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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 7 (October 1, 1937.)

Suspicious Camp Fires

Suspicious Camp Fires.

“Leaving the Galatea redoubt on Friday, June 4th, we were taken by a Maori guide across the Rangitaiki River at a ford above the old primitive footbridge called the Arawhata—manuka poles set from bank to bank at a very narrow place. We camped there that night on the eastern side of the river, close under the Heruiwi hills, on the western border of the Urewera County, Te Kooti was encamped somewhere there. After dark our guide lit several large fires, and I remember well that I had some suspicions of him at the time. I remarked to my comrade, George Stephenson, that it was very queer that the Maori should be allowed to light the fires, which were not needed, for we noticed that he did not stay to warm himself at them. They were quite apart from our cooking fires. I have no doubt that the fires were intended as signals to Te Kooti's scouts on the range above, and that our guide was in collusion with the Hauhaus. He was a ‘friendly,’ from a tribe near Rotorua. Our Commander seemed quite unsuspicious.