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Escaping the wrath of General Sherman's troops, Joe Edge and his family are forced to seek protection and livelihood in the wilderness of Florida. The Civil War is winding down when the Edges arrive in Sara Sota. Numerous dangerous creatures roam the swamps: panthers, alligators, rattlesnakes, wild boar hogs.
Men are the most wicked of all. Florida has become a haven for deserters from both the Union and the Confederate armies. The state is sparsely populated--lawmen few and far between. Murderers, thieves, child abusers, and other assorted human debris take refuge in the palmetto scrubs and pine forests.
They are no match for Joe. This legendary novel documents his many courageous acts. He stalks a tiger that attacked his family. He saves the cattle herd of the area's richest plantation owner. He takes revenge against the man who killed a loved one. To a cold-blooded murderer, he dispenses frontier justice.
Love blooms for Joe. He must make a choice between faraway medical student, precocious and stubborn Sparky Topp; or the temptress schoolteacher, Grisette Able.
In the most exciting action scene ever, Joe takes on a gang of evil outlaws--including the devil himself.
At conclusion, the reader must decide who saves Anne Southern from being skinned alive: Joe Edge, Albert the alligator, or a tiny gold cross and a whispered two-word prayer.