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The Judgment of Vulcan

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The Judgment of Vulcan

by Lee Foster Hartman

Genre: Suspense
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


“Perhaps you can get the straight of this, Mr. Barnaby,” said the boatswain. “He swears that the flame-devil in the volcano has swallowed his master alive.”

The poor fellow seemed indeed in a state of complete funk. With his thin legs quaking under him, he poured forth in Malay a crazed, distorted tale. According to Wadakimba, Leavitt–or Farquharson, to give him his real name–had awakened the high displeasure of the flame-devil within the mountain. Had we not observed that the cone was smoking furiously? And the dust and heavy taint of sulphur in the air? Surely we could feel the very tremor of the ground under our feet. All that day the enraged monster had been spouting mud and lava down upon the white tuan, who had remained in the bungalow, drinking heavily and bawling out maledictions upon his enemy. At length, in spite of Wadakimba’s efforts to dissuade him, he had set out to climb to the crater, vowing to show the flame-devil who was master. He had compelled the terrified Wadakimba to go with him a part of the way. The white tuan–was he really a god, as he declared himself to be?–had gone alone up the tortuous, fissured slopes, at times lost to sight in yellowish clouds of gas and steam, while his screams of vengeance came back to Wadakimba’s ears. Overhead, Lakalatcha continued to rumble and quiver and clear his throat with great showers of mud and stones.


Volcanoes and dark scary jungles; it’s the stuff of King Solomon’s Mines and Indiana Jones. Is it adaptable for the stage?


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