‘Why, you were talking about the vipers in your bag breaking their hearts, and so on, and their king coming to help them. Now, suppose the French king should hear of his people being in trouble at Norman Cross, and - ‘

‘He can’t come, child,’ said the old man, rubbing his hands, ‘the water lies between. The French don’t like the water; neither vipers nor Frenchmen take kindly to the water, child.’

When the old man left the country, which he did a few days after the conversation which I have just related, he left me the reptile which he had tamed and rendered quite harmless by removing the fangs. I was in the habit of feeding it with milk, and frequently carried it abroad with me in my walks.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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