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Calling C from MCL

I'm not having any trouble calling C from Lisp, as such, but my problems
lie in the returning of values back to Lisp. The last argument to the
function deffcfun is the result flag which can be one of:
      :long, :full-long, :word, :double, :extended, :float,
      : char, :ptr, :novalue

My vote is for :ptr (seems closest to what I want), but eval-ing my
foreign function call results in:
      #<A Mac Non-zone Pointer #x99A6C>
which is of course a pointer. How do I get to what it's pointing TO? Or
alternately, how do I return a string from C back to Lisp? Am I way off?

Any help appreciated.
No offer too small for consideration.
Charlene Abrams