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On Ed Watson and the swampy southern third of the sunny Florida peninsula

The late Peter Matthiessen in his Paris Review conversation from 1999:

Well, my father loved boats and he loved Florida, especially the fishing. I was a bird and snake fanatic from an early age, so I was enchanted by the Everglades. When I saw my first swallow-tailed kite hawking back and forth over the Tamiami Trail, I almost caused a car wreck. I jumped out, I couldn't stop yelling; they couldn't get me back into the car! When I was sixteen or seventeen, we went north by boat from the Keys up the west coast of Florida to Captiva Island. Off the Ten Thousand Islands of the western Everglades, still a wild region today, my father showed me Chatham River on the chart. He said there was a house a few miles up that river—the only house left in the Everglades that had formerly belonged to a man named Watson, who had killed many people before he was finally shot to pieces by his own neighbors. That solitary house, and a man killed by his neighbors—I was intrigued. Though I did not act on it for thirty years, I never forgot it.

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