As we quietly approached the riverbank, I could just make out the dark figures on shore dancing around the bonfire. They appeared to be a lost tribe of degenerate Indians, mixed-race refugees from the last Seminole war and the descendants of escaped Negro slaves from over half a century ago. Abruptly, they stopped their tribal dance as their leader emerged from out of the darkness. He was obviously a shaman of some kind, wearing an elaborate face mask and headdress made from the skull of a large alligator.Seeing the assembled gathering of primitive brutes, around thirty in number, immediately brought to mind the ancient followers of Sebek, the crocodile god of Egypt, whose blasphemous and abhorrent rites are recorded in the dreaded De Vermis Mysteriis. Perhaps this was related to the Shaawanoki legend that the Florida cracker’s woman who we spoke with days before warned us about? Soon a bound and struggling Indian girl was brought into the light and my deepest fears were confirmed.
– Dr. Arthur Langley, noted herpetologist from the Florida State Museum in Gainesville, recounting his ill-fated zoological expedition along the St. Johns River.
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