Moydian strode ahead, cutting a path through the dense undergrowth with his axe. Jason followed behind with a large sack and a rope. Soon they came to a steep slope; they were panting by the time they clambered to the top of it. Then they had to force their way between the stems of bamboo. The wind blew fragments of dry leaves on them.
It was hot and humid and their T-shirts were drenched with perspiration. Moydian had prudently tied a small towel round his neck and he used it to wipe his greasy face from time to time. "I saw it near here," he said when he finally stopped in front of a tall tree. Someone had drawn a crude picture of a python on the trunk using a very thick waterproof marker. "Let's look around," Moydian added before Jason could comment on his partner's lack of artistic talent.
Jason looked up and saw a maze of creepers entangling the branches of the trees. He wondered if he would be able to spot tha snake among the varying shades of green and brown in the dappled light. Suddenly, he heard Moydian calling excitedly, and sprinted to him. Following the direction of his finger, Jason saw a huge snake draped around one of the boughs. Its triangular head was resting on one of its coils and it was making a soft, hissing sound.
Moydian climbed the tree adroitly and moved cautiously to the bough the python was resting on. Fortunately, the reptile was away from the trunk. He raised his axe and hacked furiously at the branch. The snake, annoyed by the disturbance, raised its head and flickered its long tongue in and out. Moydian redoubled his efforts and soon the branch fell to the ground, carrying the snake with it.
As the snake was about to slither away, Jason grabbed its tail and jerked it backwards. Then he threw the sack neatly over the snake's head. With great dexterity, he pounced on the sack and caught hold of the snake by the scruff of its neck. His left hand scratched its tail swiftly. The snake struggled violently, coiling itself into loops.
As Moydian hastened to render assistance, he suddenly recalled Jason's caution that when a python is being attacked, it usually passes out a large quantity of excreta. However, his recollection came a few seconds too late and he could not dodge the jet of awful-smelling fluid from the snake.