THE TATTOOED MAN by J.C. Meredith

THE TATTOOED MAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1954, the author, skipper of a destroyer escort, came to Tobi -- one of the smallest islands in the world on the Carolina Archipelago in the Pacific, and a little later happened on a story which took place almost 100 years ago. It is here retold from the record left by Horace Holden, a young seaman who returned to New Bedford an old man. Holden was one of eleven to be tossed up on a reef in the Palan (Pelew) Group of islands after their whaleboat foundered, and their captain proved unequal to the situation. There the natives were friendly- and Holden attracted the devotion of Haback who declared himself his blood brother, and insisted on sailing with him after a new boat was built. Losing their food, and their water, they were washed up on Tobi where the natives kept them captive, abused them, and tattooed Holden from head to foot (all except his face) in an ordeal harsher than what they were experimenting from day to day. One by one they died, and Holden was one of two to be salvaged by an American ship and returned home...A minor memoir of survival at sea- and on strange shores- which owes much of its effectiveness to the simplicity of its handling.

Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce