SNAKE STORIES 49
about, and soon flew away among the bushes and was lost to sight. I did not then know that this is a common occurrence, and that when the Indians find a serpent asleep, as is generally the case after the creature has gorged itself, they hit it on the head with a stick, which makes it throw up what it has swallowed whole, and its victims are often still living.'
Calooa on one occasion had a narrow escape. She had put her hand into a hollow in a branch of a cherry-tree where was a blue jay's nest, to take eggs as she thought. Hardly had she put in her hand when she screamed with pain; a rattlesnake that had taken possession of the nest had stung her. The Baron, much alarmed, expected to see Calooa die before his eyes. He did not know of the remedy the Indians use for snake bites. Calooa herself was quite undisturbed, and hunted about among the bushes till she found the plant she knew of, then crushing some of the leaves between two stones, she applied them to the bite, and in a couple of hours was completely cured.
Besides these snakes the Baron learned from the Indians that there is another even more dangerous, not from its sting, which is not poisonous, but because it winds itself round its victim, and strangles him to death. Fortunately the Baron never met one, or he would probably not have lived to tell his snake stories.