Object #1009253 from MS-Papers-0032-0482

8 pages written 4 Dec 1868 by John Davies Ormond in Wallingford to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0482 (74 digitised items). 72 letters written from Wallingford, Wellington & Napier, 1866-1868Includes piece-level inventory.

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

Decr. 4th./68

Dear McLean,

This evening a messenger came out from Puhaetahi with the enclosed letter from Hiriwanu's people. The letter I think very little of. The messenger says that late last night a messenger Himiona from lower Manawatu reached Hirawanus kainga that the news he brought was that Titokowaru had crossed the Wanganui river inland and opened communication with the Rangitikei and Manawatu Hau-Haus and that it had been arranged that a party shd. at once start for this district by way of the Bush road the object being to strengthan te Kooti party by a division in his favor. Of course it is impossible for me here to know what credence to attach to this report - but I feel I ought to communicate it to you at once. I have therefore sent a Telegraph giving you the gist of it. The road the party are to take is a new line that was cut by the Wellington surveyors it enters the Bush at Rangitikei side and comes out on a clearing the other side of the Manawatu big hill on the road. Such is the story which you can take for what it is worth. The Manawatu Natives are in a precious funk. They have left their Pahs and gone to the Bush - they say to hide old Hirawanu. At any rate they believe the story and are acting accordingly.

The least we can do now is to have that road watched properly and a small party of Weber's scouts shd. I think be sent at once on that duty. I ought also if we are going to have alarms from that quarter to have some one to communicate with you through - or rather to take such intelligence as I may have to send you, to either Waipukerau or Waipawa as the case may be. As it is whenever I want to send to you I have to send one of my men specially. The Manawatu Natives I am writing to by their messenger - I am telling them that a small party of European Scouts will be sent to help watch the road - but in the meantime to be vigilant and communicate at once any movement that comes to their knowledge.

All this party of the District including the Waipukerau Waipawa - Hampden etc. is in a very poor state of preparation for any difficulty shd. such unfortunately arise. There is no system, no fighting head - nor any concerted plan of operation. I expect in addition that there is no ammunition. I have a little here which you sent me before Omaranui and which is all right but it is only a small quantity and no one knows anything about it except myself. Of course if anything does come on this side you will give me authority to act for you and I should do all I could, meanwhile, if there be no ammunition in the district means shd. be taken at once to ensue its transit shd. the occasion require it. Some of the Europeans from the Manawatu Bush have left and come out here and the feeling of insecurity is gaining ground, I find in this neighbourhood. I do my best to keep pannic down but I fear the the feeling exists and a very little cause wd. develop it to a most disastrous extent. The promulgation or at any rate the confirmation of this news of an advance of Hau-Haus from Manawatu wd. send half the people of the inland districts into Napier.

Any Scouts that are sent to Manawatu road shd. be sent this way as I cd. give them information and directions more clearly than any one else from knowledge of the country.

I trust old Hirawanu's views may turn out incorrect.

Always, Yours faithfully,
J.D. Ormond.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0482 (74 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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