(Letter from W. Halse; 24th. December 1846.)
24th. December 1846.
My Dear Sir,
I have just come in, in time to send you a line by the messenger to start tomorrow for your quarters; which still form the topic of the day among the speculative. The intelligence that Troops of Police have really found their way to Wanganui, added to some admission of Basil Taylor's, on the morning you left, have revealed to the savants the true nature and object of your Expedition; at least, so they think. They cannot understand why you took a Rosinante with you, except for coasting, or that any place but Wanganui can be your destination; as Nairne was sent on before you. It is said that Captain King actually smiled on hearing of your abrupt departure; but as the present opinion now is that you got notice of these Troops, by Heale, & are directed to meet them; he may have learnt to set a better example. I really like to hear these speculations; and make a point of joining any little knots of people engaged in them.
Nothing of particular importance has transpired since we parted; except the landing of the Troops and
Police; which somewhat bothers the good folks here. They imagine it is to stop the next Taupo taua.
Have you heard that a General or Colonel Ellice is to be Lieut. Governor at Wellington? In that case I fear Captain Grey's appointment will be merely temporary; unless they Knight him, or make him a Baronet.
The Brig landed arms, etc, for your town; and a barrel containing tin. They say she is to return with bricks for the Hospital,- a pretty cargo for a vessel of that size on this Coast.
A very awkward accident had nearly happened, from a spent ball fired by one of the Police the other day; but as the damage was confined to a pane of glass, I suppose you will consider a reprimand and caution for the future, will answer every purpose, and satisfy a set who delight in saying anything bitter against a Public Institution, or a Public Servant; although he may be no higher than a Private of Police.
I was disappointed in not getting any papers by the Brig. As Captain King did not receive anything, I intend to write to Merriman, overland, without delay.
I got a letter from A. Aubrey, dated Kawhia, 18th. December. There is no news from that quarter.
It is a pity you should be away from the scene of
beef and plum pudding. Would it not be a good plan to send you 2 or 3 of the latter, of the size of Cannon balls?
The supper at George's, at which Creagh presided, went off very well. I was not present.
There is to be an amateur concert at Davis', on the 31st.; about 104 invitations have been issued; but I hear the feast is to be merely intellectual. In that case money may be made by erecting a booth on the grass plot. I shall bear this in mind.
I cannot, at the moment, think of anything else; and as my brother tells me that Webster and Cooke are writing to-you, their letters must compensate for the poorness of mine.
Believe me to be
D. McLean Esq.
Inward letters - William Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0318 (33 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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