13th. Feby. 58.
My dear Sir,
Many thanks for your very kind and welcome letter which I received about two weeks ago, it is dated 22 dec. I need not trouble you with long apologies for not having written to you oftener, as you are well acquainted with my situation and the inconveniences I labour under for letter writing I know that you do not wish me to be ceremonious, and it has always been my intention to write to you as often as possible, but somehow or other there is always something in the way to prevent my doing so. You know that my duties are such as to require my whole attention, and incessant duty not only unfits the mind for such matters but leaves no time to attend to them.
You will no doubt say that I ought not to complain. I can never do so while I am able satisfactorily to perform my duty, but one thing I regret that I have not found time before this to write you a long letter.
I go to work in the field at 8 o'clock and never leave off till five at least never get home before five and sometimes not before half past six or seven. The morning is occupied by plotting the work of the previous day or arranging other matters, and taking breakfast, till eight o'clock. After work, supper is to look after, and the evening is often finished without having time for reading and by an
an attempt to drive away those little insects that make themselves so troublesome at night.
Mr. Johnson has been to town lately and during his absence I obtained the consent of the natives to give up about 9,000 acres in addition to what was formerly offered for sale, my object was to connect the Manaia Paoana, Tamaterau, Parahaki and Whareora blocks which has now been done, so that from seven miles west of Mair's grant to the Whangarei Heads, the land on the North side of the harbour will be in the hands of the Government. The Patana block will now contain about 19,000 acres, and the survey of it, will I think be finished about the 15th. of next month. Six Natives Reserves are required to be laid off in this block for those who now occupy the land and some of them costing a great deal of labour, but I think it quite necessary to have them well defined, and the boundary lines well cut and marked, so that no dispute can ever arise in future, and no expense be required for future surveys. I intend to send in such a plan as will enable the Government to sell the land without further expense until the land is sold, and for that purpose I have surveyed the Taiharuru and Patana rivers on both sides, each being about seven miles long, and the Waiparera on one side, I have also carefully noted the natural features.
I have now data enough to compile a correct plan of the whole district, and if such is desired I shall be glad
to execute the work to the best of my ability. At Mangapai I measured a base which only cost two days labour, and will connect nearly all the surveys made in the district, with the addition of observations which I have not failed to make since I commenced work here.
I suppose you will have no objections to my paying a visit to town when I have finished the block on which I am now engaged. I shall only require a few days and then return to begin a block of fifty or sixty thousand acres, after six months hard work you will not be surprised that I should require a little rest.
I have not seen Mr. Johnson for a long time. I have not the least idea what he is about, and I have only seen him three times since I left town. The Manga pai, Mahe Kamo, and Whauwhau blocks, I understand, have been paid for, and most of the money spent by the Natives.
You may command my services, in any way, at all times, and it will ever be my desire to deserve your approbation.
Yours most sincerely,
P. S. I shall write to you as often as I can.