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A SNAKE IN A DRAWINGROOM.
(PnOM TUE HAM-MOM SrUCTATOll, JA». 19.)
One of the moBt sensational snake stories we have yet heard comes to us from Pens- hurst, and is told by a gentleman whose veracity is unimpeachable. It appears that on the 15th hist, a number of ladies arrived on a visit at Eden-house, Penshurst, and were listening to a young lady playing on the piano, whilst an 18-months-old child (a son of the Rev. Mr. Falconer, of Wagga Wagga, N.S.W.), was left for a moment amusing itself on the floor of the hall, the front door being open. Suddenly the har- mony waa disturbed bjr the screaming of the little one, and on rushing out to ascertain the cause one of the ladies was horrified at seeing a tiger snake fully 5ft. long within a few inches of the child. To suatoh the in- fant away by ita dress, and retreat into the drawingroom waa the work of an instant, but before the door could be closed his snake ship had also secured admission. Then the more sensational portion of the episode com- menced. In the room was a circular table, and toùsA and round this (with the screaming child in lief niS8) ran the lady, followed by the snake. The other î"d_?s in the room took refuge on chairs, and helplessly looked on at tlie painful and very exciting scene that was being enacted below them. One of them next essayed to open the door, which by some means had become closed, thereby creating a diversion, as the snake at once " went for her," and nothing but a very active spring on to a chair saved her. Another lady tried a door on tho opposite side of the room, but like lightning the venomous rep- tile went across the intervening space, and actually touched her dress aa she sprung on to a sideboard. In the meantime the scream- ing had attracted the attention of a. young man working in the garden, and on running into the house to ascertain the causo he heard crieB of "Snake ! Snake I" proceeding from the drawingroom, aud prepared himself for the emergency. He rushed in, and presto! the maddened reptile faced bim, and fonght savagely, until compelled (by frequent blows with a thistle hook) to take refuge under the sofa. There it espied a large doll, round which it twined itself as best it could, and bit it several times, Eventually [ the sofa waa removed, and the intruder received a quick despatch. Our informant adds: " It is supposed the music attracted the reptile into the house, and it may be that had its enjoyment not been interfered with, it would not have become so infuriated. Of course upon the restoration of peace the child was anxiously examined, and great was the relief to all minds when it was ascertained that the little thing had not been broughtinto immediate contact with the venomous fangs of the reptile. After a few hours the ladies recovered from their fright. One of them, though 19 years of age, and bom and brought up in this district, had never seen a live snake before, mid has since repeatedly stated that she never wants to see one again." There have been snake stories and snake stories, but we think the above eclipses any of those that have been invented by sensa- tion-mongers, mid is another proof that truth is often stranger than fiction.