Melt butter in a large sauce pan. Saute all of the oysters with the oyster liquor until oysters are firm. Turn down the heat. Turn down the heat on the stove to where it simmers. If it boils, it will ruin the stew by curdling the half and half. Add the half and half, a quart to half gallon. . Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, but do not boil. Once the stew is thoroughly heated remove from stove. Serve in bowls with oyster crackers or saltines. Add a few drops of hot sauce if desired.