October 2nd. 1865
My dear Sir,
I enclose a copy of a Maori letter from Te Mawhai, which arrived here on Friday last. The letter will speak for itself, but I may as well give you a few particulars connected with it.
Henare Putae left the Mawhai last Monday, 25th. ult., on a visit to this place; but before he left, the Tokomaru contingent of the defenders of Pukemaire had returned, and it was given out that they had started on the Sunday to come over to Turanga. They however did not come, and the Maori letter relates what followed. The two boys who were shot down by them were half-caste lads, named George Ryland and Henry Henderson. The former was 13 years of age, and the latter about the same age. There was another half-caste boy with them, son of Gillman, who lives near Kaiana, but he escaped. The man Haki, who is mentioned as having been wounded is a white man named John Henderson, the father of one of the murdered lads. His wound, I believe, is a severe one in the head. Henare Potae returned on Saturday.
We have much reason to thank you for the seasonable reinforcement to our little band of military settlers.
I consider Turanganui pretty safe now; for the natives are now more likely to behave well in the presence of such a body of men. At all events, our want of confidence in them is not so much a source of uneasiness.
You ask in your letter of the 30th. ultimo., for a suggestion with reference to rewards to natives here for services rendered. I suppose the natives you allude to are those who assisted in the rescue of Mr. Grace - Rutene Piwaka, and Rawiri Tamaairiao. I do not know whether any definite promise, as to amount, was made to them in Auckland; and Rutene, from whom I might ascertain this point, is now away in Auckland. At all events I believe they were given to understand that they would have some reward in money. The amount would be best decided by the Government.
There is another man here, Eparamia Te Kura, who went of his own free will, and tried hard to get Mr. Grace away, before the "Eclipse" went to Opotiki. When you were here in June last, something was said about a reward for him, and I think something like £10 was mentioned.
Nothing. I believe, has been said to him about it. I fancy that the other two would expect something more than that: but it would depend more upon what the Government is inclined to give them, than what they expect.
I wish to call your attention to the necessity of an addition to the code of signal which was arranged for communication between steamers calling here and the shore. At present there are only two signals - one of which signifies, - "All right, you need not communicate": and the other, - "danger is expected, communicate immediately," or something to the same effect. Last time the "St. Kilda" called, she arrived in the bay after dark, and fired a gun. The question then was what signal should be made in reply. The first would clearly have given a very erroneous impression, and yet there was no danger so imminent as to require immediate communication. Had we been able to make an intermediate signal, we should have done so. As it was, we had no alternative but to use the danger signal. It may happen some time or other that immediate communication may be required, and we should be unable to signify our requirements if the signals are to be used with such latitude. Captain Dick, however, was not much put about by our
"distress signal", for he did not communicate with the shore for about 12 hours afterwards, and then he cooly told us that he wanted no signal, but that all he wanted was a light.
The Hau Haus at Warenga-a-Hika are building a strong pa, and they have been making free with some of our fences for their caremates. This may be the beginning of the last act, but I am waiting for further information.
I have told Wi Haronga that if the Hau Haus will not make good the damage done, he had better leave the place to them, for they will soon go on to more serious outrages.
Wi Haronga has written to you several times I believe, and he was asking me the other day if there was no letter for him. He is very staunch, and if you could find time to write him a few lines, I think it would be a great encouragement to him.
P.S. to fore-going letter
To:- D. McLean Esq.,
I am much obliged to you for the trouble you have taken about the Dictionary. I hope it may be forthcoming.
I have received two letters from Mr. Rhodes during your absence.