable Heikki is, says the girl’s mother to her little hoodie.
– Esther probably has more imagination, the dark lady smiles politely. However, his curiosity about his son’s inches seems to have woken up, but he doesn’t hesitate to ask again when Heikki on his ship looking at the crochet:
– This ship is not worth cargo at all.
– But, baby honey, Yachts never carry cargo.
Mothers look at each other with a smile.
– I would like it to take the load, Heikki says.
– Isn’t that worth something? Let’s go try again, says the little lady, putting together her handicrafts.
The children happily run back to the beach and the mothers follow them leisurely, watching with joy the bustle of lights and shadows in their light suits.
When the ladies with their children disappear to the beach, all that is left on the park bench is a couple of maids with prams, a student reading a newspaper, and a worker picking up a fence to whom his wife has just brought coffee. The man is currently sipping his first cup and the wife is waiting for a bottle covered with a sock leg in his hand. They sit in silence. Apparently they enjoyed a beautiful afternoon, coffee and good harmony.
– Mrs. Forssner also seems to have already come to town, because she went with our lady there, the wife finally says something to say.
The man sips the coffee a couple more times, lowers the cup to the tea and hands it to his wife, who immediately pours new coffee into the cup.
– I guess it was Forssner’s girl, who has been running here with Heikki, the man thinks while drinking another cup.
– Don’t you feel it when your mother is completely revealed?
– I have not looked at him so closely, and I have not seen my mother more than ever Farther in our yard. – The man hands the cups to his wife, who pours the rest of the coffee from the bottle to herself, crocheting:
– How would you know her when you’re gone all day, but I often see her there with our lady.
– I already knew architect Forssner from my time in Hämeenlinna. The man lit his barrel and began looking for some of his tools in his box.
– So yes, you were from the same city, the wife recalls.
– Yeah… Then there was only a sharp-headed man and otherwise benevolent… He never roared at the workmen when he came to the construction sites, as this our Selander does. And even though he rarely came to the site very clearly, yes, he still knew his job.
– But what about the milking of such a cow that pours its milk on the ground, the wife smiles. – Godfather of that girl probably comes when the father was good hyvä and the mother is probably even better…
– Hm… growls man. Who exactly has to take care of the children of others here… But are they still talking about that engineer Nyman and Mrs. Forssner?
– Oh, oh, still. There is resentment in the wife’s voice, but the man laughs:
– I guess it would be unfortunate for Mrs. Forssner to be alone, too. ”It is not a novelty of yesterday that young widows are easily comforted.
– After all, our lady also knew how to live her widow’s life beautifully. There has been nothing ugly at all. But many people wonder that he both bothered to be so good with Mrs. Forssner ei But I don’t know… and besides, Mrs. Halldin is such a good person that she hardly thinks badly of anyone.
– Who knows them, – and it doesn’t matter, the man interrupts dryly, taking up his job.
The wife arranges her baskets and has just something to say, but she notices the ladies coming towards them in the hallway, and she just says:
– Our lady seems to have something, because they seem to be coming here.
At the same time, the ladies had already arrived at them.
– Good day! greeted the smaller lady. Did Ahonen have to fix the stairs in our basement these days, when they have rotted so badly that the girl has already had her legs folded a couple of times.
Ahonen promised next week to try…
– Come and see when you get to work in the evening, and we’ll get how many boards you need in inches.
Ahonen muttered something positive again, opening a new nail box with a pair of whiskers.
Ahoska looked at the lady from the sidelines, leaving.
– Where is Janne at work today? asked Mrs. Halld a little timidly, turning to him.
– Janne is now in a match factory, Ahoska replied, tying her scarf.
“That’s fun to hear,” said Mrs. Halld sympathetically. Apparently he would have wanted to continue the conversation, but his comrade had stopped to wait, so he had to hurry.
– Ahonen is good and will come and see in the evening, he reminded in his sources.
– It is a very handsome person, still that Mrs. Forssner, although I think she has had adversities as well, bankruptcies and others,… said Ahonen after the ladies passed.
– Konstikos of such must be plush to survive, said the wife bitterly, adding: By no means gentlemen bankruptcies just do nothing but their wealth.
He already turned to leave, but at the same time he sees the children running from the shore, in front of Halldin’s son, the ship in his armpit, and behind Forssner’s girl.
– Often when I watch that Heikki there in my backyard, I remember my Aaku death. It also has slightly similar eyes… The wife’s voice vibrates warmly and she follows the progress of the children with sympathetic gaze.
Ahonen bangs dryly, fixes his belt, and begins to carve the fence molding as if he hadn’t heard anything.
But the wife continues halfway to herself:
– About a big Aakuk would already be. That Heikki seems to be the same year’s children… I guess it was the third time when Master Halld’s deceased bought that house… and it’s now three years since the fall.
– Yes, those times are spent… Ahonen wants to say something very friendly or at least show that he has understood his wife’s longing thoughts.
– What time do you think you’ll get home from here that I know how to put dinner? Janne promised to go lure in the evening with Lehtonen’s sons, Ahoska asks, breaking away from her longing memories.
Ahonen looks at the field to be listed.
“I guess it still has to be pressed until eight today, otherwise it won’t be Saturday,” he thinks, and continues without looking at his wife:
– Jannek could be at home sometimes tonight. Who do those Lehtonen sons know what they really are. It would be better to land on the night sometimes than to paddle all the lake coves.
– I am by no means such a defense, but young people cannot be so enslaved, especially in the summer, the wife replies humbly.
– It’s the same in the winter… What did the lady ask? Ahonen spoke almost violently.
– I guess I just asked without her time… if Hilda would have endured men there when the lady was away, but Janne hasn’t been there for three weeks.
– How do you know when he runs all night.
– Yes, in the fish… with other boys. And actually, I think it’s a lot better when those women in that backyard always go around it.
Ahonen no longer answers anything, but nails the fence strips, as if no one was around him.
The wife takes the basket in her arm and leaves humbly, in the evening sun, towards the glorious city.
Finally, the ladies get up from their benches to leave.
In the park, the shadows have dwindled. The trunks of the trees no longer stand as dark, speckled with light as they used to, but bathe in a warm yellow color that flows almost horizontally into them, from the sun sinking into the distant woods. Every blade of grass shimmer translucent, as if desiring to shout: I’m green … I’m green … It is still summer, still, still …
The children run down the aisle in front of their mothers. Heikki carefully carries his ship, in whose sails and red bottom the rays of the sun hold a real feast of joy.
– You see, Anna, Esther is not the slightest regret that she let her ship go. He simply cannot comprehend that everything can no longer be recovered in this world, Ms Forssner says to her comrade. There is a concerned tone in her voice, but Mrs Halldin is aware that there is admiration in it. However, he is not, to his knowledge, but half-indifferent:
– You should teach him that. Don’t buy a new ship.
– What does it help when grandma and uncles still buy.
– Hm… I think consistency is the only way in education.
– I guess so, but, good God, who can handle it and dares to be so strictly consistent with his own child.
They had come from the shade into the street and Mrs. Forssner opened her red parasol, sighing lightly. His comrade found the argument futile and went silent beside him, his gaze following the children already running away in the distance, like a pair of white butterflies.
Mrs. Forssner was afraid she had said something stupid and wanted to improve.
– Yes, boys may be much easier to raise than girls.
– Usually the opposite is thought. – Mrs. Halldin glanced at her comrade asking questions.
– Look, especially today… Mrs Forssner wanted to weigh her words better this time.
“Nowadays, girls get a kind of upbringing like boys,” said Mrs. Halldin, curious to hear what the other person was really experiencing.
– That’s right! If the times were as before, I would not be afraid of Esther at all. But nowadays, girls also have to prepare for a certain life task, unless they are wealthy…
– Well, but it’s great that they have the opportunity to prepare to stand on their own two feet, not to have to wait on the wind tunnels as before.
– So of course… in general. But if Esther has all the harsh truthful work as disgusting as I do, then she is lost.
Mrs. Halldin glanced at her companion, who walked lavishly beside her. Disgusting as a real job… He almost suspected he had heard wrong, but that was not possible either. He once remembered on the train from the side that he heard a couple of women convince each other of exactly the same thing. He felt blushed in annoyance, and for a while dared not say anything.
“You’re wonderfully open, Emma,” he said at last, with a slight smile.
But Mrs. Forssner did not notice the slight trembling in the other’s voice, but squinted at the children waiting at the small fountain, saying half to herself:
– I do not understand that he deliberately let his ship go…