Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/391

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259
TARTS AND PIES

made a picture that was bound to impress some brown Peria swain before the night waxed pale.

Although North Auckland's remotest districts are compelled by force of circumstances to deny themselves many amusements, they appeared to me to have plenty to eat, especially in Herekino, a little settlement in timbered mountains of the west coast. This hamlet is just the place for picnics; indeed, if I was correctly informed, Herekino's two boarding-houses set picnic tables every day.

When I sat down at one of their well-laden boards I felt like a boy at a Sunday-School feast. It happened that, being late, I sat alone, and therefore the bounty spread before me was the more impressive. From end to end of the long table were cakes and cookies, but I was most attracted by two large dishes of jam tarts. There were dozens of them. And why such profusion? Was it because the district schoolmaster and his wife and the village doctor boarded there? No, I was assured; it was just a Herekino custom to set a good table.

Jam tarts such as I saw at Herekino are very common in New Zealand, but they and all other pastry tarts are by no means the only kind. In Maoriland there are tarts and tarts.

"The tarts were good," I read in a Queenstown hotel register on the day of my arrival there. The intelligence cheered me, for I interpreted it as a promise of delicious pastry. I was at the hotel several days, yet not in all that time did I see a tart. At last it dawned upon me