An ordeal of survival aboard a raft is remembered- and recorded- in fear, some nine years later after some announcements in a newspaper agony column have alerted a young journalist- and enabled him to contact one of the four who had assumed the names of Sea-Wyf, Biscuit, Bulldog and Number 4 when adrift on the Indian Ocean. It is Sea-Wyf, the only woman, whose serenity and courage stabilizes the three others, two Englishmen and a one-legged mulatto who nettles their suspicion and hatred. Burned by the sun, attacked by sharks, their bodies- and their minds-wasted, they reach an island where turtle eggs and cocoanuts offer a reprieve. As they leave, Number Four is left to die- in the water- but his sullen threat of vengeance survives to haunt them-reunite them- and reveal the unknown identity of Sea-Wyf.... The raw fascination of an experience such as this of human survival and salvage endures, and J.M. Scott, always an assured raconteur (Heather Mary, The Other Hall of the Orange) should have established an audience- say that of Hammond Innes.