The story of the pearling industry in Australasian waters is compounded of glamor and guts, dreams and deadly facts as is fully revealed on land and under water by a man who values romance and realism. We follow the pearl seekers in the wake of such sea pioneers as Bligh and Flinders, as they sail through the Torres Straits in poarling waters. The contacts with the natives reaped startling punitive expeditions, the blackbirding of luggers who needed divers, the often violent onslaught of culture on culture. The author leads on to Thursday Island, where men of many nations meet; to the men in the bars and on the beaches; and to the men who dive thirty fathoms deep to gamble their lives among the wide-gulleted gropers, the line-fouling devil rays, sea snakes, but dreading most the willy willies. The place of divers, dealers, ""doctors""; of pearis and pearl shell and beche-de-mer; of Malay and Japanese, European and Australian in the fierce chronicle of pearling; the setting for the treasure seeking (a treasure in itself) from Broome to Darwin to Cape York -- this is what Mr. Bartlett reveals in an absorbingly dramatic, informative book.