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Paul Keister, a Californium musician, reports aii exciting and novel experience with »' pair of rattlesnakes m the Sonoma Mauntaini*. Keister's •erricei as violinist are m demand m the country districts where old-fashioned parties'are given. On Saturday evening lie played at,a ffirny house at the b«ck of Tulupa Mountain. He slept at the farm-house, and started/in the morning for his home, five miles away. The trail leads through a deep canyon. Atone point the path winds around a sharp and narrow spur of the mountain. Keister had reached this point when his attention was attracted by tho Avarning clatter of a rattlesnake. When lie saw a formidable rattler m his path, he took to his heels. A few feet further along still another rattle rose up before him. There wasn't sufficient room to pass the snakes without running the i risk-of being bitten, and the frightened musician backed up against the ledge antl eyed the advancing reptiles. Escape was impossible. It suddenly otcurred to him that m "India magicians charm serpents with music, and, pulling out his violin, he began, desperately to play. The music had the desired effect. The snakes gradually uncoiled, and stretching themselves out m the path glided slowly toward the player. This * movement of the snakes was anything but pleasant to Paul Keister. who kept sawing away afe his fiddle, trying to devise,, meanwhile, a scheme for escaping. Closer and closer came the snakes, and faster and faster flew the bow over the strings as Keister's nerves quivered and shook. At last the snakes reached a point within 2ft of the terrified fiddler, and. coiling themselvss up, lifted their heads closely together and fixed their shinning eyes on the musician Keistcr's nerves were now utterly uncontrollable. With a yell he grabbed hifl fiddle .by the neck and brought it down' with crushing force on the heads of the -snakes'. The blow stunned the reptiles, and Keister kept .hammering away until they were dead. He broke his beloved violin into splinters, but ho .saved his life. The snakes measured 6ft and 7ft respectively. One carried ten rattles and the other seven."

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Bibliographic details

A SNAKE STORY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2554, 27 October 1890

Word Count

A SNAKE STORY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2554, 27 October 1890