Search

Your search term isn't long enough.


Jeffrey Payne

Jeffrey Payne

This story began as a screenplay and I was signed to a N.Z. production house for one year, but unfortunately they couldn't get the film funded. I now require funding in order to get it into book form. I am a hobbyist with aspirations to become something otherwise, and I'm hoping 'Tui Aroha' might just give me that break.

I am a retired Englishman in his 60's, who spent a large part of his life in New Zealand I now live in Bali, and spend my time writing while raising a two yr old boy,who came into my life by a quirk of fate, when he was born 3 months prematurely on Xmas day 2012. A full time gig for an old bloke! He's half Jamaican, half Indonesian, as cute as a button and.the light of my life.

Through him I became anew,.

But that's another story....

Subscribe 6 subscribers

About the author

Profile verified
View profile

Pre-orders

10

Funded

$105

Days left

0

10copies
0 250 500 1000
Success! Tui Aroha & The People of the New Beginning has already sold 10 pre-orders , and is in discussions with publishers .

$10 'Te Reo' the Maori language

2 readers

You'll receive the professionally designed eBook (compatible with all devices).

1 copy + ebook included

Free shipping

$20 'Aroha" or love in the Maori language

2 readers

E-book+1 paperback

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

$30 'Uenuku' in Maori mythology god of rainbows

1 reader

E-book+paperback+credit on patrons page

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

$50 'Tumatauenga' Maori God of War

0 readers

E-book+ paperback+ credit on patrons page as a major contributor+copy of my original screenplay

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

$100 'Papatuanuku' the Earth Mother

0 readers

E-book+ 2 paperbacks+ credit on patrons page as a major contributor+copy of my original screenplay
ANY CONTRIBUTION OVER AND ABOVE RECEIVES THE SAME, PLUS MY THANKS FOR YOUR BELIEF AND SUPPORT

2 copies + ebook included

$7 shipping

← back

Update #1 - Tui Aroha & the People of the New Beginning May 18, 2015

Tui Aroha was successfully launched on publishizer as of 16 th May. The following are the first 3 chapters as a taster. Apologies for the spacing, tried to fix it but was unable.


CHAPTER 1


NEW ZEALAND 1878


It was the darkest of nights as a violent storm lashed the land, laying the trees almost to the ground with the weight of its ferocity. A Maori woman clutching a small child tightly to her chest
struggled up the hill, battling against the wind and rain that hindered her already
pitiful progress.

A large tree was suddenly torn from its roots, crashing to the ground and narrowly missing her. In the delirium of her sickness and exhaustion she stopped and fell to her knees, her head bowed low as painful coughing wracked her sick and emaciated body. The baby began to cry, rousing her from
her stupor. Looking up she caught a glimpse of faraway lights, empowering her with
a final ounce of will to climb to her feet and soldier on with her journey.

At last she arrived at her destination where a signwas being pitched to and fro by the furious winds. It read, Presbyterian Orphanage. She carefully placed the child by the front door, before collapsing,
dead. The child's screams went unheard over the din of the storm.

The following morning the sun shone brightly, while all around lay evidence of the destruction of the previous night's tempest. The door to the orphanage opened and a pastor stepped out onto the verandah. He was in his thirties, tall and thin with a pair of pince-nez sitting precariously atop his rather large nose. He ran his hand through his thinning red hair, as he surveyed the damage to his vegetable garden.

'Och nae' he muttered to himself, in a broad Scottish
brogue.

The baby began to whimper, and he turned on his heels toward the sound.




'Hen, come quickly,' he called to his wife, who came
rushing out while drying her hands on her apron. She was short and plump, with hair
a brighter shade of red than her husband, flecked with flour.




'Sweet lord Jesus, why I never saw the like,' she
exclaimed, upon seeing the child. She picked up the tiny bundle, cradling the
baby to the warmth of her generous bosom. 'That poor soul must be the mother.'
She nodded toward the body of the woman, who lay in a twisted heap, her vacant eyes
staring into nothingness.




The pastor quickly examined her.




'Dead as a door nail, poor creature. Another victim of
the flu I'd say, by the look of it. Interesting facial tattoos,' he mused. 'She
may be of noble descent, but not from any tribe that I know of in these
parts.' The child's whimpers escalated
into a fully fledged howl, demanding food.




'This poor wee bairn needs feeding, and the others
will be wanting their breakfasts to.' She said firmly. 'I'd best be getting on
with my chores husband.' She suddenly noticed a label tied around the child's
neck. 'Why there's a note here Harold, and it's in English.' She carefully
untied it and handed it to him. 'Look.'




'Say's her name is Tui, after her mother's ancestor of
the tribe Ngati Timata Hou.' He read to his wife. 'I've never heard of them. Interesting
though, if this woman was indeed the mother it seems she was literate.' He
stroked his chin. 'God does indeed move in mysterious ways, and we had best be
getting on with his good work.' He announced, clapping his hands together. 'We
will name this child Mary, a good solid Christian name.'




Children appeared at the doorway, still in their night
clothes.




'Away inside and get dressed for breakfast this
instant!' She barked at them. The children, their eyes fearful, hastened to
obey her.




'I'll bury this poor wretch in the pauper's
graveyard,' the pastor intoned, in his best Sunday sermon voice. 'We cannae
have her buried in the church alongside good Christian folk now, can we?'







CHAPTER 2




13 years later.







The
pastor, visibly older and bereft of hair completely now, conducted the class.
Mary, thirteen yrs old and verging on womanhood, stared out of the window at
the birds and trees. She was blossoming into a lovely young lady, tall and
graceful.




'Mary,
do I have to tell you time and time again lassie?' The pastor yelled at her.
'Will you please pay attention to what I'm trying to teach you?' Mary looked
down, guiltily.




'Well, what do you
say girlie?' He continued, while beating a bamboo cane against his leg in
frustration.




'Sorry pastor.' Mary
replied quietly, while the pastor flexed the cane in both hands.




'You will be girlie
believe you me you will be, unless you buck up your ideas and try harder.
Understand?'




'Yes pastor,' she
whispered shyly, her face flushed.




'Stand up when I'm
talking to you girlie, where are your manners.' He shouted at her.




Mary rose slowly to
her feet, when a bolt of pain cramped her stomach.




'Well, what is it
now lassie, are you sick girl?' He asked her.




Mary looked down,
shocked to see that blood was running down her legs.




'Och naye, the curse
is upon you.' He told her, in a voice filled with disgust. 'Get to the dorm,
and clean yourself up at once girl.'




Mary's face burned with
embarrassment as she stumbled out of the classroom, clutching at her stomach.




That evening, as the
children prepared for bed, Mary and two other Maori girls, Pania and Marama,
chatted quietly to one another in Te Reo, their language.




'He said it was the
curse.' A crestfallen Mary told her friends.




'Pakeha bullshit,'
spat Pania. 'It simply means you are a now a woman Mary, and ready to bear children.
It is a gift from the Gods, and a great honour to flower in such a way.'




'Mary, you are
almost fluent in our tongue, you have learnt so quickly.' Marama told her, with
obvious pride. 'When we first came here you didn't understand a single word,
remember?'




'What do you expect?'
She replied. 'I've been a prisoner in this place since I was a baby, and before
you two arrived I knew not a single word of my people's tongue.'




The pastor's wife
entered the dorm quietly, while the girls, oblivious, continued to natter away
to each other.




'So, what's this
then?' She cried indignantly, her eyes burning with righteous fervour. 'You
know it's forbidden to speak in Maori. It's God's good Queens English under
this roof, you know that, and still you persist in using that Godless heathen
tongue. Just wait until I tell the pastor.'




'It is not a Godless
language, we have many Gods and Pakeha have only one,' Pania retorted angrily. 'And
that makes your tongue much more Godless than ours.' The three girls
unsuccessfully tried to contain their mirth, but it bubbled out of them despite
their best efforts.




The pastor's wife
turned a brighter shade of red.




'Blasphemy now is it?' She roared. 'And in
Gods house too, why the very nerve of you three urchins, after all we've done
for you.' She stormed out of the dorm, muttering angrily to herself as she
clumped down the stairway.




'Pastor, pastor come
quickly.' She called.




They looked at each
other soberly. Pania was the first to break the silence.




'Now we are in for it,'
she said glumly.




The pastor appeared
at the doorway, wearing a more serious than usual frown.




'Alright you lot,
lights out!' He instructed, as he blew out the oil lamps.




'I'll deal with you
three trouble makers in the morning. My office, eight thirty sharp, understand?'
A worried silence followed the pastor's outburst. 'Do you understand me you
Maori whelps?'




The girls failed again
to suppress their nervous laughter. 'Yes pastor.' They answered him, between
giggles.




He slammed the door
shut. The girls erupted once more, into gales of laughter.




'Oh oh, it'll be the
cane for us, just you wait and see.' Pania quietly whispered, after she had
laughed herself out.




The other two groaned,
before another fit of the giggles overcame them.







The following
morning at the appointed time, the three of them sat waiting nervously outside
the office, resigned to the fate that undoubtedly awaited them. The pastor's
voice called out from within.




'Mary! I'll deal
with you first girl.'




She rose from her
seat and looked at the other two, before straightening her back and opening the
office door.




The pastor was
studying a sheaf of papers, while Mary stood stoically, awaiting her punishment.




'Well Mary, how long
since you've been able to speak Maori? Don't answer, let me guess, since those
other two beggars arrived, am I right?'




Mary said nothing,
looking past him out of the window.




'I see from your
file, that you have been nothing but trouble these last few years. You used to
be such a good, quiet girl Mary, what devil got into you that made you change your
ways so much?'




Mary looked at the
papers in his hand, interest lighting her features.




'I have a file?' she
murmured, half to herself.




'Never mind that,'
he retorted, irritated. 'Official church business that is, and nought to do
with you girlie.'




He returned her file
to the cabinet, while Mary paid careful attention, before picking up his cane
and swishing it back and forth through the air.




'It's six of the
best for you, girlie.' He paused for effect. 'On each hand that is, and afterwards
I want you to pray to our beloved lord Jesus, and beg his forgiveness. Do you
hear me Mary?'




Mary held out her
hand, her eyes burning brightly, making not a sound as her punishment began.
Her silence infuriated the pastor further. He redoubled his efforts, becoming
flushed of face and so breathless he had trouble getting his words out.




'New Zealand is a
colony of Mother England, and our good Queen Victoria.' He stumbled over his
words between strokes, as his temper got the better of him. 'And the official language
here is English. Do you understand?'




Mary remained silent,
biting on her lower lip until it bled, as he finished the last of the twelve
strokes.




'Now get out, and
remember what I've told you. The days of your language and savagery are long
since past. Why, before we came you people were still eating one another, for Jesus
Christ's sake. Pray Mary, pray to Our Lord for your mortal soul girl. Next!' he
yelled at the top of his voice.







The three girls sat
together in the garden, examining the welts on their hands.




'That bastard,' Marama
spat vehemently. 'He can take his Pakeha God, and Jesus bloody Christ, and
shove them where the sun don't shine.'




They began to laugh
in spite of their discomfort, and when they were spent Mary suddenly became very
serious.




'I have a file, we
all do. He keeps them in the cabinet behind his desk.' Mary told them, as her
eyes filled with mischief.




'Files?' they
replied in unison.




'Yes, with all of
our information in them. I want to look at mine, so I know how I came to be
here, and where I came from.' Mary said decisively.




'How are you going
to do that?' Marama demanded to know. 'It's impossible, he keeps that door
locked whenever he's not in there.'




'I'm not sure right
now, but I'll think of something,' she replied. 'I do not belong in this place.
I want to know who my people are and where they live. I want to leave here and join
them.'




'You mean run away,
Mary?' gasped Pania.




'Take us with you,'
Marama pleaded. 'Please Mary.'




'We'll all go
together, the three of us. But first I must find a way to get my hands on that
file.'




They huddled
together, talking excitedly of their plans, as the pastor watched from his
office window. His wife entered with his lunch on a tray, but he ignored her
and continued to observe the three Maori girls.




'Those lassies are
up to something, you mark my words dear,' he told her, as she placed the tray
on his desk.




'You'll worry
yourself into an early grave over those ungrateful wretches. Now eat your
lunch, while it's still hot.'




'Yes dear,' he
replied distractedly, continuing his vigil from the window.







That evening, as the
children were gathered in the dining room for their evening meal, the pastor
was finishing grace.




'Thank you, dear
lord, for our daily bread. Amen.'




'Amen.' The kids
replied in unison, as his wife brought out the food, placing the steaming
dishes on the table.




'Steak and kidney
pie tonight, the pastor's favourite.' She announced.




'Why thank you my
dear,' he replied. 'What a lovely treat, eh kiddies?'




'And apple crumble
and custard for pudding.' She added proudly, in her broad Scottish accent.




'We are truly
blessed, thank the good Lord Jesus.' He paused for a moment. 'But they'll be no
pudding for those three Maori girls, who insist on jabbering away in their
heathen tongue. In fact, they can go to bed early, just as soon as they have
finished their dinner, while the rest of us enjoy our delicious pudding.'




The girls quickly
finished eating as she brought out the apple crumble, they looked at it
longingly.




'Ok you three,' the
pastor belched. 'Off to bed with you now and no more of your Maori gibberish
understand? I'll be up to check on you, just as soon as we have enjoyed our
apple crumble and custard.' He told them. 'While we have our desert, you three
Maori girls will get your just ones.' He beamed at his own wit, smiling at the
other children as the girls got up and left.







Once in the dorm
they began to plot, as they prepared for bed.




'How much time do
you suppose we have, before they finish their bloody apple crumble?' Mary asked
them. 'I hope they all choke to death on it.' The other two looked at one
another, shrugging.




'I reckon ten or
twelve minutes, at the most.' Pania decided.




'Right, I have a
plan.' Mary told them, pulling open a window. 'I'll be back in ten, if anyone
comes up cover for me.'




'But Mary, how are
we going to do that?' Marama asked
desperately, but Mary was already out of the window, shimmying down the
drainpipe. The girls looked at each other for a moment, unbelievingly, before
franticly diving into their beds and pulling the covers up over their heads.




Mary quickly arrived
at the window of the office, and pulling a table knife from her waistband, began
to work at the catch.




Meanwhile, back in
the dorm, footsteps could be heard on the stairs as the wife led the other
children up to bed. The two girls exchanged frightened glances.




'Now we really are
for the high jump, what the hell do we tell her?' asked Pania, on the verge of
tears, seconds before Mary's head appeared at the window, the file clenched firmly
in her teeth. She quickly jumped into bed and pulled the covers over herself,
with no time to spare. The other two sighed with relief, as the wife appeared at
the doorway.




'Who left the window
open? You'll all catch your deaths.' She grumbled, slamming it shut.




'Come now children,
into bed and don't forget to say your prayers. Although I doubt that those
three savages bothered to thank our Lord Jesus, for all he has done for them.'




'Perhaps they prayed
to their own Gods, ma'am.' One of the kids piped up.




'That would take
them all night they've got so many of them.' She mocked. 'False idols all of
them is what they are, and you can stop pretending you're sleeping, I'm nae a
fool. Ok, lights out in two minutes, hurry now.'




The children fell to
their knees to pray, before jumping into their beds while she blew out the
lights. In the darkness Mary clutched her file to her chest, and as soon as she
heard footsteps descending the stairs, they all three jumped from their beds
and tiptoed quietly to the bathroom. Tui lit a candle and they sat huddled
around it, while Mary read the contents of her file.




'It says I was left
on the doorstep as a baby, during a great storm.' She whispered. 'The wahine
who brought me here, presumably my mother, was a literate woman with the moko
of a high ranking noble.' She paused for breath.




'They found her dead
body next to mine and supposed she died of the flu, which apparently was
killing a lot of our people at that time.' She continued to study her file, her
face animated.




'What else Mary,
what else does it say?' begged an excited Pania.




Mary looked up at
them. 'It says that my real name is Tui, and that I'm from the Ngati Timata
Hou. Tui, my real name is Tui.' Her eyes shone with happiness.




'Wait a minute,'
Marama interrupted her. 'Ngati Timata Hou? The People Of The New Beginning? Why
that's the tribe founded by the great Tui Aroha.' She gasped in wonder.




'Tui Aroha?' Mary enquired
all ears.




'You don't know?' an
incredulous Pania gushed. 'Of course you don't, how could you? You've spent your
entire life locked away in this place.'




'She's a heroine
Mary, oops, I suppose we should call you Tui now.' Marama corrected herself. 'It's
one of our people's greatest stories. She was a great chief and warrior, who
led her people down south, away from the troubles.' Mary listened in awe.




'And your name's Tui
also Mary. You may be a direct descendant, especially as your mother had the moko
of noble rank.' Pania told her excitedly.




'It's a lot to take
in,' Tui said to them, shaking her head in amazement. 'I must leave here at
once, and discover if these are my people, and from now on, call me by my real
name, Tui.'




'What now,
Mary? Sorry, Tui. Tonight?' asked Pania,
her voice raising an octave at the prospect of this new adventure.




'Yes tonight,
there's not a moment to lose. And you must tell me all you know of this Tui
Aroha.'




'Then we all go
together, as there is much to tell.' Marama told them, her mind made up. 'The
iwi of Ngati Timata Hou are somewhere far south of here, I've heard talk of
them many times.'




'We should steal
some food from the kitchen,' Tui decided. 'And be on our way long before anyone
wakes, and discovers us gone.'




'Good idea,' agreed
Marama. 'We have a long journey ahead of us, before we find Ngati Timata Hou.' They
all grinned widely at the prospect of their freedom, and the adventure that lay
before them.




'There's a compass
on the pastors desk, I'll climb through the window again and take it.' Tui was
all business now, as the discovery of her true name gave her a renewed sense of
purpose and identity.




'Well, what are you
waiting for? She snapped. 'Get the food, and meet me by the back gate in ten
minutes.'







The three girls crouched
low, as they hurried silently through the grounds toward the bush, their faces flushed
with excitement.




As dawn broke they found
themselves far away from the orphanage. They followed a stream as it wound
downhill, that slowly widened into a small river.




'Let's stop and eat,'
suggested Pania, her voice weary. 'I'm famished, and they'll never find us now.'




'Yes lets, over here
in the shade.' Tui agreed, motioning toward a shady glen. The girls flopped
down tiredly, and examined the food in the wicker basket.




'Well what do you
know, leftover steak and kidney pie and apple crumble.' exclaimed a delighted
Tui. 'So we got our just deserts after all.'




They laughed as they
greedily tucked into the food. When they eaten their fill, they settled back to
rest. Tui lay with her head in her hands, looking up at the clouds.




'We have made good
our escape sister's, now tell me what know of Tui Aroha?'




'All of our people know
the story,' replied Pania. 'My grandmother told me many tales of her, before
she died. I was born listening to the stories of her bravery and cunning.'




Marama took over. 'An
auntie of mine claimed her great grandmother once saw Tui Aroha. When she was
young, and lived in the north near the Bay of Islands. In those days Tui Aroha's
iwi was called Te Iwi Aka. It is said that she had great magic, and spoke with
the Gods.'




'But her story is
long, and will take many days to tell.' Pania informed her.




'Well, I'm in no
hurry. We are free at last from the orphanage, and that bloody pastor and his
misery guts wife.' Tui replied. 'We can camp right here for the rest of the day,
I need to know the story of this woman whose name I carry.'




'Ok,' said Marama. 'It
all began like this. A long time ago, more than a hundred years, when white men
first began to visit our shores in their big ships, Tui Aroha was the wife of a
great chief. Tane, named after the God of the Forest, of Te Iwi Aka....







CHAPTER 3




1765 THE BAY OF
ISLANDS. HOME OF THE 'TE IWI AKA' TRIBE







In the first light of morning a hunting party stood in
a loosely knit group half shrouded in mist, as they impatiently awaited the
presence of their chief. They stamped about rubbing their hands together, in an
effort to keep out the cold. The largest of the group, Whetu, called out to
Chief Tane.




'Chief Tane, the cursed devil beast was in our kumera
patch again last night. My wife caught sight of it, and said it was bigger than
a man, and walked on all fours with sharpened teeth as long as my arm. It
frightened the life out of her, so it did.'




Chief Tane's strong body lie entwined with his wife. He
was handsome in his way, with a quick intelligent face, and his body was covered
with tattoos denoting his royal status.




His wife, Tui Aroha, rested her head on his chest,
while he gently stroked her hair. They both breathed deeply in harmony, from the
effort of their love making, as they basked in the afterglow. Tui frowned, as
Whetu's call threatened to break the spell.




'Stay a while longer husband.' She implored him, as
Tane jumped to his feet while planting a kiss on her forehead.




'I must go my beautiful wahine. I will bring the beast
who dares to eat our kumera back for your cooking pot.' He smiled warmly down
at her, as from outside came the sound of impatient yelping from the gathering
of warriors.




'Be careful my husband, who knows what powers the
beast may have? It may be a malevolent atua, a bad spirit, or perhaps
Makeatutara himself, the Guardian of the Underworld.' Tui face creased with
worry, while Tane quickly dressed and grabbed his weapons of patu, a club, and
sharpened whale bone taiaha, or staff. He turned and looked tenderly at her,
before stepping outside. Tui, the ghost of a smile playing gently upon her lovely
face, softly hummed a tune to herself.







The sun was high, as the party tracked its prey
through dense bush.




'When my wife saw the animal, she said it reminded her
of you Whane,' whispered Whetu. The men tried hard to suppress their amusement,
while an overweight Whane frowned.




'She said it had hind legs as thick as yours, and
teeth as big….' Whetu's words were cut short by the angry grunting of the beast.
The men froze. From atop a small gully they spotted the huge boar, the enormity
of which left them awestruck.




'What manner of creature is this?' gasped an
incredulous Whane, while Chief Tane began to order his men.




'Fan out into a semi circle, behind me.' Quietly and
fully focused, they began their descent, weapons at the ready. The animal
seeing it was trapped, charged Whane, who froze to the spot in terror. Tane, as
quick as lightning was upon the beast thrusting his taiaha deep into the animal's chest. It rolled around
squealing in pain, before the rest of the group moved in to finish the job.




'I've never seen such a devil beast as this before,'
Whetu was the first to find his voice. 'Although he seemed to recognize you
Whane,' he joked. 'Are you sure it wasn't a relative?'




The men began to laugh, relieved that the danger had
passed. Chief Tane fell to his knees and looking skyward, gave thanks and honoured the spirit of the
brave beast.




'These animals were brought here by the Pakeha, the
white man,' Tane told them. 'I have heard talk of them before, they make
excellent eating, the women will be pleased.' As the men began to prepare their
kill to carry back to the iwi for the evening feast, there was much light
hearted banter.




'You're getting slow in your old age Whane,' Tane
chided him with a smile. 'But not too old to father yet another child. I see
your woman is swollen again, how many is it now Whane, 14? 15? How do you keep
track of them all?' He joshed, with a friendly punch to his shoulder.




Whane grinned sheepishly to himself between winces, as
he stitched the wound inflicted on his leg by the boar with bone needle and
twine.




Suddenly, a loud explosion from somewhere in the
distance startled the men into a bewildered silence, they looked to their Chief
for guidance. Tane gathered his weapons and motioned them to quietly follow, as
they set off toward the source of the commotion.




The two men at the rear carrying the pig struggled to
keep up under the weight of their load. The youngest, Kaha, looked afraid and
voiced his concern.




'It must be the God Ruamoko, who else could make such
a noise? I've heard how fierce and unrelenting he can be, he will destroy us
all.'




'Quiet now Kaha, keep your fears to yourself,' Tane
replied sternly, quickening the pace as the bush cleared into a forest of giant
kauri trees. The sound of another explosion, much closer now, stopped the men
mid stride. With a wave of his hand Tane signaled his warriors to lie flat on
the forest floor, and they move forward
on their bellies. As they crawled cautiously toward the angry voices that could
be heard in the near distance, the youngest of them looked nervous and afraid. All
had their weapons firmly at the ready.




Moving silently they came upon a clearing, where six
men tied to trees, were being taunted by their captors. Concealed by the
undergrowth, Tane and his men looked on at the proceedings.




'It's the mighty Te Uri O Ruaumoko tribe,' whispered
Whetu.




'And their traditional enemies, the Ngati Noho Roto,'
Chief Tane replied.




The leader of the war party held a musket, taunting
his foes by sporadically raising it to their terrified faces and threatening to
shoot them. He cackled cruelly with glee, as he danced between his bound
victims like a man possessed. He raised the rifle once again to one of his
prisoner's, and the man lost control of his bowels.




The leader's glee quickly turned to indignant anger,
as he blew off the man's face.




'Dog! He shits himself like a frightened animal. And
these vermin, the Noho Roto, have the audacity to call themselves warriors.' He
shouted, while the rest of his party hollered and whooped their enthusiastic encouragement.




The other captives, witnessing their brothers' fate
began to tremble with fear, except for one.




'We are the Ngati Noho Roto, brave and fierce. We
fight with the traditional weapons of our people, not like young girls hiding
behind the white man's fire stick.' He mocked them, while spitting on the
ground before the leader. 'Untie me now and fight me like a true Maori warrior,'
he challenged. 'If you have the courage, that is.'




His outburst infuriated his protagonist further, and
after reloading the musket he fired it into the groin of the brave man, blowing
away his genitals.




'Not much of a true Maori warrior without a dick.' He
cackled, as his cohorts guffawed along with him. He became suddenly deadly serious.
'Kill them all,' he instructed. 'Tonight we will feast on their flesh.'




His men set about their task with gusto, loading the
musket and shooting the captives one at a time, until they reached the last of
them, the brave man who had been shot in the groin. He lay slumped against the
tree, bleeding heavily and gasping for breath.




'I do not want to meet the Gods by way of the Pakeha
fire stick,' he pleaded with them. 'I beg of you, kill me with the sacred
pounamu putu.' He nodded at the greenstone club tied to the leader's waist. 'That
I may walk proudly in the land of my ancestors, when I reach the world beyond.'





The leader appeared to give his plea just consideration,
as he reloaded the musket. He suddenly spun a full circle, and with a manic
grin on his face shot the man in the forehead with a mighty yell, before
screaming at the still twitching body.




'What gives you the right to beg my leniency dog? It
was your people who killed and ate my son.'




Tane and his party witnessed the carnage, from the
safety of their hiding place.




'They have great magic with that stick that kills with
the sound of thunder,' whispered a frightened Kaha. 'We must return to our iwi,
and warn our people of this terrible danger at once.'




'It is not magic. I have heard of these killing
sticks,' answered Tane quietly. 'They also came with the Pakeha, who visit our
land ever more frequently in their big canoes powered by the wind. They are
called musket, and throw small stones at great speed, they can kill a man at
thirty paces.'




'We are no match for them, we must get back before we
are discovered,' insisted Kaha, his voice rising to panic level.




Tane's face became contorted with rage, and he
struggled to keep his voice down. 'Where is your courage Kaha, your mana? Your
father was a brave warrior, who died by my side in battle. Your cowardice does
him great dishonor.' Kaha looked down, his face coloured with shame.




'No, we will stay
and kill these madmen, the cowardly Te Uri O Ruaumoko, and take the musket for
ourselves.' Tane ordered. 'We will rush them when it gets dark and they are drunk
on their victory, and the flesh of their enemy. We have surprise on our side,
now lie still, and no more talk of running.'




As the Te Uri O
Ruaumoko sat around a fire boasting of their exploits, one of their gang
prepared the food, cooking the choicest cuts of their slain enemy.




'Those cursed Ngati
Noho Roto, with these muskets we will send them all to their ancestors, and
take their land and women for ourselves.' Their leader said angrily.




'When do we attack them,
and do we have enough of the musket to ensure we will be victorious?' One of
his warriors asked him.




Their leader fell
silent, thinking, before speaking up. 'Our chief traded all of our valuables
for them, an investment for the future he said. He will gather together all of our
warriors soon to deal with Ngati Noho Roto, for only they have enough numbers
to seriously challenge us. Then we will consume all of the smaller iwis.'




'What are they
like?' Another of his party asked. 'The Pakeha you traded with.'




'Filthy dogs, all of
them!' He replied in disgust. 'But they bring many wonders.' He stroked the
musket, lovingly.




'The Pakeha leave
our shores soon.' He continued. 'They are three days north of here in Porikarua
Bay, and they go on the next big moon, when the tide is high. Whoever acquires
the most muskets before then, will prevail'




'Once we are
victorious, I will suggest to the chief that we start with the Te Iwi Aka, for
they are few and will offer little resistance.' He told them. 'We can take
their lands and possessions also, after killing them all.'




The others nodded
their agreement, as the cook served the food.




'We will spare the
lovely young wahine, of course.' He added with a raucous laugh.'




Tane and his party looked at each other, angrily.




'We will see about
that.' Tane whispered. 'Come.'




They began to
wriggle silently forward, toward the Te Uri O Ruaumoko. Tane sprang to his feet
first, screaming a terrible war cry, closely followed by his men. He was first
into the fray, swinging his putu with devastating effect, and before their
surprised enemy could react, they had all been slain.




Tane sat on a piece
of fallen log, his face sprayed with droplets of blood, wiping his weapons
clean.




'Strip them of their
valuables, and bring me the fire stick.' He ordered his men.




Whane moved towards
the body of the leader, who lay clutching the musket. As he bent to retrieve it,
the Te Uri O Ruaumoko leader who had been feigning death, drove a knife deep
into his heart, and raising the musket fired off a shot at Tane. He was quickly
pounced upon by the others, before being dispatched with countless blows to his
head, until nothing remained but a bloody pulp.




Whetu turned from
the carnage to see Tane, slumped over the log and bleeding heavily from his
chest.




'Chief Tane!' he
cried.




They gathered around
him exchanging worried looks, as Whetu put his ear to Tane's mouth.




'He still breathes,
we must get him back to our iwi at once,' Whetu commanded them.




The men quickly fashioned
together a makeshift stretcher, before gently placing Tane on it, while he
groaned in pain. They cut the boar free from its branch, binding Whanes
lifeless body to it, before setting off home at a run.




They raced through
the bush carrying their injured Chief, and the body of the unfortunate Whane.
They gasped for breath with the tremendous effort of it, their bodies bathed in
sweat.