The Derelict

Charles Nordhoff

The Derelict is the sequel to The Pearl Lagoon, which was reviewed in the last Signals from TARSUS.

The Derelict takes place a year later at the beginning of World War I, with Tara and crew again picking Charlie Seldon up from the ranch and sailing south for Polynesia. On the way Tara and crew are taken by a German raider and Tara is sunk. The raider's Captain marooned the crew of the Tara on a deserted atoll well to the east of the rest of the islands–Iraitai, their original destination. Shortly after that, a hurricane hit. The raider was lost with all hands and the Tara's crew, with their knowledge of the island, survived. They had their knives and the head of an axe–the storm waves had washed away everything else.

How they survived, and made it to the nearest inhabited island makes a fascinating tale–told in detail because of Nordhoff's exhaustive knowledge of Polynesian islands and islanders. If anything, it's a better story than The Pearl Lagoon.

Reviewed by Tom Grimes, May, 2001

This article is ©2001 by Thomas Grimes, and posted on All Things Ransome with permission.

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