Letter from W. Halse.
dated 3 January 1847.
3rd. January 1847.
My dear Sir,
I got your letter of the 28th December; and really have nothing to send you in reply. We are without vessels, or news of any kind; and it is getting dull work to open a glass and continually strain one's eyes in looking along the sea line for the Governor.
Our Christmas Day was somewhat damaged by indifferent beef; but, like good Christians, we ate and forgot it. The people laid aside their perpetual plodding for some days, and they finished off on Friday with a pic-nic at Waitara. Webster and his family went down in a carriage and two, early in the morning; and there were, besides 5 or 6 other Bullock carts, on the ground.
R. Brown and Aubrey started from Town in Cooke's hearse; and it nearly proved an appropriate vehicle for them; for old Sandy backed down the cutting on the North side of the ford at the Henui; and threw passengers, provisions, cart and himself over a precipice of 7 or 8 feet, into the river. Except to the cart of provisions, no damage was done beyond a ducking to Brown and Aubrey; who
afterwards reached Waitara on horseback.
There was a very decent amateur concert at Davis, on the 30th. Upwards of 120 were asked. To accommodate them an addition was made to the long room on the lawn. I was astonished to see the place so well arranged, and so well occupied. All the women were remarkably well dressed; as were also the men; and for the moment, I could easily fancy myself in some well-appointed house at Home.
The singing was very fair; and as a commencement, very creditable to Davis, Newland, Murch, Merchant, Parris, and Harris,- who, I believe, got it up. There were no refreshments; nor could they be expected; so some of the people paired off to a spread at Wicksteed's, and Webster's, while Dorset, myself, and 4 others laid siege to a private supper got up by the eminent,- Monsieur George.
The Summer weather appears to have come and left us before its time. The disagreeable S. Westers have set in; but they have brought rain to the parched crops. I hope it is in time.
I think I shall finish off just where I am now; for I have no pretext for writing. I could go on in this way to some length; but you could not extract any news from it. Your time is better employed than in reading an idle writer.
I presume you are now at Wanganui, as Charles Brown stated you had marched for that place. I should not dislike to be there myself; if only to see a few Redcoats, to remind me of old times.
Believe me to remain
D. McLean Esq.