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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 6 (September 2, 1935)

A Backblocks Recipe

A Backblocks Recipe.

There was a certain hard-case old scout and bush-fighter, of whom I have heard many an anecdote from his comrades. Tom Adamson was one of three stalwart Wanganui brothers—I knew two of them well—who took to the war-path, in the ‘sixties; he wore the Maori shawl-kilt and marched barefooted. In his old age, when he was sheepfarming at Urukehu, on his Maori wife's land, he became “as bald as a billiard-ball,” as one of my friends described it. “Tom asked me, when I called at his place one day, what he should do for that pakira, or baldness. I advised him to use sheep-dip, to rub a dose of it into his scalp daily. I did not see him again for some months. When I rode up to his home next time I asked him how the sheep-dip had acted. ‘Look and see for yourself,’ he said, taking off his hat. Sure enough, his head was covered with a fine downy growth. ‘Stick to it, old man,’ I said. ‘I will that,’ Tom replied; ‘if I go on like this I'll have enough wool on top by Christmas to give a shearer a job'.”

I have not heard of any one else who experimented with that heroic hair-restorer, but I pass on the tip to my many pakira acquaintances, and eke our “tonsorial artists.”