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THE STORMING OF THE BAT'S NEST
 HEKE was yet far from making peace. He and his friends in
their new fastness at Ikorangi were dancing the
war-dance, and singing songs of exultation—
"An attack! an attack! E ha!
A battle! a battle! E ha!
A fight on the banks of the river.
It is completely swept and emptied.
O you would fight, you would fight.
You had better stayed at home in Europe
Than have suffered a repulse from Whareahau.
He has driven you back to your God.
You may cast your book behind,
And leave your religion on the ground.
An attack! an attack! E ha!
A battle! a battle! E ha!"
Heke's fame grew greater and greater, for had he not
twice defeated "the wearers of red garments." Peace
was far from his thoughts, and Governor Fitzroy was
about to attack him again, when he was recalled. The
British Government were not pleased at the way in which
the colony was drifting into war, and Captain George
Grey was sent to take Fitzroy's place.
Captain Grey made up his mind to have no more fighting
if that were possible. He sent messengers to the rebel
chiefs, saying that if they would yield before a
certain date, they would be pardoned, and that if they
 had been in any way wronged, they should have justice.
But Heke would not yield, and once more the war began.
This time the Maori forces were divided. Heke was at
Ikorangi, and his friend Kawiti at Ruapekapeka, the
Bat's Nest. It was upon the Bat's Nest that the attack
was made. It was a pah like Oheawai and Okaihau, but
far stronger than either. For between the huge wooden
fences there was a great mud wall against which cannon
balls were of little use.
The British force was now much stronger than before.
They had more and heavier guns, but still for days the
bombardment went on with little result. Then one day
Heke arrived to join his friends, bringing many more
warriors with him. The next day being Sunday, the
Maoris thought there would be no fighting, for the
missionaries had taught them to keep it as a day of
rest. So they all gathered in the outworks for prayer,
leaving the fort almost unguarded.
The British, however, had no thought of keeping Sunday.
A friendly Maori, seeing how quiet it was within the
pah, crept close up to the walls. Finding them
unguarded, he made signs to the British. Quickly they
charged, and before the Maoris realised what was
happening, the red-coats had possession of the fort.
Now the very strength of the pah was turned against the
Maoris. Secure behind the massive ramparts, the British
fired upon the foe. A fierce fight followed. But to
dislodge the British from their strong position was
impossible, and at last the Maoris fled to the woods.
Tired of the fight, the followers of Heke and Kawiti
now scattered and fled. They had little food left;
starvation and death stared them in the face.
"Can shadows carry muskets?" they said. And so the
melted away. In a few days Heke and Kawiti found
themselves almost alone. The end had come. At last the
proud chieftains sued for peace.
"Friend Governor, let peace be made between you and
me," wrote Kawiti. "I have had enough of your
cannon-balls, therefore I say let us make peace. Will
you not? Yes. This is the end of my war against you.
Friend Governor, I, Kawiti and Heke, do consent to this
good message. It is finished."
Now that the rebel chiefs were in his power. Sir George
was merciful. He pardoned all who had taken part in the
rebellion, and allowed them to remain in possession of
their lands. But Heke's proud, restless spirit could
not bear the bonds of peace. He pined away, and died at
the age of forty-two. As for his old friend Kawiti, he
lived to the age of eighty, and then died of measles, a
new disease brought into the country by the white men.
There were many who thought that Governor Grey had been
too gentle with Heke and Kawiti and the other rebels.
Many thought that they ought to have been punished. But
time showed that Sir George was right, for the peace
was lasting, and left no bitterness behind. Not while
Heke or Kawiti lived, however, was the flagstaff at
Kororarika put up again. But in 1857 Kawiti's son led
four hundred of his people to the spot, and in token of
friendship they raised a new flagstaff. They called it
Whakakotahitanga, which means "being in union," and to
this day the Union Jack floats from it.