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Page 150 of The Harpe s head : a legend of Kentucky

1 50 HARPU'S HEAD. w ith its head reared in the centre, his mouth unclosed, his fierce eyes g leaming v indictively, a nd all his motions i ndicating a watchful and enraged enemy. H a r k gazed at the reptile with an eager a nd malignant satisfaction. H is features, u sually stupid, were now animated with hatred and triumph. The scene was precisely suited to interest the sportsmanlike propensities of M r . George L ee, i f he had not happened to be too hungry to enjoy a nything which might delay him any longer in the w ilderness. " K i l l the snake, boy," said he, impatiently, " and then s how me the way to some house." H ark motioned with his finger, as i f enjoining silence, and replied laconically, " It ain't ready yet." T h e rattle-snake now raised his t ail a nd shook his rattles, as i f in defiance; and then, as i f satisfied with this show of valor, and finding that his enemies m ade no advance, but stood motionless, s lowly u ncoiled himself, and began to glide away. Hark left his position, and, w ith noiseless steps, a lertly made a s mall circuit so as to place him in front of the enemy. The snake raised his head, darted out his tongue, and then turned to retreat i n another direction ; but no sooner had he presented his side to Hark, than the intrepid snake-killer bounded forward, and alighted with both his feet on the n eck of the reptile, striking rapidly, first with one foot, and then the other, but s kilfully k eeping his v ictim p inned to the ground, so as to prevent the use of its fangs. The s nake, in great a gony, now twisted the whole of its long body round Hark's leg; and the boy, delighted to witness the writhings of his foe, stood for a while grinning in

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