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Life in Early Poverty Bay

Officious Colonel and Free and Easy Colonials

Officious Colonel and Free and Easy Colonials.

At the head of the Arai the dispirited Europeans met Colonel Whitmore, the well-known ex-Imperial Army officer, who had already had much experience in Maori warfare. The retreating colonials and Colonel Whitmore's small force, which had come up from Napier, met in the Arai valley.

The Colonel asked full particulars and they were supplied him by Captain Westrupp.

“Ah!” he said, “you men must come back again with me.”

“Who the h— are you”? asked one of the volunteers, one Dodd, who was afterwards killed in the Massacre.

“I'm Colonel Whitmore,' was the reply.

“Well you can go to h—!” said Dodd. “We're all going home; we've had enough.”

The Colonel said: “Martial law has been proclaimed, and I order you to turn back.”

“We all laughed,” said Mr. Thelwall, “or at least we smiled, as well as one could” smile at such a time. We surrounded him and told him we didn't care what he said. We had had quite enough, at any rate, for a start, and we were off home. We knew nothing of martial law being proclaimed. His abrupt official manner didn't appeal to us and we left him speechless. We told him, however we might come back next day if we felt like it After a good wash and a good feed we felt better. Later we had a meeting and decided to turn up on the following day, and we all joined Whitmore's forces.

The troops followed Te Kooti up the Ruatikuri river, where the Hauhaus attacked, killing six British and friendly Maoris and wounding five, and Whitmore's force came back. Te Kooti moved on to Puketapu in the Urewera Country, where he rested for the winter, and Whitmore's force was disbanded.