November 12th. 1869
My dear McLean,
I received your very kind and flattering letter the day before yesterday, and it would be strange if I could not find time, however busy, to reply.
First of all, I am glad to think you are pleased at what has been done. I hardly feel we have been successful, as that secoundrel Te Kooti is still alive. A slight mistake was made in my orders in our night attack on the pa, Otherwise he had met with his proper fate. I did all I could to recinde this, but he had just got out of the pa before we charged. I will explain this better when I see you.
Poor George! I am so sorry for him. He fell just on my left, and a little to the fore of me. He fell dead. The bullet struck him right in the forehead. I received instructions about his remains, and carte blanche about getting them taken to Napier. But as the natives asked £200 for taking them to Napier, I did not like to incur such a large expenditure, and he can be removed at some future time. If his fate had happened to myself, I think I could
rest at peace in any grave. I cannot see it matters where one shall lie.
Te Kooti is, I think, in the Tuhua (?) country, and will probably join Hakaraia and Kereopa at Patatere. I would have tried to go to Tuhua, (I say tried, as our transport has been dreadful, and I have had to cut and contrive to feed the force,) but I thought it might involve us with the King's Party so I returned from our last expedition Te Poutu, and sent a messenger with a plain letter to the Chiefs at Thua, asking them if Te Kooti was to be heard of in that neighbourhood; and if they would inform me of the place where he could be found, we would march straight to him, etc. etc. This messenger has not returned. I expect his back in three days from this; and I have written offering what I have now told you.
You may depend I will do all I can, but as you are aware better than anyone else, what all natives are, you must not be astonished if I fail sometimes; but if I am backed up in small things there will not be much fear of that.
I am glad you saw Lucy Grey's letter. I told her, before I left Wanganui, to send you any news of importance, and I have just finished a letter to her, telling her she must keep a sharp look out, and
to make herself sure of the correctness of her information before she writes, and then to address her letter to me, under cover to you, at Wellington. I place great reliance on what she says, and believe Titokowaru capable of anything horriable. I trust his future punishments will fall into my hands. I should hardly like to hear he was dead, unless I had been by.
We are about to build boats for Taupo - a thing very much wanted; but 16 or 18 are too short. I will get the carpenter to make them longer; 25 ft. is not a bit too long.
Col. Whitmore said Kemp would never serve under me. The wish was father to the thought. I laughted heartily when heard of it; and leaving other things on one side, Kemp is too much of a Politician not to know his best policy.
Whitmore's attempt to deteribatize the natives has done much havoc with the Arawas, but i have done all in my power to retribatize. As long as a native did the work of a pimp he was a ''splendid fellow''. I have heard some things that have astonished me.
I must now make an end of my scrawl.