21 June 1919
Dear Mr Best
Just a line to tell you that I am sending per boat a box of stone axes. All Samoan but not as good looking specimens as I should like. But they are all I can get so far. There are one or two that are interesting, one has a curved cutting edge for cutting out canoes and some of the others, one in particular shows the method of working them by chipping the edges. I have one or two more things promised to me that you shall have.
Tell Mrs Castle that I have not altogether forgotten her. My time is so limited now as I am in charge of the transport up and down to Apia. It is a light rail road with horse drawn trucks and I was put in charge after several accidents. I have been lucky so far. But it leaves me little time for myself and add to that the fact that I have had to make a trophy (a shield) for Samoan cricketers and fancy silver spoons for the officers for souvenirs, you may guess that my time is fully occupied.
I may when I get away come to reside in Wellington. Mrs Fleck has gone to Dunedin to the D.J.B in charge of their dressmaking department and according to her last letter she has had an offer from Kirkaldie and Stains in Wellington to go there. So my destination is not known yet.
We have all got over the epidemic. I don’t want another time like that I can tell you. At present the commission is enquiring into it all. The evidence is very interesting especially to some of us. The amount of time that must have been spent by some of the responsible heads to make up a good tale must have been immense. If that commissioner got some of us to talk I am afraid the fat would be in the fire, and so would we. Carelessness and greed and indifference let the epidemic in here and then they all worked like heros to cope with it.
I am off to the caves on Sunday all being well and hope to have a good account to send you and perhaps some stone curious.
I am glad you are in touch with Neffgen. He is not a bad sort. Has been around so much and away from Germany so long that his interests are cosmopolitan. I should like you to see his books (not published) on Samoan legends, proverbs and sayings.
Well I must stop. It is getting late and the mail closes early for the boat tomorrow.
P.S You will arrange re collecting the box. It is only a small one. They documents will come with this mail. Yours JBF