SHE WAS IN A CISTERN WITH A 4-FOOT SNAKE. ~ Kate Stevenson Kicked Up a Great Commotion on the Quiet of Hobo Hill.

September 8, 1908

Kate Stevenson Kicked Up a Great
Commotion on the Quiet of
Hobo Hill.

To be knocked head first into a fifteen-foot cistern, to eventually right herself only to find a four-foot snake for company, was the hair-raising experience of a woman who said her name was Kate Stevenson.

It was 3 o'clock when Patrolman Michael Meany, who walks what is known as the levee beat, heard cries from the vicinity of First and Grand avenue. A small crowd had gathered in front of 110 Grand avenue, whence the sounds seemed to come, but Meany could locate the source of the yells for help though he ransacked the building high and low. Presently some one yelled: "Here she is -- back here. She's in a well with a snake. Hurry up!"

Patrolman Meany then headed the procession to the pinnacle of what is known as "Hobo hill," just behind the building. The cries of "Help! Here! Police! Oh my Lord, but I want out of here!" emanated from a clump of weeds. When the way was blazed by the officer he found the source of the cries. A woman was dancing and kicking at the bottom of a cistern in about four feet of water while a snake, at least four feet long, was scurrying about the circle, apparently as much scared as the screaming woman and evidently doing its best to get away from her, while she was dodging it.

A ladder was ordered by the officer and men ran down the steep hill in four different directions to, if possible, make heroes of themselves by getting back first with the life saving steps to safety. When one arrived, however, the brave and fearless Michael Meany was the first to grab it and thrust it into the cistern.

Now Michael Meany was born and reared in Ireland where there are no snakes. Up to the time he descended the ladder he had not seen the reptile. When he did he stopped still and eyed the wriggling form. The woman in her anxiety to get clear of the snake had mounted the ladder and was making her way toward the top when she encountered the officer, seemingly hypnotized at the sight of the wriggling thing.

"Are ye hurted anywhere 'tall?" asked Meany.

"I am not," replied Miss Stevenson, "but I'm anxious to get clear of that snake. Were you ever in a well with a snake?"

"I was not," shivered Meany as he looked back. "And that's not all -- I'm not goin' to be."

Miss Stevenson, dripping wet, was taken to her room at 10 West Fifth street, where she donned dry clothes. Then she was returned to the station and locked up. She said that she and her escort had made their way to Hobo hill by mistake. When in an argument as to which was the correct way out, her escort grew angry and struck her. AS she fell back she said she "went kerplunk, right into the cistern." What became of the escort? Oh he ran, for he thought he had drowned the woman.