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BY WAY OF YONGE STREET   145

called in to perform the operation. The charge was forty dollars. Later on it was found that sufficient had not been taken off the little finger, but it was considered hardly worth while to risk having to pay another forty dollars for a trifle like that. Accordingly a neighbour sharpened a jack-knife and a chisel; with a few deft cuts the flesh was laid open with the knife, turned back with the fingers, and then, with one stroke of a hammer on the chisel, the protruding bone was cut off with neatness and dispatch. The skin was next put back in place and home-made salves did the rest.

Mr. McFadyen's stories of hunting adventures did not all have the scene laid in the wilds of Eldon and Thorah. When he was living in North Carolina, great black snakes, not poisonous, played havoc with the family's flock of chickens. One night his sister heard a commotion in the poultry yard and on going out found a snake in possession of a chicken and in the act of climbing a tree with the prey. Miss McFadyen seized a pitch pine torch, and with this burned the snake so badly that it dropped the fowl and wriggled up the tree. Next morning the snake was still in the tree.

At another time the mother of the family went to the meat-house for a piece of meat. As she was in the act of looking up, a rattlesnake struck at her foot. There was no fainting, not even a shriek; instead there was a quick motion of the hand, the rattler was seized by the tail, a motion as in "cracking" a whip followed, and next a very much surprised rattler lay on the ground with its back broken.


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