198 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
all was over. Francis and his mother remained at home.
When we came near to him the boa raised his head, and, darting on me a look of powerless anger, again let it fall.
Fritz and I fired together, and both our shots entered the skull of the animal; but they did not produce death, and the eyes of the serpent sparkled with rage. We advanced nearer, and, firing our pistols directly through the eye, we saw his rings contract, a slight quiver ran through his body, and he lay dead upon the sand before us, stretched out like the mast of a ship.
We set up a shout of victory, and we huzzaed so long and loud, that Ernest, Francis, and my wife came running down toward us.
After the three days that we had spent in the grotto, we felt the pleasure of being free again; it was a second deliverance, almost as great as that from our shipwreck.
As I thought it best to finish immediately with the boa, I sent Fritz and Jack to the grotto, with injunctions to bring back the buffalo. I remained with Ernest and Francis, to keep off the birds of prey, which already hovered round the carcase, for