The rainy season was now fast approaching, and tornadoes occurred almost every night. The thatch of the verandah under which I lay admitted the rain in all directions; and having no water-proof covering to my hammock, I was frequently soaked before morning. I did what I would recommend others to do in a similar situation, that is, to smoke continually, and take large doses of opium ; and at sunrise spread everything out to dry. After one of these tornadoes I had a narrow escape, which I shall not easily forget. It was my custom, at sunrise, to be lifted out of my hammock, and laid on a 215mat while my blankets were dried. One morning, on calling my boys, they discovered a small black snake coiled up beneath my hammock, and, telling me of it, and that it was exceedingly venomous, off they scampered to fetch some of the natives. I looked over the side of my hammock, and about three feet below me lay the creature, about a yard long, with his head in the centre of the coil, his eyes peering about, evidently bent on mischief. For two hours we remained in this enviable position, while about twenty of the natives were grouped in the court-yard, chattering, and pointing to the snake, and I not in the best of humours alternately entreating and threatening them for not removing it. My good genius, however, appeared at last in the shape of an old woman, who killed it, by piercing it to the ground with a forked stick. The natives assured me it was most venomous, and, from their dread of it, I fully believed it was the case. It was the first and only venomous creature I met with in the country.