15 February 1872
Llewellyn and Chamberlain turned up about mid-day. They said they had waited for us the day before and had not ridden far. After cooeying for us awhile, they rode on in the direction they were going, and getting into a swamp were obliged to stop and camp. They made a fire of an old whare and lay down in their saddles, and with their swag did the best they could, tieing their horses with tether ropes. Rain came on during the night with thunder and ligh
etning. In the morning at four they started, all wet, had nothing to eat, and wandered round and round the swamp, every step seeming to get worse and worse. At last they made a fortunate dash (as it turned out) at a place thro’ which they only just managed to extricate the horses, and it turned out to be the only place they could have escaped. They sorely needed rest and nourishment, and none of us cared about braving the weather that day, for it rained hard. We fed up our horses with some of the oats we had brought, as there was no grass.
We here visited a Maori Pah which is very perfect – and saw William Fox, a Maori Chief of great celebrity. He shewed us his Whare and gave us some fruit. The Sleeping Room for the “Hapu” was about 35 feet long by about 20 feet wide, lined with reeds and decorated with carvings of the ancestors. All sleep in the same room with all the apertures closed, breathing the vitiated and over-heated atmosphere
withing within. From this they frequently go out fishing in the night air. The consequence is their health is undermined – the respiratory organs became inflamed,
nearly all are afflicted with a barking cough, and congestion of the lungs or Consumption are rapidly decreasing the numbers of the race.