236 THE GREAT FATHER & SNAKES' WAYS
the wound is just above the heel; but, strange to say, it never affects the wild hog, who can even eat rattle-snakes without suffering.
Luckily, certain remedies are known to the Indians for the bite of one of the deadliest of all serpents, the rattle-snake, and the surest of these is a small kind of plantain which, when rubbed on the wound and swallowed, gradually destroys the poison in the blood. Now-a-days, too, people are given strong doses of whisky or ammonia, which act in the same way, and they are kept walking up and down for many hours. If they are once allowed to fall asleep they never wake again. Still, whatever remedy may be used, when the time of year comes round in which the man was bitten, he will, we are told, feel some return of the symptoms to the end of his life.
A traveller in North America, in the middle of the last century, says that in the neighbourhood of the Fox River he found an immense number of rattle-snakes hiding in the grass which covered a sort of swamp. One of these snakes had been captured by an Indian, who managed to tame it, and carried it about with him everywhere in a box, calling it his ' Great Father.' The man and the snake had wandered about together for many summers, when they were met by a French trader, who found the Indian making ready to start for his winter hunting-grounds. He and the Indian soon became friends, and one day the Frenchman was much surprised to see the Redskin put the box containing his Great Father on the ground, and, pushing back the lid, tell the snake, as he did so, that he was to meet him at that very place the following May. The Frenchman laughed when he heard the Indian's words, and said that as this was only October he hardly thought it likely that the Great Father would remember so long. However, the Indian was so certain of the snake's affection that he offered to pay the Frenchman two gallons of rum should the Great Father not turn up at the time appointed.