Martinique, 1902, the eruption of Mont Pelec -- this is the setting for the romance of Tom Carruthera and Medora Hardin, daughter of the man who had caused his father's suicide in Pennsylvania. Madora is now married to Paul Durand, whose family estates and sugar plantations mean luxury and wealth; Tom is working for Yankee Hitchcock, a merchant with a marriageable daughter, Nell. Tom senses Paul's subtle persecution and intimidation of Medora, traces the links to the past that have made her vulnerable, recognizes the use that Paul is making of him and has hopes, with the devastation that the eruption brings with it, that Paul's death will free Medora for him. But Paul is not dead and even the knowledge that his native mistress had tried to kill Medora cannot prevent Tom from letting her know her husband still lives. It is up to an old enemy of Paul's to write a finish to Medora's bondage, to make certain Tom's hopes for her love. St. Pierre, the harbors and towns, the plantations, social life and customs, the delights and doubts of a world alien to Americans, the threats of a volcano coming to life and its total destruction -- these fill the story with tropic color, atmosphere and incident. Reading for pleasure -- rather than prestige.