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Maori and Settler
A Story of The New Zealand War

written by "Henty, G. A. (George Alfred), 1832-1902"
...try are to be relied upon as absolutely friendly and trustworthy. "I am sorry now that I have been to some extent the means of inducing you all to settle here. At the time I gave my advice things seemed settling down at the other end of the island, and this Hau-Hau movement reached us only as a vague rumour, and seemed so absurd in itself that one attached no importance to it." "Pray do not blame yourself, Mr. Mitford; whatever comes of it we are delighted with the choice we have made. We are vastly more comfortable than we had[Pg 223] expected to be in so short a time, and things look promising far beyond our expectations. As you say, you could have had no reason to suppose that this absurd movement was going to lead to such serious consequences. Indeed you could have no ground for supposing that it was likely to cause trouble on this side of the island, far removed as we are from the scene of the troubles. Even now these are in fact confined to the district where fighting has been going on for the last three or four years—Taranaki and its neighbourhood; for the Wanganui River, although it flows into the sea in the north of the Wellington district, rises in that of Taranaki, and the tribes who became Hau-Haus and came down the river had already taken part in the fighting with our troops. I really see no reason, therefore, for fearing that it will spread in this direction." "There is no reason whatever," Mr. Mitford agreed; "only, unfortunately, the natives seldom behave as we expect them to do, and generally act precisely as we expect they will not act. At any rate I shall set to work at once to construct a strong stockade at the back of my house. I have long been talking of forming a large cattle-yard there, so that it will not in any case be labour thrown away, while if trouble should come it will serve as a rallying-place to which all the settlers of the district can drive in their horses and cattle for shelter, and where...

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