The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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43
SNAKE STORIES
In 1850 Baron de "Wogan, a French gentleman, left his native land and set sail for North America, to seek his fortune and adventures. He was descended from two noble adventurers, the "Wogan who led a cavalry troop from Dover to the Highlands, to fight for Charles II., and the "Wogan who rescued Queen Clementina, wife of James III., from prison in Innspruck. In 1850 adventures, wild beasts, and Red Indians were more plentiful than now, and "Wogan had some narrow escapes from snakes and bears. Soon after coming to North America he had his first adventure with a rattlesnake ; he was then camping at the gold fields of California, seeking for gold in order to have money enough to start on his voyages of discovery. His house was a log hut, built by himself, and his bed a sack filled with dry oak leaves.
One day, finding that his mattress required renewing, he went out with the sack and his gun. Having filled the sack with leaves, he went off with his gun in search of game for his larder, and only came home at nightfall. After having cooked and eaten his supper, he threw him­self on his new mattress, and soon was asleep. He awoke about three, and would soon have fallen asleep again, but he felt something moving in the sack. His first thought was that it was a rat, but he soon felt by the way it moved that it was no quadruped, but a reptile, no rat, but a snake! He must have put it in the sack with the leaves, as might easily happen in winter when these creatures are torpid from the cold, and sleep all curled
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