Monday, 10th July.—Met at the kennel (Cadlunga), and, crossing the Wakefield, found near Tilcorowry; best pace to Flagstaff Hill, where the hounds divided in a piece of scrub, and we rode to the pride of the pack, old “Charman,” and three couples of the puppies. After a quarter of an hour’s burst over a very rough country, ran into him in the open near Peters’s Red Hill— “Concubine,” “Crucifix,” “Beeswing,” “Bacchus,” Bouncer,” and “Brutus,” straight away over the Light Range, and, crossing the Burra Road, killed near the hospitable caravanseria of the well-known Tom Hornsby.
Friday, 14th.—Uncoupled at half-past ten on the Hill River; after a drag beautifully picked out by the old hounds “Charman” and “Concubine,” went to the front, at the Strong Gap; and before we had time to spit out our cigars, the lot were at him like greyhounds. For the first six miles the pace was terrific, over a very pretty country, across Farrell’s Creek to Stein’s Gap, in Flagstaff Range, when we viewed him from two to three miles a-head (sic) of us. Bending to the S.E., he skirted the Salt Lake, and faced the open plain to the Burra Road, about a mile north of the house lately established at the Black Springs by Mr Tapley, when he wanted to stop; but the pups were hungry and would take no denial, so he tried a mile or two of artful dodges, whereby (twig the “moral”) he made bad worse, for the tail bounds got up, and “whoo-hoop” was his knell in no time. This was a superb scenting-day, or we should never have killed him; for we afterwards discovered that he had been disturbed very early by a person looking for bullocks; and, after all, we covered twenty miles of country, with only one check, before we took his brush.
Wednesday, 19th.—Found near Pine Creek; and after a ringing run of forty minutes, threading no less than three flocks of sheep without a mistake, ran into a “riglar locomotive” in the bed of the River Wakefield, at Poorkanga. Nota bene.—I take this at second hand, for (tell it not in Gath!) my nag shut up, and I was only in time to see two of the old hounds snarling over his “cocoa-nut.”
Saturday, 22nd.—Met at the station of W. Slater, Esq.; had a very pretty find near the Old North Road; but being a had scenting-day, the dog chose his own line, which, under other circumstances, he is seldom permitted to do, and got into an impracticable scrub with all speed, where some kangaroo jumping up, we were compelled to whip off.
Wednesday, 26th.—Met at Clare; and drawing down Dog-trap Flat, after a prettily executed drag, went away best pace in a northerly direction ; after a couple of miles the hounds suddenly divided; and the whip riding at the lesser division (two couples) found that they were too confident to be easily stopped, old “Royalty” going with his stern down, bristles up, and bent upon the silent system. They headed at first towards Bungaree, the station of G. Hawker, Esq., and crossed the Hutt River, then bending gradually S. to E., recrossed the river near Blackman’s Rock, and once more towards Bungaree, leaving that station and Eyre’s Tree on the left; viewed her on the plain, and took her brush before she could top the eastern ranges of the Hutt. The other four couples were right also; for ridden to by the “Squire” and the whole of the field, they headed to the eastward and crossed the ranges to the Hill River, going as straight (and a trifle faster than) an arrow. She crossed the river, and, taking the top of the range, tried the nerve of the men and the legs of the nags over a terribly rocky country for upwards of three miles. On the Camel’s Hump they viewed her, and, finding the rocks no refuge, she again took to the open; and, turning more to the eastward, was run into Farrell’s Creek, yielding her brush to W. Robinson, Esq., after a very quick run of fifteen miles. Upon afterward comparing notes over the mahogany at Cadlunga, we found that in all probability we had destroyed a dozen of sheep-slayers, since both were bitches in pup.
Saturday, 29th.—Met at the kennel, and drew for a dog down the eastern side of the Wakefield. After a brilliant burst of a couple of miles, found we were running a nipping little flying doe, which took gallantly away, after one or two rings, for Mt. Horrocks, and crossing the North Road, came towards her home again by “Billy Tatum’s Water Hole.” Here, another view had nearly concluded the affair—for old “Raymond” and the bitches were racing for first mouthful when she got into a little scrub, and, doubling as short as a hare, they had three minutes check. At her they then went again, and in ten minutes the lot (five couples and half) jumped upon her in the river at Maberly.
Wednesday, 2nd August.—Met at Clare, and drew that country blank—nothing but a little drag all day; wind at S.W., with a pleasing alternation of rain and hail showers—the air like a “sneezer” off the Horn, and about as much scent as would be found in that delightful locality.
Saturday, 5th.—Met at the kennel at sunrise, and drew across the Wakefield, past Kite’s Station. Found, after a very short drag, opposite Maluby. “Stole away” was the word, and gathering up our nags—for the country was very boggy—we settled down at him in the usual do or die style of these varmint little hounds. The first halt mile led ug to the remains of his supper (part of a lamb), and a heart-felt screech from the Squire told the delight with which he saw his “Pets” at the sheep-slayer. Leaving Tilcowry on the left, we crossed Kangaroo Plains, the Gilbert Ranges, and a couple of scrubby ridges with heavy rotten ground between; and here the gentleman wanted a spell, but only half a minute was allowed him ere they were again racing at him to the southward. This line he kept for about two miles, when he made his last shift, heading away west; the merry little dogs, however, began to smell blood, and they ran into him at a pace which set us all punishing for our lives. He proved to be a huge dog, and certainly game in proportion, since he gave us a good nine miles in half-an-hour, the kill taking place about two miles N.W. of the Saddleworth Hotel.
We cannot conclude without expressing our conviction that the appearance, condition, and performance of these hounds were never surpassed by their celebrated progenitors of the “Fife.” The country is well adapted for the sport, and some of the settlers of the north exhibit the spirit for which that district has always been distinguished, in the zeal with which they support and ride to the hounds. Next year the Squire hopes to open with twelve couple of hunting hounds, when, if any gentleman in South Australia, who loves the sport in its purity, will take a canter with them, we will guarantee him high gratification, and a hearty greeting from his brother sportsmen of the proverbially hospitable north.