SAN MARCIAL, N.M., January 1. – This section of the country has been considerably aroused from time to time by the conflicting reports of Mexicans, who say that the extinct crater to the east of the plain, known as the “Jornado del Muerto,”about twenty-five miles from this place, is the abode of a monster serpent, second in size only to that huge reptile of the seas that has so often been spoken of by mariners and others. It is reported by some to be fully 100 feet in length and about two feet in circumference, but probably the most trustworthy information is that given by a Mr. Alexander, who possesses some mining property in the San Andreas mountains, which lie to the east of the broad plain. Mr. Alexander says that he saw the serpent once while crossing the Jornado on the way to his mines. He was about half way across the plain, jogging leisurely along behind his burro, dreaming of the immense wealth that he hoped to realize from his property, when suddenly the burro stopped, erected his long ears, wheeled quickly around and made a mad stampede in the opposite direction. Mr. Alexander was at a loss to account for this strange freak of the burro, and was about to start in pursuit of the runaway whenÂ he chanced to look ahead. Then his eyes gazed upon the monster. He was so beside himself with fear at first, he says, that his nerves were completely paralyzed, his hair stood on end, and move he could not; he was rooted to the spot, and his eyes were fixed upon the serpent. It was about a quarter of a mile from him, and was traveling in the opposite direction — toward the crater. He says it appeared to be about 60 feet in length; but what surprised him most was the queer proportions of the creature. The fore parts were of enormous size, its head being fully as large as a barrel. A few feet behind the creature’s head two large scales were visible which glittered in the sun like polished shields; further back were two huge claws on either side, about two feet apart, which were all the monster had in the shape of feet. The rest of the body was comparatively small and tapering to the end of the tail,Â it traveled at a rapid gait, sometimes rearing its whole body from the ground, and walked on its four claws. He watched it till it disappeared over a little hill, and then he started to look after his burro.
The Mexicans have the most deadly fear of the crater, and will not venture within miles of it, there being a popular tradition among them that it is the abode of some terrible serpent. The Mexicans assert that on one occasion a descent of the crater was made by their men, and as none of them returned, it was generally believed they wereÂ devoured by the monster.