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Hewitt & Hunt – Criterion Hotel
From the book “Memories of Travel and Sport” by H Bullock-Webster
“Amongst very keen sportsmen of the very early days I must mention Ned Hewitt, mine host of the hotel in Cambridge, who was devoted to hounds and took his share of the troubles, trials and tribulations of keeping the great sport going at this end of the world. Though unable to ride, he never missed a meet, wet or fine; he was always there in his white topper driving the wonderful bay horse and still more wonderful buggy, that stood up to more hard work than any machine I ever saw. When we found a hare, and hounds streamed away, he would go full gallop up the road or lane, turn through a gateway poached by cattle with the mud up to the axles of the buggy, go careering over an uneven fifty acre paddock at a hard gallop, and even try and drive through a gap in the hedge if there were one. The old horse loved it as much as he did, and the old buggy was indestructible, and when we killed our hare, he was generally there or thereabouts, and the first to praise the good little pack.
“A curious incident happened later. Dear old Hewitt passed away to his happy hunting ground, and was buried in the Cambridge Cemetery. A short time later in the season, we met at Hautapu, and had a good hunt over James Taylor’s fine property, but scent was bad and I didn’t kill. Late in the afternoon the scent improved and we got onto a strong hare, and ran nearly to Fencourt, then a ring back to James Taylor’s, with hounds never off the line and the hare viewed ahead making for the cemetery, and in they went. I got off to get them out, and found that they had killed their hare on Ned Hewitt’s grave. I got them out at once, and broke up the hare outside, and then went back and placed a pad and scut at the foot of the grave in all reverence.”