Three Skeleton Key: Reviewing George G. Toudouze Short Story

Three Skeleton Key features three men working in a lighthouse. Itchoua, Le Gleo (unnamed narrator), and Le Gleo (unnamed) are their characters. Three Skeleton Key Island is where they operate the lighthouse. It was named after three convicts who escaped from prison and whose canoe crashed into the island. They eventually succumbed to hunger and thirst.

Itchoua spots a ship heading directly towards the island. The ship was abandoned. It eventually crashed into rocks. They signaled for the ship’s direction and it turned around. However, they soon discovered that the ship was full of rats. The men assumed that the ship had been abandoned, but they soon realized that the rats on the ship had killed the entire crew. The rats covered the entire island in their venom and swam towards it. The lighthouse is now full of men. The men are trapped in the lighthouse because the rats became hungry and forced them to climb up to the top level. The lighthouse is then noticed by the mainland, who sends people to investigate it. The people assume that the men have been eaten alive, but Itchoua transmits a message to the lighthouse using morse code. The fireboat was used to kill the rats by spraying water onto the lighthouse. This was the seventh rescue attempt. Le Gleo’s head is now a mess. The fireboat returned on the eighth day with fresh meat in its back. The rats race towards the meat. After giving the rats gasoline, the fireboat makes them eat the remaining rats.

The men can then be saved. Le Gleo was then able to open his mind and was sent back to France. Itchoua died of infection caused by fighting off rats. The narrator returns home to repair the lighthouse.



Three Skeleton Keys was his most frightening experience.

Because the pay was very high, he decided to work at Three Skeleton Keys to help save some money before he got married.

Greatly satisfied in the key life

2 years at the keys

Itchoua and Le Gleo helped me to build the lighthouse.

He returned to the island after his most frightening experience and resumed his military service.

35-years experience working in lighthouses

After he returned to shore leave at June’s end, his most frightening experience was.

Le Gleo

Frenchman on the age of the narrator

He was able to recover his mind and was sent back home to France. He lived the rest of their lives in an institution.


The head keeper and lightkeeper

From the Iberian Peninsula

Le Gleo was approximately 10 years younger than the narrator.

Within a week of being bitten by a rat, he died.


Provisions: A supply of food or other items that is needed

Maneuver means to maneuver carefully and skillfully

Get it done quickly!

Riveted means to grab and hold everyone’s attention

Besieger: A group of people who surround someone and act aggressively, inannoyance, etc.

Barge: Large boat with flat bottom. It is used for transporting goods on rivers, canals, and harbors.

Key: A low-lying island

Navigation and ships: maritime

Brethren: Lay members of a masculine religious order

Regatta is a series or races of boats

Pestilential: This is a potential epidemic disease that could spread.

Diminution – Change toward something smaller/lower

Predominate: have more number, power and status.

Flotilla is a fleet small craft

Phalanx: Any close-knit group or people


Notify me when you’re warned.

Even though they thought they would die, their friends believed they would live.


Three Skeleton keys

Place where is the lighthouse located

Twenty-miles from the mainland lies a jagged rock strip.

Built on Guiana’s coast

150ft in length and 40ft in width – “just large enough to let your legs stretch”

Although the risk of drowning was not as high, the waters surrounding the island were populated by sharks

This story about 3 convicts escaping from a prison cell in a stolen paddleboat earned it its bad reputation. The key was left behind and the canoe was thrown onto the rock. They died from hunger and thirst after being discovered by birds.

Hidden beneath the surface are treacherous reefs



A tall, gray-colored cylinder joined to the solid rock with iron rods.

Itchoua and Le Gleo were the two narrators who lived in the Three Skeleton Keys.

120 feet high

Further Details:

Composed by George G. Toudouze (1877-1972), this piece emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive outlook and having faith that everything will work out. It encourages us to be resilient in the face of adversity and to trust that we can overcome any challenge.

Love the ocean?

He wrote a history and adventure novel about the French navy.

Authored dozens of articles and plays on art and travel.

Gustave Toudouze was his father and a well-known writer.

The Three Skeleton keys was the home of the characters for 18 more months before they left for shore.

Cornelius de Witt was named the mastership.