Printing History
First published in the United States of America by Covici, Friede, Inc., 1935
Published by Viking Penguin Inc. 1938
First published in Penguin Books 1977
Reissued in Penguin Books 1986
Copyright John Steinbeck, 1935
Copyright renewed John Steinbeck, 1963

Main Characters
1Danny twenty-five when WWI was declared, returns to inherit two houses in Tortilla Flat
Tito Ralph jailer in Monterey
Mr. Torelli purveyor of wine in Tortilla Flat
Pilon Danny's old friend from Tortilla Flat
2Mrs. Morales Danny's neighbor over the fence
3Mrs. Soto Pilon's neighbor over the fence
Chin Kee owner of a squid yard at China Point
Pablo Sanches drunk in a ditch who moves in with Pilon
4Jesus Maria Corcoran red-bearded drunk in a ditch
5Mrs. Torelli called "Butter Duck" by Pablo and Pilon
6Arabella Gross cannery worker
7Pirate big black-bearded man whose head has not grown with his body
Pirate's dogs:  
described as
Pajarito brown, curly
Rudolph an American dog
Fluff a pug
Señor Alec Thompson Airedale like
8Big Joe Portagee friend of Danny's from before the war
9Dolores Engracia Ramirez "Sweets" who asks passing men a'onde vas?
Mr. Simon owners of Simon's Investment, Jewelry, and Loan Company
Johnny Pom-Pom brings news of Torelli's anger over the vacuum
10Señor Capor´l young solder from Chihuahua
Manuel the caporál's baby
11Tia Ignacia 45-year-old widow, mostly Indian
Jake Lake a Monterey motorcycle policeman
12Father Ramon pastor of San Carlos Church
13Teresina Cortez thirty-year-old mother of eight
Angelica fifty-year-old mother of Teresina
Teresina's children:   Alfredo, Ernie, Panchito, five others
14Cornelia Ruiz knows only loving and fighting
Emilio gives a little pig to Cornelia
Tall Bob Smoke wants to be admired, is laughed at
Charlie Meeler grabbed the gun which blew Bob's nose off
Petey Ravanno childhood friend of Jesus Maria
Mr. Ravanno Petey's father
Susy Petey's sister, now in Old Jenny's house in Salinas
Gracie Montez first baby at twelve, when the fleet came in
'Tonia Montez Gracie's sister

detail from large satellite map from Sony Corp
China Point is now called Cabrillo Point.

detail from large Monterey Peninsula map from Sony Corp
Alvarado Street is shown near Fisherman's Wharf;
"Munroe St." could be Munras Avenue.

Notes and Links
Amazon Books: Tortilla Flat
Movie: Movie:Tortilla Flat (1942) - Spencer Tracy (Pilon), John Garfield (Danny), Frank Morgan (Pirate; AAN), Akim Tamiroff (Pablo)
Map of downtown Monterey showing location (#21) of San Carlos Church (now San Carlos Cathedral), original site of Mission San Carlos Borromeo (moved later to Carmel).
Book Blurb — Penguin 1986
A California Camelot created by a raffish band of ne'er-do-wells and dreamers

Above the town of Monterey on the California coast lies the shabby district of Tortilla Flat, inhabited by a colorful gang whose revels recall the exploits of King Arthur's knights. Soft-hearted, unquestioningly loyal to one another, and in complete disregard of social conventions and expectations, the gutsy denizens of Tortilla Flat cheerfully reside in a world of idyllic poverty.

"The extraordinary humors of these curiously childlike natives are presented with a masterly touch."

— William Rose Benét

Chapter Summary
Steinbeck's chapter headings are italicized.
1How Danny, home from the wars, found himself an heir, and how he swore to protect the helpless. — After inheriting two houses from his grandfather, Danny gets drunk and goes to jail. He and the jailer drink wine at Torelli's. After escaping, Danny talks Pilon into sharing his brandy and his houses.
2How Pilon was lured by greed of position to forsake Danny's hospitality. — Danny fails to get the water turned on. Pilon kills a rooster, rents Danny's second house, and exchanges paper roses for a gallon of Señora Torelli's wine.
3How the poison of possessions wrought with Pilon, and how evil temporarily triumphed in him. — Danny and Pilon share wine, two women, and a fight. Drunk a second time, Pilon sublets half his house to Pablo
4How Jesus Maria Corcoran, a good man, became an unwilling vehicle of evil. — Pablo, Pilon and Danny dicker over women and rent. Pablo and Pilon sublet their house to Jesus Maria for his $2. Potential girlfriends' present exchanged for wine..
5How Saint Francis turned the tide and put a gentle punishment on Pilon and Pablo and Jesus Maria. — Pilon and Pablo enjoy two gallons of wine. Monterey prepares for night. Pablo enjoys dinner, firewood and love from Mrs. Torelli. Jesus Maria beaten up by soldiers because he enjoys their whiskey and their Arabella. Pablo's candle, dedicated to St. Francis, burns down the house, while Danny and Mrs. Morales pay no attention.
6How three sinful men, through contrition, attained peace. How Danny's friends swore comradeship. — Pablo, Pilon and Jesus Maria sleep in the pine forest. They wake up smelling a picnic lunch which becomes theirs and is shared with Danny into whose remaining house they move.
7How Danny's friends became a force for good. How they succored the poor pirate. — The Pirate, his dogs, his house, his hoard of quarters. He moves into Danny's and explains that the money is dedicated.
8How Danny's friends sought mystic treasure on Saint Andrew's Even. How Pilon found it and later how a pair of serge pants changed ownership twice. — Joe Portagee returns from army jail, burns down a whorehouse, goes to jail. He and Pilon seek treasure on St. Andrew's Eve (29 Nov). Next night, with wine Joe got for Danny's blanket, they dig up "UNITED STATES GEODECTIC SURVEY + 1915 + ELEVATION 600 FEET". They get drunk on the Seaside beach, Pilon trades Joe's pants for wine, then steals back the pants and blanket.
9How Danny was ensnared by a vacuum cleaner and how Danny's friends rescued him. — Danny trades copper nails for money for a vacuum cleaner from Mr. Simon to give to Sweets Ramirez (who has no electricity), where he spends every evening until Pilon takes it, trades it for wine, which makes Torelli angry when he learns it has no motor.
10How the friends solaced a corporal and in return received a lesson in paternal ethics. — Jesus Maria befriends a young man with a baby and brings him to the house. The baby is sick. A Capitán has stolen the man's wife. The baby dies, and the man explains why he wanted to baby to be a generál.
11How, under the most adverse circumstances, love came to Big Joe Portagee. — Joe Portagee comes out of the rain into Tia Ignacia's. He drinks her wine, goes to sleep, wakes up to a beating. A policeman asks them to stop doing what they're doing in the road.
12How Danny's friends assisted the pirate to keep a vow, and how as a reward for merit the pirate's dogs saw a holy vision. — The house beats Big Joe into unconsciousness for stealing Pirate's money bag. They take the thousand two-bitses to Father Ramon for him to buy a candlestick and feast the Pirate with money from salvage at Carmel. In San Carlos Church on Sunday the Pirate sees his candlestick before St. Francis. The dogs rush into church. Later he preaches all of Fr. Ramon's St. Francis stories to the dogs, which are suddenly startled by something behind him.

Giotto, 13th Cent, Francis Preaches to the Birds
source: The Vatican Library
13How Danny's friends threw themselves to the aid of a distressed lady. — Teresina's healthy babies live on tortillas and beans. When the bean crop is ruined, Danny's housemates steal food all over Monterey for the children. The arrival of sacks of beans (a miracle), and Teresina is pregnant again.
14Of the good life at Danny's house, of a gift pig, of the pain of Tall Bob, and of the thwarted love of the viejo Ravanno. — Why the windows shouldn't be cleaned. The friends tell stories. Danny: how Cornelia lost Emilio's little pig to its sow. Pablo: how everyone laughed after Tall Bob blew his nose off. Jesus Maria: how Petery Ravanno got Gracie by hanging himself and how the viejo hanged himself and died.
15How Danny brooded and became mad. How the Devil in the shape of Torelli assaulted Danny's house. — Danny moves to the forest and can't be found by his friends. When Torelli shows the friends the bill of sale for Danny's house, they burn it.
16Of the sadness of Danny. How through sacrifice Danny's friends gave a party. How Danny was translated. — Danny is deeply morose. His friends work a whole day cutting squid for Chin Kee. All of Tortilla Flat make a party at Danny's home. He enjoys many women, challenges all men to fight (wielding a table leg). He dies after a forty-foot fall in the gulch.
17How Danny's sorrowing friends defied the conventions. How the talismanic bond was burned. How each friend departed alone. — Danny's friends can't dress adequately for his military funeral. They tell stories of him beforehand, in the gulch. Afterward they drink wine stolen by Pilon from Torelli's. Pablo sings "Tuli Pan." A tossed match sets fire to the house, and the friends watch in approval. No two walk away together from the smoking ruins.
"Tuli Pan" could be "tulipán" = "tulip"

Stephan Steinbeck