In the spring of 2000, Davis Hawke decided it was time to get out of South Carolina. In March, he and Patricia moved to Leicester, North Carolina. They were still living in a mobile home, but now they had the Smoky Mountains right outside their door.
The charm of Chesnee had long since worn off, but there was another factor motivating Hawke's move. An Internet user in California—no one Hawke had ever heard of—had sent him a certified letter saying he was suing Hawke for spamming. The first thing Hawke did after they settled into the trailer on Serenity Lane in Leicester was to visit an attorney in Asheville. Hawke figured the lawsuit was a joke, but he wanted a professional opinion. The lawyer told him he could probably ignore the legal threat, but he advised Hawke to incorporate his Internet marketing company. That way Hawke could shield himself from personal liability should someone lob a more serious lawsuit his way.
On that day, March 14, 2000, QuikSilver Enterprises, Inc. became a North Carolina corporation. The next day, Hawke was blasting out his first barrage of spams bearing his new company name. But to keep nosy people off his back, Hawke continued to use his post office box in South Carolina as Quiksilver's mailing address. He'd make the hour-long drive from Leicester to Spartanburg a couple times each week just to gather up any checks or other mail that might have arrived.
Hawke had given up on trying to conceal the origin of his spams by routing ...