Life in Early Poverty Bay
Chance That Went Begging
Chance That Went Begging.
“We had a good lead and at any commanding point, on the top of a hill for instance, we fired a couple of shots at them to cool their ardour. They would approach these points cautiously, not knowing whether we were still waiting for them. Meantime we would be dashing down the hill-side increasing our lead.
“Following some distance behind us, when we set out from Patutahi, had been some ammunition carriers, friendly Natives. My friend and I came upon this party at a place called Puketoro and they immediately fell into a panic when we told them we were being closely followed by Hau-Haus. Our total number was greater than the enemy and as the latter were then coming down a valley, while we held a commanding position above the track where they would pass, there was an ideal situation for an attack, which was practically certain of success. But our ammunition carriers would have none of it. We argued vainly and I swung my horse in behind them to prevent them returning to Patutahi. But it was no good and a splendid chance to destroy or capture some of Te Kooti's men went begging simply throgh the carriers' timidity. Seeing our augmented forces, the Hau-Haus stopped and we returned unmolested to Patutahi.”
At this time, Mr Goldsmith stated, there was a military depot at Patutahi, with a good supply of ammunition and stores. The Hau-Haus came down from Ngatapa and the occupants of the depot left immediately without firing a shot. With no opposition, the rebels simply walked in and helped themselves, thus replenishing their scanty stocks of cartridges, using them, later, to shoot down the men who had been issued with these self-same munitions.