July 17th. 1872.
My dear Mr. McLean,
As some bilious people were saying that the disinterrment of those who fell before Chaiawae, was only a revival by Europeans, of the barbarous customs of the natives to their dead; having been present at the re-interrment, I pencil the enclosed, which I forward to you. I took it to the Editor of "The Star", and asked him to indorse it, as I thought that most probably this was the paper most likely to insert anything of a similar nature, and there is nothing like being before-hand. I hope it may meet with your approval.
I enclosed my Report to Dr. Pallem, and are this, I presume, you will have received it.
My expenses in moving have been very heavy, considerably over, including loss, £50. I have written officially to Mr. Ormond. The steamers which ply between Whanganui and here are taken up by Charteris, and I had to pay high and extra. In setting off, I took lavishly, tables that I paid £.10/-, I got 7/- and 12/-. Chairs 7/-and 10/-, 2/6 and 3/-; and my other belongings at a like rate. It is impossible to
hand them down; and to replace the only necessary articles I require here, I have been forced to go into debt; and house rent is twice what it is in Wanganui, and I was just free from debt. if I had been guilty of any impropriety to cause my removal, I would have no cause to complain, but when it was no fault of mine, and only owing to false reports, which seem without justice to myself, to have been believed, it is rather hard on me; and if you can assist me I will thank you for it. I unfortunately too. burnt my cheque for last month. and am now without 5/- in the house
I had a letter from the Waikato, which says that Te Kooti is being escorted with eclat throughout the King's dominions, and is being made much of at Mokau and Kawhia; and has managed to re-establish some of his influence with Waikato, telling horroble lies of miraculous escapes, which are credited. Te Kooti is a clever fellow, and I hope will not give any more trouble.
The natives are generally very sulky, I hear, about the McCaskill case, and speak of Todd's murder as differing only from this affair in the result; one being killed, and the other only wounded. The intent was the same. Under the circumstances. were I McCaskill,
I would think twice before I left for home again.
There was another death from small-pox the other day, but medical men I have spoken with, do not seem to think it will spread much more.
I am thinking of petitioning about my wound, which at times is very painful, especially after exposure to wet, and long marches. As I appear to have over-stopped the time laid down, though a board was granted, I suppose this was an oversight.
If I do petition, may I hope for your support? I object to paying doctors, and it has cost me over £5 now.
I expect you are very busy. and will scarcely have time to read this hurried notes.
Yours very truly
Thos C.W. Donnell.