Alfred Hamish Reed.

Samuel Marsden, pioneer and peacemaker online

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panied by Te Morenga's servant as guide. This slave
warned Marsden that, on account of the distance to the



ly




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next village, they would have to spend the night in the
hush. Marsden, however, footed it to such good pur-
pose " up and down precipices and rocks, and wading
through the water at the head of the coves . . . we
had the pleasure," he writes in his Journal, " to observe
the smoke of the settlement about five or six miles off."
Thus encouraged they reached the village before dark-
ness set in, and very glad they were, for they were wet
and weary, and it still rained heavily. The chief and
his wife at Whananaki invited him to rest in their own
hut.

The following morning the chief persuaded Marsden
to remain until the next day, promising that, if Te
Morenga was unable to come on by canoe, he would
send the missionary up the coast to Whangaruru in his
own war canoe, when he would be within an easy day's
walk of the Bay of Islands. The next day, Saturday,
Te Morenga not having arrived, this chief, Te Ngangi,
launched his war canoe, which was strong, and well
manned by his powerful warriors. The wind and sea
proved the stronger, however, and Marsden was com-
pelled to disembark and once more make his way over-
land. Frequently they had to leave the beach and make
a detour into the bush, in order to cross over high necks
of land running out into the sea, besides having to wade
through swamps and creeks. The weather, too, was
very unpleasant, and they were thankful at night to
reach a small village, where the natives received them
kindly, and where they were joined by Te Morenga.

The next morning was Sunday, and they rose early
and continued their journey on foot up the coast, but
had not proceeded far when they perceived thai a war
canoe, which was overhauling them, was being paddled
in towards the shore. It proved to belong to the
Whananaki chief, who had kindly sent it after them,
the weather having again moderated, in order to save the






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missionary the fatigue of the overland journey. To
anyone watching from the shore it must have been a
fine sight to behold. The long, slender canoe, with its
carved prow and stern-post, decorated with the beautiful
white feathers of the gannet, urged forward by scores
of paddles keeping perfect time by the voice and motions
of a chief standing in the centre, carried Marsden swiftly
on his way. About midday they arrived at Whangaruru,
where the chief expressed his welcome by a discharge of
musketry.

Glad indeed was our Greatheart, after an absence of
three months, to find himself again within a short day's
walk of the Bay of Islands. On Monday morning, the
4th of September, Marsden, as usual the first to arise,
found the grass, shrubs and trees white as snow with
hoar frost. Never, he says, had he seen anything like
it before in New Zealand. He was eager to start, but
Te Morenga had no such desire, and declined to get up
until the sun, lifting his warm face out of the sea, had
thawed the frost on grass and scrub. At length the
party made a move, halting, however, at a village to
partake of a breakfast of dried fish and potatoes. Mars-
den could now no longer restrain his impatience, and set
off accompanied by one chief, leaving the rest of the
party to follow at their leisure.

About three o'clock in the afternoon he stood on the
shore of the Bay, at Pairoa, and looked, not without
emotion, upon the whalers riding at anchor. He says,
" I got into a canoe to go on board the Catherine, and
fell in with Captain Graham in his whaleboat, and went
on board with him, where I once more entered into civil
life and felt it much sweeter than at any former period
of time." It was with a thankful heart lie recalled that
during the whole of that long journey by land and river



About three years after Marsden' s journey, described in tlii.x booklet,
his ship was wrecked at the Bay of Islands, and this is pari of the story in
his own handwriting.

See opposite page

23



and sea he had suffered no serious injury either from
cold or wet, from want of sleep, or from lying down in
his clothes in varied weather and under primitive con-
ditions; while the noble race of savages had everywhere
shown kindness to him. An hour after he had boarded
the Catherine, the Prince Regent, a government schooner,
arrived in the Bay from Port Jackson, bringing Marsden
a packet of letters from his wife and children. Then
indeed his cup of happiness was full and running over.



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Online LibraryAlfred Hamish ReedSamuel Marsden, pioneer and peacemaker → online text (page 2 of 2)