Chapter 7

Written by: Tulika Saha
Dearest great great grand-daughter,
I had an 'English' Christmas here today. A few of us got together to celebrate. We had a beautiful tree, complete with decorations, all shipped here from England. The men folk brought in a Pukeko, and some wild fowl from their hunt, while we baked and cooked and laid out tables under the trees and umbrellas. Luckily, the day was not so hot. Longing for a white Christmas, we had cotton in the crib. Sarah ran around, squealing with laughter  and playing around our skirts. Mrs. Dunstan's help is most welcome. She adores Sarah Elizabeth and never lets her out of her sight. She has completely taken charge of her education which is a relief for me as it leaves me free to pursue my goal of working towards a more moral colony and a right to lend my voice to the making of society.
It is a welcome reprieve from the tumultuous state of this land. But I cannot say that our victory has filled me with joy. Only a certain sense of relief at the end of aggression. The Maoris must now live in areas defined by the treaty. They have put up a brave fight but they fight with spears and clubs while we have guns and canons. The end was inevitable. It amazes me that they have withstood our assault for so many months. I must confess that at no point in time did I feel the slightest need to change my stance on this land acquisition. My voice is unheard now but I am hopeful that the  day when my views will count is not far away.
The time since I last wrote to you has been truly trying  for me.  Dr. Hanley's health has been failing. The meetings in his study have been on an increase but the doctor keeps me away from these discussions. My day's schedule must now revolve around his care. He doesn't seem to tire of Sarah Elizabeth's company though. Every once in a while, after the day's chores, my heart fills with joy as I  watch them play together. Sarah sings  little rhymes in a  beautiful voice with a delightful lisp.  The tedium of our times, and of  Dr. Hanley's ill health, is broken by her presence which fills our home with joy and delight. 
 The colonists have overrun the country. We do not, now, mingle freely with the Maoris. Still, I cannot forget what I owe them. Today, as we sang carols under the night sky, I thought I saw Taine in the bushes but I cannot be sure as the night falls dark, in my world.  I try to imagine how they cope now that so many of their forests have been cut for timber. 
Dear one, I wonder what you will make of my writings. I pray that you will be able return to these people some  of what is rightfully theirs.


Very well written Tulika. The tone and language are so consistent with that period in history. I could sense Mrs. Hanley's emotional turmoil through your words. Thoroughly enjoyed readign the chapter.
This is wonderful writing Tulika with excellent research to back it.The voice is authentic and the characters are thoroughly believable. Beautifully crafted.