Bell, Francis Dillon
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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C125-156
Dear Mr Chesson,
Your note was sent on to me here. I would certainly not advise your taking any step in the direction recommended by Mr Sinclair. What he says about ‘tracing the Maoris by the blood’ is ridiculous nonesense. Sharp metal is in the middle of the roadway, and a Maori knows a great deal better than to walk upon it. If Mr Sinclair had every done any exploring, he would have known what the sole of a Maori’s foot was. When I ascended Mount Egmont (being the first white man or maoi either who ever did it), I [travelled?] for several weeks barefoot on the [Tarauaki?] Sands to get my own soles into good order. Mr Sinclair’s melancholy tale is too absurd.
Poor Te Wheoro is I fear in a bad way. So long as he was on board ship, with regular diet and so forth, and looked after by the doctor, he did will. But it is usually impossible to get a Maori to take care of himself in his own country. He takes at once to the blanket, and the hot Whare puni at nights (the houses where they talk and sleep in numbers), and wherever there is pulmonary or bronchial disorder the result is only too certain.
It is a thousand pities about Te Wheoro, for he is a grand fellow, from top to toe.
Yours very sincerely