Ch. Miss. Station, Waitangi,
August 1, 1851.
My dear Sir,
In a prodigious hurry I scribble you a few sentences:-
To thank you for your excessively kind note, and all its accompaniments, which I found at Ngaawapurua, on the Saturday after you had left.
To express my great regret that you should have deprived yourself of what you certainly needed far beyond myself - and
To tell you, that I have little or nothing to say - being still on the tip-toe of expectation of getting some Letters, etc, per "Rose", now due.
I reached the Station (by forced marches) by the end of May. I made haste to meet Mr. Grace, who arrived here the next day, and who remained a week, or more -
My "mate" detained me 12 days at one place - and, though travelling long before I ought I made it worse, insomuch that I thought it would end badly, and cost me a journey (or, voyage) to your town - It has only just healed - for which I am thankful.
About 10 days ago, Karaitiana, and Mrs. Valentine suddenly appeared here. They came just in time: the weather, which, had been for 6 weeks remarkably fine, suddenly changing to wet which still continues.
During the last 9 days we have been twice flooded - the first time severely so - garden, kitchen and back-rooms, deeply under water. Natives dogs, cats, etc. etc. in wakamahau and fitting room. Fortunately the river opened itself a new mouth, and we received a benefit - water leaving, mud remaining. And since, owing to the very heavy rain, we have been again, and are still, half submerged.
The Natives are rather clamorous about our immediate removal.
I feel myself in a strait.
All pretty quiet around: Hapuku at Te Waipukurau, erecting a house for you.
Several deaths at Tangoio - among others the pakeha "Reino" - rather suddenly.
Mr. Val. Smith has taken a part of Karaitiana's house in the neighbouring pa.
You, who know our situation, etc., can tell all who may be strolling Ahuriri-wards - that any supply in the way of kai, which the Station may afford, they shall ever be fully and gladly welcome to: but Lodgings and Time I have not for any one.
It is well not to be disappointed.
Two days back I returned from Tangoio; and tomorrow I leave for a fortnight. When I rest another fortnight (i.e. cease travelling; rest is not here) - September is wholly
occupied, accordg. to arrangement: - ditto, October -
Yesterday we had 2 severe shocks of Earthq.- the first one, at 1/2 past 2 p.m., which made us all run out into the rain; I think this was the longest in duration that we have yet experienced. The second, happened at 20 m. past 9 p.m., and, both coming in one day, made us fear the worst.
2 vessels in together from P.N. - "Phoebe" and "Twins" - several horses have arrived since you left.
I think I shall be guite ready to buy a few acres of land from the Govt. - immediately after you have settled with the Chiefs.
Mrs. Colenso is not, I am sorry to say, very well; owing to a severe Cold. The Children are much as usual. The Kai-tuhituhi of this rheumatic, and going-out to get more so.
And so the wheel revolves.
Believe me, My dear Mr. McLean,
Very sincerely yours,
P. S. I have lately heard (from Whites) of the Small Pox having arrived in N. Z., and now committing fearful ravages at E.Cape. Pray get me some vaccine virus, that I may do all I can for the infants and others here who are not vaccinated. I have at different times vaccinated a large number, but there are still hundreds who have not been done. If you can, pray get it from two sources; and sent immediate. It is a national good, and one which I am willing to perform gratis. W.C.