23rd December 1902.
Received yours of the 18th yesterday. I at once had a talk with
some of the chiefs here but I fear there are not enough old men in
the district to make anything like a success here. The young
fellows know nothing about a war dance.
I think it possible we might get a sufficient number at Tauranga
- or very likely enough Ngatihaua of Maungakawa Maungatautari and
round Cambridge to form a party of 40. I could get 5 or 6 good men
here to join in. If Ngatihaua are not sufficient we could
supplement them with some Ngatiraukawa from Patatere, all of these
could be easily brought to Cambridge. I think the best plan would
be for me to go to Cambridge and ascertain the capabilities there
first. If the Maoris are procurable we could easily get them into a
paddock quietly to be photographed.
Cambridge is preferable to Tauranga in some respects we can get
the Natives easier together there than at Tauranga.
The Uriwera country would be the place, but those Maoris would
be difficult to get the consent of to being photographed.
As to cost I expect the Maori part would cost 15/- per
That is for railway fares, entertainment etc.
L.J. Bagnall for whom I do a great deal of work, pays me £2.2.0
a day, when I am employed here, with 10/6 a day allowance for
expenses if I go elsewhere for him. I will try and be as
expeditious as possible, and if the time taken up is protracted by
any unforeseen event, I will make a reduction for that.
My wife caught the influenza, just as I was recovering from a
pretty severe attack of it. I was getting her in a fair way towards
recovery, when she foolishly went outside to her daughters place,
and caught fresh cold resulting in inflammation of the lungs. I
nearly lost her on Sunday week (14th). She is now better as far as
the lungs are concerned and only coughs occasionally, but the
illness has made her very weak and low, which has also caused her
heart complaint to come on badly, so that she is not altogether out
of danger yet. If she progresses favourably I might be able to go
to Cambridge about the 30th or 31st. I have an engagement for 4th,
5th and 6th January which I cannot well put off. How would Monday
the 12th suit at Cambridge for the Maori meeting.
Meanwhile awaiting your reply to this letter. I will make
further inquiries and write to Capt Mair at Thames, G.T. Wilkinson
at Otorohanga and W.H. Grace at Kihikihi as perhaps Otorohanga
would be a good place - and less expensive than Cambridge. The
Ngatumaniapoto are pretty numerous and have a good few elderly men
among them. You see 50, or even 30 years ago, it would be an A.B.C.
business - but the difficulty is to get enough of the old element
at the present time. In fact this will be about the last chance for
a real old time performance. Rest assured old friend I will do my
best for you.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New
I am always,
Yours very sincerely,
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