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the full effect of his stroke, but from the groans and sounds of dist. which came to his ears, he was able to form some idea of the mischief tt had been inflicted. He smiled grimly, and muttered to himself, “ I thic. that throw was almost worthy of the Telamonian Ajax. Will these knatt attempt another assault, or have they had already enough ?" And so sa ing he again seized his spear and shield, and awaited the further movement of his enemies. But experience had taught them wisdom. They longer hoped to overcome him in open fight, and two or three of them gathering together, deliberated what further steps they should adopt.
The result of their counsels threatened Iphitus with greater danger than any to which he had yet been exposed. It was agreed that two of them should, under cover of the darkness, inspect the rock, with a view to as certain if there were any ledge or foothold upon the face of the cliff above where Iphitus was standing, and from which he might be annoyed. The others were in the meantime to keep his attention engaged by means of missiles, or such other mode of offence as they had at their command.
After a careful search, one of the explorers succeeded in finding a par: of the cliff where with much labour and difficulty he contrived to climb a few steps upwards. He now found himself upon a narrow ledge, along which he moved with much care and caution, groping his way, and proceeding inch by inch. The ledge had a somewhat upward course, and the adventurer saw every reason to believe that it would lead him directly over the head of Iphitus. Stealthily and quietly he moved along, but it was not possible to ensure absolute silence. The effort of surmounting a rougher part of the path than ordinary, or the occasional fall of a small stone, caused him to hold his breath and tremble, lest his design should be defeated. At length he approached nearly to the point under which Iphitus was standing. The quick ear of the latter caught at that moment a faint scraping sound above him. With the quickness of lightning, he apprehended the plan which had been formed against him, and began to exert his ready powers in its frustration. But an accident accomplished that which the united efforts of his enemies had been unable to effect. The man above him had stopped to consider how best to carry out his object. Doubtful if he were yet exactly over his intended victim, he cautiously moved a step ; he placed his foot upon a loose fragment of rock ; it rolled over, and with a loud cry he followed it headlong. Iphitus had just turned his head to listen, the stone struck, fell upon a second ledge ; it re-bounded -it struck him on the head, and the strong man sank stunned and senseless to the earth.
Gradually the senses of Iphitus began to return to him. He awoke to a sensation of pain in the head, while his brain swam round, and his ears were filled and deafened with the noise as of ten thousand mill-wheels in ceaseless operation. For a time he was too much confused to think or speculate upon his situation, but at last his mind began to form images for itself out of the disordered impressions which it received from his sensations. He imagined himself to be in the battle-field, the roar and tumult of which were raging around him. He made ay effort to move, and again all perception left him. The next time he recovered there was still the same pain in the head, the same deafening roar in the ears. Presently the latter began to abate, and to assume a sound similar to that of the sea. A light breeze passed over his face, and assisted still more to recall his scattered faculties. Surely the sea was surging around him, and the plash of oars came regularly to his ears. He again attempted to move, but hand
and foot, as though under a nightmare spell, refused to do his bidding. At length the disorderly images which had crowded upon his mind began to give place to more correct impressions, and he was not long in discovering his true situation. He found himself stretched upon his back in a boat, which was propelled by the steady strokes of oars. His hands were bound firmly together behind his back, and his feet were also confined by cords. Unable to move hand or foot, he lay perfectly helpless at the mercy of his enemies. And whither, and with what object were they carrying him?
Few persons, in speaking of the gold-fields of New Zealand, possess a full knowledge of their extent and importance, and still less of the history of gold discoveries in this colony. It is not too much to say that New Zealand is more extensively auriferous than any known gold-bearing country, in comparison to its area. From Coromandel down to the mouth of the Molyneux river, or for a distance of a thousand miles, gold is found in greater or less quantity, at various points. The progress of discovery has been far greater in the Middle Island, but there is every reason to believe that when the alluvial plains and flats of the Thames and Waikato Rivers are thrown open to the researches of the gold-seeker, gold-fields, rivalling those of Otago, will be discovered.
Gold is now being successfully worked in several parts of the colony. At Coromandel, in the Province of Auckland ; at Massacre Bay, and in the Buller, Wanganui, Lyell, and Wangapaka rivers, in the Province of Nelson ; at Teramakau, on the West Coast of Canterbury; and over a very considerable area of the Province of Otago. The early history of the discovery of gold in New Zealand is enveloped in a good deal of uncertainty. It is somewhat singular that the Maoris, sprung as they are supposed to be, from the Asiatics of the Indian Archipelago, have no traditionary knowledge of the precious metals, nor do ornaments of gold or silver appear at any time to have been in their possession. There is, therefore, fair ground for supposing that Europeans were the first to discover gold in New Zealand-or at least the first to make any practical use of the discovery. As far as the records of the Colony go, gold may be said to have been first discovered in New Zealand in 1842, by a small exploring party under Captain Wakefield, while engaged in examining the country in Massacre Bay for coal and limestone. Several specks of gold, in quantities sufficient at the present day to cause a large "rush” were found, but the discovery seems to have been regarded as simply an interesting and curious accident. When the party returned to Nelson and mentioned having found gold, the story was not considered entitled to much credit and importance, and no attempt was made to verify the statement. It is a singular fact that although the coal and limestone deposits, in the vicinity of which the particles of gold had been found, were afterwards worked by the settlers, no further auriferous indications were noticed by the workers, who probably had not cared to remember the story told by Captain Wakefield's party; and it was not until fourteen years afterwards that the attention of the colonists was again drawn to this locality as a gold-bearing district.
From 1842 until nearly ten years afterwards, the history of the gold discoveries is very vague. A Mr. Palmer, an old settler in the Province of Otago, informed Mr. Pyke, the Secretary of the Otago Gold Fields Department, that many years prior to the settlement of that Province in 1818, a native chief, Tuawaiki by name, had assured him that far in the interior "plenty ferro,” or yellow stone, similar in appearance to the seals worn by the white men, could be obtained. The country of the Upper Molyneux r Clutha River was also indicated by the Maori, as a locality in which the
erro could be found. It is difficult to reconcile this story with the singular gnorance of the uses and value of gold enjoyed by the Maoris. In every
ountry where gold has been found to exist, -at any rate in such quantities Is to occasion remark, we invariably find that the native inhabitants have
nade some use of the metal, generally, if not always, as an article of ornanent. The Maoris are not indifferent to the adornment of their persons, ind we know that in the case of the poenamı, or green-stone, they took considerable pains to procure substances adapted to ornamental purposes. We are inclined to consider Tuawaiki's story as somewhat legendary.
The year 1852 was marked by the discovery of gold almost simultaneously at opposite ends of the Colony, viz. : at Auckland and Otago. By this time the important discoveries in California and Australia had imparted an increased value to the vague statements of the Maori and earlier European inhabitants of New Zealand, and many attempts were made to discover the auriferous indications reported to exist. In March, 1852, a party of five Europeans, one of whom had worked for gold in California, started in a whale boat up the Molyneux River, in search for gold. They had been induced to this expedition by the reports of some Maoris. The account of this expedition is thus given by one of the individuals engaged in it, Mr. T. B. Archibald, of Pomahaka :
“Nearly all the Maori residents at the Molyneux, at the time of our excursion, were strangers, having been only a few years in the place. There were only a man and woman who knew the country between the mouth of the River and the Lakes. The man, Raki Raki, had resided on the Wakatipu Lake, but had left many years ago. He left a brother, who had two wives, behind ; and who, he said, were the only Maoris in the interior. He told me he once picked up a piece of ‘simon' (gold) about the size of a small potato on the banks of the Molyneux, but did not know its value, and he threw it into the river. They told us they had seen the small “simon" on the sides of the river, where three canoes had been lying. On seeing a small sample of gold (which, I think, Mr. Meredith brought down from Tasmania, about the beginning of 1852), the natives were the more convinced we should find it in the sands of the Molyneux. As some of us
were on the eve of starting for Australia, we thought we would give the inf river a trial first, more especially as we had the services of a Californian
miner, who had left a whaling vessel in the Bay. We made a party of five, and started up the river in March, 1852, in a whale boat which I brought from Dunedin. We prospected the bars and banks of the river, as far as a creek, now named the Beaumont. As none of us knew anything about gold-seeking, except the American, and getting nothing more than the colour, we resolved to return, after having nearly a three week's cruise ; the more so, as the river seemed a succession of rapids, which it was difficult to get the boat through. If our Californian miner had been the practical hand he represented himself to be, I have no doubt we should have been successful at least in getting a good prospect.”
In the same year, several specimens of quartz, supposed to be auriferous, were sent from Otago to the New Zealand Society at Wellington ; but after a careful analysis, only a few specks could be found, and the opinion was expressed that the discovery was of no value. The discovery of gold at Coromandel in this year (1852), was of much greater importance, and attracted considerable attention throughout the Colony. Small pieces of gold were found in a stream running into Coromandel Bay, and further search revealed the existence of other strong indications of the auriferous
nature of the ground. There were many persons living in Auckland wb had worked in the gold-fields of Victoria, and they immediately conceived that the glories of Bendigo and Ballarat were to be reproduced at Coromandel Auckland went wild with excitement, and a great rush of peop! took place to the locality of the new discovery. But the work of prospect ing was checked by the opposition of the Natives to whom the land in the Coromandel district belonged. The Maoris looked with great disfavor oa this sudden invasion by a host of unprincipled and unscrupulous diggers, and at once prohibited the Europeans coming on the land to search for gold. Serious complications would have arisen had not Sir George Grey then Governor of the Colony, succeeded in concluding an arrangement with the Natives, by which, for a certain payment, the permission to dig for goli was given. But beyond a very partial examination of the district, nothing was done to develope the supposed auriferous resources of Coromandel ; and the excitement died out almost as speedily as it had arisen. Gold was found, it is true, but its possession was only secured at a cost of labour and appliances exceeding the value of the metal obtained. Some 1,100 ounces of gold were thus procured after much trouble and great outlay. Of this process was too unprofitable to last, and the diggings became quickly deserted. It is believed that the Natives continued to find gold in the district after its desertion by the Europeans, but nothing like a systematic search was made. Occasional visits were paid by some of the more ardent believers in the gold-bearing character of the district, and specimens of auriferous quartz were frequently brought surreptitiously to Auckland, where, however, they served only as interesting additions to geological cabinets, all public excitement on the subject having subsided.
In 1856, Nelson was again the scene of further gold discoveries, gold having been found in the Motueka district. This time the rumoured discovery of the precious metal was eagerly caught up, and a large number of anxious gold seekers at once rushed to the spot. But the gold was found to be exceedingly minute in quantity, and quite unremunerative to work ; consequently the diggers were not long before they left the place, and Nel. son again subsided into its wonted quiescent state.
In the same year, Mr. C. W. Ligar, then the Surveyor-General of New Zealand, and who at present fills a similar position in the Colony of Victoria, wrote officially to the then Superiutendent of Otago (Captain W. Cargill) stating that during a visit to the south part of Otago he had found gold very generally distributed in the gravel sand of the Mataura River, and expressing the opinion that a remunerative gold-field existed in that locality. Strange as it may seem, the Pilgrim Fathers of Otago paid no particular attention to Mr. Ligar's statement, and it appears to have attracted but little notice at the time anywhere.
Later, Mr. Thompson, the Provincial Surveyor of Otago, whilst engaged on a reconnaissance survey of the Province, found gold distributed over several localities, but he expressed the opinion that it did not exist in sufficient quantity to pay for working.
In the early part of 1857, the Massacre Bay district, in the Nelson Province, again excited public attention, gold having, it was alleged, been found in payable quantities not far from the deserted diggings of Motueka. The new discovery was made by a storekeeper in Nelson, who in company with a man who had had some experience in gold mining in Australia, visited Aorere to prospect for gold, induced thereto by a reward of £500, which the Nelson merchants had offered for the discovery of a payable gold