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Earliest New Zealand

Journal of a Voyage out to New Zealand, 1840

Journal of a Voyage out to New Zealand, 1840.

JANUARY 1st.—Becalmed about forty-seven degrees off the line.

2nd.—Making about a mile an hour.

3rd.—Drifting backwards. Saw a turtle; lowered a boat and went after it, but was disappointed, it being only a squib fish. Caught a dolphin. A man and boy fell overboard; not hurt, except a good ducking, which they seemed to relish much.

4th.—Went back over ten miles.

5th.—Divine Service held on deck by Mr. Churton. An internal complaint attacking nearly everyone on board.

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7th.—A squall, and good breeze all day. A child buried, named Woodham, making the sixth since we left England.

8th.—A little boy named Nash fell overboard just at the cuddy, dinner-time; was saved; caused a great sensation.

11th.—A little disturbance in the single women's cabin.

12th.—Caught a small shark.

13th.—A vessel close by our side, which proved a Dutchman.

16th.—Crossing the line; winds very favourable.

20th.—The ship's butcher fired at a bird which was hovering round.

23rd.—Off the coast of Bahia, South America.

25th.—Spoke an American whaling ship, lat. 18.15, long. 35.40, the “Rochester” by name.

28th.—A large vessel in sight going in the same direction.

29th.—Another child dead, named Nankeville, making five boys and two girls.

31st.—Sea running very high.

FEBRUARY 1st.—Disturbance with the —— family, young —— put in irons, for being impudent to the doctor. The emigrants came up to the captain, and said if —— was not released immediately, they would release him themselves, and throw the doctor overboard.

FEBRUARY 2nd.—Great confusion below during Divine Service, dogs barking and howling, pigs squealing and men cursing and swearing in a most shameful manner. Saw a ship and signalled her; “Victoria,” from Bristol to Brenan, seventy days out.

3rd.—Mr. Collett's 31st birthday. Messrs. Butler, Churton, Collett, Minett, Wadeson, Douglas, Cole and Drury spent the evening together.

4th.—Vessel in sight.

6th.—Caught a ten foot shark.

7th.—Vessel again in sight.

9th.—Several grampus playing round the ship.

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Albatross seen in the evening.

14th.—A quantity of seaweed around us.

17th.—Passed the Cape of Good Hope at six p.m.

18th.—Caught an albatross, ten feet, tip to tip, on a fishhook.

21st.—Caught another albatross, nine foot ten.

24th.—Caught three sharks and one albatross.

26th.—Terrible night, the vessel rolling in a most fearful manner; no one had any rest.

28th.—Caught eight albatross.

March 3rd.—Fog.

4th. — Two ships seen in the evening; some penguins around the vessel.

5th.—Seas breaking over the ship; gale blowing.

13th.—Wind off the larboard quarter; saw a sperm whale.

16th.—A tremendous sea struck and deluged the vessel fore and aft.

21st.—Main topsail sheet broke in two; sea struck us at the same time, and came through the windows.

APRIL 1st.—Passed Van Dieman's Land about fifty miles off; weather foggy.

APRIL 4th.—Ship's cook ill with delirium tremens.

5th.—Mrs. Woodman churched, and child christened.

7th.—Mrs. Nankeville has a daughter.

APRIL 9th.—Sixty miles from Cape Farewell at twelve o'clock; ship's cook died; Captain Robinson's cow died.

10th.—Becalmed, within sight of N.Z.

11th.—Beating about for Port Hardy.

12th. — Entered the heads of the harbour of D'Urville Island about ten a.m. A native canoe came to meet us. Another canoe came off with a man and child; the man was tattooed all over his face; he also brought a paper relative to one of the vessels having arrived, and left for Port Nicholson. page 414 A party went round the bay in search of information, but could get none. The first place they went to they saw a boat sail, boat sprit, oar, frying pan, iron pots, tin pots; and the natives seemed very suspicious of us. We suppose there are many natives in the bush, who do not make their appearance.

13th.—The vessel drifted very near the shore in a dangerous position.

14th.—The man and his wife from the first place came on board; fired a gun at his request, to let the natives know they might bring pigs and potatoes; a few came. The gentlemen all went on shore with the native to his place for water. We saw a large canoe full of natives going towards our people; very much afraid they were going to do us some mischief, but they went up and shook hands, and seemed very pleased; they sang and prayed before they retired.

15th.—Purchasing pigs and potatoes; the decks were strewed with potatoes. Two large canoes full went away, the owners were very much displeased.

16th.–Just going to breakfast when Mr. Douglas came to fetch my father, a dispute having arisen among the natives about the water; my father went to make peace; we succeeded, the ship's crew getting as much water as they possibly could. The great chief Mako and his wife came off with the gentlemen who had been on shore, and remained with us until nine p.m. Two natives are going to Port Nicholson with us.

17th.–Two Englishmen came to us from Port Nicholson, belonging to Mr. MacAllum, who brought us some information.

18th.—Mr. MacAllum came about twelve o'clock in a boat one of the men left on board to pilot us out of Port Hardy.


20th.—Arrived at Port Nicholson; wind strong out of the harbour; endeavoured to beat in; only a little way into the heads, but had to let go the anchor; fired two guns for a pilot, who came, accompanied by a person named Northwood, a colonist. Mr. Collett went on shore with the gentleman above named, and stayed the night. About half past two Colonel Wakefield came on board; he only stayed a short time.

21st.—We beat in, and anchored in the harbour about one p.m. Went on shore with others, and went to Dr. Evans to Inform him of my father's arrival. Mr. E. came on board page 415
PITONE PA, WELLINGTON. From a sketch by Brees; Native Chapel on the left. The chief of this district was E Puni, Te Puni or Aponi, the former being now accepted as correct.

PITONE PA, WELLINGTON. From a sketch by Brees; Native Chapel on the left. The chief of this district was E Puni, Te Puni or Aponi, the former being now accepted as correct.

page 416 to see him. We had our dinner on shore, quite in gipsy style. The houses are not worth calling houses; such miserable places that we were quite astonished, Mr. Evans' being the only decent house among them all. Came on board about six p.m.

23rd.—Mr. Wakefield came on board with the emigration agent, Mr. Riddiford. The emigrants all went on shore to build their houses. Mr. Butler also went to see the native (missionary?) F. Davis. The people were taken to a spot near to the native village, but the native chief would not let them. He said it was his ground, and had not been purchased by the Company off him, and they should not have it. A meeting with Mr. Williams to be held to-morrow respecting it.

24th.—Mr. Butler went on shore to see about the disputed land; came on board at two p.m., and set off for Brittania with Mr. and Mrs. Collett and Mr. White, to remain over Sunday and preach.

26th.—Mr. Churton went on shore to preach, accompanied by Mr. Minett and Mr. R. Harrison. The sailors went on shore; came back at night very drunk; also some men from the “Adelaide,” and off the shore, were on board, and caused a disturbance which was put an end to without much trouble.

30th.—Went on shore to the missionary Davis about some potatoes; secured a ton for Captain Robinson.

MAY 7th.—Bought a house off Captain Gomm. Colonel Wakefield ordered Captain Robinson to take the luggage to Brittania.

MAY 8th.—Set off for Brittania with the goods in the long-boat towed by the cutter, and whale boat; arrived at Brittania about four p.m. and unloaded.

10th.—Went to the Scotch church; Mr. Butler baptize the son of Uriah and Harriet Hunt—named Charles Nicholson Hunt, born 20th January, 1840.

MAY 12th.—Mr. Butler and Colonel Wakefield set out a churchyard.


17th.—Divine Service held in Mr. Hunter's store room at twelve a.m. After service, Major Baker called Mr. Butler to go to the west end of the beach, to settle a quarrel between a European and the natives about a son of Aponi (Epuni?) being thrust out of doors against his will, and by means of page break
PIPITEA POINT, WELLINGTON. Pipitea and Kumutoto (Bowen St.) Pas were under Wi Tako's father, then an old man; Te Aro Pa does not appear to have had a chief of rank; the next pa was under Kaihaia (alias Taringakuri), being at Kai Warra Warra, and the other chief, Pukawa, on the Hutt River. (From a sketch by Brees.)

PIPITEA POINT, WELLINGTON. Pipitea and Kumutoto (Bowen St.) Pas were under Wi Tako's father, then an old man; Te Aro Pa does not appear to have had a chief of rank; the next pa was under Kaihaia (alias Taringakuri), being at Kai Warra Warra, and the other chief, Pukawa, on the Hutt River. (From a sketch by Brees.)

page 418 force. An inquest was held on the body of H. R. Eaton who was speared by a native, before Major Baker, etc. After the inquest, Mr. Butler buried him.

23rd.—Borrowed a canoe off the natives to fetch some brush to finish the fence.

24th.—Mr. Butler preached to a large congregation; Dr. Evans and Major Durie from Thorndon were there.

25th.—A hurricane all night. A fire broke out in Cornish Row, which destroyed fifteen dwellings, and nearly all the people's goods.

26th.—A dreadful carthquake took place at five thirty a.m.; all our houses rocked in a most fearful manner. We all ran out quite terrified, but then returned to bed. After three quarters of an hour we heard an explosion and a small shake. Upon enquiry we found there had been two earthquakes prior to this, and since the arrival of the Europeans, but nothing so bad as this.

MAY 27th.—Another shock of earthquake.

28th.—Came back from a walk; in Atoru's canoe; about thirty natives had a meal of rice.

29th.—Two vessels arrived, one named the “Bee,” from Sydney, reported the loss of the “Aurora” off Kaiparoa. The “Sally Ann,” from Bay of Islands, which reports the loss of two more vessels off the coast.

30th.—A disturbance arose between some of the Scotch settlers and the natives about a knife; they came to Mr. Butler to settle the affair. One of the Scotchmen had hit one of the natives with a piece of wood on the side of the head, and made it bleed. They went into his house and took a blanket for payment.

31st.—A “Charity” sermon preached for the benefit of the sufferers by the fire. Seven pounds were collected.

APRIL 1st. — Ngatakahuni came in the morning. Mr. Butler and Mr. Breary went to Capt. Smith's to marry a couple, Mr. By. acting as clerk. Mr. Butler went to the pa, and had a long talk with the natives.

2nd.—Mr. B. and C. I. B. went to the east end of the beach to marry another couple, but Mr. MacFarlane had already married them. page break
N'HOURANGA. Ngahauranga, from a drawing by Brees. This was the Pa of Wharepouri; his memorial, a canoe centre portion, can be seen upon uprights. In later years, a split end of a canoe was placed on end, above the road at the W.M.E. Co. entrance; even this has now gone. Wharepouri was buried at Pitone, 1843. The mark of peace between Wharepouri and Nukupewapewa, of Ngatikahungungu, is located near Whakataki, erected by the sons of Hine i te Arorangi, and the stone is called by the latter name.

N'HOURANGA. Ngahauranga, from a drawing by Brees. This was the Pa of Wharepouri; his memorial, a canoe centre portion, can be seen upon uprights. In later years, a split end of a canoe was placed on end, above the road at the W.M.E. Co. entrance; even this has now gone. Wharepouri was buried at Pitone, 1843. The mark of peace between Wharepouri and Nukupewapewa, of Ngatikahungungu, is located near Whakataki, erected by the sons of Hine i te Arorangi, and the stone is called by the latter name.

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4th.—Went to Thorndon with Mr. Butler, C.I.B., F., and Mr. Moreing in Atoru's canoe. The Queen's Proclamation was read by Mr. Shortland, secretary to Governor Hobson, taking possession of New Zealand.

9th.—Building a house.

11th.—While at dinner a person of the name of Todd came and wanted Mr. Butler to go to his house and pacify some natives who were pulling his fence down.

14th.—Mr. and Mrs. Riddiford drank tea with us.

18th.—Attending to several invalids (gave two natives biscuits); Dr. Dorset prescribed.

19th.—Matangi dined with us.

21st.—Epuni, a chief, dined with us, by special invitation, and behaved remarkably well.

22nd.—About twenty natives had a meal of rice, bought a pig from a strange native for a blanket and twelve fishhooks. Capt. Robinson took English letters and sent them to Sydney per ship “Hope.”

23rd.—To Dr. Heely's to agree with the natives about a house which they had built. Atoru dined with us. Gave some hymn books to some strangers.

25th.—A native from Kapiti sold a pig to a person named (Barry?) a constable, who agreed to give him £1 and one blanket. He gave the native the sovereign, killed the pig, and then would not give the blanket; the native declared he would not keep the money without the blanket, and there was a great disturbance. Mr. Riddiford came to Mr. Butler, and they went to (Barry?), who was very saucy; the native left the sovereign with Mr. Butler. Mr. Pierie had offered £2 for the pig, but the native wanted the blanket. Mr. Butler gave the native a 12qr. blanket, value £1 10s 0d.

26th.—Went to Pipitea in the canoe with Aponi. Mr. Butler visited Mr. Shortland, and had a long conversation. Mr. Riddiford went and returned with us. Went on board the “Bolton.” Capt. Robinson kindly received us; gave the natives rum and biscuits.

27th.—Atoru went with the canoe to Thorndon to tow a raft of timber for Mr. Moreing. page break
TWO MAORI CHIEFS—Te Puni, or “Greedy,” and “Wharepouri, or “Dark House.”

TWO MAORI CHIEFS—Te Puni, or “Greedy,” and “Wharepouri, or “Dark House.”

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28th.—Mr. Butler baptised Helen Chaffers, daughter of Daniel and Harriet Riddiford. Capt. Chaffers stood godfather, and myself as proxy for a lady in England. Miss Riddiford could not come, it was so rough.

29th. — Mr. Duppa's boat drifted away. Mr. Butler agreed with three natives to go with Mr. Duppa; they returned and had supper with us. Waitura and Makuri dined with us. Atoru returned from Ngahauranga with his wife, who is very ill; we gave her some tea. Buried James Wilson, aged thirtyseven, seaman belonging to the “Bolton,” who was drowned in attempting to cross the River Hutt.

JULY 1st.—A large meeting held in the Exchange to petition Captain Hobson to make this place the seat of government. Col. Wakefield was publicly solicited to convey the petition in person to the Bay of Islands. Mr. Butler, Epuni, and two of his sons, put up two notice boards, one on each of the native farms, forbidding anyone trespassing thereon.

3rd.—Natives up the river to cut rushes, flax and nikau for our house.

4th.—A native lad stole two tomahawks from Mr. Telford, who put him in irons, and came up to Mr. Butler requiring his assistance in this affair. Matanga and his wife here to breakfast; Epuni dined with us. Married James Williams of Cloudy Bay, and Jane Florence. Mr. Smith, Saml. Florence and myself present.

5th.—Divine Service as usual.

JULY 7th.—“Bolton” sailed for England.

8th.—Epuni to breakfast.

9th.—Matangi breakfasted with us.

10th.—Epuni to breakfast; up river for boards for house; hurricane.

JULY 13th.—Engaged in the morning correcting the native language for the press.

14th.—Mr. Butler looking over N.Z. language. Our yard has been full of natives all day. Makiri, Epuni's son, spent the evening.

15th.—Mr. Butler reading N.Z. corrections to the natives, to know if they are according to their pronunciation. Awari, Epuni's son, to breakfast.

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16th.—Dreadful storm.

19th.—Divine Service as usual; Mr. Hunter rang a bell for the service.

21st.—Sold Mr. Riddiford three pairs of blankets and hatchet to pay for his house at Thorndon.

27th.—Mr. Butler went to Thorndon to attend a meeting about the division of the town land, to see that the natives were not imposed upon. Attended the funeral of a native at Pipitea.

28th.—Mr. Butler went to Thorndon about the division of land; he protested against the native pas being taken; there were some choices, chosen in the pa, but the governor protested against the native land being taken away from them.

AUGUST 6th.—A large fire up the river.

AUGUST 7th.—Waitera putting the mats on the sides of the house.

8th.—Wharepouri came to Mr. Collett's, and behaved himself very indecently, and remained all day.

9th.—Wharepouri here in company with Mr. Smith, the constable, and had a long conversation.

10th.—Wharepouri gone, as he says, to fetch some strange natives and make a fight.

13th.—Gave Waitera one adze.

16th.—Christened William John, son of George and Sarah Spackman.

17th.—Col. Wakefield came back.

20th.—Mr. and Mrs. Collett, Mrs. Stokes, and Mr. Lewis drank tea with us.

22nd.—Paid the natives for building house two pairs blankets, £6; two pairs, £2; three gowns, £1 16s Od; four shirts, £1; three axes, 15/-; four planeirons, 4/-; money, £4; total, £17 5s Od.

AUGUST 25th.—Mr. Coglan's boat upset about two miles off. Mr. Collett and Mr. Child put off their boat to their assistance, and rescued them just in time. Mr. Fowler's boat upset on the beach opposite our house; eight or nine drowned, viz.: William Elsdon, William Lancaster, Chas. Rogers, Josiah page 424 Tucker, John Griffin, Martin Augustus, John Pierie, William Hight. Mr. Butler went down to Thorndon in Mr. Roskell's boat. He went on board the “Platina,” and remained all night.

26th.—The body of Rogers picked up at Waiwetu.

28th.—The bodies were buried in very solemn manner, almost the whole of the settlement attending. Mr. Butler performed the service; Mr. MacFarlane concluded with prayers.

30th.—“Platina” left for Thames. Messrs. Collett and Childs on board. Two earthquake shocks during the night.

SEPTEMBER 17th.—Mr. Hopper drowned in the river. He was sitting in the bows of the boat, which, striking a snag, tossed him out of it, and it is supposed stunned him. A native named Waitupi came and disputed the land at Koro Koro; said he would set fire to the house and burn it down.

19th.—A tremendous storm blew the schooner “Jewess” high and dry opposite Allen's.

20th.—Mr. Hopper buried.

21st.—Paid Mr. Hughes the balance of the account for the churchyard. The brougham came down to take away the Colonel's goods to Britannia.

23rd.—Two Europeans and three Maoris were attacked by Ngatikahingungu; they took one man, two women, and two children prisoners, and set them down at Waiwetu.

25th.—Mr. Allen's boat, returning from Britannia, picked up a body drowned at the upsetting of Mr. Fowler's boat; they buried him.

28th.—Severe earthquake.

29th.—Great alarm at the firing of guns. Upon Messrs Hunt, Henry and Judd enquiring, it was found to be the Scotch firing at a target.

OCTOBER 2nd.—A vessel lying outside the harbour.

8th.—News came that Mr. Butler had returned from the Thames in the schooner “Elizabeth.”

11th.—Mr. Roskell and the two Mr. Wallaces went to Thorndon.

13th.—A house burnt down; only a trunk of clothing saved.

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14th.—Mr. Eaton died.

16th—Buried Richard Adolphus Eaton (County of Salop). Mr. Barton, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Stokes, and Mr. Butler went to Mr. Alzdorf's to meet the children, and read the will.

19th.—The Maoris, assisted by Mr. Butler and Mr. Hunter, re-floated the “Jewess.”

29th.—A little girl named Isaac was drowned in the river opposite her father's dwelling.

30th.—Epuni came about Mr. Barrow keeping cows on the Native Reserve.

31st.—Epuni came again about the cows. Waihipa's wife asked Mrs. Collett about them. The natives are determined no European shall have any wood or land without payment.

NOVEMBER 1st.—Buried Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Francis and Mary Isaac, late of Walworth Road, London; aged three years, nine months.

NOVEMBER 10th.—Epuni and Amoi had breakfast with us. Mr. Butler and myself went up to Mr. Read's place to settle a difference, which arose by the natives cultivating an old garden chosen by Mr. Molesworth in a country section, and let to Mr. Read. The natives were not willing to resign it and go upon their own land, which is only a short distance beyond. Mr. Butler made them fully understand that the ground belonged to the English; they said they would give it up after their crop was off, to which Mr. Read was agreeable.

13th.—Gave Epuni four quarts maize, and Tuarau two quarts, to set their land.

14th.—The “Martha Ridgway,” from England, with emigrants, also three other vessels. The news from home is very encouraging; two more vessels with emigrants are immediately expected. She is under quarantine with one case of smallpox on her.

NOVEMBER 17th.—A vessel came in this morning in beautiful style.

21st.—The “Eleanor” left for Sydney.

28th.—Mr. Hunter's family left, and have gone to live on the other side.

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DECEMBER 3rd.—Epuni and many of the natives have gone to their land at “Waiderup.” Epuni said he would be away two moons.

5th.—The “Cuba” came in this morning with the deputation. Mr. Watts came and brought a native, charged with stealing a silver spoon; the native was chastised.

6th.—Up the river in the afternoon; chatted with the natives at the pa.

12th.—The “London” came in with two hundred and eighty emigrants from the Plymouth Company, fired a salute of twenty-one guns; a small vessel also came in.

13th.—The “Patriot” arrived with a large mail. She left before the “Martha Ridgway,” but was detained at Launceston.

15th.—Mr. Butler attended the big public meeting; a great deal of discussion took place, and matters were finally and amicably arranged.

16th.—Shock of earthquake.

24th.—Buried William Richards, seaman, aged forty-two.

25th.—Married Thos. William Tankersley to Sarah Draper—Mr. Telford and Mr. Burcham present, also Mr. Burgess and Mrs. Turner.

27th.—Went up the river to preach to the sawyers; many people attended, and behaved with great seriousness. A large barque, the “Blenheim,” from Scotland, laden with emigrants, arrived. The natives kept four days “ra tapu.”

JANUARY 1st, 1841.—In strolling through the bush, saw a large amount of land cultivated by the natives; also a cleared and sheltered valley about three miles over the hills. Took some food to Amui, Epuni's brother, who had returned from “Waiderop” very ill.

2nd.—Epuni and tribe returned, and brought many pigs; we met them when they landed.

3rd. — Began a Sunday School, Mr. Burgess assisting; about a dozen attended.

6th.—Apaki came to breakfast.

12th.—Major Baker and his lady, and Miss Hargreaves and Miss Harrison came to invite me to attend the ball to commemorate the foundation of the colony, on 22nd inst.

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14th.—Disturbance between the natives and the constable relative to a pig; the natives were very fierce, and would have pulled the watch-house down. Epuni went for Mr. Butler, who told the constable that unless the native was liberated there would be bloodshed, that he would be answerable for the native appearing.

JANUARY 15th, 1841.—Went to Wellington. Epuni and the natives took Awhanga before Mr. Murphy, who awarded the pig to the natives, who had brought it from “Waiderop.”

16th.—A child drowned in the Hutt, aged two and a half, belonging to a Scotchman named Alexander Yule; buried next day.

19th.—Mr. Todd died.

21st.—Mr. Dicks, the sexton, came up in the evening, saying the Maoris had taken a rope he had borrowed from Mr. Telford. On our conferring with Epuni, he said a lad belonging to Mr. Johnson the undertaker, had taken the rope home, saying it was his.

22nd.—Walked over to Wellington to attend the ball in commemoration of the foundation of this colony; had a splendid attendance, and were much amused. The ball broke up at five thirty on Saturday morning.

23rd.—The boat race and hurdle race took place; Petoni boat won the prize. Mr. Watt won the hurdle race. Mr. Molesworth rode Mr. Hort's horse, and fell twice.

24th.—Buried Martha Ridgway, daughter of George and Susan Saywell; born September 23rd, 1840; aged four months.

27th.—Mr. Garner, the constable, came, and with Mr. Butler went to the Maoris' gardens. The white people's pigs are destroying the natives' plantations; they are always coming and complaining about them. Tuarau came to say he had caught a pig belonging to Mr. Macfarlane. He claimed damages; Mr. Macfarlane said he would pay by and by, at which the native seemed much grieved.

28th.—There is a great meeting at Wellington of the natives and an Englishman; the man claims Port Nicholson as his property, and called the natives together to corroborate the statement; we have not heard the result.

29th.—The natives rather troublesome owing to the white people's pigs getting in to their gardens.

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30th.—Apaiki and another native brought a load of palings for the garden, for which they had their dinners and one shilling each. Amoi dined with them.

(End of the Diary of Hannah Butler.)

Weather details omitted.