My dear Mac,
You can hardly fancy what a lot of speculations we have had here during these last few weeks, respecting you; some even, had sent you over to Mupaere Bay, in search of goodness knows what; but the last, - and that frightened all the ladies - was a dream of Cooke's; who insisted that your simulacrum, ghost, or some such intelligent remain of you called on two different occasions one night, at his bedroom window. The consequence of this story being circulated, was the increase of the story as it went from house to house; and finally it was affirmed that you said quintessence had done us the honour also of a passing night visit. Cooke, it seems, was so positive in his affirmation, that numbers really believed it, and mourned some accident had befallen you. Your letters of last
week, per post, partly tended to lay the ghost; but unluckily, it was soon discovered that the date of your letters was two days anterior to the dream; so your ghost had a fresh run, till the arrival of Bob Law two days ago; and now it is a tradition likely to be soon forgotten. So much for the ghost. As to ourselves, we are all hale and happy. We have had our good little friend, Reimen-Schneider with us all the week; and Miss Wicksteed for the last three days; so I wish you had been one of our really comfortable, enlivened fire-side.
Mrs. Govett has gotten a daughter, - and really a very pretty baby. The Minister is quite pleased therewith. He is getting on here very well; and the unpopularity he first experienced is going off fast; so I expect to see him get on very well.
Mrs. Gillingham has been very poorly, but is now somewhat better. I saw Mrs. Flight last week for the first time. What a nice body she is. We were both delighted with her.
Pat is getting on really well. His Master speaks highly of his progress; and having got the spirit of emulation fairly lit, I am not afraid of its doing otherwise than to require the ---
Mr. and Mrs Whiteley were here last week.
What an excellent man he is. He has quite won both of us; and his daughter is the promise or more of being a very fine girl.
Numbers have chosen in your Omata Block during last week, and Wicksteed and I go out this week, for the same purpose. I go there, - i.e., to W's, to-day, to make arrangements.
I wish you may succeed at Wanganui; or is it likely I shall select my thousand or so of compensation acres thereabout; and make a reservation of my former choices on part thereof. Under the favourable prospects, and cattle trespass law overturnings, I do not suppose our friend, the Captain, will now think of Taranaki; but be sure to bring the bridegroom with you; and if the bride also, so much the better. Hulke has now got a Mill manufacturer, and is going to get on now. Cooke, the "ruined settler", is still alive, and making a right good thing of his new threshing machine. It threshes famously. He has got his land too, and the last of his blue devils -----.
Numbers of our runaways are returning, and about to return, - could find nothing to equal Taranaki.
Our united regards to the Captain and his worthy lady; to Mr, Mrs. and Miss Martha, and to all other friends; and in haste, believe me
very faithfully yours
P.S. William, I need say nothing about. He is the same steady, industrious old man. Please say to King that I have not time to write. My seal has been found. Maori finder sold it for a shilling to one of Cooke's men.
D. McLean Esq.