230 LIFE IN JAVA.
critical position, and found voice to call out loudly for help, at the same time moving his leg rapidly to and fro in his endeavours to shake the serpent off. It was now, however, in no humour to relin- quish its prey, and consequently, when the poor man's cries had brought several other labourers to his side, they all tried vainly to draw the huge reptile off, and were at last compelled to cut it in two before it could be made to release its hold. The man was laid up for some time, his leg, though not broken, bein£ much bruised. This story was told me as a positive fact, and, though the Sawah serpent is toothless, yet such is its enormous size that there is no reason why one should not give credit to so extraordinary an incident.
Count von S , to whom I had a letter of
introduction, drove us next morning to Singoro, his estate. A garden, stocked with rare plants, and grounds tastefully laid out, are attached to the house. Here we were shown the vanilla plant,