Letter from W. Halse
dated 5th. March 1849
5th. March 1849
My dear McLean,
By some mistake we have not corresponded since you left, and therefore I was glad to receive your letter the other day; though, when you wrote, and from whence, it did not say.
I am again laid up with quinsey, - the second within 6 months; and my neck is very bad from being blistered. You will excuse my short letter by this post.
I fancy, from your letter to me, that Mr. Fox has communicated to you the contents of my despatch to him, respecting Compensation. The subsequent delay, (of which you spoke), arose in this way. Mr. Fox awaited my further communication - this reply to my letter. I have since forwarded the wishes of the Land Claimants, that they should receive 1 1/2 acres compensation. I think a distinction should be made between those who received, and those
who did not receive land in exchange in 1844. But the utmost wish I have is to hear that the arrangement can be carried out satisfactorily to all concerned; though some of the claimants are unjust in their judgment of me.
The principal thing I desired to write to you of, is the business in which I have been undeservedly drawn into, by a worthless bitch, named Rawinia, the woman of a worthy man, Hahopa, who went with you to Wellington. I mention this that if you ever hear of it, you may have a correct version of the story, as far at least as I can give it. It is unpleasant to me, in my situation, to be mixed up in an affair of this kind; and moreover, I have, deservedly or not I will not say, a reputation on account of Maeori, who gives confirmation to a suspicion, however absurd. The facts are these:- Rawinia, during Hakopa's courtship of her, in August last, came to me, and offered to throw Hakopa overboard, if I would take her. As she was accompanied by Te Ropia, her father, I do not intend to publish this if the natives do not meddle with me. Being Company's Agent, if for no other reason, I declined; and she, womanlike, did not forgive or forget me for it. Afterwards, Rangi
Waia, another hopeful, and bosom friend of Rawinia, tried me on her own account, with equal success. She was tapu to Wi Koro, an old fellow. Well, Hakopa duly took unto himself Rawinia, without marriage; and Wi Koro attempted to take unto himself Rangi Waia, at Turton's Chapel, where she refused to be married to him, or live with him on any terms. To my mind the girl is as free as the wind. The father and mother, however, continued to persecute the girl; and to free herself, as she thought of Wi Koro, told them she and Rawinia were excessively spooney on Hare Tuakana, whose machinery worked to their entire satisfaction. They, (Rangi Waia's people) came to me in a friendly way, as I believe, to find out if I would connect myself with them; when the girl, pressed by me, told them in their presence that persecution had driven her to lies; and that all she had said of me was invention. The father and mother were satisfied, and so was Wi Koro, who, finding the hopeless nature of his suit, decided on returning to his place at Waikato, immediately on selling his wheat, etc. The father and mother, (old Whaio and his one-eyed wife) sorry to lose the man, perhaps because he had been waiting so many years, renewed their efforts on his behalf, and the girl
bolted into the bush, and was not captured for some days. To this day, I hear she refuses to live with Wi Koro.
Hakopa, in due time, returned. The Waiwakaiho natives tried to induce him to marry Rawinia, as their consent to his resuming her, which he respectfully declined; so they live together as before. One day, since I've had this infernal quinsey, Hakopa, who had been two or three times since his return, told Rawinia he was coming to me; and asked her to accompany him. She said she was ashamed; and gave as her reason, that I had acted as Hakopa's Agent in a delicate business, - in vulgar language, that I had stummied (?) her. Whether it was said in worry, as quoting an offence to her, by Rangi Waia, or as "utu" for my former indifference, I cannot say. At all events, suspecting that Nga Pihi was in it, as Rawinia never came here without her, they got up a "tuau", and took from her (Nga Pehi) a cart. Thy lying varmint went so far as to implicate Cooke; saying he was in my house, and connived at the intrigue. So false a charge is my best defence. The plunder commenced; the girl had no alternative but a persistance in her falsehood. After that they went to Waiwakaiho, and robbed Honi Ropiha, and I believe the father, of some things. At least they were given up,
and the taua returned to Puketapu. Cooke came into town, and told me they intended waiting on me on the following morning; so I wrote to Captain King, more on the Company's account than my own. But if they ever seriously contemplated coming, Rawiri and others dissuaded them, and as far as I know, the thing will blow over. It has been confined to the natives; and I prefer that it should rest with them. They know, however, that I proposed to them through Cooke and some natives, that the correct course, if they suspected me, was to have a korero with me on my recovery. If I hear anything more I'll write to you.
This was to have been a short letter.