Sometime before the mass exodus from Shackleford Banks that followed the great storm of 1899, a
property tax collector visited there in an effort to collect money for the county. None of the "Bankers" had
any money with which to pay, so the tax collector began to seize their personal property in payment.
At Tom Styron's house they took his mattress. Since all mattresses were then filled and stuffed mainly with
the seaweed that was readily available all along the shore, Tom hollered at him as he left,
"Don't make no difference. I'll get me another one as soon as the tide goes out!"