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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 5 (September 1, 1929)

An Omen of Good Cheer

An Omen of Good Cheer.

Not so Taua. He knelt by the side of the river, his spear-tongued taiaha weapon in front of him, stuck lightly in the ground and slanting against his shoulder, both his hands clasped on it. While the others were speaking he remained silently gazing at the dark rock in mid-stream over which the waters fiercely raged; sometimes its head was covered with spray and then it reappeared black and firm-set, glistening in the moonlight. Warrior after warrior arose by Marama's bright beams and urged Taua to return to Rotorua.

At last Taua rose to reply. His taiaha in his hand, he strode back and forth. Pointing to the rock in the midst of the rapids, he drew a lesson of good omen from it. “I have taken courage from that toka in the rushing waters and the flying foam. I am like that rock now; nothing will turn me back. Your arguments flow over me as the waters flow over that rock. Let us attack our foes again without delay. We shall triumph as surely as that rock stands victorious amidst the raging waters of Waikato!”

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Taua's speech carried all before it. His followers became animated with his forceful and heroic spirit.

“Yes,” said the warriors, “let us strike the foe again! This time we shall be the conquerors!”