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Off to New Zealand. -- A Gale. -- Bream Bay. --Bay of Islands.-- Kororarika. -- Paihia. -- River Waitangi. -- River Kawakawa. -- White's Island. -- Roadstead of Warakaihika. -- Roadstead of Rungatukaia. -- Abandoned by the Schooner. Overland Trip to Warakaihika. -- Selfish Conduct of a Chief. -- A Musical Cargo. -- Return to the Bay of Islands. -- Sojourn on one of the Islands. --
"The wind was fair, the sea was blue.
The sky without a speck.
As the good ship o'er the waters flew,
With King John upon its deck."
MY worldly wealth not having much increased after a sojourn of upwards of two years and a half in New South Wales, I determined on proceeding to New Zealand, to try the unexplored resources of a new country, and on
February 14th, 1840. --I shipped goods and took passage in a small schooner bound to the Bay of Islands.
February 27th. -- Sighted a cluster of islets to the north-west of the North Cape, called the "Three Kings;" a few natives reside upon these hummocks, as we could discern the smoke of their fires in passing.
February 29th. -- A violent gale commenced from the northward, which increased to such a height, that we were compelled to lay to under a balanced-reef-
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mainsail. It seems as if we had sailed into the very centre of its encircling fury, and had no power subsequently to escape from it: being deeply laden we were completely drenched with the sea breaking over us, and hail and salt drift drove in our faces with such resistless force, that there was no turning your head to windward. The vessel laboured violently as if she had been subject to the influence of a succession of whirlpools: suddenly the mainsail being blown from the bolt ropes she was cast on her beam ends, and buried with her lee coamings in the water. I thought she was gone: the mate called to the captain to cut before it was too late; but he very coolly replied, "If she wasn't fit to carry her masts she wasn't fit to float." The hatches and scuttles were well secured by battens, and fortunately nothing started: the vessel, though small, had great beam, and was very stiff, and she gradually righted, the worst of the gale having spent itself; and though it continued all that night and through the greater part of next day its violence had abated. I narrowly escaped being washed overboard in the height of the gale; for desirous of witnessing the battling of the elements I stripped to my trowsers, and went on deck. The captain advised my lying down in the lee scuppers to avoid taking cold, and I had just taken a bath when the schooner was thrown on her beam ends. I clung to a spar that was made fast to the bulwarks, but the rushing of the water had caused the lashings at one end to give way, and I was swept overboard, but as I did not abandon my hold I came in again with the recoil, when I lost no time in scrambling to the
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weather rail. The wind gradually veered round to the south-east, but before it had reached this point we had drifted to the southward of the Bay of Islands, and as we had had no sights we mistook the Poor Knights, small rocky islets off the main, for the Caralle Islands, and took a cruize in Bream Bay, thinking we had reached our port, the Hen and Chickens and Barrier Islands being mistaken for the islands which gave rise to the name of the bay we were bound for. We had been three days without observations, and no one on board had visited New Zealand before, which is some excuse for our error. Discovering no signs of man or his habitations, we began to fancy all was not right; the miserable outline chart that we had gave us no assistance; but what helped us to our conclusion was the hundreds of red bream we met floating on the water, supposed to have been killed during the gale which had just subsided. We therefore tacked, and next day at noon we were still to the southward of our port. Its approach is very romantic, numerous small islands are grouped about with rocks of singular and grotesque forms, particularly one at the north head, called from its shape the Ninepin Rock, and another off Cape Brett, the south head, which has a natural arch completely through it. There is also another peculiar rock called the Whale rock, which is only observable at low water, and then betrays its dangerous proximity like the back of a whale. On reaching Kororarika, the commercial settlement which is about nine miles from the Heads, I felt myself a disappointed man. The land rises abruptly on every side
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in steep irregular hills; there is no inland communication from the township, nor is there reasonable ground, from the features of the country, to hope there ever will be. A narrow sandy beach in the form of a crescent with a swamp at the back, a few hundred square yards of higher ground shut in by abrupt surrounding hills, is a faithful portraiture of Kororarika. The only level spot available has been seized upon for the township, which does not exceed in extent a good-sized kitchen-garden. There are thirty or forty wooden houses of European construction, which have arisen in the style termed higglety-pigglety, no attention having, been paid to any thing like order or regularity: a "pah" or native village occupies a prominent part of the beach, and "Maori" huts are interspersed amongst the houses of the English residents. I do not see how it is possible that commercial transactions to any extent can be conducted here. The place has no exports, and the whale ships are ceasing to make it a harbour for refreshing, &c., as they find the increase of white faces has raised the price of native labour and every commodity to such a degree that they are all seeking for other harbours, where they may, procure shelter during the season of retirement from the whaling grounds, and obtain refreshments at their former easy rate. Such a rush has been made to New Zealand that the place is crowded with Europeans; and when I first landed, I heard some of the idlers about the beach saying one to the other, "here come more victims." Every house has got more than threefold its complement of inhabitants: tents pitched here and
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there supply with some the deficiency of house room. The market is glutted with goods. Auction bells are going all day long, and, notwithstanding the government proclamations, land is daily being bought and sold; a monomaniacal plague or land fever is abroad, and the whole atmosphere is infected with it. I have mentioned the precipitous character of the land generally at the Bay of Islands, and in some places where a level spot has tempted an individual to fix his residence, the only communication to or from it is by water. Opposite Kororarika is Pihea, the missionary settlement. It is not very large, nor, owing to the nature of the land, will it admit of much greater extension, that is, in the direction of the bay, for the missionaries lay claim to extensive tracts of country as "Church property;" their site possesses more level soil than that about the commercial township, and it also communicates with the interior; but a great drawback exists in the heavy surf that plays upon the beach, which renders it impracticable to construct wharfs or jetties. Kororarika is open to the same objection. The only way they have of landing goods is by rolling them on planks from boats, whereby much damage is at times occasioned.
February 29th. -- The river Waitangi on the missionary side of the bay takes a very sinuous course; at high water vessels of from forty to sixty tons burthen might enter its channel, but at low ebb there is not sufficient water for the entrance of a boat. The banks in many places are under agricultural improvement, and I noticed corn, potatoes,
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pumpkins, and other vegetables in thriving condition. The soil is rich alluvial and yields abundantly; a picturesque waterfall bounded my excursion up this river, and it is from this fall its name is derived, "Waitangi," or the "crying waters."
The river Kawakawa, in another direction, is navigable for vessels of burthen eight or nine miles up: in fact it is a continuation thus far of the harbour of the Bay of Islands, but the land on either side is of the acclivitous nature before alluded to; and from the various detached spots where parties have fixed their isolated abodes, the only means of intercourse with other places is by boats. Vessels may anchor within a few hundred yards of the beach at Kororarika, and the harbour is esteemed perfectly safe; but when it blows hard from the N. E. there is a heavy ground swell: no trade is to be conducted with the natives. Flax does not grow in the neighbourhood, timber is scarcer than in Sydney, and what few pigs and potatoes are brought by the natives for barter are required for home consumption, and they have now learnt to demand for their produce more than its full value. Few as the Europeans comparatively are they are nevertheless divided. The missionary residents at Pihea will have no transactions with the settlers at Kororarika, and the "old hands" at the last-mentioned place combine to prevent new arrivals from selling their goods advantageously. The numbers that from false and high-coloured representations have flocked to the bay lately have caused store-room to be very scarce, and the terms most exorbitant, and the deluded beings, compelled to part
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with their goods, have in many instances been obliged to dispose of them at less than cost price; hence every new comer is hailed with the soubriquet of victim.
Finding no possibility of disposing of my cargo without being subject to great loss, I stored it and gave instruction for its sale at favourable opportunities. The schooner being chartered for the East Cape and elsewhere, for the purpose of trading with the natives, I agreed with the master to go with him as a passenger, and on March 28th we weighed and stood out to sea. The coast as we passed along had the same broken, bluff, repulsive, sterile look. Our old friends, the Poor Knights, Bream Head, and Barrier Isles again greeted our view, and on April 1st we sighted Vhite's Island, a small sulphuric volcanic isle. It was emitting volumes of smoke, and its spectral white sides caused it to resemble the ghost of an island "blowing a cloud." I was informed that it yielded good sulphur of commerce, but there is no anchorage off it; landing could be effected by boats, but not at all times practicable. As night approached I expected to see flames issuing from the crater, but gradually the smoke became less dense, and as the sun went down nothing but a thin spiral wreath could be faintly disterned.
April 4th. -- Came to anchor in a roadstead off Warakaihika, a Kainga or native settlement to the southward of Hicke's Bay. The natives came off to us, and I went ashore in a double-banked canoe, paddled by twenty of them; the canoe was dubbed out of a single tree and appeared so crank that I expected we should capsize, but there was no ground for fear. Keeping
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time with their paddles to a peculiar cry of "Tohia," they propelled her along with great dexterity and speed, and without shipping a spoonful of water piloted her through the surf into a chasm in the rocks only sufficiently wide to receive her. On landing we were surrounded by natives, who came running from all directions to gaze at the Pakihas; we were overwhelmed with greetings, and nothing could be heard but "Te-na-ra-ka-kui." The men were fine athletic-built fellows, some clad in mats and others partly in European clothing; the women not very tempting in appearance, and very ungraceful in their motions, their gait resembling the awkward waddle of a duck. The old people were extremely ugly, so shrivelled and full of harsh wrinkles they looked like animated mummies; numerous children were running about, but they seemed very puny, and did not indicate future promise of the strength and stature of their progenitors. We found that most of the natives could read and write, and that all were impressed with notions of the Christian religion. One among them officiated as minister: prayer was offered three times a day, at break of day, at noon, and at sun-down, all which times of devotion were observed with the strictest attention. In every hut was to be found a testament, prayer book, or some other religious token of the exertions of the missionaries. Wars between them are in a great measure suspended, and the sabbath is observed with great sanctity: they pay great attention to the instruction of their teachers, who are natives first taught by Europeans; and no presents, however
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ROADSTEAD OF WARAKAHAIKA.
eagerly coveted, would cause them to violate the Lord's day. The land here is of the same acclivitous character; it ranges far as the eye can see like a barrier wall, but it is cultivated by the natives in almost inaccessible spots. A narrow strip at the foot of the perpendicular cliffs, comprising about 800 acres of table land, is attached to this Kainga. It was under good cultivation, being intersected by channels for the purpose of irrigation and showing crops of potatoes, koomras, tara, maize, melons, pumpkins, cabbages, onions, and other vegetables. It is well and abundantly watered by springs from above, and at any moment by damming the channels they can cause it to be overflowed. There is good anchorage a mile and a half from the beach, and plenty of sea room to up and away if it should come to blow upon the land. The natives appear very partial to cultivating the face of the hills; they contend that the crops are better in such situations, probably owing to alluvial deposits washed by the heavy rains from, above. I have seen heavy crops of maize growing in such acclivitous positions, as quite fatigued me to reach them.
Whilst the person who chartered the vessel remained at Warakaihika to barter with the natives, he despatched the schooner to another settlement called Rangatukaia, about thirty miles to the southward of the East Cape, to take in corn, pigs, potatoes, &c., purchased by a trading master in his employ, an Englishman, long resident on the coast. This man went in the vessel, and I also again honoured her with my company. We steered between a small
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islet and the East Cape: it was blowing fresh when we arrived off Rangatukaia, and a heavy swell was setting upon the land; the captain hesitated what to do, for, as off Warakaihika, there is good holding ground, but no shelter for shipping. Whilst casting his eyes around in doubt he observed breakers outside us. This determined him and he immediately tacked and stood to sea again; towards afternoon, the weather moderating we brought to in eight fathoms' water, about two miles distant from the pah. A large war canoe came off to us with thirty natives, and a white man in her, the latter a runaway seaman; they stated they had between two and three hundred bushels of maize ready, and as they intended starting for Poverty Bay in the morning, they would bring it off at daylight. They were as good as their word; and a wild scene it was--three large war canoes ornamented with feathers, and beautifully carved stem and stern pieces. One of the canoes being considerably longer than the schooner came alongside: they were filled with naked figures, who threw themselves on board hallooing, shouting, and whooping, like imps of darkness. Their canoes were emptied and the produce stowed in the hold in a few minutes; and when they came to receive payment for their labour such an outburst of double discord took place, that the confusion of Babel must have been melody to it. Some time elapsed before all were satisfied and had taken to their canoes; they then gave a flourish with their paddles and pulled away with vigorous stroke, keeping time with their blades to the inspiriting cry of one of their war songs. Whilst
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the agent was engaged trying what more trade he could effect, the captain, a fellow-passenger, and myself strolled over the hills to survey the country. The skipper succumbed before he had proceeded three miles, and left us to gain the summit of a lofty hill, which promised a bird's-eye-view of the surrounding country. We had to surmount many an unexpected hill and hollow 'ere we reached our Mount Prospect. Every hill was under cultivation in greater or less degree, and most of the natives we fell in with were engaged in agricultural pursuits.
Maize seemed to be in abundance, but not, as yet, fully ripe. April is the best month for potatoes, and May for maize. On gaining the mountain top, the country to the southward, far as our gaze extended, was all hill and mountain, the deep narrow gorges between being densely wooded, not with available timber, but with an impervious interlacing scrub. Towards the north, at the back of the bold rising ground facing the sea, there appeared a level valley, apparently four miles long by two in breadth, through which we could discern the meandering course of two silvery streams converging towards a gorge leading to the sea. Lofty ranges of hill and mountain encircle this vale on all sides, and beyond which the eye could not penetrate. Having finished our survey, we were for making the best of our way back again; but our little Maori guide would conduct us by a fresh route, that he might introduce us to as many of his countrymen as he could. He led us through all the cultivated spots on our way, where we had to interchange the friendly shake of the hand and the
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salutation "Te-na-ra-ka-koi." We were considerably surprised at the loads we saw females carrying: we met on the summit of the highest hill an aged female just ascended from the opposite side, with two baskets of potatoes on her back, which could not have weighed less than eighty pounds: she did not seem at all incommoded with her burthen, and commenced the descent with less appearance of fatigue than probably I exhibited, who was entirely unencumbered. On nearing the beach, to our great surprise we saw the vessel getting under weigh, and when we reached the pah, lo! she was standing seaward with a spread of canvass. This was mortifying; but no help for it. The white blackguard at the pah told us we had better start overland for Warakaihika, and that the road was so direct we could not miss it: however, as neither relished this advice, we bargained for a guide. After some hesitation, one at length offered: "Come on," said he, with a resolute shake of the head, tightening his blanket around him; "come on:" and forthwith he led the way. He was a powerfully-built fellow, and active as a deer: he could make use of one or two English words, but did not understand any sentence, and our intercourse was managed by signs, with a word dropped now and then. For the first eight miles we journeyed along the sea-coast, and the guide, to shorten the distance, would catch me by the hand as the waves receded, and run me as hard as he could, by this means cutting off angles and securing firmer footing, as the sands just laved by the ocean were much harder than where exposed to the wind and sun; but it was fatiguing work, and when
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OVERLAND TRIP TO WARAKAIHIKA.
we came to ascend the cliffs I was seized with cramp in the thighs, so painful that I was frequently obliged to halt. When, however, we had mastered the ascent, I forgot my pains, on finding we wore about to enter the valley we had seen from Mount Prospect. Descending, we traversed it in a winding direction; and my companion, who was something of an agriculturist, declared he had never seen richer soil. We waded the streams we had noticed, the deepest parts at the fords not reaching above our waists: the water was intensely cold, and we hastened to resume our clothes after we had crossed the first river, but our guide signed to us not to do so, indicating, by holding up four of his fingers, that we should have to enter it four times more. We were joined by several other natives as we proceeded, apparently delighted at the chance of accompanying us. The land was cultivated through the whole extent of the vale, and we noticed many separate "" Our guide asked us if we would " kai-kai te dinner," meaning would we eat some dinner: signifying our assent, he led us directly to the chief pah. Old and young came flocking round us; and whilst we were going through the salutation ceremony, Toma disappeared. In a few minutes, however, he returned, bringing with him a basket of cold potatoes: we intimated a desire for hot ones, and he made us understand that he had only brought these for the present, but that the afternoon meal was cooking, and would soon be ready.
The chief named Ne-pere was a young man, tall and very robust: he wrote down his name, and brought from his hut several books; they were all much
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amused at our readiness in reading them, though not able to understand a word, and when we used a wrong pronunciation, one and all would call out to correct us. Whilst thus engaged, the cramp returned upon me; my toes became distorted, and painful swellings arose in the muscles of my thighs and legs. On observing this, Ne-pere pressed our staying with him that night, promising, if we did, to accompany us in the morning to Warakaihika. We were half disposed to stop, but fearing to miss the vessel we resisted his hospitable entreaties. Ne-pere shook his head, and made signs that we should never be able to reach Warakaihika that night; he laid his head upon the ground, and closing his eyes, intimated that we should go to sleep before we could get there. He took us into his hut and showed us mats, blankets, and coats to keep us warm, and signified that if we would but wait till morning we should be refreshed and well able to continue our journey. His signs were most expressive; but finding that all his kind entreaties were of no avail, he ceased to press us, saying in English, "Well, well." The potatoes and other vegetables being ready, a new basket was taken, and the choice of the lot being selected and laid before us, a clean mat was spread for us to sit on, and we were left to ourselves. The rest helped themselves indiscriminately from the oven, and kept at a respectful distance, except Ne-pere and Toma, who sat immediately behind us. We were a long distance from the sea or brackish water; but on contriving to make Ne-pere understand I would like some salt, one of his slaves brought me a paper of Epsom salts. The repast being done, we distributed
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OVERLAND TRIP TO WARAKAIHIKA.
what tobacco we had, and returning thanks in the best way we could, bade farewell to the kind group, shaking hands with the whole of them. They seemed particularly pleased with this shaking of hands, as if they deemed it an honour. Our guide acted very cavalierly. Seeing we had finished eating, he looked at us and just made use of the word "Ready?" and interpreting aright our nod of acquiescence, away he started, without leave-taking or anything else, and when we overtook him ho was at a considerable distance from the kainga waiting for us. His nonchalance was very amusing. He entered two or three huts on the road, and, without addressing a syllable to the inmate, coolly helped himself and us to what we wanted, and departed in the same silent manner; nor did his countrymen manifest any surprise at this treatment. Having reached the extremity of the valley, by crossing the streams before they formed a confluence, we again emerged upon the beach, which we followed for a few miles till brought to a stand-still by the cliffs shooting precipitously from the sea. By some subterraneous convulsion, these cliffs had been rent asunder, and the yawning ravine or chasm rose wall sided for several hundred feet, at the bottom of which a dark rolling stream discharged its headlong current, and threatened to put a stop to our further progress. We were completely at fault, and could not see the possibility of continuing our journey. Toma stripped, and, taking me on his shoulders, waded up the stream for about fifty yards, landed me on a narrow shelf of rock, and then returned for my companion: thus he kept wading and landing us on either side the stream
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as it winded through the dark chasm, till at last there appeared no prospect of a resting-place for the foot. "Come on," said he; and to our surprise commenced an almost perpendicular ascent. No track was visible, and we had to use hands and feet. Now commenced our troubles. Having surmounted the first painful ascent, we got into a narrow footpath which led us over what appeared to our tired legs an endless variety of steep ridges; sometimes we had to force our way through brushwood and fern that reached above our heads, and at others we were obliged to use the utmost precaution that our feet did not slip and precipitate us into the gullies below; and now our guide began to play us tricks, thinking he had us in his power. He first demanded one thing and then another; he even requested me to give my trousers off my body, saying that I had got another pair on, alluding to my drawers, and on our refusing to comply with his attempts at extortion, he made as if he would leave us: however, finding we were not intimidated, but continued our career without him, he again joined us, and, as if nothing had occurred to excite our distrust, he handed me his pipe, and, in a tone of the most friendly confidence, made use of the monosyllable "Smoke?" As evening approached, he became very urgent for us to quicken our speed, seemingly entertaining the greatest dread lest darkness should overtake us. We endeavoured to reassure him by evincing our indifference; but still, at every halt we made to relieve our fatigued legs, he did not fail to torment us with his "Haere! haere!" We had been travelling some hours, and were now
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about two-thirds of the way over this interminable pass, when I was so exhausted with fatigue and pain proceeding from cramp, that I made up my mind to throw myself amongst the fern, determined to rest there till morning. On reaching Toma, who was somewhat ahead of us, with the intention of declaring my resolve, he motioned us to take off our hats, and pointed to the sun, which was disappearing in a flood of crimson light below the distant sea-girt horizon: concealing his face in the folds of his blanket, and sinking on his knees, he poured out his evening orisons to the Almighty; he sang a hymn and offered several prayers. I was much affected as I looked at the wild tattooed savage; and that scriptural passage wherein it is said that the Word of God should be preached throughout all nations upon earth, to every people and in every tongue, rushed forcibly to my recollection. We did not scorn to follow the example set us by the converted heathen, and after we had concluded our petitions again resumed our journey; and we observed that, from this time, Toma was more considerately deferential and attempted no more impositions. Buried in thought, we continued walking for some time in silence. Darkness at length rendered our footing so precarious, that it required the whole of our attention and exertions to keep ourselves from falling. Our last descent was particularly fatiguing and hazardous; it was nearly perpendicular. The trees entwined their limbs above our heads, shutting out what little light we might have received from the heavens; and the blind track was formed by the twisted, interlacing roots of trees, that obtruded
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through the earth. We were literally compelled to feel our way, and in many places had to hang on with our hands as we groped with our feet for the next rest. It seemed as if we were never to reach the bottom; and we were so thoroughly and completely knocked up, that our trembling limbs well nigh refused to support us. At last, like thirsty pilgrims at the sight of water, we were once more delighted at beholding the beach, and, what enhanced our satisfaction, a hut only a stone's throw from us. But on signifying our wish to pass the night there, Toma betrayed most unequivocal signs of alarm: he shook his head, and hurried quickly past it, muttering "Tapi tap," which we subsequently learnt meant sacred. From some cause or other the chief of the tribe had tabooed it, and until this rite had been removed, no native dared enter It; so we had to trudge another weary mile or two in no enviable plight.
I could scarcely drag one limb after the other, and continued loud in my lamentations, when Toma suddenly stopped and asked, "Kai-kai ti supper?" Heartily did we express our readiness to fall to, at which he began ascending a sand-hill, leaving us to follow. The moment I attempted to do so, cramp in the muscles seized me with tenfold violence, and I was obliged to crawl upon my hands and knees. This was a settler, and I vowed to go no further that night. It was dark as pitch, and Toma appeared very anxious to keep us close to his side; I ridiculed his fears, and, I suppose, fancying from that I would be a good protection against evil spirits, he caught my hand and motioned me to accompany him. But
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A NIGHT'S REST.
the great reluctance I evinced to move caused him to transfer his attention to my companion, who was in rather better condition. Handing me his tinder-box and instructing me to get a fire in readiness, he took my companion to aid him in a search for an iron pot, secreted for the use of the initiated. Owing to the extreme darkness, and Toma's fear of moving from my companion's side, they returned unsuccessful, but not without forage, as Toma unrolled his blanket and produced several heads of green maize and a large pumpkin. I had consumed all the tinder in a vain endeavour to procure a light, and was busily clicking away with the flint and steel, when, luckily for my credit, Toma stumbled on the smouldering remains of a fire. With lungs inflated like a blacksmith's bellows, he quickly kindled a flame, and it was not long before our provender was roasting in the ashes. I did not make much of a meal, but as for our guide, he despatched enough to have satisfied a horse. His appetite appeased, he stretched his blanket in the sand before the fire, and inviting me to lie down on the edge of it, he rolled himself up in the remainder, sheltering my back from the wind, which, being only in my shirt and trousers, was very acceptable: I got little, if any, sleep, as Toma disturbed me by continually rubbing and scratching himself, and we were obliged to rise frequently to procure wood to feed the fire, for Toma would not budge a yard from the light, being as much inspired with superstitious dread of the darkness as were the Australian blacks.
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At four o'clock A. M. we again started, our guide having been entreating us to move since half-past two; but this my companion would by no means stand. The remainder of our trip, being about twenty miles, was along the beach, being a succession of long sandy reaches, which occasioned us much disappointment, as we were in hopes that every point we rounded would be last. Soon as the flushed appearance of the eastern horizon announced the break of day, Toma quickened his speed and hurried on to a native hut. Not knowing his motive, we waited for him on the beach. Presently he reappeared and beckoned for us, and we found it was to join him and the family in morning prayers. The decent and respectful attitude with which they listened to the one who read, and the fervency with which they seemed to feel and utter the responses and join in the hymn of praise, would put to the blush many of our more civilised congregations. A few miles further on we breakfasted on potatoes at a pah, the chief of which accompanied us to Warakaihika, which haven of rest we contrived to reach at half-past ten, never before so jaded and foot-foundered. We found the chief who had accompanied us the latter part of our journey had a motive for so doing, as, greatly to our surprise, he demanded payment for the few potatoes we had eaten, and again for carrying my companion across the narrow stream. Tobacco is much prized amongst the natives, and we started with a good stock, and so long as we had it we gave it away freely. This, perhaps, saved us from previous similar requests, but as it was the first
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SOJOURN ON ONE OF THE ISLANDS.
we had been subjected to, we turned to our guide, who looked much mortified and ashamed.
The schooner did not reach her old anchorage till the following morning, having encountered a stiff gale which had carried her considerably to the northward. I was not sorry to get to my berth again, as I cannot expatiate much on the luxuries of a Maori hut. A day or two after, the vessel's hold being filled with maize and potatoes, and her deck covered with pigs, we again got under weigh for the Bay of Islands. The wind freshened till it blew a strong breeze, and then commenced rude harmony. What with the hoarse roaring of Boreas and the varied notes of our live cargo, it was indeed "most musical, most melancholy." Defend me from such another freight of sweet voices. We arrived in safety at the bay, but instead of proceeding direct to Kororarika, I accepted an invitation to spend a week or two on one of the small islands at the entrance of the harbour. Great importance seems to be attached to these small islands by parties claiming them, but I cannot see why, as there is very little level land upon them: they would do very well for persons of independent property, who wish to enact Robinson Crusoe in a small way; but in a commercial point of view I confess I cannot see their utility.