Woody: I couldn’t tell what was the matter but I knew he was serious, whatever it was about, so I did what he wanted. (sounds of shoes coming off) He was in bed, under his netting, with the reading light on, his book on the floor. He lay quite still, and the sheet came halfway up his chest. He was wearing those corny pajamas of his with the big checks all over ’em. And the pajamas were soaked in the sweat that was rolling off his face. He lay like a corpse flat on his back with his hands lying dead on the bed. His hands, even the backs of ’em, were sweating. His eyes looked like he was watching somebody saw his leg off.
Woody: It’s Woody! What’s the matter, boy?
Harry: (very quietly) Shhh. It’s a… krait.
Woody: Krait! Where?
Harry: Shhh… (mumbling) Shhh.
Woody: Where? Where’s the krait?
Harry: In here.
Woody: Under the netting?
Harry: No. Under the sheet.
Woody: Where’d it bite ya?
Harry: It hasn’t… yet.
Woody: Where under the sheet?
Harry: Right on my belly.
Woody: Holy son of–
Harry: Shhh. You’re gonna wake it up if you don’t cut out that yellin’.
Woody: How’d it get in there?
Harry: I don’t know. Came up under the nettin’, I guess. Or it’s been the bed all day.
Woody: Is it a big one?
Harry: No. Krait don’t have to be big. Looked about three or four inches. Come along my side. I didn’t move. It went under the sheet, in one of them folds, one of them wrinkles there over my belly.
Woody: How long ago did it come?
Harry: Hours. Hours and hours, and days and weeks. Woody, I been waitin’ a year for you to get home.
Woody: Must be sleepin’ in there, huh?
Harry: Yeah. I think it is.
Woody: Alright, now listen, Harry. Maybe it’ll wake up and go away. Go home or somethin’, huh?
Harry: I can’t wait, Woody. I’ve been lyin’ here scared to move so I don’t wake it up.
Woody: Yeah, ya scare it and it’ll bite.
Harry: I been lyin’ here scared to death I’d cough.
Woody: Right, don’t you worry about a thing, Harry. I know just what to do.
Harry: Where you going, Woody? Don’t leave me…
Woody: The thing was to be ready to cauterize the bite right away. I’d heard about one method. I went out to the kitchen and I got a whole fistful of those big kitchen matches and I took ’em back to the bedroom. Arranged ’em all with the heads together, held ’em like you’d hold a torch.
Harry: What’re you gonna do? What’re the matches for?
Woody: Now listen Harry, here’s how it goes. These’ll cauterize, see. So we count three, flip back the sheet, and you jump outta bed. Now ya follow me?
Harry: You’re outta your mind.
Woody: No, now listen, Harry. If the krait bites ya, I strike the bundle and press it against the spot and it burns out the poison, see? While the matches–
Harry: Get away from me, you bubble-headed maniac…
Woody: No, Harry, I’m only tryin’ to–
Harry: Shh! Listen, Woody, take them matches and those bright ideas and get the heck outta here. Call the doctor.
Woody: The doctor. I never thought of that.
Harry: Shh. Now get to it.
Woody: Okay, Harry. Who do ya want? Ganderbai or Forsythe?
Harry: Forsythe. Things are bad enough without ya gotta bring that gook in here.
Woody: I dug through the telephone book and I found Doctor Maxenby Forsythe’s number and I dialed it.
(sounds of phone dialling)
Houseboy: (very thick accent) Dis is the residence of Dr. Mattenby Forsythe, please.
Woody: Yeah, lemme speak to the doctor. It’s very urgent.
Houseboy: Whom is calling, please?
Woody: Arthur Woods.
Woody: Woods. Arthur Woods.
Houseboy: Spell, please.
Woody: Woods! W..
Houseboy: You have already said “O”. I have already written “O”. Have the kindness to give me the next letter, please.
Woody: O! It’s “O” after “O”!
Woody: Look, my name is Woods.
Houseboy: Spell, please.
Woody: W, O, O, D–
Houseboy: Oh. W, O, O… Ah ha!
Woody: D, S. Woods!
Houseboy: Woods. W, O, O, D, S. Mr. Woods.
Woody: That’s right. That’s just right. Now, let me speak to the doctor, please!
Houseboy: Sorry. Doctor not in. Call tomorrow. (hangs up)
Woody: I crossed the room. Harry lay very still, sweating, trying to keep every muscle relaxed. His face was beginning to twitch a little. I was scared. If that twitch should spread… I called the doctor’s house again.
Houseboy: Please. I do not understand.
Woody: Look. I said if you don’t tell me where the doctor is, I’m gonna come over there and pull your arms off, and then I’m gonna take you buy the neck and–
Houseboy: The doctor is at the club, please.
Woody: What club?
Servant: The country club. Ring 6, 7, 3… (click)