Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/376

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248
PICTURESQUE NEW ZEALAND

away from Tasmania, and no one has done more than he to colonize the land. When he sailed from Tasmania "Eastward ho!" was his cry of progress; now it is "Everywhere ho!" With hop, skip, and jump he and his have spread over the land until even in Auckland's Queen Street and Karangahape Road I have heard him at midday above the roar of traffic.

Eighty-five miles north of Helensville is Dargaville, the chief town on the Wairoa. Here I boarded a small steamer for the up-river voyage, terminating at Tangiteroria, thirty-five miles distant. In a scenic way this part of the river was more interesting than that below, yet even here the Wairoa was essentially a commercial stream. To a great extent the beauty that had made the river celebrated had disappeared with the stroke of axe and rake of saw.

The loss of primeval beauty was somewhat compensated for by the incidents of navigation and port calls. The captain of the Naumai was an all-around man; a busy and a jocular skipper. As we prepared to leave Dargaville at eight o'clock in the morning he helped to load the cargo, and it was he who put out and pulled in the gangway. He also was purser and pilot; in fact, so busy that he ate his dinner of meat and potatoes at the wheel.

As for the cargo, it consisted of boxes and bundles of bread, strings of fresh fish, barrels of beer, about a dozen kerosene cans filled with skid grease, and three pairs of ox yokes. The yokes were discharged at Ounuwahao,