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Title: Waihoura, the Maori Girl

Author: William Henry Giles Kingston

Release date: November 29, 2010 [eBook #34484]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England


W.H.G. Kingston

"Waihoura, the Maori Girl"

Chapter One.

The New Colony.

Arrival of the families of Mr Pemberton, Farmer Greening and others, in New Zealand.—Inspect Land.—Encamp near the Port till they can settle on the Land they have selected.

A fine emigrant ship, her voyage happily terminated, had just entered her destined port in the northern island of New Zealand. Her anchor was dropped, the crew were aloft furling sails, and several boats were alongside ready to convey the passengers to the shore. All was bustle and excitement on board, each person anxious to secure his own property,—and people were running backwards and forwards into the cabins, to bring away any minor articles which might have been forgotten.

The water was calm and bright, the sky intensely blue. On either hand were bold picturesque headlands running out into the sea, fringed by dark rocks, while beyond the sandy beach, which bordered the bay, on a partially cleared space, were seen numerous cottages, interspersed with tents and huts, many of the latter rudely constructed of boughs. Further off arose forests of tall trees, reaching to the base, and climbing the sides of a range of high mountains, here and there broken by deep ravines, with sparkling streams rushing down them, finding their way into a broad river which flowed into the bay. Beyond the first range appeared others—range beyond range, the summits of several towering to the sky, covered with mantles of snow shining with dazzling whiteness in the bright rays of the sun. In several places the forest gave way to wide open tracts, clothed with fern or tall waving grass.

“Here we are safe at last,” exclaimed Valentine Pemberton, a young gentleman about eighteen, as he stepped from one of the first boats on to the ledge of rocks which formed the chief landing-place of the settlement.

“Father, let me help you,” he added, extending his arm towards a middle-aged fine-looking man who followed him.

“Now, Lucy, take my hand; the rocks are somewhat slippery. Harry, you can look out for yourself.” He addressed his young sister, a fair sweet-looking girl of about fifteen, and his brother, a fine active boy, who sprang on to the rock after him.

“Take care of Betsy, though,” said Lucy, not forgetful of her faithful maid, whose attachment to her young mistress had induced to leave home for a strange land.

“Paul Greening is helping her,” answered Harry.

Mr Pemberton, with his daughter and two sons, soon made their way to the more even beach, followed by Betsy and Paul Greening. Paul’s father, farmer Greening, a sturdy English yeoman, with his wife and two younger sons, James and little Tobias, as the latter was called, though as big as his brothers, were the next to land.

“My boys and I will look after your things, Mr Pemberton,” shouted the farmer. “Do you go and find lodgings for Miss Lucy and Betsy.”

“Thank you, my friend,” said Mr Pemberton, “but we have made up our mind to rough it, and purpose camping out under tents until we can get a roof of our own over our heads. Before we begin work, however, I wish to return thanks to Him who has guided and protected us during our voyage across the ocean. Will you and your family join us?”

“Aye, gladly sir,” answered farmer Greening. “We are ready enough to be angry with those who are thankless to us when we have done them a kindness, and I have often thought how ungrateful we are apt to be to Him who gives us everything we enjoy in this life.”

Mr Pemberton led the way to a sheltered spot, where they were concealed by some high rocks from the busy throng on the beach. He there, with his own children and the farmer’s family, knelt down and offered a hearty thanksgiving to the merciful God who had heretofore been their friend and guide, and a fervent prayer for protection from future dangers. Then, with cheerful hearts and strong hands, they returned to the boat, to assist in landing their goods and chattels, while Valentine and Paul went back to the ship to bring off the remainder of the luggage.

Mr Pemberton and farmer Greening, meantime, set off to get the surveying officer to point out a plot of ground on which they might encamp, the rest of the party remaining on the beach to look after their property.

While they were thus employed, a bustling little man, in a green velveteen shooting coat, approached Lucy, who, with Betsy and Mrs Greening were removing the lighter articles of their baggage. Underneath a broad-brimmed hat, which he wore far back on his bullet-like head, covered with short cropped hair, appeared a pair of round eyes, and a funny turned up nose.

“Oh, Miss Pemberton, I am shocked to see you so employed!” he exclaimed. “Let me assist you. My own things will not be brought on shore to-day, I am told, and I have no wish to go on board the ship again to look for them.”

“Thank you, Mr Nicholas Spears,” said Lucy, who had already discovered that the little man was never happy unless attending other people’s concerns, to the neglect of his own, and had no wish to encourage him in his bad habit. “My brother Harry and our friends here can do all that is necessary.”

“Oh, I beg ten thousand pardons, Miss Lucy, but I thought that I could be of use to you. It would be such a pleasure, believe me.”

Mr Nicholas Spears rolled his round eyes about, and twitched his mouth in such a curious manner when he spoke, that Lucy could scarcely refrain from laughing outright.

“If you don’t look after your own property, Mr Spears, I don’t think anybody else will,” observed Mrs Greening. “Just let me advise you to go back in the first boat, and see if any of your goods have been got out of the hold, or they may be sent on shore, and you will not know what have become of them.”

The little man seemed very unwilling to follow this wise counsel, but hearing his name called by some of the other emigrants, he hurried away to join them, and was seen running up and down the beach, carrying their boxes and parcels.

Most of the other passengers had now come on shore, and were busily employed in looking after their property, and conveying it from the beach.

Valentine and Paul had just returned with the remainder of their goods, and soon afterwards Mr Pemberton and farmer Greening returned, accompanied by four dark-skinned men, dressed in shirts and trousers, the few tattoo marks on their faces, and the shaggy state of their black hair, showing them to be of the lower order of natives. They brought also a small dray, drawn by bullocks, with which to transport the heavier articles of their luggage.

“Wherever you go, Mr Pemberton, with your leave, I and mine will go too,” said farmer Greening, as they walked along. “We have been neighbours in the old country, and you have ever been a kind friend to me, and if I can be of any use to you in choosing land, which I ought to know something about, why, you see, sir, it’s just what I shall be glad to do.”

Mr Pemberton knew the value of the farmer’s friendship and assistance too well to decline it, and thanked him heartily.

He had himself gone through many trials. After enjoying a good fortune derived from West Indian property, and living the life of a country gentleman, he found himself, at the time he was about to send his eldest son to the university, and his second boy into the navy, deprived of nearly the whole of his income. Soon afterwards he lost his wife, a far greater blow to his happiness, and believing that he could best provide for his children by emigrating to one of the colonies, with the small remainder of his fortune, he had embarked with them for New Zealand.

A cleared space on some rising ground overlooking the harbour had been selected for encamping. To this the property of the party was soon conveyed.

Mr Pemberton had brought with him two tents, the largest of which served as a store-house for his goods, and there was also space in it for beds for himself and his sons, while a much smaller one was appropriated to the use of Lucy and Betsy, which Lucy had invited Mrs Greening to share with them. The farmer and his sons, with the assistance of the Maoris, as the New Zealanders are called, were putting up a hut in which they might find shelter till the land they had purchased had been fixed on. It was composed simply of stakes driven into the ground, interwoven with branches of trees, beams being secured to the top, while other branches were placed on them and thatched with long grass, an operation quickly performed by the Maoris. Before dark it was in a sufficiently forward state to afford shelter to the farmer and his sons,—some heaps of fern, brought in by their active assistants, serving them for beds. While the pakehas, the strangers, as the natives call the English, slept at one end, the four Maoris occupied the other.

Before they lay down to rest Mr Pemberton invited them into his tent to join in family worship, a practice he had kept up during the voyage, and hoped in future to maintain under all circumstances.

“It’s a great blessing and advantage, Miss Lucy, to be associated with a gentleman like the Squire,” said Mrs Greening, when they returned to their tent. “My boys especially might be inclined to run wild in this strange country, if they hadn’t the good example he sets before them.”

“We, I am sure, shall be a mutual help to each other, Mrs Greening,” answered Lucy. “Your husband’s practical experience in farming will greatly assist my father and brothers, and I was truly thankful when I heard that you wished to settle near us.”

“We know what it is to have bad land, with a high rent to pay,” observed Mrs Greening with a sigh, “and I hope, now that we are to have a farm of our own, with a kind soil, we shall get on better than we did in the old country. Few are ready to work harder than my good man and our boys, and I have never been used to be idle since I was big enough to milk a cow.”

The following day Mr Pemberton and the farmer, accompanied by Valentine and Paul, prepared to set off, with one of the Maoris as a guide, to inspect a block of land lately surveyed, about ten miles from the coast, with a fine stream flowing through it.

Before starting they surveyed from the hill the road they were to take. At a short distance appeared the outskirts of the forests, composed of the lofty kauri, or yellow pine, kahikatea, or white pine, the rimu, with its delicate and gently weeping foliage, and several others, interspersed by the shade-loving tree-fern, the most graceful of all forest trees. From the boughs hung parasites and creepers of brilliant hues,—some, like loose ropes from the rigging of a ship, others, in festoons winding from stem to stem, uniting far-off trees with their luxuriant growth.

“How shall you be able to pass through that thick forest?” asked Lucy, of her father.

“We shall have to make good use of our axes, I suppose,” said Valentine.

“We shall find but little difficulty,” observed Mr Pemberton. “Although the foliage is so dense overhead, there is no jungle or underwood to obstruct our passage, and in this hot weather we shall have the advantage of travelling thoroughly shaded from the rays of the sun. We shall find it far more fatiguing walking over the fern land, which, at a distance, looks so smooth and even.”

Mr Pemberton took his fowling-piece; but the only weapons carried by the rest of the party were their axes, to mark the trees round the land they hoped to select. They expected not to be absent more than three days.

Lucy and Harry accompanied them a short distance. They found, on their return, Mrs Greening busily employed with her sons in arranging the hut,—indeed, the good woman was never idle, and set an example of industry which some of the other settlers would have done wisely to follow. Leaving her boys to go on with the work, she commenced making preparations for dinner.

“You must let me act as your cook, Miss Lucy,” she said. “You and Betsy will have enough to do, and it’s what I am used to.”

The cooking, however, was of necessity somewhat after the gipsy fashion, a pot being hung from a triangle over a fire on the ground, and when the pot was removed the tea-kettle took its place.

They had no difficulty in procuring provisions, as there were several bakers in the village, and the Maoris brought in pigs and wild-fowl, and various roots and vegetables to the market.

Chapter Two.


Natives arrive at Mr Pemberton’s camp.—They bring with them on a litter a young girl—Waihoura apparently very ill.—A Doctor is sent for, and a hut is built for her accommodation.

“Oh mother! mother! Miss Lucy! Betsy! do look at the strange savages who are coming this way,” exclaimed little Tobias, as he rushed up to the door of the tent the following morning. “I never did see such wild creatures, except once at the fair, and they were white men painted up to make believe they had come from foreign parts. There’s no doubt about these, though.”

Lucy and her companions being thus summoned, hurried from the tent and joined Harry and the two young Greenings, who were standing on the brow of the hill, watching a band of twenty or thirty Maoris, who, emerging from the forest, were coming towards where they stood. At their head stalked a tall savage-looking warrior. His face, as he drew near, was seen to be thickly covered with blue lines, some in spirals, others in circles and curls of various devices. His black hair was gathered in a knot at the top of his head, and secured with a polished bone, while several large rings hung from his ears. Over his shoulders was thrown a large mat cloak, which almost completely enveloped his form. In one hand he carried a musket, more on the present occasion to add to his dignity than for use, as swords were formerly worn by gentlemen in Europe. His companions had their faces tattooed, though in a much less degree than was that of their leader. Some wore merely long kilts round their waists, but many had cloaks of matting. The hair of most of them was cut short, looking like a black mop at the top of their heads. Savages though they looked, they walked with a dignity and freedom that showed they felt their own consequence and independence. They were followed by several women, also clothed in mats, though of a finer texture than those of the men. Their hair hung loosely over their shoulders, and several wore a wreath of flowers or shells, which assisted to keep it off their eyes. Their faces were but slightly tattooed, the chin, and lips only being marked, giving the latter a curious blue look, which Lucy thought detracted much from their otherwise comely appearance. They were walking on either side of a small litter, covered with boughs, and carried by four young men.

The party of natives advanced as if about to ascend the hill; but when the chief saw that it was occupied by the tents, he ordered them to halt at its base, and they immediately began to make preparations for encamping, while the young men were sent off towards the woods to collect fuel for the fires and materials for building huts. The litter having been placed on the ground, the women gathered round it, as if much interested in whatever it contained. The chief himself then approached, and the boughs being partially removed, Lucy perceived that its occupant was a young girl. The chief seemed to be speaking to her with tender interest. At length, on seeing Lucy and her companions watching him, he advanced towards them.

“Oh! Miss Lucy, let’s run away—the savage is coming, and I don’t know what he will do,” cried Betsy, in great alarm.

“I am sure he will not hurt us, from the gentle way he was speaking to the young girl,” said Lucy, holding her ground, though she felt a little nervous.

“He looks terribly fierce, though,” observed Mrs Greening. “But it won’t do to run away, as if we were afraid.”

The chief, whose eye had been fixed on Lucy, now approached her, and pointing to the litter, seemed to invite her to come down and speak to his daughter, for such she felt the girl must be. “Oh miss, don’t go,” cried Betsy. “You don’t know what they will do;” but Lucy, struck by the appearance of the occupant of the litter, was eager to learn more about her, and overcoming any fears she might have felt, at once accompanied the chief.

The women made way for her as she got close to the litter. On it reclined, propped up by matting, which served as a pillow, a girl apparently of about her own age. Her complexion was much fairer than that of any of her companions, scarcely darker, indeed, than a Spanish or Italian brunette. No tattoo marks disfigured her lips or chin; her features were regular and well-formed, and her eyes large and clear, though at present their expression betokened that she was suffering pain. She put out her hand towards Lucy, who instinctively gave her her’s.

“Maori girl ill, berry ill,” she said. “Tell pakeha doctor come, or Waihoura die—pakeha doctor make Waihoura well.” Although the words may not have been so clearly pronounced as they have been written, Lucy at once understood their meaning.

“Oh yes, I will send for a doctor,” she answered, hoping that Dr Fraser, the surgeon who came out with them in the ship, would be found on shore. She beckoned to Harry, and told him to run and bring Dr Fraser without delay. The chief comprehended her intentions, and seemed well pleased when Harry and Tobias, who also offered to go, set off towards the village.

As no one addressed her, Lucy guessed rightly that the Maori girl was the only person of her party who could speak English, and curious to know how she had learned it, she asked the question. “Waihoura learn speak pakeha tongue of missionary,” she answered, “but near forget now,” and she put her hand to her brow, as if it ached.

“The doctor will come soon, I hope, and give you medicine to make you better,” said Lucy, taking the young girl’s hand, which felt hot and feverish. Waihoura shook her head, and an expression of pain passed across her countenance. “We will pray to God, then, to make you well,” said Lucy. “He can do everything, so be not cast down, but trust Him.” The Maori girl fixed her large eyes on her as she was speaking, evidently trying to understand her meaning, though apparently she did not entirely comprehend it.

Savage in appearance as were the people who surrounded her, Lucy did not feel afraid of them, while they evidently regarded her with much respect. Betsy having at length gained courage, came down the hill with Mrs Greening.

“Poor dear,” said the farmer’s wife, when she saw the Maori girl. “What she wants is good food, a comfortable bed, and a little careful nursing. If we had our house up, I’ll be bound we would bring her round in the course of a few weeks, so that that painted-faced gentleman, her father, would not know her again.”

“We would make room for her in our tent,” said Lucy. “Or, perhaps, her friends would build a hut for her close to it; they probably would soon put one up, and it would be far better for her to remain with us than to return to her home.” The chief had been watching them while they were speaking, and seemed to understand that they were discussing some plan for his daughter’s benefit. He spoke a few words to her.

“What say?” she asked, looking at Lucy, and then pointing to her father.

“We wish you to stop here and let us nurse you,” said Lucy, trying still further to explain her meaning by signs. The young girl’s countenance brightened, showing that she understood what Lucy had said, and wished to accept her offer. Perhaps the remembrance of her stay with the Missionary’s family brought some pleasing recollections to her mind.

While they were still speaking, a person was seen hurrying along the somewhat dusty road which led from the village, and Lucy soon recognised Mr Nicholas Spears.

“Has not he come yet?” he exclaimed, as he drew near. “Dr Fraser, I mean. I met Master Harry, and that big lout Tobias. I beg your pardon, Mrs Greening. I did not see you were there, and so I told them I would find him and send him on; so I did, for I understood from them that a princess, or some great person, wanted his services. If he has not come I must go back and hurry him. Is that the princess? She don’t look much like one, however, she may be a princess for all that. Your servant, Miss, and that old gentleman, with the curious marks on his face, is her father, I suppose? Your servant, sir,” he added, making the chief a bow with his broad-brimmed hat.

The chief bent his head in acknowledgment, and seemed somewhat inclined to rub noses with the little man as a further sign of his good-will; but Mr Spears sprang back in alarm, evidently thinking it safer to keep at a distance from the savage-looking warrior; observing, however, the confidence shown by Lucy and her companions, he walked round them once or twice, gazing at them as if they had been wild beasts at a show. As he passed again near Lucy, she reminded him of his promise to look for Dr Fraser, and much to her satisfaction, off he set at full speed.

In a short time the doctor was seen coming along the road, followed by Harry and Tobias.

“Oh, Dr Fraser, I am so glad you are come,” said Lucy. “Here is a sweet interesting Maori girl, and she is very ill, I fear. Can you do anything for her?”

“I am afraid, Miss Lucy, unless she can speak English, or we have an efficient interpreter, there may be some difficulty in ascertaining her disease, but I will do my best.”

“Oh, she understands a little English,” said Lucy, “and seems very intelligent.”

The doctor approached the litter, and stooping down, remained some time by the girl’s side, asking her questions, and endeavouring to comprehend her answers.

“Unless I can have her for some time as my patient, I fear, Miss Pemberton, that I cannot do much for her,” he said at length. “My lodgings are very small, and I suspect that among the settlers there are none who would be willing to receive her.” Lucy then told him of the plan she and Mrs Greening had proposed. “That would certainly afford the best prospect of her recovery,” he answered. “If we can explain that to her friends, perhaps they would be willing to allow her to remain.”

Lucy was very glad to hear this, for she already felt a deep interest in the young Maori girl.

“There is her father,” said Lucy, pointing to the chief, “perhaps you can make him understand what we propose.”

“I will try,” said Dr Fraser, “but, if not, I must get Mr Clifton, the surveyor, who speaks their language, to explain it to him.”

The chief, who had been looking on all the time with an expression of anxiety visible on his stern countenance, now drew near, and with the assistance of his daughter, was made to comprehend what their new friends proposed. He stopped some time, apparently considering the matter, and then having consulted with several of his companions, he returned, and taking Lucy’s hand, placed it in that of Waihoura, as if confiding her to her care.

“But we must make them understand that they must build her a comfortable house,” said Lucy. This the doctor managed to do without much difficulty, and leading the chief up the hill, showed the position in which he wished it to be placed.

The natives, who appeared to render implicit obedience to their chief, immediately went off to cut timber. The doctor, meantime, marked the dimensions of the building, and showed the height he desired to have it, which was nearly three times that of the ordinary native huts.

“We must have a proper door and a couple of windows, too,” he remarked. “The poor girl requires fresh air more than anything else, probably she has been shut up in the smoke and heat of a native hut, and unless we have one of a very different character, she will have little chance of recovery.”

Idle and averse to work, as Lucy heard that the Maoris were, she was pleased to see the rapid way in which they erected the hut. While some dug the holes for the posts, and others cut them down, a third party brought them up the hill. They were evidently surprised at the size of the building, and uttered numerous exclamations of astonishment when the doctor made them understand that it must be in no respect smaller than he proposed. Harry, with James and Tobias, got their spades and levelled the ground for the floor, rendering considerable assistance also in digging the holes.

Among the articles Mr Pemberton had brought were several doors and window sashes, intended for his own cottage. Lucy suggested that these should be unpacked, and a door and two windows be used for the hut.

“I am sure that my father will not object,” she said, “and it will make the house much more comfortable.”

“I wish that all our countrymen had as much consideration for the natives as you show, Miss Lucy,” observed the doctor, “and I feel sure Mr Pemberton will approve of what you propose doing.” The door and two windows were accordingly fixed, the Maoris showing themselves very expert carpenters.

The doctor having seen that the plan he proposed for the house was likely to be properly carried out, returned to the town to get some medicine, while Mrs Greening arranged a comfortable English bed, in which his patient might be placed.

Before nightfall the hut was completely finished. Mrs Greening removed her own bedding to it, that, as she said, she could be at hand to attend to the young native girl; and Dr Fraser having given her some medicine, took his departure, promising to come back, early the next morning.

The chief showed by his manner the perfect confidence he placed in his new friends, and leaving his daughter in their charge, he and his companions retired to the foot of the hill, where they spent the night round their camp fire.

Lucy sat for some time by the side of Waihoura, who showed no inclination to go to sleep; she evidently was astonished at finding herself in an English bed, and watched over by a fair pakeha girl instead of her own dark-skinned people. She talked on for some time, till at length her words grew more and more indistinct, and closing her eyes, to Lucy’s satisfaction, she fell asleep.

“Now, do you go back to your tent,” said Mrs Greening. “I’ll look after the little girl, and if I hear any noise I’ll be up in a moment and call you or Betsy; but don’t be fancying you will be wanted, the little girl will do well enough, depend on that.”

Lucy very unwillingly retired to her tent, and was much surprised when she awoke to find that it was already daylight.

Chapter Three.

In Camp.

Dr Fraser arrives with Mr Marlow, a missionary, who recognises Waihoura.—He persuades her father to allow her to remain.—Return of Mr Pemberton, who has selected his land, and begins to settle on it.—The farm described.—He leaves them again for it accompanied by Mr Spears.—Waihoura recovers and learns English, while Lucy learns Maori.—A vessel arrives with sheep, some of which the doctor buys, and are looked after by Toby.—Lucy tries to explain the Gospel to Waihoura.

“I am not quite happy about her, Miss Lucy,” said Mrs Greening, when Lucy, as soon as she was dressed, went into the hut. “If she was an English girl I should know what to do, but these natives have odd ways, which puzzle me.”

The young Maori girl lay as she had been placed on the bed, with her eyes open, but without moving or speaking. There was a strange wild look in her countenance, so Lucy thought, which perplexed her.

“I wish the doctor were here,” she said; “if he does not come soon, we will send Harry to look for him.”

“Little Tobias shall go at once, Miss,” answered Mrs Greening. “The run will do him no harm, even if he misses the doctor.”

Tobias was called, and taking his stick in hand, the young giant set off at a round trot down the hill.

Lucy sat watching the sick girl, while Mrs Greening and Betsy made preparations for breakfast. Every now and then she cast an anxious glance through the open doorway, in the hopes of seeing the doctor coming up the hill.

“Oh! how sad it would be if she were to die in her present heathen state; when should she recover, she may have an opportunity of learning the blessed truths of the gospel,” thought Lucy. “How thankful I should feel could I tell her of the love of Christ, and how He died for her sake, and for that of all who accept the gracious offers of salvation freely made to them. I must try, as soon as possible, to learn her language, to be able to speak to her.”

Such and similar thoughts occupied Lucy’s mind for some time. At length, turning round and looking through the open doorway, she saw several natives coming up the hill. She recognised the first as Waihoura’s father. The party approached the hut, and stopped before the entrance.

“Dear me, here comes some of those savage-looking natives,” exclaimed Mrs Greening. “What shall we say to them? I hope they are not come to take the poor little girl away.”

“I will try and make them understand that we have sent for the doctor, and that if they wish her to recover, they must let her remain under his charge,” said Lucy, rising and going to the door. Though still feeling somewhat nervous in the presence of the Maoris, her anxiety to benefit Waihoura gave her courage, and she endeavoured, by signs, to make the chief understand what she wished. She then led him to the bedside of his daughter, who lay as unconscious as before. He stood for some time gazing down at her, the working of his countenance showing his anxiety.

Lucy felt greatly relieved on hearing Toby’s voice shouting out, “The doctor’s a-coming mother, I ran on before to tell you, and there’s a gentleman with him who knows how to talk to the savages.”

In a short time the doctor arrived, accompanied by an Englishman of middle age, with a remarkably intelligent and benignant expression of countenance.

“Mr Marlow kindly agreed to come with me,” said Dr Fraser. “He understands the Maori language, and I shall now be able to communicate with my patient, and to explain to her friends what is necessary to be done to afford her a prospect of recovery.”

“I am afraid she is very ill,” said Lucy, as she led the doctor and Mr Marlow into the hut. The latter addressed the young girl in a low gentle voice. At first she paid no attention, but at length her eyes brightened and her lips moved. Mr Marlow continued speaking, a smile lighted up her countenance. She replied, and taking his hand, pressed it to her lips.

“I thought so,” he said, turning to Lucy, “we are old acquaintances. When still a child, she was for a short time at my missionary school, but her father resisted the truth, and took her away. Through God’s providence she may once more have an opportunity of hearing the message of salvation. We must endeavour to persuade Ihaka, her father, to allow her to remain. He loves his daughter, and though unconscious of the value of her soul, for the sake of preserving her life, he may be induced to follow our advice.”

Dr Fraser, through Mr Marlow, put several questions to Waihoura, and then administered some medicine he had brought, leaving a further portion with Mrs Greening, to be given as he directed.

Mr Marlow then addressed Ihaka the chief, who seemed to listen to him with great attention. He told him what the English doctor had said, and urged him, as he loved his daughter, to leave her under his care. Ihaka at first hesitated, unwilling to be separated from his child. Mr Marlow pressed the point with great earnestness, and at length the chief signified his readiness to comply with the doctor’s advice.

“Tell him if he restores my daughter, I and my people will be friends to him and the pakehas, for his sake, for ever,” he said, pointing to Dr Fraser.

“The life of your daughter, as well as that of all human beings, is in the hands of the great God who rules this world, and allows not a sparrow to fall to the ground without knowing it,” answered Mr Marlow. “The doctor is but His instrument, and can only exert the knowledge which has been given him. To that loving God we will kneel in prayer, and petition that she may be restored to health.”

Saying this, Mr Marlow summoned the English lads; and Betsy, who had hitherto kept at a distance, and kneeling on the ground, offered up an earnest prayer to God, that if it was in accordance with His will, and for the benefit of the young Maori girl, He would spare her life. All present earnestly repeated the “Amen,” with which he concluded his prayer. The savages, during the time, stood round in respectful silence; and, though not understanding the words uttered, were evidently fully aware of the purpose of what had been said.

Ihaka once more entering the hut, Waihoura recognised him. Taking her hand, he beckoned Lucy and Mrs Greening to approach, and placed it in theirs, as if confiding her to their charge.

“Please, sir,” said Mrs Greening to Mr Marlow, “tell the chief we will do the best we can for his little girl. She is a sweet young creature, and I little expected to find such among the savages out here.”

“They have hearts and souls, my dear lady, as we have, and though their colour is different to ours, God cares for them as He does for us.”

The chief seemed content, and after again addressing the missionary, he and his people took their departure.

“The savages are all going, mother,” exclaimed little Tobias some time afterwards, as he came puffing and blowing up the hill. “I could not feel quite comfortable while they were near us, and I am glad that we are rid of them.”

“We should not judge from outside looks, Tobias,” remarked Mrs Greening. “As the good missionary said just now, they have hearts and souls like ours, and I am sure that chief, fierce and savage as he looks, loves his daughter as much as any English father can do.”

Dr Fraser and Mr Marlow had before this returned to the town, promising to come back in the evening to see how their patient was getting on.

The consumption of firewood in the camp was considerable, as Mrs Greening kept up a good fire in the open air for the cooking operations. Harry and Tobias had brought in a supply in the morning, and Harry’s hands and clothes gave evidence how hard he had laboured.

“We shall want some more wood before morning,” observed Mrs Greening, turning to her sons.

“I am ready to go again,” said Harry, “if James will stay in the camp.”

“No; Master Harry, its my turn to go if you will stop behind,” said James.

“If you wish it I’ll stay,” replied Harry. “One of us ought to remain, or strangers coming up to the camp might be troublesome, and I would not permit that.”

While James and Tobias set off with axes in their hands, and pieces of rope to bind their faggots, Harry got his gun, and began to march up and down on guard. He evidently considered himself like a sentinel in the presence of an enemy. Now he looked on one side of the hill, now on the other. No person could have entered the camp without receiving his challenge.

He had thus been passing up and down for some time, when he caught sight, in the distance, of some persons emerging from the forest.

“Here they come,” he shouted out, “Papa and Valentine, Mr Greening and Paul, and the two natives who went with them.” He was examining them with his spy-glass. “Yes, it’s them, and they will soon be here. Pray get supper ready, Mrs Greening; depend upon it they will be very hungry after their long march.”

Mrs Greening, aided by Betsy, at once got her pots and saucepans on the fire.

Harry, though feeling much inclined to run down and meet the party, restrained his eagerness. “A sentry must not quit his post,” he said to himself, “though no harm will happen, I’ll keep to mine on principle.”

In a short time Mr Pemberton, with his companions, appeared at the foot of the hill. Lucy ran down to meet them, eager to welcome her father, and to tell him about Waihoura.

“I am glad you can be of assistance to the young girl, and it is most desirable that we should be able to show our friendly disposition towards the natives,” he observed.

“Oh, I do so hope she will recover,” said Lucy. “But I am afraid that some time must pass before she is well enough to be moved.”

“That would decide me in a plan I propose,” said Mr Pemberton. “Greening and I have settled our ground, and I hope that we may be put in possession of it in a day or two; we will then leave you here with Harry and Tobias, while we go back and build our houses, and make preparations for your reception.”

Lucy had expected to set out as soon as the ground was chosen; but as she could not hope that Waihoura would be in a fit state to be moved for some time, she felt that the arrangement now proposed was the best.

Mr Pemberton and farmer Greening were highly pleased with the ground they had selected.

“We propose to place our houses on the slope of a hill, which rises within a quarter of a mile of the river,” he observed. “Greening will take one side and I the other. Our grounds extend from the river to the hill, and a little way beyond it; when the high road is formed, which will, from the nature of the country, pass close to our farm, we shall have both land and water communication. Close also to the foot of the hill, a village probably will be built, so that we shall have the advantage of neighbours. Among other advantages, our land is but slightly timbered, though sufficiently so to afford us an ample supply of wood for building, and as much as we shall require for years to come for fencing and fuel. From the spot I have chosen for our house, we have a view over the country in this direction, so that, with our telescope, we can distinguish the vessels, as they come into the harbour, or pass along the coast.”

“We shall have plenty of fishing too, Harry,” exclaimed Valentine. “And we may, if we go a little distance, fall in with wild boars and plenty of birds, though there are none which we should call game in England.”

“Oh! how I long to be there, and begin our settlers’ life in earnest,” said Harry. “I hope the little savage girl will soon get well enough to move.”

“I wish we could be with you also to help you in the work,” said Lucy. “How can you manage to cook without us?”

“Valentine and Paul have become excellent cooks, and though we shall miss your society, we shall not starve,” observed Mr Pemberton.

“Our camp life is a very pleasant one,” remarked Valentine. “For my part I shall be rather sorry when it is over, and we have to live inside a house, and go to bed regularly at night.”

This conversation took place while they were seated at supper on the ground in front of the large tent. It was interrupted by the arrival of Mr Fraser, accompanied by Mr Marlow, to see Waihoura.

“She is going on favourably,” said the doctor, as he came out; “but she requires great care, and I feel sure that had you not taken charge of her, her life would have been lost. Now, however, I trust that she will recover. Mr Marlow will let her father understand how much he is indebted to you, as it is important that you should secure the friendship a chief of his power and influence.”

In two days Mr Pemberton and farmer Greening were ready to start for their intended location. Each had purchased a strong horse, and these were harnessed to a light dray, which Mr Pemberton had bought. It was now loaded with all the articles they required, and sufficient provisions and stores to last them till their cottages were put up, and they could return for the rest of the party. By that time it was hoped that the young Maori girl would be in a fit state to be moved.

“I will not let her, if I can help it, go back to her own people,” said Lucy. “She will become, I am sure, attached to us. I may be of use to her, and she will teach me her language, and it will be interesting to learn from her the habits and customs of the natives.”

“Yes, indeed, it would be a pity to let the poor little girl turn again into a savage,” observed Mr Greening. “I can’t fancy that their ways are good ways, or suited to a Christian girl, and that I hope, as Miss Lucy says, she will turn into before long.”

It had been arranged that Lucy and Betsy should take up their abode in the large tent, in which there was now sufficient room for their accommodation, the small one being packed up for Mr Pemberton’s use.

The dray being loaded, the farmer went to the horses’ heads, and the young men, with the two Maoris, going on either side to keep back the wheels, it slowly descended the hill.

“We shall not make a very rapid journey,” observed Valentine. “But we shall be content if we come to the end of it in time without a break down.”

Harry felt very proud at being left in charge of the camp, and Tobias promised that there should be no lack of firewood or water, while he could cut the one, and draw the other from the sparkling stream which ran at the foot of the hill.

“We shall do very well, never fear, sir,” said Mrs Greening to Mr Pemberton, “and as soon as you and my good man come back, we shall be ready to start.”

Just as her father had wished Lucy good-bye, Mr Spears, with a pack on his back, and a stout stick in his hand, was observed coming up the hill.

“Just in time, neighbour,” he exclaimed, as he came up to Mr Pemberton. “I found out, at the surveyor’s office, where you had selected your land, and I made up my mind at once to take a piece of ground close to it. As I am all alone, I have only bought a few acres, but that will be enough to build a house on, and to have a garden and paddock. With your leave I’ll accompany you. There are several more of our fellow passengers who will select land on the same block when they hear that you and I have settled on it, and we shall soon have, I hope, a pleasant society about us. We shall all be able to help each other; that’s the principle I go on.”

Mr Pemberton told Mr Spears that he was very willing to have him as a companion on the journey, and that he was glad to hear that a settlement was likely soon to be formed near him. He was well aware that the differences of social rank could not be maintained in a new colony, and he had made up his mind to be courteous and kind to all around him, feeling assured that all the respect he could require would thus be paid him by his neighbours. He at once gave a proof of his good intentions.

“Your pack is heavy, Mr Spears, and we can easily find room on our waggon for it,” he said, and taking off the pack, he secured it to the vehicle which they had just then overtaken.

“Thank you, good sir, thank you,” answered Mr Spears, as he walked forward, with a jaunty elastic step, highly pleased at being relieved of his somewhat heavy burden. “One good turn deserves another, and I hope that I may have many opportunities of repaying it.”

Mr Pemberton had promised Lucy to send over, from time to time, to let her know what progress was made, and to obtain intelligence in return from her. Notwithstanding this, she looked forward eagerly to the day when he would come back to take her and the rest of the party to their new abode. Though she did her best to find employment, the time would have hung somewhat heavily on her hands had she not had Waihoura to attend to.

The Maori girl, in a short time, so far recovered as to be able to sit up and try to talk. She seemed as anxious to become acquainted with English as Lucy was to learn her language. They both got on very rapidly, for though Waihoura had some difficulty in pronouncing English words, she seldom forgot the name of a thing when she had once learned it. She would ask Lucy to say the word over and over again, then pronouncing it after her. At the end of a week she could speak a good many English sentences. Lucy made almost as rapid progress in Maori, she having the advantage of several books to assist her, and at length the two girls were in a limited degree able to exchange ideas.

No one in the camp, however, was idle. Harry, who always kept guard, was busy from morning to night in manufacturing some article which he thought likely to prove useful. Betsy either went with Tobias to cut wood, or bring up water, or assist Mrs Greening, and frequently accompanied her into the town when she went marketing; and sometimes Tobias, when he was not wanted to cut wood, went with his mother.

One day he came back with the information that a vessel, which had come to an anchor in the morning, had brought over from Australia several head of cattle, and a large flock of sheep.

“I wish father were here, he would be down on the shore, and buying some of them pretty quickly,” he exclaimed.

“Could we not send to let him know,” said Lucy. “Harry, I heard papa say, too, that he wished to purchase a small flock of sheep as soon as he could find any at a moderate price. I should so like to have charge of them. I have always thought the life of a shepherd or shepherdess the most delightful in the world.”

Harry laughed. “I suspect when it began to rain hard, and your sheep ran away and got lost in the mountains and woods, you would wish yourself sewing quietly by the fireside at home, and your sheep at Jericho,” he exclaimed, continuing his laughter. “Still I should be very glad if we could get the sheep, though I am afraid they will all be sold before we can receive papa’s answer.”

While the conversation was going on, Dr Fraser arrived to see Waihoura. Harry told him that he would very much like to send to his father to give notice of the arrival of the sheep.

“Would you like to turn shepherd?” asked the doctor.

“I should like nothing better, for I could take my books with me, or anything I had to make, and look after the sheep at the same time; it would suit me better than Lucy, who has a fancy to turn shepherdess, and have a crook, and wear a straw hat set on one side of her head, surrounded with a garland, just as we see in pictures.”

“I suspect Miss Lucy would find home duties more suited to her,” said the doctor; “but if you, Harry, will undertake to look after a small flock of sheep, I think I may promise to put one under your charge, and to give you a portion of the increase as payment. I was thinking of buying a hundred sheep, but hesitated from not knowing any one I could trust to to keep them. From what I have seen of you, I am sure you will do your best; and as your father and farmer Greening will probably purchase some more, they will run together till they are sufficiently numerous to form separate flocks. If you will write a letter to your father I will send a messenger off at once,” said the doctor. “Indeed, so certain am I that they would wish to purchase some, that I will, when I go back, make an offer for a couple of hundred in addition to mine.”

The next day the doctor told them that he had purchased the sheep as he had proposed, and he brought a letter from Mr Pemberton thanking him for doing so, and saying that they had made such good progress in their work, that they hoped, in another week, to come back for the rest of the party.

“I am rather puzzled to know what to do with the sheep in the meantime,” said the doctor. “I cannot entrust them to natives, and there is not a European in the place who has not his own affairs to look after. What do you say, Harry, can you and Tobias take care of them?”

“I cannot quit my post,” answered Harry, though he was longing to go and see the sheep. “If they were sent up here, I could watch them, but I am afraid they would not remain on the hill while there is better pasture below.”

“Tobias could take charge of them, sir,” said Mrs Greening. “And if we had our old dog ‘Rough,’ I’ll warrant not one would go astray.”

“Rough,” who had accompanied farmer Greening all the way from England, had mysteriously disappeared the morning of their arrival; he could not be found before they had quitted the ship, and they had since been unable to discover him.

“That is curious,” said the doctor; “for this morning, when I bought the sheep, a man offered me a shepherd’s dog for sale. I told him that should he not in the meantime have found a purchaser, I would treat with him in the evening after I had seen the dog. Should he prove to be ‘Rough,’ I will not fail to purchase him.”

Tobias, on hearing this, was very eager to accompany Dr Fraser.

“The old dog will know me among a thousand, and the man will have a hard job to hold him in,” he observed, grinning from ear to ear.

The doctor, after he had seen Waihoura, told Lucy she need have no further anxiety about her friend, who only required good food and care completely to recover.

“I must get Mr Marlow to see her father, and persuade him to allow her to remain with you, and he may assure him very truly that she will probably fall ill again if she goes back again to her own people,” he said.

Tobias accompanied the doctor into the town in the hopes of hearing about his favourite “Rough.” He had not been long absent, when back he came with his shaggy friend at his heels.

“Here he is mother, here he is Master Harry,” he shouted. “I know’d how it would be, the moment he caught sight of me, he almost toppled the man who held him down on his nose, and so he would if the rope hadn’t broken, and in another moment he was licking me all over. The doctor gave the man a guinea; but I said it was a shame for him to take it, and so did everybody, for they saw that the dog knew me among twenty or thirty standing round. The man sneaked off, and ‘Rough’ came along with me. Now I must go back and bring the sheep round here to the foot of the hill. There’s some ground the surveyor says that we may put them on till we can take them to our own run, but we must give ‘Rough’ his dinner first, for I’ll warrant the fellow has not fed him over well.”

“Rough” wagged his stump of a tail to signify he understood his young master’s kind intentions, and Mrs Greening soon got a mess ready, which “Rough” swallowed up in a few moments, and looked up into Toby’s face, as much as to say, “what do you want with me next?”

“Come along ‘Rough,’ I’ll show you,” said Toby, as he set off at a round trot down the hill.

The party at the camp watched him with no little pleasure, when a short time afterwards, he, with the aid of “Rough,” was seen driving a flock of sheep from the town past the hill to a meadow partly enclosed by a stream which made its way into the sea, a short distance off. “Rough” exhibited his wonderful intelligence, as he dashed now on one side, now on the other, keeping the sheep together, and not allowing a single one to stray away. It was a difficult task for Toby and him, for the sheep, long pent up on board ship, made numberless attempts to head off into the interior, where their instinct told them they would find an abundance of pasture. Without the assistance of “Rough,” Toby would have found it impossible to guide them into the meadow, and even when there, he and his dog had to exert all their vigilance to keep them together. Harry was sorely tempted to go down to assist. “I must not quit my post though,” he said. “As soon as I am relieved, then I’ll try if I cannot shepherd as well as Toby. It seems to me that ‘Rough’ does the chief part of the work.”

The doctor had engaged a couple of natives to assist Toby in looking after the sheep, but he was so afraid of losing any, that he would only come up to the camp for a few minutes at a time to take his meals, and to get “Rough’s” food. The Maoris had built him a small hut, where he passed the night, with the flock lying down close to him, kept together by the vigilant dog. The Maoris were, however, very useful in bringing firewood and water to the camp.

Waihoura was now well enough to walk about. Lucy had given her one of her own frocks and some other clothes, and she and Betsy took great pains to dress her in a becoming manner, they combed and braided her dark tresses, which they adorned with a few wild flowers that Betsy had picked, and when her costume was complete, Mrs Greening, looking at her with admiration, exclaimed, “Well, I never did think that a little savage girl could turn into a young lady so soon.” Waihoura, who had seen herself in a looking-glass, was evidently very well satisfied with her appearance, and clapped her hands with delight, and then ran to Lucy and rubbed her nose against her’s, and kissed her, to express her gratitude.

“Now that you are like us outside, you must become like us inside,” said Lucy, employing a homely way of speaking such as her Maori friend was most likely to understand. “We pray to God, you must learn to pray to Him. We learn about Him in the Book through which He has made Himself known to us as a God of love and mercy, as well as a God of justice, who desires all people to come to Him, and has shown us the only way by which we can come. You understand, all people have disobeyed God, and are rebels, and are treated as such by Him. The evil spirit, Satan, wishes to keep us rebels, and away from God. God in His love desires us to be reconciled to Him; but we all deserve punishment, and He cannot, as a God of justice, let us go unpunished. In His great mercy, however, He permitted another to be punished for us, and He allowed His well-beloved Son Jesus Christ, a part of Himself, to become the person to suffer punishment. Jesus came down on earth to be obedient in all things, because man had been disobedient. He lived a holy pure life, going about doing good, even allowing Himself to be cruelly treated, to be despised and put to shame by the very people among whom He had lived, and to whom He had done so much good. Then, because man justly deserves punishment, He willingly underwent one of the most painful punishments ever thought of, thus suffering instead of man. When nailed to the cross, His side was pierced with a spear, and the blood flowed forth, that the sacrifice might be complete and perfect. Then He rose again, to prove that He was truly God, and that all men will rise from the dead; and He ascended into heaven, there to plead with the Father for all who trust Him, and to claim our freedom from punishment, on the ground that He was punished in our stead.”

“Jesus sent also, as He had promised, the Holy Spirit to dwell on earth with His people, to be their Comforter, their Guide and Instructor, and to enable them to understand and accept His Father’s loving plan of salvation, which He had so fully and completely carried out.”

“Do you understand my meaning,” said Lucy, who felt that she had said more than Waihoura was likely to comprehend.

She shook her head. “Lucy not bad woman;” pointing to Mrs Greening, “not bad; Maori girl bad, Maori people very bad,” she answered slowly. “God no love Maori people.”

“But we are all bad when compared to Him—all unfit to go and live in His pure and holy presence,” exclaimed Lucy. “And in spite of their wickedness, God loves the Maori people as much as He does us; their souls are of the same value in His sight as ours, and He desires that all should come to Him and be saved.”

“Why God not take them then, and make them good?” asked Waihoura.

“Because He in His wisdom thought fit to create man a free agent, to give him the power of choosing between the good and the evil. Why He allows evil to exist, He has not revealed to us. All we know is that evil does exist, and that Satan is the prince of evil, and tries to spread it everywhere throughout the world. God, if He chose, could overcome evil, but then this world would no longer be a place of trial, as He has thought fit to make it. He has not left man, however, without a means of conquering evil. Jesus Christ came down on earth to present those means to man; they are very simple, and can very easily be made use of; so simple and so easy that man would never have thought of them. Man has nothing to do in order to get rid of his sins, to become pure and holy, and thus fit to live in the presence of a pure and holy God. He has only to put faith in Jesus Christ, who, though free from sin, as I have told you, took our sins upon Himself, and was punished in our stead, while we have only to turn from sin, and to desire not to sin again. We are, however, so prone to sin, that we could not do even this by ourselves; but Christ, knowing our weakness, has, as He promised, when He ascended into heaven, sent His Holy Spirit to be with us to help us to hate sin, and to resist sin.”

Lucy kept her eyes fixed on her friend to try and ascertain if she now more clearly understood her. Waihoura again shook her head. Lucy felt convinced that her knowledge of English was still too imperfect to enable her to comprehend the subject. “I must try more than ever to learn to speak Maori,” she said, “and then perhaps I shall better be able to explain what I mean.”

“Maori girl want to know much, much, much,” answered Waihoura, taking Lucy’s hand. “Maori girl soon die perhaps, and then wish to go away where Lucy go.”

“Ah, yes, it is natural that we should wish to be with those we have loved on earth, but if we understand the surpassing love of Jesus, we should desire far more to go and dwell with Him. Try and remember, Waihoura, that we have a Friend in heaven who loves us more than any earthly friend can do, who knows how weak and foolish and helpless we are, and yet is ever ready to listen to us, and to receive us when we lift up our hearts to Him in prayer.”

“Maori girl not know how to pray,” said Waihoura, sorrowfully.

“I cannot teach you,” said Lucy, “but if you desire to pray, Jesus can and will send the Holy Spirit I told you of. If you only wish to pray, I believe that you are praying, the mere words you utter are of little consequence, God sees into our hearts, and He knows better than even we ourselves do, whether the spirit of prayer is there.”

“I am afraid, Miss Lucy, that the little girl can’t take in much of the beautiful things you have been saying,” observed Mrs Greening, who had all the time been listening attentively. “But I have learned more than I knew before, and I only wish Tobias and the rest of them had been here to listen to you.”

“I am very sure my father will explain the subject to them more clearly than I can do,” said Lucy, modestly. “I have only repeated what he said to me, and what I know to be true, because I have found it all so plainly set forth in God’s Word. My father always tells us not to take anything we hear for granted till we find it there, and that it is our duty to search the Scriptures for ourselves. It is because people are often too idle, or too ignorant to do this, that there is so much false doctrine and error among nominal Christians. I hope Mr Marlow will pay us a visit when we are settled in our new home, and bring a Maori Bible with him, and he will be able to explain the truth to Waihoura far better than I can. You will like to learn to read, Waihoura, and we must get some books, and I will try and teach you, and you will teach me your language at the same time.”

Lucy often spoke on the same subject to her guest; but, as was to be expected, Waihoura very imperfectly understood her. With more experience she would have known that God often thinks fit to try the faith and patience even of the most earnest and zealous Christians who are striving to make known the truth of the gospel to others. The faithful missionary has often toiled on for years among the heathen before he has been allowed to see the fruit of his labours.

Chapter Four.

Settling Down.

Return of waggon to the camp for Lucy and the rest of the party, who set off for the farm.—Scenery on the road.—Arrival at farm.—Mr Spears again.—Plans for the future.

“Here comes the waggon,” shouted Harry, as he stood on the brow of the hill waving his hat. “There’s farmer Greening and Val. Papa has sent for us at last.”

Harry was right, and Val announced that he had come for all the lighter articles, including Lucy and her companions, who were to set out at once with farmer Greening, while he, with a native, remained to take care of the heavier goods.

The waggon was soon loaded, leaving places within it for Lucy and Waihoura, Mrs Greening and Betsy insisting on walking.

“Now Val, I hand over my command to you, and see that you keep as good a watch as I have done,” said Harry, as he shook hands with his brother. “I must go and take charge of the sheep.” Valentine smiled at the air of importance Harry had assumed. “There’s the right stuff in the little fellow,” he said to himself, as he watched him and young Tobias driving the sheep in the direction the waggon had taken.

Lucy was delighted with the appearance of the country, as they advanced, though she could not help wishing very frequently that the road had been smoother; indeed, the vehicle bumped and rolled about so much at times that she fully expected a break down. Waihoura, who had never been in a carriage before, naturally supposed that this was the usual way in which such vehicles moved along, and therefore appeared in no degree alarmed. She pointed out to Lucy the names of the different trees they passed, and of the birds which flew by. Lucy was struck with the beauty of the fern trees, their long graceful leaves springing twenty and thirty feet from the ground; some, indeed, in sheltered and damp situations, were twice that height, having the appearance of the palm trees of tropical climates. The most beautiful tree was the rimu, which rose without a branch to sixty or seventy feet, with graceful drooping foliage of a beautiful green, resembling clusters of feathers; then there was the kahikatea, or white pine, resembling the rimu in foliage, but with a light coloured bark. One or two were seen rising ninety feet high without a branch. There were numerous creepers, some bearing very handsome flowers, and various shrubs; one, the karaka, like a large laurel, with golden coloured berries in clusters, which contrasted finely with the glossy greenness of its foliage. Some of the fruits were like large plums, very tempting in appearance; but when Lucy tasted some, which the farmer picked for her, she was much disappointed in their flavour. The best was the poro poro, which had a taste between that of apple peel and a bad strawberry.

Birds were flitting about from tree to tree; the most common was the tui, with a glossy black plumage, and two white feathers on the throat like bands, and somewhat larger than an English blackbird, which appeared always in motion, now darting up from some low bush to the topmost bough of a lofty tree, when it began making a number of strange noises, with a wonderful volume of tone. If one tui caught sight of another, they commenced fighting, more in sport, apparently, than in earnest, and ending with a wild shout; they would throw a summer-set or two, and then dart away into the bush to recommence their songs and shouts. There was a fine pigeon, its plumage richly shaded with green purple and gold, called the kukupa. Occasionally they caught sight of a large brown parrot, marked with red, flying about the tops of the tallest trees, and uttering a loud and peculiar cry; this was the kaka. Waihoura pointed out to Lucy another bird of the parrot tribe, of a green plumage, touched with gold about the head, and which she called the kakarica.

As the waggon could only proceed at a snail’s pace, they had made good but half the distance, when they had to stop for dinner by the side of a bright stream which ran through the forest. The horses, which were tethered, cropped the grass, and Mrs Greening unpacked her cooking utensils.

While dinner was getting ready, Waihoura led Lucy along the bank of the stream to show her some more birds. They saw several, among them an elegant little fly-catcher, with a black and white plumage, and a delicate fan-tail, which flew rapidly about picking up sun-flies; this was the tirakana. And there was another pretty bird, the makomako, somewhat like a green linnet. Several were singing together, and their notes reminded Lucy of the soft tinkling of numerous little bells.

They had seen nothing of Harry and Tobias with the sheep since starting, and farmer Greening began to regret that he had not sent one of his elder sons to drive them.

“Never fear, father,” observed Mrs Greening, “our little Tobias has got a head on his shoulders, and so has Master Harry, and with ‘Rough’ to help them, they will get along well enough.”

Mrs Greening was right, and just as the horses were put too, “Rough’s” bark was heard through the woods. In a short time the van of the flock appeared, with a native, who walked first to show the way. Though “Rough” had never been out in the country before, he seemed to understand its character, and the necessity of compelling the sheep to follow the footsteps of the dark-skinned native before them.

“It’s capital fun,” cried Harry, as soon as he saw Lucy. “We have to keep our eyes about us though, when coming through the wood especially, but we have not let a single sheep stray away as yet.”

“Well, boys, our fire is still burning, and my missus has cooked food enough for you all,” said farmer Greening. “So you may just take your dinner, and come on after us as fast as you can.”

“We will not be long,” answered Harry. “Hope, mother, you have left some bones for ‘Rough’ though,” said Toby. “He deserves his dinner as much as any of us.”

“Here’s a mess I put by for him to give when we got to the end of our journey,” answered Mrs Greening, drawing out a pot which she had stowed away in the waggon. She called to “Rough,” who quickly gobbled it up. The waggon then moved on, while Harry and his companions sat round the fire to discuss their dinner. “Rough,” in the meantime, vigilantly keeping the sheep together.

The remainder of the journey was found more difficult than the first part had been. Sometimes they had to climb over steep ranges, when the natives assisted at the wheels, while Mrs Greening and Betsy pushed behind; then they had to descend on the other side, when a drag was put on, and the wheels held back. Several wide circuits had to be made to avoid hills on their way, and even when over level ground, the fern in many places was so very thick that it was rather hard work for the horses to drag the waggon through it.

“This is a rough country,” observed Mrs Greening, as she trudged on by her husband’s side. “I didn’t expect to see the like of it.”

“Never fear, dame,” answered the farmer. “In a year or two we shall have a good road between this and the port, and a coach-and-four may be running on it.”

At length the last range was passed, and they reached a broad open valley, with a fine extent of level ground. In the distance rose a hill, with a sparkling river flowing near it, and thickly wooded heights. Further on beyond, it appeared a bold range of mountains, their highest peaks capped with snow.

“This is, indeed, a beautiful scene,” exclaimed Lucy.

“That’s our home, Miss,” said the farmer, pointing to the hill. “If your eyes could reach as far, you would just see the roof of your new house among the trees. We shall come well in sight of it before long.”

The waggon now moved on faster, as the fern had been cut away or trampled down, and the horses seemed to know that they were getting near home.

Mr Pemberton and the farmer’s sons came down to welcome them, and to conduct them up to the house.

Lucy was surprised to find what progress had already been made. The whole of it was roofed over, and the room she was to occupy was completely finished. The building was not very large. It consisted of a central hall, with two bed-rooms on either side, and a broad verandah running entirely round it; behind it were some smaller detached buildings for the kitchen and out-houses. In front and on one side a space was marked off for a flower garden, beyond which, extending down the side of the hill to the level ground, was a large space which Mr Pemberton said he intended for the orchard and kitchen garden. On that side of the house were sheds for the waggons and horses, though now occupied by the native labourers.

“They consider themselves magnificently lodged,” said Mr Pemberton. “And they deserve it, for they worked most industriously, and enabled me to put up the house far more rapidly than I had expected. I believe, however, that they would have preferred the native wahré, with the heat and smoke they delight in, to the larger hut I have provided for them, and I have been sometimes afraid they would burn it down with the huge fire they made within.”

Farmer Greening’s cottage, which was a little way round on the other side of the hill, was built on a similar plan to Mr Pemberton, but it was not so far advanced.

“You must blame me, Mrs Greening, for this,” said Mr Pemberton. “Your husband insisted on helping me with my house before he would begin yours, declaring that he should have the advantage of having mine as a model. I hope, therefore, that you will take up your abode with us till yours is finished, as Harry and I can occupy the tent in the meantime.”

Mrs Greening gladly accepted the invitation; she thought, indeed, that she should be of use to Lucy in getting the house in order. The sitting-room was not yet boarded, but a rough table had been put in it, and round this the party were soon seated at tea.

“Beg pardon, I hope I don’t intrude, just looked in to welcome you and my good friend Mrs Greening to ‘Riverside.’ Glad to find that you have arrived safe. Well, to be sure, the place is making wonderful progress, we have three families already arrived in the village, and two more expected tomorrow, and I don’t know how many will follow. I have been helping my new friends to put up their houses, and have been obliged to content myself with a shake-down of fern in the corner of a shed; but we settlers must make up our minds to rough it, Mr Pemberton, and I hope to get my own house up in the course of a week or two.”

These words were uttered by Mr Nicholas Spears, who stood poking his head into the room at the doorway, as if doubtful whether he might venture to enter.

“I thank you for your kind inquiries, Mr Spears,” said Mr Pemberton, who, though he could not feel much respect for the little man, treated him, as he did everybody else, with courtesy. “If you have not had your tea come in and take a seat at our board. We have but a three-legged stool to offer you.”

This was just what Mr Spears wished; and sitting down he began forthwith to give the party all the news of the settlement. From his account Lucy was glad to find that two families, one that of a naval, the other of a military officer, who had just arrived in the colony, had taken land close to theirs, and were about to settle on it.

Although the midsummer day was drawing to a close, Harry and Toby, with the sheep, had not yet made their appearance. Paul and James went off to meet them, and take the flock where they were to remain for the night, so as to relieve the boys of their charge. There was a fine bright moon, so they would have no difficulty in finding their way. Not long afterwards Harry’s voice was heard, echoed by Toby’s, shouting to the sheep, and the two boys rushed up to the house.

“Here we are, papa,” cried Harry. “We have brought the sheep along all safe, and now Paul and James have got charge of them, we may eat our supper with good consciences.”

Mrs Greening quickly placed a plentiful meal before the two young shepherds, who did ample justice to it.

“We must get some cows, farmer, if we can procure any at a moderate price, when you next go back to town,” said Mr Pemberton.

“That’s just what I was thinking,” answered the farmer.

“And some pigs and poultry,” added Mrs Greening. “I should not think myself at home without them, and Miss Lucy and Betsy will be wanting some to look after.”

“And a few goats, I suspect, would not be amiss,” observed the farmer. “I saw several near the town, and I hear they do very well.”

Waihoura, who was listening attentively to all that was said, seemed to comprehend the remark about the goats, and made Lucy understand that she had several at her village, and she should like to send for some of them.

Supper being over, Mr Pemberton, according to his usual custom, read a chapter in the Bible, and offered up evening prayer; and after Mr Spears had taken his departure, and the rest of the family had retired to their respective dormitories, heaps of fern serving as beds for most of them, Mr Pemberton and the farmer sat up arranging their plans for the future. The latter agreed to return to town the next day to bring up the remainder of the stores, and to make the proposed purchases.

Although they all knew that at no great distance there were several villages inhabited by savages, till lately, notorious for their fierce and blood-thirsty character, they lay down to sleep with perfect confidence, knowing that the missionary of the gospel had been among them, and believing that a firm friendship had been established between them and the white occupants of their country.

Chapter Five.

Ihaka’s Visit.

Life at Riverside.—Waihoura begins to learn the truth.—Her father, accompanied by several chiefs, comes to take her to his pah, and she quits her friends at Riverside.

The settlement made rapid progress. In the course of a few weeks Mr Pemberton’s and farmer Greening’s houses were finished, their gardens dug and planted; and they had now, in addition to the sheep, which Harry and Toby continued to tend, several cows and pigs and poultry. Lucy, assisted by Betsy, was fully occupied from morning till night; she, however, found time to give instruction to Waihoura, while Mr Pemberton or Valentine assisted Harry in his studies. He seldom went out without a book in his pocket, so that he might read while the vigilant “Rough” kept the sheep together. Several other families had bought land in the neighbourhood, and had got up their cottages. Some of them were very nice people, but they, as well as Lucy, were so constantly engaged, that they could see very little of each other.

The Maoris employed by Mr Pemberton belonged to Ihaka’s tribe, and through them he heard of his daughter. He had been so strongly urged by Mr Marlow to allow her to remain with her white friends, that he had hitherto abstained from visiting her, lest, as he sent word, he should be tempted to take her away. Lucy was very glad of this, as was Waihoura. The two girls were becoming more and more attached to each other, and they dreaded the time when they might be separated.

“Maori girl wish always live with Lucy—never, never part,” said Waihoura, as one evening the two friends sat together in the porch, bending over a picture-book of Scripture subjects, with the aid of which Lucy was endeavouring to instruct her companion. Lucy’s arm was thrown round Waihoura’s neck, while Betsy, who had finished her work, stood behind them, listening to the conversation, and wondering at the way her young mistress contrived to make herself understood. “God does not always allow even the dearest friends to remain together while they dwell on earth,” replied Lucy to Waihoura’s last remark. “I used to wish that I might never leave my dear mother; but God thought fit to take her to Himself. I could not have borne the parting did not I know that I should meet her in heaven.”

“What place heaven?” asked Waihoura.

“Jesus has told us that it is the place where we shall be with Him, where all is love, and purity, and holiness, and where we shall meet all who have trusted to Him while on earth, and where there will be no more parting, and where sorrow and sickness, and pain, and all things evil, will be unknown.”

“Maori girl meet Lucy in heaven?” said Waihoura, in a tone which showed she was asking a question.

“I am sure you will,” said Lucy, “if you learn to love Jesus and do His will.”

Waihoura was silent for some minutes, a sad expression coming over her countenance.

“Maori girl too bad, not love Jesus enough,” she said.

“No one is fitted for heaven from their own merits or good works, and we never can love Jesus as much as He deserves to be loved. But He knows how weak and wayward we are, and all He asks us is to try our best to love and serve Him, to believe that He was punished instead of us, and took our sins upon Himself, and He then, as it were, clothes us with His righteousness. He hides our sins, or puts them away, so that God looks upon us as if we were pure and holy, and free from sin, and so will let us come into a pure and holy heaven, where no unclean things—such as are human beings—of themselves can enter. Do you understand me?”

Waihoura thought for some time, and then asked Lucy again to explain her meaning. At length her countenance brightened.

“Just as if Maori girl put on Lucy’s dress, and hat and shawl over face, and go into a pakeha house, people say here come pakeha girl.”

“Yes,” said Lucy, inclined to smile at her friend’s illustration of the truth. “But you must have a living faith in Christ’s sacrifice; and though the work and the merit is all His, you must show, by your love and your life, what you think, and say, and do, that you value that work. If one of your father’s poor slaves had been set free, and had received a house and lands, and a wife, and pigs, and many other things from him, ought not the slave to remain faithful to him, and to try and serve him, and work for him more willingly than when he was a slave? That is just what Jesus Christ requires of those who believe in Him. They were slaves to Satan and the world, and to many bad ways, and He set them free. He wants all such to labour for Him. Now He values the souls of people more than anything else, and He wishes His friends to make known to others the way by which their souls may be saved. He also wishes people to live happily together in the world; and He came on earth to show us the only way in which that can be done. He proved to us, by His example, that we can only be happy by being kind, and gentle, and courteous to others, helping those who are in distress, doing to others as we should wish they would do to us. If, therefore, we really love Jesus, and have a living active faith in Him, we shall try to follow His example in all things. If all men lived thus, the gospel on earth would be established, there would be really peace and good will among men.”

“Very different here,” said Waihoura. “Maori people still quarrel, and fight, and kill. In pakeha country they good people love Jesus, and do good, and no bad.”

“I am sorry to say that though there are many who do love Jesus, there are far more who do not care to please Him, and that there is much sin, and sorrow, and suffering in consequence. Oh, if we could but find the country where all loved and tried to serve Him! If all the inhabitants of even one little island were real followers of Jesus, what a happy spot it would be.” Waihoura sighed.

“Long time before Maori country like that.”

“I am afraid that it will be a long time before any part of the world is like that,” said Lucy. “But yet it is the duty of each separate follower of Jesus to try, by the way he or she lives, to make it so. Oh, how watchful we should be over ourselves and all our thoughts, words and acts, and remembering our own weakness and proneness to sin, never to be trusting to ourselves, but ever seeking the aid of the Holy Spirit to help us.”

Lucy said this rather to herself than to her companion. Indeed, though she did her best to explain the subject to Waihoura, and to draw from her in return the ideas she had received, she could not help acknowledging that what she had said was very imperfectly understood by the Maori girl. She was looking forward, however, with great interest, to a visit from Mr Marlow, and she hoped that he, from speaking the native language fluently, would be able to explain many points which she had found beyond her power to put clearly.

The work of the day being over, the party were seated at their evening meal. A strange noise was heard coming from the direction of the wahré, which the native labourers had built for themselves, a short distance from the house. Harry, who had just then come in from his shepherding, said that several natives were collected round the wahré, and that they were rubbing noses, and howling together in chorus. “I am afraid they have brought some bad news, for the tears were rolling down their eyes, and altogether they looked very unhappy,” he remarked. Waihoura, who partly understood what Harry had said, looked up and observed—

“No bad news, only meet after long time away.” Still she appeared somewhat anxious, and continued giving uneasy glances at the door. Valentine was about to go out to make inquiries, when Ihaka, dressed in a cloak of flax, and accompanied by several other persons similarly habited, appeared at the door. Waihoura ran forward to meet him. He took her in his arms, rubbed his nose against hers, and burst into tears, which also streamed down her cheeks. After their greeting was over, Mr Pemberton invited the chief and his friends to be seated, fully expecting to hear that he had come to announce the death of some near relative. The chief accepted the invitation for himself and one of his companions, while the others retired to a distance, and sat down on the ground. Ihaka’s companion was a young man, and the elaborate tattooing on his face and arms showed that he was a chief of some consideration. Both he and Ihaka behaved with much propriety, and their manners were those of gentlemen who felt themselves in their proper position; but as Lucy noticed the countenance of the younger chief, she did not at all like its expression. The tattoo marks always give a peculiarly fierce look to the features; but, besides this, as he cast his eyes round the party, and they at last rested on Waihoura, Lucy’s bad opinion of him was confirmed.

Ihaka could speak a few sentences of English, but the conversation was carried on chiefly through Waihoura, who interpreted for him. The younger chief seldom spoke; when he did, either Ihaka or his daughter tried to explain his meaning. Occasionally he addressed her in Maori, when she hung down her head, or turned her eyes away from him, and made no attempt to interpret what he had said. Mr Pemberton knew enough of the customs of the natives not to inquire the object of Ihaka’s visit, and to wait till he thought fit to explain it. Lucy had feared, directly he made his appearance, that he had come to claim his daughter, and she trembled lest he should declare that such was his intention. Her anxiety increased when supper was over, and he began, in somewhat high-flown language, to express his gratitude to her and Mr Pemberton for the care they had taken of Waihoura. He then introduced his companion as Hemipo, a Rangatira, or chief of high rank, his greatly esteemed and honoured friend, who, although not related to him by the ties of blood, might yet, he hoped, become so. When he said this Waihoura cast her eyes to the ground, and looked greatly distressed, and Lucy, who had taken her hand, felt it tremble.

Ihaka continued, observing that now, having been deprived of the company of his daughter for many months, though grateful to the friends who had so kindly sheltered her, and been the means of restoring her to health, he desired to have her return with him to his pah, where she might assist in keeping the other women in order, and comfort and console him in his wahré, which had remained empty and melancholy since the death of her mother.

Waihoura, though compelled to interpret this speech, made no remark on it; but Lucy saw that the tears were trickling down her cheeks. Mr Pemberton, though very sorry to part with his young guest, felt that it would be useless to beg her father to allow her to remain after what he had said. Lucy, however, pleaded hard that she might be permitted to stay on with them sometime longer. All she could say, however, was useless; for when the chief appeared to be yielding, Hemipo said something which made him keep to his resolution, and he finally told Waihoura that she must prepare to accompany him the following morning. He and Hemipo then rose, and saying that they would sleep in the wahré, out of which it afterwards appeared they turned the usual inhabitants, they took their departure.

Waihoura kept up her composure till they were gone, and then throwing herself on Lucy’s neck, burst into tears.

“Till I came here I did not know what it was to love God, and to try and be good, and to live as you do, so happy and peaceable, and now I must go back and be again the wild Maori girl I was before I came to you, and follow the habits of my people; and worse than all, Lucy, from what my father said, I know that he intends me to marry the Rangatira Hemipo, whom I can never love, for he is a bad man, and has killed several cookies or slaves, who have offended him. He is no friend of the pakehas, and has often said he would be ready to drive them out of the country. He would never listen either to the missionaries; and when the good Mr Marlow went to his pah, he treated him rudely, and has threatened to take his life if he has the opportunity. Fear only of what the pakehas might do has prevented him.”

Waihoura did not say this in as many words, but she contrived, partly in English and partly in her own language, to make her meaning understood. Lucy was deeply grieved at hearing it, and tried to think of some means for saving Waihoura from so hard a fate. They sat up for a long time talking on the subject, but no plan which Lucy could suggest afforded Waihoura any consolation.

“I will consult my father as to what can be done,” Lucy said at last; “or when Mr Marlow comes, perhaps he can help us.”

“Oh no, he can do nothing,” answered Waihoura, bursting into tears.

“We must pray, then, that God will help us,” said Lucy. “He has promised that He will be a present help in time of trouble.”

“Oh yes, we will pray to God. He only can help us,” replied the Maori girl, and ere they lay down on their beds they together offered up their petitions to their Father in heaven for guidance and protection; but though they knew that that would not be withheld, they could not see the way in which it would be granted.

Next morning Waihoura had somewhat recovered her composure. Lucy and Mrs Greening insisted on her accepting numerous presents, which she evidently considered of great value. Several of the other settlers in the neighbourhood, who had become acquainted with the young Maori girl, and had heard that she was going away, brought up their gifts. Waihoura again gave way to tears when the moment arrived for her final parting with Lucy; and she was still weeping as her father led her off, surrounded by his attendants, to return to his pah.

Chapter Six.

Among the Maoris.

Riverside.—Mr Marlow the missionary, visits the Pembertons.—Lucy and her friends visit Ihaka.—A native Pah described.—A Feast—Native Amusements.—Return to Riverside.

The appearance of Riverside had greatly improved since Mr Pemberton and farmer Greening had settled there. They had each thirty or forty acres under cultivation, with kitchen gardens and orchards, and Lucy had a very pretty flower garden in front of the cottage, with a dairy and poultry yard, and several litters of pigs. Harry’s flock of sheep had increased threefold, and might now be seen dotting the plain as they fed on the rich grasses which had sprung up where the fern had been burnt. There were several other farms in the neighbourhood, and at the foot of the hill a village, consisting of a dozen or more houses, had been built, the principal shop in which was kept by Mr Nicholas Spears. The high road to the port was still in a very imperfect state, and the long talked of coach had not yet begun to run. Communication was kept up by means of the settlers waggons, or by the gentlemen, who took a shorter route to it on horseback.

Mr Marlow at length paid his long promised visit. Lucy eagerly inquired if he had seen Waihoura.

“I spent a couple of days at Ihaka’s pah on my way here,” he replied, “and I am sorry to say that your young friend appears very unhappy. Her father seems resolved that she shall marry Hemipo, notwithstanding that he is a heathen, as he has passed his word to that effect. I pointed out to him the misery he would cause her; and though he loves his child, yet I could not shake him. He replied, that a chief’s word must not be broken, and that perhaps Waihoura’s marriage may be the means of converting her husband. I fear that she would have little influence over him, as even among his own people he is looked upon as a fierce and vindictive savage.”

“Poor Waihoura!” sighed Lucy. “Do you think her father would allow her to pay us another visit? I should be so glad to send and invite her.”

“I am afraid not,” answered Mr Marlow. “Ihaka himself, though nominally a Christian, is very lukewarm; and though he was glad to have his daughter restored to health, he does not value the advantage she would derive from intercourse with civilised people. However, you can make the attempt, and I will write a letter, which you can send by one of his people who accompanied me here.”

The letter was written, and forthwith despatched. In return Ihaka sent an invitation to the pakeha maiden and her friends to visit him and his daughter at his pah. Mr Marlow advised Lucy to accept it.

“The chief’s pride possibly prevents him from allowing his daughter to visit you again, until, according to his notions, he has repaid you for the hospitality you have shown her,” he observed. “You may feel perfectly secure in going there; and, at all events, you will find the visit interesting, as you will have an opportunity of seeing more of the native customs and way of living than you otherwise could.”

Mr Pemberton, after some hesitation, agreed to the proposal, and Valentine undertook to escort his sister. Harry said he should like to go; “but then about the sheep—I cannot leave them for so long,” he said. James Greening offered to look after his flock during his absence. A lady, Miss Osburn, a very nice girl, who was calling on Lucy, expressed a strong wish to accompany her.

“I think that I am bound to go with you, as I have advised the expedition, and feel myself answerable for your safe conduct,” said Mr Marlow. “I may also prove useful as an interpreter, and should be glad of an opportunity of again speaking to Ihaka and his people.”

A message was accordingly sent to the chief, announcing the intention of Lucy and her friends to pay a visit to his pah.

The road, though somewhat rough, was considered practicable for the waggon, which was accordingly got ready. They were to start at daybreak, and as the pah was about twelve miles off, it was not expected that they would reach it till late in the afternoon. Two natives had been sent by Ihaka to act as guides, and as they selected the most level route, the journey was performed without accident.

About the time expected they came in sight of a rocky hill rising out of the plain, with a stream running at its base. On the summit appeared a line of palisades, surmounted by strange looking figures, mounted on poles, while in front was a gateway, above which was a larger figure, with a hideous countenance, curiously carved and painted. The natives pointed, with evident pride, at the abode of their chief.

As the path to it was far too steep to allow of the waggon going up it, Lucy and her friend got out to ascend on foot. As they did so, the chief and a number of his people emerged from the gateway, and came down to meet them. The usual salutations were offered, and the chief, knowing the customs of his guests, did not offer to rub noses. Lucy inquired anxiously for Waihoura. She was, according to etiquette, remaining within to receive her visitors.

After passing through a gateway, they found a second line of stockades, within which was a wide place occupied by numerous small wahrés, while at the further end stood two of somewhat larger size, ornamented with numerous highly carved wooden figures. On one side was a building, raised on carved posts, with a high-pitched roof—it was still more highly ornamented than the others, in grotesque patterns, among which the human face predominated. This latter was the chief’s store-house, and it was considerably larger and handsomer than his own abode. The dwelling-houses were of an oblong shape, about sixteen feet long and eight wide, with low walls, but high sloping roofs; the doors were so low that it was necessary to stoop when entering. The roofs were thatched with rampo, a plant which grows in the marshes; and the walls were of the same material, thickly matted together, so as to keep out both rain and wind.

As the party advanced, Waihoura appeared from her wahré, and throwing her arms on Lucy’s neck, began to weep as if her heart would break. She then conducted her friends into the interior, while the chief took charge of Mr Marlow, Valentine, and Harry.

Waihoura’s abode was clean and neat, the ground on each side covered thickly with fern, on the top of which mats were placed to serve as couches. Here the Maori girl begged her guests to be seated, and having recovered her composure, she thanked Lucy warmly for coming, and made inquiries about her friends at Riverside. She smiled and laughed, and became so animated, that she scarcely appeared like the same person she had been a few minutes before. She became very grave, however, when Lucy asked if her father still insisted on her marrying Hemipo.

“He does,” she answered, in a sad tone. “But I may yet escape, and I will, if I can, at all risks.”

She pressed her lips together, and looked so firm, that Lucy hoped that she would succeed in carrying out her resolution.

Their conversation was interrupted by a summons to a feast, which the chief had prepared, to do honour to his guests. In the centre of the pah a scaffold was erected, with bars across it, on which were hung up various fish, pieces of pork, and wild-fowl, while on the top were baskets full of sweet and ordinary potatoes, and a variety of other vegetables; and a number of women were employed in cooking, in ovens formed in the ground. These ovens were mere holes filled with hot stones, on the top of which the provisions were placed, and then covered up with leaves and earth.

In deference to the customs of their white friends, the natives had prepared seats for them, composed of fern and mats, in the shade of the chief’s wahré, while they themselves sat round, at a respectful distance, on the ground, in the hot sun.

When all were arranged, the chief, wrapped in his cloak, walked into the centre, and marching backwards and forwards, addressed the party, now turning to his guests, now to his countrymen, the rapidity of his movements increasing, till he appeared to have worked himself into a perfect fury. Waihoura, who sat by Lucy’s side, begged her and her friend not to be alarmed, he was merely acting according to custom. Suddenly he stopped, and wrapping his cloak around him, sat down on the ground.

Mr Marlow considered this a good opportunity of speaking to the people, and rising, he walked into their midst. His address, however, was very different to that of the chief’s. He reminded them that God, who rules the world, had given them all the food he saw there collected; that He desires to do good to the bodies of men, and to enable them to live in happiness and plenty; but that He loves their souls still more, and that He who had provided them with the food was ready to bestow on them spiritual blessings, to feed their souls as well as their bodies: that their bodies must perish, but that their souls must live for ever—He had sent the missionaries to them with His message of love, and He grieved that they were often more ready to accept only the food for their bodies, and to reject that which He offers for their souls. Much more he spoke to the same effect, and explained all that God, their Father had done for them when they were banished for their sins, to enable them again to become His dear children. Earthly fathers, he continued, are too often ready to sacrifice their children for their own advantage, regardless of their happiness here and of their eternal welfare. Ihaka winced when he heard these remarks, and fixed his eyes on the speaker, but said nothing. Other chiefs, who had come as guests, also spoke. Lucy was glad to find that Hemipo was not among them.

The feast then commenced, the provisions were handed round in neat clean baskets to each guest. Ihaka had provided plates and knives and forks for his English friends, who were surprised to find the perfect way in which the fish and meat, as well as the vegetables, were cooked.

After the feast, the young people hurried out of the pah towards a post stuck in the ground, on one side of a bank, with ropes hanging from the top; each one seized a rope, and began running round and round, now up, now down the bank, till their feet were lifted off the ground, much in the way English boys amuse themselves in a gymnasium. In another place a target was set up, at which the elder boys and young men threw their spears, composed of fern stems, with great dexterity. Several kites, formed of the flat leaves of a kind of sedge, were also brought out and set flying, with songs and shouts, which increased as the kite ascended higher and higher. A number of the young men exhibited feats of dancing, which were not, however, especially graceful, nor interesting to their guests. When the sun set the party returned to the pah. Mr Marlow, accompanied by Val, went about among the people, addressing them individually, and affording instruction to those who had expressed an anxiety about their souls.

Ihaka had provided a new wahré for his visitors, while Waihoura accommodated Lucy and Miss Osburn in her hut.

Lucy had hoped to persuade Ihaka to allow his daughter to return with her, but he made various excuses, and Waihoura expressed her fears that she was not allowed to go on account of Hemipo, who objected to her associating with her English friends.

Next morning the party set out on their return, leaving Waihoura evidently very miserable, and anxious about the future. They had got a short distance from the pah, when a chief with several attendants passed them, and Lucy felt sure, from the glimpse she got of his features, that he was Hemipo, especially as he did not stop, and only offered them a distant salutation. Mr Marlow again expressed his regret that he had been unable to move Ihaka. “Still, I believe, that he is pricked in his conscience, and he would be glad of an opportunity of being released from his promise,” he remarked. “The chief considers himself, however, in honour bound to perform it, though he is well aware that it must lead to his daughter’s unhappiness. I do not, however, suppose that he is biased by any fears of the consequences were he to break off the marriage, though probably if he did so Hemipo would attack the fort, and attempt to carry off his bride by force.”

When the party got back to Riverside, their friends were very eager to hear an account of their visit, and several regretted that they had not accompanied them.

“Who would have thought, Miss Lucy, when we first came here, that you would ever have slept inside one of those savage’s huts!” exclaimed Mrs Greening. “My notion was, that they would as likely as not eat anybody up who got into their clutches; but I really begin to think that they are a very decent, good sort of people, only I do wish the gentlemen would not make such ugly marks on their faces—it does not improve them, and I should like to tell them so.”

Chapter Seven.

The Beginning of Trouble.

Prosperous condition of the settlement—Mr Pemberton and his sons go out shooting.—Waihoura is observed flying from Hemipo, who fires and wounds her.—Rescued by Mr Pemberton and taken to Riverside.—Val goes for Dr Fraser.—On their return, Rahana, a native chief, saves their lives.—Ihaka arrives with his followers to defend the farm, as also do Rahana’s, but no enemy appears, and they, with Waihoura, return to Ihaka’s pah.

The little settlement went on prosperously, the flocks and herds increased, and more land was brought under cultivation; the orchards were producing fruit, and the kitchen gardens an abundance of vegetables.

There had been outbreaks of the natives in the northern part of the island, but those in their immediate neighbourhood were supposed to be peaceably disposed, and friendly towards the English.

Lucy had been for some time expecting to hear from Waihoura, and she feared, from the last account she had received from her, that the marriage the poor girl so much dreaded with Hemipo, might soon take place.

“I am afraid it can’t be helped,” observed Mrs Greening, who was trying to console her. “After all, he is her own countryman, and maybe she will improve him when they marry.”

“Oh, but I mourn for her because he is a heathen, and a cruel bad man,” said Lucy, “and I am sure she is worthy of a better fate.”

Mr Pemberton and Valentine had shortly after this gone out with their guns to shoot some wild-fowl which had visited the banks of the river. The young Pembertons and Greenings had built a boat, and as the birds appeared more numerous on the opposite side, Harry, who met them, offered to paddle them across. While Harry remained in the canoe, they proceeded up a small stream which ran into the main river. They were approaching the border of the forest. Although the foliage, entwined by creepers, was so dense towards the upper part of the trees that the rays of the sun were unable to penetrate through it, the lower part was open and free from underwood, thus enabling them to pass among the trees without difficulty, and to see for a considerable distance into its depths.

“We shall find no birds there,” observed Val. “Had we not better turn back and continue along the bank of the main stream?”

They were just about to do as Val proposed, when they caught sight of a figure running at full speed through the forest towards them.

“It is a woman, I believe,” exclaimed Val. “Yes, and there is a man following her. She is endeavouring to escape from him. She is crying out, and making signs for us to come to her assistance. She is Waihoura!”

As he spoke, the savage stopped, then levelled his rifle and fired. Waihoura shrieked out, and running a few paces further towards them, fell.

“I must punish the villain,” exclaimed Val, dashing forward.

“Stay, my boy,” said Mr Pemberton, “he deserves punishment, but not at our hands,—let us try and assist the poor girl.”

They hurried to where Waihoura lay. The bullet had wounded her in the shoulder. Meantime the savage had retreated, and when they looked round for him, he was nowhere to be seen.

“We must take the poor girl to the house and endeavour to obtain surgical assistance for her,” said Mr Pemberton.

They lifted her up and bore her along towards the river. Valentine shouted for Harry, who quickly came up with the canoe.

Waihoura was too much agitated to speak, or to tell them by whom she had been wounded. Still her countenance exhibited an expression rather of satisfaction than of alarm. Harry having secured the canoe, ran on before his father and brother to prepare Lucy for the arrival of her friend. Waihoura was carried into the house, and placed on the bed she had formerly occupied, while Harry ran on to get Mrs Greening to assist in taking care of her.

Left with Lucy and Betsy, Waihoura soon recovered her composure.

“I have escaped from him,” she said, in her broken English. “I have done what I long intended. Hemipo came for me to my father’s pah, and I was delivered in due form to him, and so my father’s honour was satisfied. I went quietly for some distance, as if I was no longer unwilling to accompany him, and then, watching my opportunity, I ran off, hoping to make my escape without being discovered. He saw me, however, and followed, though I was already a long way off. I hoped to reach the river and swim across to you, when he was nearly overtaking me. Just then, as he caught sight of your father and brother, in his rage and disappointment he fired at me, and would have killed me had they not come up to prevent him.”

Such was the meaning of the account Waihoura gave Lucy, as she and Betsy were endeavouring to staunch the blood which continued to flow from the wound. As soon as Mrs Greening arrived, she advised Val to set off and obtain Dr Fraser’s assistance.

“We may be able to stop the blood, but the hurt is a bad one, and if the bullet is still in the wound, will need a surgeon to take it out,” she observed.

Valentine required no second bidding. Harry, indeed, had already got a horse ready. He galloped away, taking the shortest cut across the country to the fort. Valentine had to spend some time in searching for Dr Fraser, who had gone off to a distance, and when he returned he had a patient to whom it was absolutely necessary he should attend.

“I’ll not be a moment longer than I can help,” exclaimed the doctor. “I felt great interest in that pretty little native girl. There’s one comfort, that the natives seldom suffer from fever through injuries. You ride back and say I am coming.”

“I would rather wait for you,” answered Valentine. Though he was sorely annoyed at the delay, it enabled him to give his horse a feed, and to rest the animal, so that there was not so much time lost as he supposed.

At length the doctor was ready, and they set off to take the way by which Valentine had come. They had gone rather more than half the distance, and were approaching a defile between two high hills, covered thickly with trees, and wild rugged rocks on either side. They were just about to enter it when a Maori, who, by the way he was dressed, appeared to be a chief, was seen hurrying down the side of the hill towards them, and beckoning to them to stop.

“He wishes to speak to us,” said Valentine, “shall we wait for him?”

“I hope that his intentions are friendly,” observed the doctor. “These fellows have been playing some treacherous tricks to the settlers in the north, and it is as well to be prepared.”

“His manner does not appear to be hostile,” observed Valentine. “I will ride forward to speak to him.”

Valentine had not gone many paces before he met the native, who hurriedly addressed him in broken English.

“Go back and take another path,” he exclaimed. “If you go forward you will be killed, there’s a bad chief, with several men, lying in wait to shoot you. I have only just discovered their intentions, and hurried forward to give you warning.”

“Can you tell us who the chief is?” asked Valentine, not feeling very willing to believe the stranger’s statement.

“His name does not matter,” answered the young stranger. “He supposes me to be his friend, and begged me to assist him, so that I do not wish further to betray him, but I could not allow you to suffer.”

“There may be some truth in what the young man says, and we should be unwise not to take his advice,” observed the doctor.

Valentine warmly thanked the stranger, who offered to lead them by a path he was acquainted with, which would enable them to escape the ambush and reach the river side with little loss of time. He accordingly led them back for some distance, and then striking off to the right over the hills, conducted them through another valley, which in time took them out on to the open plain.

“You are safe now,” he said. “Ride on as fast as you can, so that your enemy may not overtake you.”

“I should like to know who you are, that we may thank you properly for the benefit you have done us,” said Valentine, “and I am sure Ihaka’s daughter, on whose account Dr Fraser is going to our settlement, will desire to express her gratitude. She is sorely wounded, and I fear in much danger.”

“Wounded and in danger,” exclaimed the young stranger. “How has she received an injury?”

“She was basely shot at by a Maori,” answered Val.

“The chief told me that it was your sister who was ill, and that you having grossly insulted him, he was determined to revenge himself on you.” He stopped for a few moments as if for consideration. “I will accompany you,” he said. “If I go back I shall not be able to resist accusing him of his treachery, and bloodshed may be the consequence.”

“Come along then, my friend,” said the doctor, “you are fleet of foot, and will keep up with our horses.”

The stranger, a fine young man, one of the handsomest natives Valentine had as yet seen—his face being, moreover, undisfigured by tattoo marks,—on this ran forward, and showed by the pace he moved at, that he was not likely to detain them.

It was dark when they reached Riverside, but Lucy had heard the sound of their horses’ feet, and came out to meet them.

“I am so thankful you have come, doctor,” she exclaimed. “Waihoura is, I fear, suffering much pain, and we have been able to do little to relieve her.”

The doctor hurried into the house. His report was more favourable than Lucy had expected. He quickly extracted the bullet, and promised, with the good constitution the young girl evidently possessed, that she would soon recover.

Valentine invited the young stranger to remain, and he evidently showed no desire to take his departure.

“I wish to stay for your sakes as well as my own,” he said, “and I would advise you to keep a vigilant watch round the house during the night. The man who has committed so foul a deed as to shoot Ihaka’s daughter, must from henceforth be Rahana’s foe, and I now confess that it was Hemipo who intended to waylay and murder you. I am myself a Rangatira, chief of a numerous tribe. My father ever lived on friendly terms with the English, and seeing the folly of war, wished also to be at peace with his neighbours, and I have desired to follow his example. Among our nearest neighbours was Hemipo, who, though one I could never regard with esteem, has always appeared anxious to retain my friendship. Hitherto I have, therefore, frequently associated with him, but from henceforth he must be to me as a stranger. He is capable, I am convinced, of any treachery, and when he finds that you have escaped him on this occasion, will seek another opportunity of revenging himself.”

This was said partly in English and partly in Maori.

Mr Pemberton, following the advice he received, sent to farmer Greening and several other neighbours, asking their assistance in guarding Waihoura, thinking it possible that Hemipo might attack the place and attempt to carry her off. Among others who came up was Mr Spears, with a cartouche-box hanging by a belt to his waist, and a musket in his hand.

“Neighbours should help each other, Mr Pemberton,” he said as he made his appearance, “and so I have locked up the shop, and shall be happy to stand sentry during the night at any post you may assign me. Place me inside the house or outside, or in a cow-shed, it’s all the same to me. I’ll shoot the first man I see coming up the hill.”

Valentine suggested that Mr Spears was as likely to shoot a friend as a foe, and therefore placed him, with a companion, in one of the sheds, strictly enjoining him not to fire unless he received an order to do so.

From the precautions taken by Mr Pemberton, it was not likely that Hemipo would succeed even should he venture on an attack, especially as every one in the settlement was on the alert.

The night passed off quietly, and in the morning Dr Fraser gave a favourable report of Waihoura. A messenger was then despatched to Ihaka, to inform him of what had occurred. He arrived before sunset with several of his followers, well-armed, and at once requested to have an interview with his daughter. On coming out of her room he met Mr Pemberton, and warmly thanked him for having again preserved her life.

“From henceforth she is free to choose whom she will for a husband,” he observed. “I gave her, as I was bound to do by my promise, to Hemipo; but she escaped from him, and as he has proved himself unworthy of her, though war between us be the result, I will not again deliver her to him.”

Lucy, who overheard this, was greatly relieved. Not knowing the customs of the Maoris, she was afraid that the chief might still consider himself bound to restore Waihoura to her intended husband.

“I must go at once and tell her,” she said. “I am sure that this will greatly assist her recovery.”

“She knows it. I have already promised her,” said Ihaka. “And I will remain here and defend her and you, my friends, from Hemipo,—though boastful as he is, I do not believe that he will venture to attack a pakeha settlement.”

Rahana, who had hitherto remained at a distance, now came forward, and the two chiefs greeted each other according to their national custom, by rubbing their noses together for a minute or more. They then sat down, and the young chief gave Ihaka an account of the part he had taken in the affair.

“We have ever been friends,” answered Ihaka, “and this will cement our friendship closer than ever.”

They sat for some time talking over the matter, and Rahana agreed to send for a band of his people to assist in protecting their friends, and afterwards to escort Waihoura to her home.

Till this time, the only natives who frequented the settlement were the labourers employed on the farm, but now a number of warriors might be seen, with rifles in their hands, some seated on the hillside, others stalking about among the cottages. They all, however, behaved with the greatest propriety, declining even to receive provisions from the inhabitants, both Ihaka’s and Rahana’s people having brought an abundant supply. Though scouts were sent out in every direction, nothing was heard of Hemipo, and it was supposed that he had returned to his own village—either being afraid of meeting those he had injured, or to hatch some plan of revenge.

Dr Fraser, who had gone home when he considered Waihoura out of danger, returned, at the end of a fortnight, and pronounced her sufficiently recovered to undertake the journey home, to which Ihaka was anxious to convey her, as she would be there safer from any design Hemipo might entertain, than in the unprotected cottage at Riverside. Lucy, although she would gladly have had her remain longer, felt that this was the case. The Maori girl warmly embraced her before taking her seat on the covered litter constructed for her conveyance, and willingly gave a promise to return to Riverside as soon as her father considered it safe for her to do so. The young chief had constituted himself her chief attendant, and when they set out placed himself by her side, which he showed no intention of quitting. It appeared that they had hitherto been strangers to each other, but Lucy, having observed the admiration with which he had regarded Waihoura the first time they met, pleased with his manners, could not help hoping that he might become a Christian, and a successful suitor of her friend. She watched the party as they took their way along the road, till they were lost to sight among the trees; and from the judicious precautions they took of throwing out scouts, she trusted that they would, escape being surprised even should Hemipo be on the watch for them, and would reach their destination in safety.

As soon as they were gone the settlement returned to its usual quiet state.

After the character they had heard of Hemipo, Mr Pemberton considered it prudent to keep a watch at night, and to advise the Greenings, as well as his own sons, to carry arms in their hands, and never to go singly to a distance from the house.

Day after day passed by, till at length they began to feel that such precautions were unnecessary, and by degrees they abandoned the habit, only occasionally taking their guns when they went out to shoot birds, or when the traces of a wild pig, which happened to stray from the mountains, were discovered in the neighbourhood. Few countries in the world are so destitute of game or animals of any description, or of noxious reptiles, as New Zealand; the only reptile, indeed, being a harmless lizard, while the only wild beasts are the descendants of pigs originally introduced by Europeans, which having escaped from their owners to the forests where they roam at large.

Unhappily, although many of the natives lived on the most friendly terms with the English, and had made considerable advancement in civilisation, a large number still, at that period, retained much of their former savage character, and, instigated perhaps by evilly-disposed persons, from time to time rose in aims against the English, and though inferior in numbers to the settlers, were enabled, in their mountain fastnesses, to resist the attacks of well-trained troops sent against them. They sometimes descended on the unprepared settlements, murdered the inhabitants, and committed many fearful atrocities. Of late years, however, finding resistance vain, they have submitted to the English Government, and as they possess equal rights and privileges with the settlers, and are treated in every respect as British subjects, it may be hoped that they will become, ere long, thoroughly civilised and contented with their lot, so infinitely superior to that of their former savage state. At the time, however, that the occurrences which have been described took place, although cannibalism and their more barbarous customs were almost abandoned, still a number of the tribes were hostile to the English, and also carried on a fierce warfare among themselves. Our friends at Riverside were destined shortly to feel the ill effects of this state of things.

Chapter Eight.

Carried Off.

Disturbance among the natives.—Volunteers from the settlement.—Mr Pemberton and Val called away.—The settlers, to their dismay, discover that the young Pembertons have been carried off.

Lucy had made tea, and her father and brother, who had come in from their work, had just taken their seats, when Mr Spears, announced by Betsy, popped his head in at the door.

“Beg pardon, Mr Pemberton, for intruding, but I thought you would like to have this letter at once,” he said, handing an official-looking envelope. “I have sent several others of similar appearance to a number of gentlemen in our neighbourhood, and I suspect they mean something.”

Lucy observed that her father’s countenance assumed a grave expression as he read the document; after requesting the bearer to sit down and take a cup of tea.

“More disturbances among the natives?” asked Mr Spears. “I hope, though, that they will keep quiet in these parts.”

“Yes, I am sorry to say that they have risen in much greater numbers than heretofore, and matters look very serious,” answered Mr Pemberton. “The Governor has requested me to assist in organising a body of volunteers to co-operate with the loyal natives in this district, and to keep in check any of the Maoris who may be inclined to rebel, while the troops are engaged with the main body of the insurgents. I am afraid this will compel me to be absent from home for some time.”

“May I go with you?” exclaimed Harry. “I should so like to have some soldiering.”

“No, you must stay at home to take care of Lucy and the farm,” answered Mr Pemberton. “Val, you are named, and though I would rather have left you in charge, we must obey the calls of public duty. Farmer Greening will assist Harry; Paul and James will probably accompany me.”

“Put my name down as a volunteer,” exclaimed Mr Spears. “I’ll have my musket and cartouche-box ready in a trice. I shall be proud to go out and fight my country’s battles.”

“Take my advice, Mr Spears, and stay at home to look after your shop and the settlement—some must remain behind to guard it,” said Mr Pemberton.

“I am ready for the field, or for garrison duty,” answered the little man, rising, and drawing himself up. “I must go back with the news to the village; the people are suspecting that there is something in the wind.”

Mr Pemberton and Valentine soon made the necessary preparations for their departure, and early the next morning, in company with several other settlers, set out on their expedition. As the natives in their immediate neighbourhood had always appeared very friendly, they had no anxiety about the safety of Riverside.

Time passed on; news reached the settlement that the volunteers had on several occasions been engaged, and that the insurgents still made head against them. Lucy could not help feeling anxious at the prolonged absence of her father and brother; but as they wrote word that they were well, she kept up her spirits, hoping that the natives would soon be convinced of the uselessness and folly of their rebellion, and that peace would be established. She also received visits from Mary Osburn and other friends, and Mrs Greening never failed to look in on her two or three times in the day, while her husband kept his eye on the farm, and assisted Harry in managing affairs. Lucy had hoped that by this time it would be safe for Waihoura to pay her a visit, and she had sent a message inviting her to come to Riverside. In reply, Waihoura expressed her thanks for the invitation, but stated that as her father was absent with many of his people, taking a part in the war, she could not venture to quit home. She also mentioned that Hemipo was supposed to have joined the rebels, as he had not for some time been seen in the neighbourhood.

A short time after this, as Harry was standing on the bank of the river, near which his sheep were feeding, he observed a small canoe gliding down the stream. A single native was in it, who, as soon as he saw him, paddled up to where he stood. The stranger leaped on shore, and asked Harry, in Maori, pointing to the hill, whether he did not belong to that place. As Harry understood very little Maori, he could but imperfectly comprehend what the man, who appeared to be delivering a message, was saying. The stranger, perceiving this, tried to help his meaning by dumb show, and Harry heard him repeat the name of Hemipo several times. The man placed himself on the ground, and shut his eyes, as if he was asleep, then he jumped up, and, moving away, ran up to the spot, and pretended to be lifting up a person whom he carried to the canoe. He did this several times then he flourished his arms as if engaged with a foe, leaping fiercely about from side to side, and then jumped into his canoe and began to shove it off, as if he was going to paddle up the stream. He returned, however, again coming up to Harry, and, with an inquiring look, seemed to ask whether he was understood? Harry asked him to repeat what he had said, and at length made out, as he thought, that the stranger wished to warn him that the settlement would be attacked at night, while the inhabitants were asleep, by Hemipo, whose object was to carry them off as prisoners, but when this was likely to take place he could not discover. The stranger, who was evidently in a great hurry to be off again, seemed satisfied that he was understood, and, getting into his canoe, paddled rapidly up the river.

“I wish that I understood the Maori better,” thought Harry, “I should not then be in doubt about the matter; however, it will be as well to be prepared. We will fortify our house, and keep a bright look out, and I’ll tell the other people to be on the watch.”

He soon after met Toby, and telling him to look to the sheep, hurried homewards. Lucy listened calmly to his account.

“There is, I fear, no doubt that some harm is intended us,” she observed. “But we must pray that it may be averted, and do what we can to guard against it. I think our six native labourers are faithful, and we must place three of them in the house, and send the other three out as scouts to give us notice of the approach of an enemy. I propose also that we have a large pile of firewood made above the house, that, as soon as danger threatens it may be lighted as a signal to our friends in the neighbourhood. You must tell them of our intention, and ask them to come to our assistance as soon as they see the fire blazing up.”

“You ought to have been a man, and you would have made a first-rate soldier,” exclaimed Harry, delighted at Lucy’s idea. “It is the wisest thing that could be done; I’ll tell everybody you thought of it, and I am sure they will be ready to help us.”

“But perhaps they will think that the whole place is to be attacked, and if so, the men will not be willing to leave their own homes and families,” observed Lucy.

“Oh, but I am sure the Maori intended to warn us especially, for he pointed to our hill while he was speaking,” said Harry. “Then he mentioned Hemipo, who probably has a spite against us for rescuing Waihoura from him. However, there’s no time to be lost. I’ll tell the men to cut the wood for the bonfire, and go on to let Mr Osburn and our other friends know about the matter.”

Having charged Lucy and Betsy to close the doors and windows, and not to go out of the house, he went to tell the other people. The farmer was out, but he told Mrs Greening what he had heard.

“Oh, it would be terrible if any harm was to happen to Miss Lucy, and the Squire and Master Val away,” exclaimed the good woman; “I’d sooner our place were all burned down than that—I’ll go round to her and persuade her to come here—then, if the savages go to your house they will not find her, and if they come here, the farmer and Tobias, I’ll warrant, will fight for her as long as they have got a bullet or a charge of powder remaining.”

Harry warmly thanked Mrs Greening for her generous intentions, though he doubted very much whether Lucy would consent to leave the house. He then hurried on to the village.

Mr Spears, at whose house he first called, was thrown into a great state of agitation on hearing of his apprehensions.

“I’ll go round and tell all the other people, and we will see what can be done,” he exclaimed, getting down his musket. “We will fight bravely for our homes and hearths; but dear me, I wish all the people who are away would come back. These savages are terrible fellows, and if they were to come suddenly upon us at night, as you fancy they will, we may find ourselves in a very unpleasant predicament.”

While Mr Spears went off in one direction, Harry continued on to the house of their friend Mr Osburn, which was at no great distance. He, though expressing a hope that the stranger had been amusing himself at Harry’s expense, undertook to collect the rest of the neighbours, and to make preparations to go to his assistance should the signal-fire give them notice that the house had been attacked.

“I would offer at once to go up and assist in guarding you,” he said. “But I am afraid that our other friends will not be willing to leave their own cottages undefended; indeed, I think we shall more effectually assist you by following the plan you propose. Still, I would advise you not to be over anxious about the matter, though you will do wisely to take the precautions you propose.”

Harry, feeling somewhat proud of himself, and tolerably well satisfied with the arrangements he had made, returned home. He found the farmer and Mr Greening at the house. They had in vain attempted to persuade Lucy to pass the night at their house—she would not leave Harry, who said that, as he had charge of the place, nothing would induce him to desert his post, and they hoped, with the precautions taken, they might escape the threatened danger.

“Depend upon it, if the savages really come and find us prepared they will not venture to attack the house,” said Harry.

“Well, well, I like your spirit, Master Harry,” said the farmer. “I’ll be on the watch, and if I hear the sound of a musket I shall know what it means, and will be quickly round with my four natives.”

At length the farmer and Mrs Greening took their departure. Harry had spoken to the native servants, who seemed fully to understand what was expected of them, and promised to be vigilant. Betsy had undertaken to keep a lantern burning, and to run out at the back-door at the first signal of danger, and light the bonfire. Harry tried to persuade Lucy to go to bed.

“Of course I shall sit up myself and keep watch for anything that happens,” he said; “and if you fall asleep, Lucy, I’ll awaken you if necessary.”

After commending themselves to the care of God, and reading together, as usual, a chapter in the Bible, the two young people sat down with their books before them to wait the issue of events, Harry, however, every now and then got up and ran to the door to listen, fancying he heard some sounds in the distance. Hour after hour passed by, and neither foe nor friend appeared. The night seemed very long, but at length the morning light streamed through the openings above the shutters. Harry opened the door, the air was pure and fresh, and the scene before him appeared so calm and peaceful, that he felt much inclined to laugh at his own fears. The native servants, who had been on the watch, came in also, and declared that they had seen no one, nor heard the slightest sound during the night to alarm them. In a short time farmer Greening arrived, and expressed his satisfaction at finding that they had had no cause for alarm.

“Perhaps after all, Master Harry, the man was only passing a joke on you, though it was as well to be on the safe side, and to be prepared.”

Lucy had several visitors during the day, who appeared much inclined to consider they had been unnecessarily alarmed.

“We may or may not have been,” observed Harry, “but I intend to keep the same look out tonight as before.”

The second night passed over like the former, and Harry himself now owned that unless the stranger purposely intended to deceive him, he must have misunderstood his meaning.

The evening came on, the cows had been milked, the pigs and poultry fed, and other duties attended to. They were in their sitting-room reading, when Betsy came in and announced Mr Spears.

“I hope I don’t intrude, Miss Lucy,” he said, putting his head in at the doorway in his usual half-hesitating manner, “but I could not shut up my house for the night without coming to inquire how you are getting on. Well, Master Harry, the Maoris who were to attack us have turned out to be phantoms after all, pleasanter foes to fight with than real savages. However, you behaved very well, my young friend, and I hope you will get a quiet night’s rest, and sleep free from alarm.”

“Thank you for your kind wishes,” answered Lucy, “but still I hope that you and our other friends will be on the watch, for I cannot feel altogether secure till our father and brother return.”

“Never fear, Miss Lucy, we will be ready if your phantom foes come. Pardon me, Master Harry, for calling them phantom foes, but such they are, I suspect. Ah! ah! ah!” and Mr Spears laughed at his own conceit. As Lucy did not wish to encourage the little man, she did not invite him to sit down, and, somewhat to her relief, he soon went away.

Mr Spears had reached home, and was shutting up his cottage, when, looking towards the hill, he saw the beacon fire blazing up. He rushed back for his musket, and began to load it in great haste; but in vain he pulled the trigger, it would not go off—no wonder, for he had forgotten to put on a cap. Not discovering this, having knocked at the doors of his immediate neighbours, and told them that the settlement was attacked, he ran as fast as his legs could carry him to Mr Osburn. Though that gentleman turned out immediately, it was sometime before he could collect the rest of the inhabitants, when some with firearms, and others with pitchforks, or any weapons they could lay hands on, rushed up the hill towards Mr Pemberton’s farm. They were joined on the way by farmer Greening and Tobias. All round the house seemed quiet, and not a sign of a Maori could be discovered.

“There’s been some trick played,” said farmer Greening, “for all my servants went off this evening, and I should not be surprised that Mr Pemberton’s have done the same; but I hope Master Harry has kept the door shut, and not let the enemy inside.”

As may be supposed, on reaching the house, their consternation and grief was very great when they discovered that the inmates had gone; and from the overturned chairs, and the back and front doors being open, their alarm for the safety of their young friends was greatly increased.

“The savages have undoubtedly come and carried them off, but we may yet be in time to overtake them, if we can ascertain in what direction they have gone,” said Mr Osburn.

“See, the orchard gate is open,” said farmer Greening. “They must have gone this way, by the path which leads to the river.” They went on a little farther, when Tobias picked up a handkerchief.

“That must be Miss Lucy’s,” he exclaimed, “and probably dropped on purpose,” observed Mr Osburn.

On reaching the river, no signs, however, of the savages nor their captives were to be seen; and though they hurried along the bank for some distance, they were at length compelled to return, in a state of increased anxiety for their young friends, to the settlement.

Chapter Nine.

The Rescue.

Lucy and Harry carried off by Hemipo, who takes them to his pah.—Lucy explains the truth to a native girl who attends her.—Waihoura appears, and assists them to escape.—Encounter Hemipo, who is conquered by Rahana.—Hemipo allowed to go free.—Happy return to Riverside with Waihoura and her party.—Great rejoicings.—Hemipo becomes a Christian.—Waihoura marries Rahana, and the settlement flourishes.

Lucy and Harry were spending their evening, as was their usual custom, Harry reading aloud while his sister sat by his side working.

Mr Spears had not long gone away, when a slight knock was heard at the door.

“I do believe it must be that Mr Spears come back again,” observed Betsy, getting up to open it. As she did so, what was her horror to see the figure of a tall Maori warrior, his face painted red, with his merai or axe in his hand.

“Run, Miss Lucy! run, Master Harry, and hide yourselves!” she exclaimed, attempting to push back the door. Her efforts were vain, the savage dashed it open and stalked in, followed by a dozen or more Maoris.

“Light the bonfire!” exclaimed Lucy,—and Betsy, springing by her, made her escape at the back-door. Harry tried to drag off Lucy in the same direction, but they were both instantly seized by the Maoris, two of whom sprang after Betsy. Scarcely a word was spoken by any of the natives, and Lucy had been too much agitated and alarmed to shriek out. The leader, in whom, by his sinister features and fierce looks, Lucy recognised Hemipo, had raised his weapon as if to strike Harry, but he restrained himself on finding that there was no opposition. He and one of his companions now bound Harry’s arms, making signs to him that if he made any noise his brains would be dashed out. Two others then lifted up Lucy, and taking a cloak which hung on the wall, threw it round her. Plunder did not appear to be their object; for, although numerous articles were lying about which would have been of value to them, none were taken. The savages now lifted up Lucy and Harry in their arms and carried them out of the house. Harry looked round, hoping to see some of the native servants. No one appeared.

“I hope, at all events, that Betsy may have set light to the signal-fire, that if we are carried away our friends will come in pursuit of us,” he said to himself.

Great was his disappointment when directly afterwards he saw Betsy brought along in the arms of two of the savages.

“I have done it though, Master Harry,” she exclaimed, loud enough for him to hear. “I had just time to throw the candle in among the sticks and paper before they caught me,—I do not think they saw what I had been about, or they would have stopped and put it out.”

A savage growl, and the hand of one of her captors placed over her mouth, prevented Betsy from saying any more.

The whole party now moved down the hill at a rapid rate towards the river. On reaching the bank the young captives were placed on board a canoe, several of which were collected at the spot. Harry felt a little relieved when his arms were unbound, and he was allowed to sit at his ease beside Lucy. The savages evidently supposed that he would not attempt to leap out and swim on shore.

The flotilla shoved off. The night was very dark, but the Maoris, well acquainted with the river, navigated dexterously amid the rocks and occasional rapids in their course. Now and then the water could be seen bubbling up on either side, and sometimes leaping over the gunwale, and once or twice so much came in that Harry feared the canoe would be swamped.

“If we are upset, stick to me, Lucy,” he whispered. “I’ll swim with you to the shore, and we will then run off and try and make our escape.” Lucy felt confident of her young brother’s courage, but feared that there was little prospect of his succeeding in the attempt. Poor Betsy shrieked out with alarm. A threatening sound from the man who steered the canoe warned her to keep silence.

There had been for sometime a strong wind, it now increased, and blowing directly against them, greatly impeded the progress of the canoes. Still the Maoris persevered. At length a loud clap of thunder burst from the sky. It was succeeded by several terrific peals, while vivid flashes of forked lightning darting forth showed that they were passing between high rugged cliffs which rose on either side of the stream, overhung with trees, amid which the wind roared and whistled as they waved to and fro above their heads, threatening every instant, torn up by the roots, to fall over and crush them. The thunder rattled louder than ever, reverberating among the cliffs. Just then a flash, brighter than its predecessors, which came hissing along close to the canoe, showed Harry the savage features of Hemipo, who was sitting in the stern steering. Still the canoe went on, indeed, as far as Harry could see there was no place on either side where they could have landed, and he earnestly prayed that, should any accident happen, it might be further on, where there would be a hope of reaching the shore. Lucy sat with her hands clasped in his, and her calmness and self-possession gave him courage.

“Oh, what a dear brave little sister mine is,” he thought to himself. “I would willingly give up my life to save her’s. I wonder what these savages will do with us. They surely cannot be so barbarous as to intend to kill her,—they may knock me on the head very likely, and I only wonder they did not do so at first, it would have been more like their usual custom.”

The rain was now falling in torrents. Harry drew the cloaks which had been thrown over Lucy and Betsy closer round them. He was himself quickly wet through, but for that he cared little.

Though it was evident that the paddlers were straining every nerve to urge the canoe onwards, he could judge by the appearance of the cliffs that they were making but slow progress, sometimes, indeed, they were almost brought to a standstill, then again they would redouble their efforts, and the wind lulling for a short time, they would stem the rapid current and get into calmer water. It was difficult to judge, under the circumstances, how time went by, but it seemed to Harry that the whole night was thus spent. Still the darkness continued, and hour after hour passed.

At length the banks came more clearly into view, and he could distinguish the other canoes in company. Suddenly the cliffs on either side ceased, and he found that they had entered a lake. Covered, however, as it was with foaming waves stirred up by the storm, it seemed scarcely possible for the canoes to make their way across it. After they had in vain attempted to do so, and several of them had been nearly swamped, Harry perceived that they were steering towards the shore. They made their way up a small inlet, where, sheltered from the gale, the canoes at length floated quietly, and their crews set to work to bail them out. This being done, Harry observed that they were examining their muskets, and fresh priming them, lest they should have become damp with the rain. He hoped from this that they had not yet reached Hemipo’s district, and were still in that of some friendly tribe. Meantime a man was sent on shore, who ran to the summit of a neighbouring height, where Harry saw him looking round, as if to ascertain whether any one was approaching.

On his return, after he had given his report, Hemipo landed, and with scant ceremony dragged his prisoners out of the canoe, and signed to them that they were to accompany him. Eight of the savages immediately landed and closed round them. Having issued orders to the remainder, he led the way towards the entrance of a valley which extended up from the water. Lucy and Betsy could with difficulty walk after having been so long cramped up in the canoe. Harry begged his sister to lean on him, that he might help her along, and poor Betsy did her best to keep up with them, for the savages showed no inclination to slacken their pace. Every now and then, indeed, one of them gave her a rough push to make her move faster. Harry felt very indignant, but knew that it would be useless to expostulate, and dreaded lest Lucy might be treated in the same way. The valley through which they were proceeding he found ran parallel with the lake, and concluded, as was the case, that it would at length conduct them to an upper part of the stream, which, had it not been for the storm, Hemipo intended to have reached in the canoes. The chief stalked on ahead, every now and then turning round to order his followers to move faster. The valley, as they proceeded, narrowed considerably; the sides, composed of wild rugged rocks with overhanging trees crowning their summits, rising precipitously on either hand. Harry observed that the chief, as they advanced, looked cautiously ahead, as if he thought it possible that an enemy might appear to intercept him. Suddenly he stopped altogether, and addressed a few words to his followers, while he pointed up the valley. What he said Harry could not understand, but several of the savages directly afterwards drew their merais from their belts, and cast fierce looks at their captives, which too clearly indicated their cruel designs.

“Oh, our dear father, my poor brother,” murmured Lucy, as her eye glanced at the savages’ weapons, and she clung closer to Harry, thinking of those she loved more than of herself. “Yet they cannot be so cruel.”

“Are they going to kill us?” cried Betsy. “Dear, dear Miss Lucy,” and she stretched out her arms as if to protect her young mistress.

After waiting a short time Hemipo ordered two of his men to go ahead, apparently to ascertain if the road was clear. They seemed satisfied that such was the case, for at a sign from them he and the rest proceeded as before. Harry, as they advanced, could not help looking up frequently at the cliffs on either side, and more than once he fancied he saw some person moving among the rocks as if observing them, while at the same time endeavouring to remain concealed. If such was the case, the person managed to escape the keen eyes of the Maoris, for Hemipo went on, evidently not supposing that he was watched. At length they emerged from the defile, and proceeding over a more open, though still a hilly and picturesque country, till they again came in sight of the river. By this time Lucy and Betsy were nearly dropping with fatigue, and even Harry, though accustomed to exercise, felt very tired, but the savages still urged them on, regardless of their weary legs. Harry felt very indignant, but Lucy entreated him not to show his resentment.

At last a hill, round the base of which the river made its way, rose directly before them, with a stockade on its summit, similar to that surrounding Ihaka’s village. Hemipo led the way towards it, and ascended a narrow path, at the top of which appeared a gateway, with a huge hideous figure above it. As he approached a number of women and children and old men issued forth eyeing his captives with no pleasant looks. Scarcely a word, however, was exchanged between the inhabitants and him till they entered the pah, when the whole party seated themselves on the ground, each of them singling out one of the new comers, and began rubbing their noses together, howling and weeping, while the tears, in copious torrents, flowed down their brown cheeks. Under other circumstances, Harry, who with his sister and Betsy, were left standing alone, would have felt inclined to laugh heartily at the odd scene, but matters were too serious to allow him to do so now.

After the savages had rubbed their noses, howled, and shed a sufficiency of tears to satisfy their feelings, they got up with dry eyes and unconcerned looks, as if nothing of the sort had occurred. They then came round their captives, who were allowed to stand unmolested, while Hemipo was apparently giving an account of his adventures. Lucy and Betsy trembled as they saw the fierce glances cast at them during the chief’s address; their lives seemed to hang on a thread, for any moment his auditors, whom he appeared to be working into a fury, might rush forward and cut them down with the merais, which, ever and anon, they clutched as if eager to use them. At length he ceased, when another orator got up, and appeared to be endeavouring to calm the angry feelings of the assembly. Others spoke in the same strain, and at last the orator, who had opposed Hemipo, having gained his object, so it seemed, came up to the captives and signed to them to accompany him. Leading them to a large wahré on one side of the pah, he told them to enter. Lucy, overcome with fatigue, sank on a heap of fern, which covered part of the floor.

“Cheer up,” said Harry, “they do not intend to kill us, and I hope that chief, who looks more good-natured than Hemipo, will think of bringing us some food. I’ll let him know that we want it.” Harry went back to the door at which the chief was still standing, and made signs that they were very hungry. The chief evidently understood him, and in a short time a girl appeared with a basket of sweet potatoes, some baked fish, and a bowl of water. Lucy thanked her warmly in Maori, saying that she might some day have the opportunity of rewarding her, adding—

“Our people will be grateful for any kindness shown us, and though we have been most cruelly carried away from our home, yet they will not revenge themselves on the innocent.” The girl, whom Lucy supposed from her appearance to be a slave, looked very much surprised.

“Our religion teaches us that we should forgive our enemies, and do good to those who injure us, and therefore still more should we be grateful to all who do us good,” she continued. “Do you understand that?” The girl shook her head, and made signs to Lucy and her companions to eat while the food was hot; they needed, indeed, no second bidding, the girl standing by while they discussed the meal.

Lucy feeling the importance of gaining the good-will of any person in the village, again spoke to the girl, much to the same effect as before. The latter evidently understood her, and made a sign that if discovered in helping them to escape she would be killed. Lucy’s words had, however, it seemed, made an impression on her mind, for when she stooped down to take up the basket and bowl, she whispered that she would do what she could to be of use to them.

They were now left alone. Harry entreated his companions to go to sleep, declaring that he was able to sit up and keep watch; and in spite of their anxiety, they were so weary, that in a few minutes their eyes closed, and they happily forgot all that had occurred. Harry kept awake as well as he could, and every now and then he observed women and children, and sometimes men, peering at them through the open door of the hut. Discovering, however, a chick mat spread on a framework leaning against the side of the hut, he conjectured that it was intended to use as a door, and, accordingly, placing it across the entrance, shut out the intruders. Having now nothing to distract his attention, he very soon dropped off to sleep. It was dark when he awoke, and as there were no sounds in the village he concluded that it was night, and he hoped that they might therefore be allowed to rest in quiet. He went to the door of the hut and looked out. No one was stirring, the storm had ceased, and the stars were shining brightly overhead. He again carefully closed the entrance, securing it with some poles, so that it could not be opened from the outside, and throwing himself on the fern at Lucy’s feet, was soon fast asleep.

He was awakened by hearing some one attempting to open the door—the daylight was streaming in through the crevices—on pulling it aside the slave girl, who had brought their supper, appeared with a basket of food and a bowl of water, as before. The light awoke Lucy and Betsy, who seemed refreshed by their slumbers, though their faces were still pale and anxious. The girl pointed to the food and bade them eat, but seemed unwilling to stay.

“Let us say our prayers, Harry, as we should do at home, before breakfast,” said Lucy, “though we have not a Bible to read.”

They knelt down, and Lucy offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to God for having preserved them, and for further protection, while the Maori girl stood by wondering what they were about. She then hurried away, as they supposed, from having received orders not to remain with them. They were left alone all the morning, and at noon the girl brought them a further supply of food.

“This looks as if the Maoris did not intend to do us any harm, perhaps they expect to get a ransom for us,” observed Harry.

“I trust so,” said Lucy, “and I am sure our friends would pay it should our father and Val be still absent from home; but, perhaps, Hemipo has some other object in carrying us off.”

“What can that be?” asked Harry. “The idea came into my mind, and I fear it is too likely that he has done so, in order to get Waihoura into his power. If she believes that our lives are in danger, she will, I am sure, be ready to do anything to save them,” answered Lucy.

“How should she know that we have been carried away,” asked Harry.

“She will suspect something when our labourers suddenly return to her village, and will send to ascertain what has occurred,” observed Lucy.

“If it was not for your sake, Lucy, I would run every risk rather than let the poor girl fall into the power of the savage,” exclaimed Harry. “I hope that our father and Val, and the volunteers, will find out where we have been carried to, and will come to attack the pah and rescue us.”

“That would cause great loss of life, and, perhaps, seal our fate,” answered Lucy. “I have been praying, and He who does not allow a sparrow to fall to the ground without knowing it, will arrange matters for the best. The knowledge that He does take care of us should give us confidence and hope.”

“I am sure you are right,” observed Harry, after a few minutes reflection. “Still we cannot help talking of what we wish.”

In the afternoon, Harry going to the door of the hut, heard voices as if in loud discussion at a distance, and observing no one about, he crept on among the huts till he came in sight of a number of people seated on the ground, apparently holding a debate, for one after the other got up and addressed the rest. Keeping himself concealed behind the hut, he watched them for some time, at length he saw Hemipo and a body of armed men issue out by the gate. He crept back to the hut with this information. As far as he could ascertain, only the old men, and women, and children, were left in the pah.

Late in the evening the slave girl again visited them, and, as she appeared less anxious than before to hurry away, Lucy spoke to her. At last she answered—

“What Manima can do she will do for the pakehas, but they must wait—perhaps something will happen.” She said this in a very low voice, and taking up the basket and bowl, hurried away. Harry found that no one interfered with him as he walked about outside the hut; but he did not like to go far from Lucy and Betsy, and darkness coming on, he returned. After he had closed the door, they offered up their prayers as usual, and lying down, soon fell asleep.

Lucy was awakened by feeling a hand pressed on her shoulder. She was inclined to cry out, when she heard a low voice saying in Maori—

“Don’t be afraid, call your brother and Betsy.” Lucy, to her astonishment, recognised the voice of Waihoura, and without waiting to ask questions, awakened Harry and Betsy. A few words served to explain what she had heard, and they at once got up and followed Waihoura out of the hut. She led the way among the wahrés the inmates of which, they knew from the sounds which issued forth, were fast asleep. They soon reached the inner end of the pah, behind the public store-house, the largest building in the village, when Waihoura pointed to an opening in the stockade. It was so narrow that only slight people could have passed through it. Waihoura, taking Lucy’s hand, led her through it, but Betsy almost stuck as she made the attempt. With some assistance from Harry, she however succeeded in getting on the other side, when he following, found that they were standing on the top of a cliff. Waihoura again taking Lucy’s hand, showed them a narrow and zigzag path which led down it. They followed her, as she cautiously descended towards the river, which Harry saw flowing below them.

On reaching the edge of the water Waihoura stepped into a canoe, which had hitherto been hidden by a rock. The rest of the party entering it, two men who were sitting with their paddles ready, immediately urged the canoe out into the stream, down which they impelled it with rapid strokes, while Waihoura, taking another paddle, guided its course. Not a word was spoken, for all seemed to know exactly what was to be done. They had entirely lost sight of the hills on which the pah stood, before Waihoura uttered a word. She then, in a whisper, addressed Lucy, who was sitting close to her, apparently considering, even then, that great caution was necessary. They were passing between high cliffs, amid which the slightest sound, Harry rightly guessed, might be carried, and heard by any one posted on them. The paddlers redoubled their efforts, till at length they got into a broader part of the river. Lucy then, in a low voice, told Harry that Waihoura had heard of their capture from the labourers, who had returned home, and had immediately formed a plan for their rescue. She had friends in Hemipo’s pah, for all were not as bad as he was, and among them was Manima, who belonged to a friendly tribe, and had been carried off some time before by Hemipo, with others, as a slave. She had herself, with a party of her people, immediately set out, and knowing the route they would have to take, had remained in ambush with the intention of rescuing them; but fearing that Hemipo would put them to death should he find himself attacked, she resolved to employ stratagem to set them at liberty. She had at once sent a message to Manima, and on finding that Hemipo had set out on another expedition, she had herself that very night entered the pah in disguise, and arranged the plan which had thus far been carried out.

“She tells us,” added Lucy, “that her only fear arises from the possibility of meeting Hemipo, who has gone down the river in his war canoes, though for what object she could not ascertain. She advises us to keep very silent, as should he be anywhere near, he is certain to have scouts on the watch, though we may hope to escape them in the darkness of night.”

“As I said of you, Lucy, she would make a first-rate General,” observed Harry, “and I hope for her sake, as well as ours, that she will prove herself a successful leader.”

Scarcely had Harry spoken when a loud voice hailed them from the shore, and a bullet whistled close to them.

“Don’t cry out,” whispered Waihoura. “The man will take some time to load again, and we may get beyond his reach.” Her hopes were, however, vain, for directly afterwards several canoes darted from behind some rocks, and surrounding them, their canoe was towed to the shore.

“They are Hemipo’s people,” said Waihoura. “But keep silence, he is not among them, and they will merely keep us prisoners till he comes, and something may happen in the meantime.”

The country was tolerably level beyond the bank where the canoes lay. There was sufficient light from the stars to enable Harry to see for some distance inland, and he recognised the spot as the same place at which they had been taken on shore on their way up the river. After waiting a considerable time, he observed a party of men moving along from the direction of the valley, and coming towards the canoes. He was afraid that they were Hemipo and his band.

“How will the savage treat us, and those who have been trying to aid our escape?” he thought. Just then he caught sight of another and very much larger party coming from nearly the opposite direction. The first stopped and seemed trying to hide themselves behind some rocks and bushes, but the others had seen them, and uttering loud cries, rushed forward, then came the flashes and rattle of musketry, with reiterated cries for a few minutes, when the smaller party giving way, attempted to fly, but were quickly surrounded. The people in the canoes, on seeing this, shoved off from the bank, and endeavoured to drag Waihoura’s canoe with them. The crew resisted; a blow on his head, however, struck down one of the men, and it appeared too probable that their enemies would succeed in their object.

They had got out into the middle of the stream, when several more canoes were seen rounding a point below them. Waihoura uttered a loud cry, and the canoes came rapidly paddling towards them. Their captors, on seeing this, allowed her to go free, and began making their way as fast as they could up the river.

“Who are you?” asked Waihoura, as the strangers’ canoes approached.

“We are Rahana’s people, and he ordered us to come here to stop Hemipo from descending the river, while he proceeded on by land,” was the answer.

“Then it is Rahana who has gained the victory,” exclaimed Waihoura, and, escorted by her friends, she guided her canoe towards the shore, Harry taking the paddle of the poor man who had been struck down. They quickly landed, when a messenger despatched to Rahana brought him to where Waihoura and her English companions were seated on some rocks by the bank of the river. He spoke earnestly for a few minutes to Waihoura. Lucy, from what he said, learned that she had sent to ask his assistance, and that ascertaining the proceedings of Hemipo, he had set out with all his followers to meet him and compel him to restore the prisoners he had carried off.

“He and many of his people are now in my hands, for before they could escape we surrounded them and captured them all,” he said, addressing Lucy and Harry. “They deserve death,—do you wish that we should kill them, or give them into the hands of your countrymen?”

“Oh no, no, spare their lives,” exclaimed Lucy. “We should do good to our enemies, and we would far rather let them go free. We are thankful to have been rescued from their power, but more than that we do not desire.”

“That is a strange thing the pakeha girl says,” remarked Rahana to Waihoura. “Is it according to the religion you desire to teach me?”

“Oh yes, yes,” exclaimed Waihoura. “I know that Lucy is right. She has told me that He who came to die and be punished that men might enjoy happiness hereafter, blessed His enemies, and did good to those who injured Him.”

“Then they shall live,” said Rahana. “I will set Hemipo free, and tell him that it is by the wish of the pakehas, and that he must henceforth be their friend and ally, and abandoning the cruel customs of our people, learn the good religion, which has made them act thus towards him.”

Lucy and Harry knowing the alarm their disappearance must have caused to Mrs Greening and their other friends, were anxious to return home immediately. Waihoura offered to accompany them, and begged Rahana that he would allow one of his canoes to convey them down the river.

“I will myself take charge of them, and I shall be proud to deliver them in safety to their friends,” he answered. “I will, however, first obey their wish, and set Hemipo and his followers free, after I have deprived them of their arms, which belong to my warriors.”

While the canoes were getting ready for the voyage down the river, fires were lighted, and fish and other provisions were cooked, some of which were presented to Waihoura and her friends, greatly to Harry’s satisfaction, who declared that he had seldom felt so hungry in his life; though Lucy and Betsy, still scarcely recovered from their agitation, partook of the repast but sparingly. Meantime Rahana had gone back to where he had left his warriors and their prisoners. He shortly returned, accompanied by another person. As they approached the spot where Waihoura and her friends sat, the light of the fire showed that Rahana’s companion was Hemipo. He looked greatly crestfallen, but recovering himself, he addressed Waihoura. Neither Lucy nor Harry could clearly understand him; but they gathered from what he said that he desired to express his gratitude for having his life spared, and sorrow for his conduct towards her, as also for having carried off her friends, and that if they would send a missionary to him he would gladly listen to his instruction. It evidently cost him much to speak as he did. She was glad when the interview was over, and Rahana told him that he might now depart in peace.

Waihoura and her friends were now conducted to the largest canoe, in which Rahana also took his seat. They had not proceeded far down the river when day broke, and the neighbouring woods burst forth with a chorus of joyful song, the sky overhead was blue and pure, the waters bright and clear, and the grass and shrubs, which grew on the banks, sparkled with bright dewdrops.

“See, see,” exclaimed Harry. “There’s a whole fleet of boats coming up the river.” Rahana, on observing them, went ahead of his flotilla with a flag waving at the bow of his canoe.

“There is our father, there is Val,” exclaimed Harry. The canoe was soon alongside one of the largest boats. A few words explained all that had occurred. Mr Pemberton and his companions had returned home the day after his children and servant had been carried off, when an expedition had immediately been organised to sail up the river and attack Hemipo’s pah, it being at once suspected that he had committed the outrage.

As there was now no necessity to proceed further, the boats’ bows were turned down the stream, Harry, with his sister and Betsy, having gone on board Mr Pemberton’s. Accompanied by the canoes, a strong current being in their favour, they soon reached “Riverside,” where the safe return of the young people caused almost as much satisfaction as the news which had just before arrived of the termination of the war.

Waihoura soon afterwards became the wife of Rahana, who built a house after the English model, on some land which he owned in the neighbourhood near the river, and receiving instruction from their friends, both became true and earnest Christians. They had the satisfaction also of hearing that Hemipo, who had gladly received Mr Marlow and other missionaries, had, with all his people, become Christians, and he showed by his changed life and peaceable conduct, that he was one in reality as well as in name.

“Riverside” continued to increase and prosper, and protected by the friendly natives who surrounded it, escaped the disasters from which many other places in subsequent years suffered. Honest Mr Spears must not be forgotten. Though still showing a readiness to help everybody, having learned the necessity of attending to his own affairs, he became one of the leading tradesmen in the place. Both Mr Pemberton and farmer Greening had, in course of time, the satisfaction of seeing their children married, and settled happily around them.

The End.