With the Lost Legion in New Zealand
Chapter VII — The Taupo Campaign—continued
The Taupo Campaign—continued
About this time I was despatched with the mounted division to Runanga, so as to reinforce Colonel Herrick, who on our arrival was able to take the field with two hundred white men and a strong native contingent, which he did on 8th September 1869, as on that day he despatched Henare Tomoana and Paora Hapi, friendly chiefs, in command of one hundred and forty natives as an advance-guard, the plan being to join hands with McDonnell, who was on his way from Patea, and we were to try and catch Te Kooti between two fires. These warriors, however, marched too fast, as they reached Tauranga Taupo twenty-four hours before they should have done, leaving the main body with the stores to come on as best they could. Nevertheless they were there, and had occupied an old tumbledown pah, when they perceived Te Kooti and his Hau Haus marching down to attack them. Paora Hapi, who was a renowned fighting man, wanted to leave the defences, such as they were, and fight it out in the open, but Henare jibbed at the idea, so that our friendlies stood a siege of two days, and stood off the Hau Hau attacks very pluckily, though, through sticking to the pah, it gave Te Kooti the chance to capture and carry off one hundred and twenty of their horses.
True to time we arrived on the scene, but the page 360Hau Haus, well served by their scouts, had received notice of our approach, and as a stand-up fight with mounted men in the open was the very last thing Te Kooti desired, he raised the siege and fell back rapidly into rough mountainous country. On the same day we received a rumour that Colonel McDonnell with the advance-guard of his force had reached Rotoaira, a small lake lying between Lake Taupo and the active volcano Tongariro, and I was ordered to ride through to him in order to open up communications. This was rather a jumpy job, as every yard of the road ran through enemy's country, and it might well chance that en route I should tumble across Te Kooti's whole outfit; moreover, all the information I could get as to the whereabouts of the place was that it lay some ten, or possibly more, miles to the south, or perhaps south-east, or south-west, of where our camp was. However, I was well mounted, the country for New Zealand was fairly open, and I had had to chance it so often during the past four years that the dangers bothered me but little, so away I went and got through all right, although I was shot at and hunted quite enough to make it an exciting afternoon's ride.
Colonel McDonnell was very pleased to see me, as I was to meet him again, but I was more than surprised at the paucity of his force, which only consisted of seventy men. He, however, was expecting to be joined daily by his main body, and as nothing could keep him quiet he immediately started me off on the scout towards Tokanu. Here I found the enemy in force, and while trying to gauge their strength got spotted, and had to run page 361farther and faster than I had ever run in my life, before or since, but fortunately managed to keep ahead until night came on, when I got back safely to camp, very nearly dead beat.
The Colonel not being quite satisfied with my report determined to call on Te Kooti himself, so next morning we paid him a visit, when we found the bounder not only in a strong position but with fully six hundred men ready to receive us. These odds being a trifle too long even for fighting Mac, after an exchange of shots we fell back to Rotoaire, where we threw up a rough breastwork, and as we fully expected the Hau Haus to beat up our quarters we all kept a remarkably sharp lookout. The night passed quietly and early the following morning the main body joined up. The Colonel at once sent out scouts, who soon returned with the news that Te Kooti, having abandoned Tokanu, had fallen back towards Moerangi, hearing which the Colonel, without loss of time, seized Tokanu, despatching me with orders to Colonel Herrick to join him there. This trip I got through without trouble, and, on the 16th of September, both columns joined hands at Tokanu, a very important strategical position, and one that we could not understand why Te Kooti should have abandoned without a desperate struggle.
The following morning Hare Tauteka, one of the friendly chiefs, turned up at the Colonel's hut in a great state of mind, reporting that four of his scouts had been cut off, tortured and killed. This was decidedly unpleasant though, alas! by no means uncommon news. Scouts did at times get captured, and the Hau Haus, especially Te Kooti, page 362had a nasty way of entertaining their captives. Still this news required verifying, as it was unusual for the whole of a patrol of scouts to be captured, one or more as a rule managing to scrape clear. The Colonel therefore asked Hare how he had received the information, whereupon he replied that his scouts should have joined up two days previously, and that no hope of their safety could be entertained for a single moment, as his pet prophetess had dreamed a dream that they had been captured, tortured and killed. The Colonel demanded to see the lady, who with her son was trotted up, and two more loathsome objects could not be imagined.
The old dame was so hideous and unsightly that she would have afforded a gang of godly Puritans exquisite delight to torture and burn as a witch; while the son, who suffered from some horrible form of leprosy, appeared to be falling to pieces. Notwithstanding the old faggot's homeliness she was gifted with a most eloquent tongue, for no sooner had she appeared than she started in and prophesied a whole hurricane. Moreover, there was no Delphic ambiguity in her statements, as she stoutly asserted and maintained that the four scouts had been captured alive, tortured to death, and that their remains had then been thrown into a certain swamp, the name of which she mentioned.
Now of course we white men were inclined to laugh and ridicule the whole yarn, but refrained from doing so, as we should have deeply offended the superstitious Maoris, so, like the sailor's parrot, we thought profoundly, but said nothing.page 363
The following day Captain McDonnell, with Kepa's advance-guard, joined up, and he reported that he had been informed by some semi-friendly natives that Te Kooti had captured four of our scouts, tortured them to death, and ordered their remains to be thrown into a certain swamp.
Upon hearing this news the Colonel despatched a strong patrol of mounted men to search the place, and there, sure enough, we found the poor fellows' remains, which, from, the treatment they had evidently been subjected to before death mercifully put an end to their sufferings, showed us plainly that the damned Hau Haus had spared no torment that devils could invent or fiends inflict.
The old Witch of Endor was now very cock-a-hoop, as her lucky dream sent up her scrip many points on the market, and her name resounded through the field force as being quite a first-class, high-toned, up-to-date and always to be relied upon dreamer of dreams and seer of visions, in fact a puka old-time witch that all respectable elderly Maori fighting men must needs give ear to.
Now prophets and cattle of that sort were rank poison to an O.C. of a column in which a large number of natives served, and our field force had many more of these critters on our strength than we were entitled to or desired, in fact they troubled us exceedingly, as, just when the Colonel would want to make a move, some confounded old image, possibly suffering from a repletion of villainous ration bacon, would dream that the proposed expedition would be an unlucky one, and at once the whole of his congregation would plump page 364themselves down and refuse to budge an inch. This then was an opportunity that the Colonel could not allow to slip, for, taking advantage of the old dame's stock being at so high a premium, he immediately subsidised her, and in future she dreamt dreams that concurred with his wishes, and, as our luck was in the ascendant, the natives were quite ready to do any work they might be called upon to perform. Truly there are more ways of killing a cat than drowning it in cream.
Subsequently we heard how these scouts had come to grief. They had been despatched to discover the route that Te Kooti would be likely to take should he attempt to break away round our right flank, and had put in four days' hard work. On the evening of the fourth day, having completed the duty, they were well on their way back to camp, and had cleared the acute danger zone. Of course they had had a very rough time of it, for, although the spring was now coming on, it was only by the date in the day's Order Book you were aware of the fact, as heavy sleet storms during the day and hard frosts at night had still to be endured. Well, as I said, they were fairly past the danger line, in fact a few more hours' tramping would have landed them safely in camp, when unfortunately they chanced upon an old potato clearing on which stood a few huts, while, worse luck still, one of them spotted a rua (potato pit) containing a lot of potatoes.
The temptation was too great for the worn-out, wet-through and starving men. Surely they might rest and eat; anyhow they would chance it. They did so; and entering the best hut they lit a page 365fire, cooked potatoes, dried their dripping clothes and warmed themselves, then, overcome by the lassitude brought on by their full meal, and the unwonted heat, they fell asleep.
Of course they had played the fool, and had done what they well knew to be wrong, but yet I think St Nemesis might have closed her eyes on the faux pas of these poor scallywags, but she is not built that way, for she was on their spoor like a jumping wild cat before they had eaten a single pratie, and she punished their sin in a most cruel manner.
It happened this way: Although they were in blissful ignorance of the fact, they had been spotted by two separate parties of Hau Haus, each numbering forty men. These parties, posted on high ranges of hills, had not pursued them, as they deemed it impossible to overtake them, but when they saw them enter the hut they came down from their heights, and closely surrounded the place. One of them creeps up and peers through the chinks of the rickety door, and there he sees the four wretched scouts fast asleep, with their guns made fast to the hut-pole. In a moment the door of the hut is knocked into splinters, and before one of the inmates can move a finger they are overwhelmed by numbers, and securely tied hand and foot.
Next morning the captives are brought before the arch-devil, Te Kooti. They are all warriors of high repute and rangateras of the bluest blood, most valuable recruits if they can only be made to join the Hau Haus. Te Kooti knows this well, and for a long time does all in his power to persuade page 366or intimidate them to join him, but to all his specious arguments and diabolical threats he only receives this one answer: "Do with us as you like; we are warriors of the Great White Queen, who fear not death, come it as it may." As persuasion is of no avail the threats are put into practice, but I will not go into nauseating details. Frequently at intervals during the next twenty-four hours the torture is discontinued for a few minutes, and the offer of life renewed to the sufferers, but so long as speech remains the overtures are met by the same steadfast answer: "Do with us as you will; our honour is the honour of the Great White Queen; we fear not death, come it as it may." At last it came, and those four savage gentlemen yielded up their lives, but retained their honour.
If in the far future there should chance to be a corps d'élite among the legions of angels, I will wager my golden crown that those four Maori rangateras will swing their flaming tomahawks in its ranks.
Well, now let's get on with the main yarn. I have previously mentioned the infernal weather, which that year was the worst ever known in New Zealand, and as Taupo is always bleak and cold, we came in for more than our share of snow, sleet and frost; in fact, it being impossible for human flesh and blood to keep the field, the Colonel occupied the two strong positions of Rotoaira and Tokanu, while Te Kooti remained quiet in his fastnesses, both sides having to sit tight for a bit, and wait till the clouds roll by.page 367
While we are marking time for the clerk of the weather, I think I may take the opportunity of telling you about a wonderful occurrence that took place at Tokanu, which is situated among the hot springs and geysers close to the shores of Lake Taupo. Many of these are hot enough to cook in, the water boiling furiously, while many others are cool enough to bathe in, and there was one of the latter particularly favoured by all hands. Let me try to describe it.
On a flat of silica, quite smooth to the bare feet, are three huge basins, perfectly round, some seventy feet in diameter and all in a row, each separated at the surface by only a few feet of silica. Now the odd thing about these basins is, that the water in the two end ones rises and falls—that is to say, when the one nearest the lake is brimful the water in the farther one will sink out of sight, and vice versa. This takes place as regularly as clockwork, one being full and the other empty, while the middle one always remains brimful, and although the water in the two end ones is boiling hot, that in the centre basin is cool enough to bathe in.
This pool had been the favourite resort of the natives for untold generations, and had never been known to monkey—i.e. to blow up—so of course when we occupied the place we gladly made use of it; in fact it was full all day long, as in the inclement weather it was the custom of everyone not on duty to strip in his hut and rush off naked to the pool, into which he would plunge, and remain for hours in the hot water, thereby keeping himself warm and out of the icy sleet. Now page 368we were entitled among other rations to a couple of half-tots of rum per day, but, like many of our other necessaries, we received them rarely, and when we did get one it was highly appreciated.
Well, one wretched afternoon all hands not on duty, perhaps one hundred and fifty of us or more, were in this bathing hole when, oh, joyful sound, the grog call rang out! Without a moment's pause every man in the water jumped out and ran as hard as he could to hustle on his rags and make the best of his way to the rum-bucket. We were just in time, for the last man had barely cleared the silica flat when, with a roar like ten thunder claps lashed together, up went the bathing hole, and what a minute before had been a placid pool of warm water became a roaring geyser, throwing up a huge fountain of boiling water at least two hundred feet into the air, while the screams of it were like ten thousand steam hooters blowing off at the same time.
Well, now that was a slice of luck, as had the bust up taken place one minute earlier the whole lot of us would have been blown to Kingdom Come in smithereens. Think of that, oh, my crazy, fanatical teetotalerising, red-nose wind-bag, only just think, one hundred and fifty lives saved by their smartness in answering the wicked grog call. Ponder over it, my brother, and lay this flattering unction to your soul, should you by chance have one, that bar the alarm it was the only call in the bugler's repertoire that would have been answered in such a unanimous and energetic style, but cheer up, Brother Stiggins, I will give you a tip. The next time you spout trash to your brother page 369and sister fanatics, spin the above yarn, and if you only alter the grog call for the tea call, you will bring the house down. Surely you can't hesitate in telling such a tiny lie for so good a cause.
Just as the weather began to clear, a trooper riding despatch from Rotoaira to Tokanu returned at the gallop reporting that the road was blocked and that he had only scraped clear by the skin of his teeth.
The friendly natives refused to believe the yarn, so next morning the Colonel, with a dozen of us mounted men, rode out to reconnoitre, and near Tokanu we found the Hau Haus had taken up a strong position on the spurs of a range overlooking the track.
They at once opened a heavy fire on us, but following the Colonel's lead we galloped past them, and in a few minutes met a strong body of friendlies, led by Captain St George, who had come out of Tokanu to ascertain the cause of the firing. The Colonel immediately dismounted, and led the natives on to the attack, while we mounted men cantered into action opening the ball.
The Hau Haus were in strong force, swarming on the top of the range across the spurs of which they had dug lines of shelter trenches, the first line of which, the Colonel leading, we took with a rush, but the main body of the Hau Haus, undaunted, swept in masses down the spurs to drive us back. At the start we were far out-numbered, but were being reinforced every moment by fresh arrivals of friendlies from both camps, who, coming up at the run, threw themselves promiscuously into the fight. The charge of page 370the Hau Haus downhill at us was indeed a pretty sight, as they came on like mountain torrents, yelling like devils and waving their weapons in the air. McDonnell, however, had us well in hand, and shouted to us to restrain our fire, which we did until they were within ten yards of us, when at his word we all fired, and followed up the volley with a charge that effectually dammed their torrents of attack.
Faith, it was as swate a. little fight as I have ever had the luck to take part in, for, although it took place upon the spurs of a range and we had to charge uphill, yet the battle-ground was free from bush till the summit was reached, so that we could see all the fun that was going on around us. Another factor greatly to our advantage was that, the scrap being quite unpremeditated on our part, none of our limbs of Satan (prophets) had been able to dream dreams, consequently our friendlies fought with all their native courage, which was in no wise handicapped by the lugubrious prognostications of some old humbug suffering from the mullygrubs. A gay and festive hand-to-hand fight took place that lasted a few minutes, in which tomahawk clinked against tomahawk, and yell answered yell with all the reckless devilment of a good old-fashioned Irish faction fight, but at last the Hau Haus give ground, while we press them so closely, and drive them back so rapidly that they have to abandon their dead and wounded, who fall into our hands, the latter receiving the same amount of mercy as they would have bestowed upon us had the tables been turned.page 371
Presently they give way and bolt, but we pursue just as fast as they fly, and reach the top rather breathless, but mighty adjacent to their shirt tails. Here they turn and try to make a stand, but without a pause we fly at them like a pack of wild dogs at a flock of sheep, and in less than five minutes they are driven across the summit of the ridge, and disperse on the far side, a broken, beaten, dispirited mob of fugitives, while we white men sit down and laugh, and our bould allies vent their superfluous energy in a bloodcurdling war dance in which the heads of the defunct Hau Haus are passed from hand to hand like footballs.
This fight, Te Pononga, insignificant as it may appear, was yet of tremendous importance, although at the moment we were quite unaware of the fact, but we ascertained shortly afterwards that the celebrated Waikato war chief, Rewi, with six hundred warriors, had been spectators of the whole action. It seems that Rewi and his men had come to join Te Kooti, but had jibbed, as one of the lately tortured scouts had been a close blood relation to some of the most influential Waikato chiefs. This rift, however, had been nearly closed by Te Kooti's wonderful art of persuasion, who also braggingly prophesied that at his next fight he would utterly defeat the white man. There-upon Rewi made the agreement that if he proved himself to be a true prophet then he, Rewi, would join forces with the Hau Haus and assist them in driving the white men to perdition. Te Kooti therefore selected his ground (a great point in Maori warfare), went through all the Hau Hau page 372ritual and uncanny incantations, danced the Pai Marire, wound his warriors up to their extreme height of fanaticism, and then sent a braggart message to Rewi ordering him to come and look on at his splendid victory. Rewi came, but when, instead of looking on at the victory, he saw the boasting prophet with his whole gang of scallywags driven off the chosen field in headlong flight he quietly packed his grip-sack, and without beat of drums returned to the Waikato, where he informed H.M. King Potatau that Te Kooti was a humbug as a prophet, and no great shakes as a fighting man, so Waikato sat tight and left white man and Hau Hau to fight it out alone, which was a deucedly lucky thing for us.
The following day, as we were ready to start in pursuit, the Colonel received a message from Kepa asking him not to fight again until his arrival, as he was bringing with him seventy renowned warriors, and that he was most anxious to take part in the next action. This was indeed good news, as it would give us seventy trustworthy men in whom the Colonel could place the most implicit reliance, and would also enable him to dispense with the services of some of the least warlike of the friendlies, who were now beginning to give a lot of trouble, especially the Napier Maoris under Renata Kawepo.
Kepa's advent was indeed a godsend, but more good luck was to follow, as on the very same day the splendid No. 2 Division of the Armed Constabulary marched into Tokanu, who, together with the Wanganuis, the Taupo friendlies and us mounted men, gave the O.C. a fighting field force sufficient to page 373twist Te Kooti's tail without the assistance of the riff-raff who were always too ready to give ear to the romances of dreaming prophets.
While waiting for Kepa, McDonnell kept all hands, with the exception of the scouts, closely confined to the camps, as he was most anxious the Hau Haus should gain sufficient confidence to again collect in a body, which would enable him to deliver one more smashing blow, as in such a country it was quite useless trying to run down small parties of scattered fugitives.
His apparent supineness quickly bore fruit, as we scouts soon discovered that the broken Hau Haus were drawing together, and in a few days they had regained sufficient cheek to try and drive off horses and slaughter cattle grazing in the vicinity of the camps. Yes, slaughter cattle, my friends; for as regards meat rations we were now fairly well off, as, a pack-horse track having been cut through the bush to Runanga, droves of oxen could be sent up to the front, and as these beasts performed the journey on their own legs they required no transport. Other rations, however, were still very scarce, as we were only issued two days' groceries and biscuits for every eight days.
This had been all right up till now, as on our arrival in Taupo huge stores of potatoes had been captured, but alas, the succulent spuds had been eaten, so could not be issued again. It was therefore necessary to renew our stock, and we scouted hard to find any ruas, but although we found plenty of these underground storerooms, still they were invariably empty, the truth being that the Maoris of the district, having lost such large page 374quantities to us, and also having had to feed Te Kooti and his hungry gang, were deucedly hard up for potatoes themselves, and it became evident to all that in the near future Te Kooti and his mob would have to hunt for new pastures on which to browse. This being the state of affairs, and no one being anxious to chase the bounder again across the island, we were all very hopeful, and most desirous of getting the chance to smash him once and for ever.
Kepa arrived, and his advent was the occasion of the most tremendous war dance I ever saw in my life, but it is quite impossible for me to describe it. Only one man has ever been able to picture with a pen an old-time Maori war dance, and as I can't pretend to in any way approach his gift of description, I won't try to do so. Anyhow it was a very wonderful sight, and was, I suppose, the last real war dance ever danced in New Zealand. Of course a few years back, when our present King, God bless him, visited Rotorua, the tame natives round about got up a burlesque haka, but although I was not present I will gamble it was not an old-time war-dance, as, had it been only a fraction of one, every white female and most of the white men then present would have fled off the ground overcome with horror and disgust.
While we looked on an officer said to me: "I wish to goodness, Dick, some of the infatuated idiots who for the past forty years have subscribed to the New Zealand mission funds could only see this ruddy lot of Christian natives dancing their war dance, for I'ud bet my bottom dollar it would open their eyes and close their pockets." To these remarks I fully agreed.page 375
We scouts had by now located Te Kooti, who at Pourere had built a strong redoubt after the European fashion, but without kaponiers or any other flanking defence. It stood fairly in the open, close to the foot of the burning mountain, Tongariro, while Papakai, the village of the great Taupo chief, Te Heuheu, was within two miles of it. Here Te Kooti, with the three hundred ruffians who had rejoined him, determined to make a desperate resistance, and as soon as McDonnell was aware of the fact he moved forward to deliver what he and the rest of us devoutly hoped was going to be the coup de grâce to the foul gang of murderers we had been so long in pursuit of.
The Colonel's plan of attack was excellent, and I have no doubt we should have succeeded in surrounding and destroying the whole hive of vermin had it not been for the old image Renata, whose pet prophet chose to dream a dream just at the wrong time—i.e. the evening before the attack should have taken place, which said dream caused Renata and his three hundred Napier Maoris to squat down and refuse to budge.
The attack therefore was made anyhow, it culminating in a race between the Wanganuis, St George's natives and ourselves as to who should first get to hand-grips with the enemy. When old Renata found we were attacking without him he got into a terrible fluster, and with sixty of his men following him ran after us, screaming to us to wait for him, lamenting that he was disgraced for ever, and cursing his pet prophet for all he was worth. His penitence, however, came too late, as a number of the Hau Haus had already got out of page 376the place, breaking through the gap he and his men, through their confounded folly, had neglected to stop.
Pourere was rushed in a most orthodox style, as we surmounted the parapet, which was eight feet high, by climbing on to one another's shoulders and jumping on to the top of the defenders, whom we finished off with butt, tomahawk and revolver. It was quite a tidy little scrap, in which I came out the richer by receiving two tomahawk cuts and the poorer by having my shirt and shawl torn to pieces off me, a very serious loss, believe me, as until I got back to Tokanu every rag of clothing I possessed was my boots, a somewhat scanty well-worn Maori mat and bandages. Pourere was a bad beating for Te Kooti, as, although we only found thirty-eight dead Hau Haus inside the work, yet during the pursuit very many were killed and wounded. We also captured thirty women and eighty horses. In this action Te Kooti himself was wounded, receiving a bullet through his hand, which, lacerating the thumb and forefinger, amputating the third finger, then passed through the fleshy part of his side.
Our loss as far as numbers went was trivial, four men only being killed and four wounded, but alas, we lost two men we could badly spare, one being the gallant and chivalrous Captain St George, shot through the head while leading his men to the charge, and the other, the best little fighting man I have ever known, Winiata Pakoro, whose name will resound as long as war is ever talked about by the Maoris.
He was killed in the following way:—The parapet of the work was eight feet from the ground line and page 377four feet thick, being beautifully riveted with fern. When we rushed the place we advanced in extended order, and on the charge being sounded ran forward, stooping low and closing in as we ran. Now Te Kooti had asserted that the reason he built Pourere after the European style was that he acted under the direct instructions of the angel Gabriel, in which case his angelship showed very small knowledge of the art of fortification, as the line of loopholes was pierced six feet from the ground and straight through the parapet, not giving the bottom sills any downward slope, so that his men when firing could not depress the muzzles of their guns, consequently when they fired their volley at our charging ranks all their bullets went howling over our heads, not one single man being touched. In a moment we leaped into the ditch, and, as there were no flanking defences to enfilade it, we were quite safe, and all paused a moment, cheering and laughing, to recover breath.
Winiata, however, had no need of more breath, so forthwith scrambled up to the top of the parapet, and, discharging his rifle into the mob of defenders, called them all the naughty names he could think of, then throwing down to his comrades his empty gun he received from them another loaded one, which he also discharged in the same manner. He had done this three times, and was in the act of doing it the fourth when he tumbled backwards into the ditch with a bullet through his brains.
Her saintship Nemesis on this occasion made use of a rod she must have kept a long time in pickle for the back of that ancient sinner and believer in dreams, Renata Kawepo, the chief of the page 378Napier tribe, and she served it out to him in this fashion.
Old Renata, who in no ways lacked pluck, at the last moment charged with about sixty of his men, but in the pursuit through the bush got separated from them. While alone he fell across a Hau Hau man and woman, the latter's husband having just been killed, and these two at once attacked him. It would have gone very hard with the poor old chap had not a trooper and an Arawa come to the rescue, who equalised matters by promptly killing the man, and then stood by and, acting as referees, watched a veritable hand-to-hand fight, no lethal weapons being allowed, between the infuriated Suffragette and Renata. Now I regret to state it is impossible for me to report that the fight was fought in strict accordance with the Queensberry rules, or any other well-known code of laws drawn up for the guidance of pugilistic encounters, as after scrapping two rounds, during which both of them should have been frequently disqualified for foul fighting, in the third and last the vixen got the dog down, mauled him severely, tore the greenstone ornament out of his ear, taking the greater part of that organ with it, gouged out one of his eyes, which she promptly swallowed, and would have finished him off had not the Arawa, suddenly remembering that the Napier tribe would most probably demand utu from him for looking on at their chief being outed, put an end to the shindy by taking the Amazon prisoner. The general verdict of the field force on this encounter was serve him right, and much more sympathy went to the woman than to Renata, as everyone was fed page 379up with the pranks of the Napier tribe and bitterly blamed Renata for giving Te Kooti the chance of again escaping.
The Napier men, however, were furious, and, being high-toned Christians, demanded the woman should be given over to them so as to be tortured and killed. This modest request the Colonel sternly refused, and promptly ordered all the women prisoners to be brought up to his own camp for safety. At the same time he solemnly warned the Napier scallywags that if they dared to play any monkey tricks he would let loose us mounted men to twist their tails, whereupon the disgusted Napier tribes said they would go home, and were promptly told to go to Hades, and they went not as far as they were recommended to go but to Napier, and this was only to be expected, for you see the beggars always hung back when ordered to march an unfrequented route or do anything of an arduous nature.