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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 1 (April 1, 1937)

Shopping for the Harem

Shopping for the Harem.

Rua the much-married was kind to his wives, but he deprived them of one of the principal joys of feminine life. He did all the family shopping himself, on his periodical visits to town—Taneatua, Whakatane and elsewhere—and the ladies (varying in number from seven to ten) patiently awaited his return. Rua knew best. He selected the clothes and hats, and brought them home for distribution. Then the wives and children gathered in the front of his house, and Rua, sitting on the verandah, with the air of a benevolent patriarch, handed out the contents of the packages from the town. A gown for Rangi, a chemise for Patu, a piece of print for Polly or Betty, to make up into a dress, a fine felt hat or red blouse for another, something for everyone, including the children of all sorts and sizes.

Rua was prolific in his prophecies, but some of them were very bad shots. He hit the mark now and again with predictions that confirmed the popular belief that he was a man to whom divine revelations came. The popular belief in his own supernatural character was sadly impaired when he did not rise again, as had been prophesied, three days after his death.