28 MARCH 1896, Page 14

!--E it PEN T-STORY.

jr o /Is raollUti. or TEL "SPECTATOR.'] SIR,—I do not know if you extend the hospitality of your columns to stories of serpents. Readers of Mr. Rudyard Kipling may remember a tragic tale exemplified by the following facts. On Monday last, March 16th, we found a dead serpent lying by the road-side opposite our house. It measured 5 ft. long by about 4 in. round. It was beautifully marked, with black and silvery scales on the back, and yellow and black along the belly. With the intention of having it stuffed, as a serpent of this dimensions is rarely found amongst the Riviera visitants, I had it put in the cellar. Yielding, however, to the objections of the ladies of my family, who have Mr. Rudyard Kipling's tale fresh in their minds, I had it re- moved to an unoccupied stable. The ladies declared that its mate would be sure to come after it. Sure enough, the following day at about 1.30 p.m. the mate, apparently a foot longer than the first, arrived to make inquiries about its lost friend. As I had myself carried the first serpent into the house, without allowing it to trail on the ground, there could have been no ground-scent. We were not successful in.

capturing the mate, which escaped into our " maquis" (bush) where it is now at large.—! am, Sir, &c.,

Le Maquis, St. Raphael, March 18th. W. H. Ham..

P.S.—This variety of serpent lives upon rats, mice, and rabbits, and is non-poisonous. The fat is used by the natives for rheumatic affections.