John Rutherford, the White Chief eBook

George Lillie Craik
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about John Rutherford, the White Chief.


[Footnote K:  Probably Rangatai, although no chief of that name is known.]

[Footnote L:  The Rev. Samuel Marsden, who was appointed chaplain to the convict settlement of New South Wales in 1793, and who held the first divine service in New Zealand, on Christmas Day, 1814.]

[Footnote M:  Koro-koro.]

[Footnote N:  Ruatara, a close friend of Mr. Marsden.]

[Footnote O:  Hongi.]

[Footnote P:  This is exaggerated.]

[Footnote Q:  Tui, in the accepted orthography.]

[Footnote R:  The ancient Maoris were one of the very few races that had no intoxicating drinks.]


Dinner being finished, Rutherford and his companions spent the evening seated around a large fire, while several of the women, whose countenances he describes as pleasing, amused themselves by playing with the fingers of the strangers, sometimes opening their shirts at the breasts, and at other times feeling the calves of their legs, “which made us think,” says Rutherford, “that they were examining us to see if we were fat enough for eating.

“The large fire,” he continues, “that had been made to warm the house, being now put out, we retired to rest in the usual manner; but although the fire had been extinguished, the house was still filled with smoke, the door being shut, and there being neither chimney nor window to let it out.

“In the morning, when we arose, the chief gave us back our knives and tobacco-boxes, which they had taken from us while in the canoe, on our first being made prisoners; and we then breakfasted on some potatoes and cockles, which had been cooked while we were at the sea-coast, and brought thence in baskets.

“Aimy’s wife and two daughters now arrived, which occasioned another grand crying ceremony; and when it was over, the three ladies came to look at me and my companions.  In a short time, they had taken a fancy to some small gilt buttons which I had on my waist-coat; and Aimy making a sign for me to cut them off, I immediately did so, and presented them for their acceptance.  They received them very gladly, and, shaking hands with me, exclaimed, ‘The white man is very good.’

“The whole of the natives having then seated themselves on the ground in a ring, we were brought into the middle and, being stripped of our clothes, and laid on our backs, we were each of us held down by five or six men, while two others commenced the operation of tattooing us.

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John Rutherford, the White Chief from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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