A gentleman, who said he had reason to know a good deal about the tricks used by smugglers, mentioned at the Mansion-House, London, on Wednesday week, a laughable incident which had occurred in a town on the coast of Scotland. A celebrated actor of that nation determined to run some very find French brandy, and adopted the following plan. He procured a prodigiously long bladder, and caused it to be painted in the exact likeness of a boa constrictor, and being in possession of the stuffed head of a formidable snake of the boa species, fastened it to the bladder, which he nearly filled with brandy. He then tied the tail of the boa to one of his legs, and twisted the body round his body, holding the head, in which there were two tremendous glass eyes, in his breast. When he reached the place which he considered to be most dangerous on account of the inquisitiveness of the revenue officers, he took out the head of the boa, in which, by an ingenious contrivance, he made the eyes and jaws to move with great rapidity, and in an instant every body scampered off, leaving a clear passage to the snake and its master. The fraud was practised several times, but was detected by the curiosity of the actor’s landlady, who was found one night blind drunk on the floor, with the empty bladder in her arms.
The York Herald and General Advertiser, Saturday 27 October 1838