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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 12 (March 2, 1936)

The Sacred Sword

The Sacred Sword.

That question, what became of the sword which the soldier of fortune carried without its scabbard on his many fighting expeditions, has excited a curious interest. It has been discussed in these pages more than once, and it has been made clear (by the inquiries which I made many years ago from the Maoris concerned) that the pakeha is never likely to see that famous weapon again. It is buried deep in a Maori grave at Parihaka, and Taranaki soil will hold it as long as any Maori remains there. That pakeha-Maori celebrity, Kimble Bent, saw and handled it after the battle; he identified it for the Maoris, and he described how it became regarded as a sacred relic. His narrative of the thrilling scene in the Hauhau camp on the day after the battle is given in “The Adventures of Kimble Bent.”

The historic name of Von Tempsky is not likely to disappear. Besides descendants in New Zealand, there is quite a small tribe in the islands of Hawaii, the owners of a great cattle estate on Maui, founded by a son of the Major. As the recent family visit to New Zealand indicates, they will always regard our Taranaki scene as a kind of family shrine.