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Down the Wild Cape FearA River Journey through the Heart of North Carolina$
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Philip Gerard

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781469602073

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469608129_Gerard

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date: 21 August 2017

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1

Chapter:
(p.7) 1
Source:
Down the Wild Cape Fear
Author(s):

Philip Gerard

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469602073.003.0002

This chapter describes how travelers in the 1700s reported hearing beautiful, ghostly singing emanating from this beach. A legend grew up that this was the place where mermaids would gather under a full moon. They had swum up the river till it was cleansed of salt and clarified of the tea-stain of tannin leaching from the cypress swamps in the lower river, to this beach where the mountain-cold water ran purified by fifty miles of fall and drip and seep through a watershed spider-webbing out north, east, and west. Here they would lounge, washing and combing one another's long hair, all the while keening their siren song in a lovely, mesmerizing language no human ear could comprehend.

Keywords:   travelers, ghostly singing, mermaids, full moon, cypress swamps

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