Fondled Snake Once Too Often

by Laurel | August 11th, 2009

August 7, 1910, Page 27

Oswald Nestman, aged 35, is at the point of death at his home in West Holyoke, about four miles from this city, as a result of a bite inflicted by a tame rattlesnake Saturday afternoon.

He came to Holyoke with his tame snake, and while exhibiting it to some friend on the street, it turned and bit him in the hand. He called on a doctor, who advised him to go to the Pasteur Institute in New York, but he went home instead, and today his arm and face are badly swollen.

Slits were cut in his arm to let out the poison, but last evening he was delirious and had to be tied to his bed. He wanted to get out and kill the snake, which, however, had already been killed.

Nestman had won quite a little reputation as a snake charmer, and had made a pet of his snake for several months, carrying it about on his person, and fondling it from time to time. His physicians give little hope of his recovery.

— From The Providence Journal.

[Note: It appears Oswald escaped death as he appears on the 1920 U.S. Federal Census on Clark Street in Easthampton unmarried and living with his mother, employed as a carpenter. On the earlier 1910 Census — the same year as the snake bite — Oswald is living with his mother also, on Rock Valley Road in Holyoke.]

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