A stranger introduces himself to James and Sandra Carold at the theatre. He explains to them that he is psychometric and can pick up vibrations from objects and can often "see" some of the history of the object, the people who owned it and the places it has been. Years before this story starts this stranger (Malcolm Manston) befriended James father on a train journey on the way to an archaeological dig in Pompeii. Together using Malcolm's talent they uncovered some of the secrets of the town that the ash from Vesuvius buried during the eruption of 79 AD. Malcolm's psychic gift has recently shown him of the whereabouts of a massive hoard of Roman coins and treasure in a secret room in a villa buried beneath the pumice on the slopes of Vesuvius. This gripping adventure story follows the fortunes of James, Sandra and Malcolm in their race to unearth the hoard. They find they are up against an unscrupulous millionaire determined to have the treasure for himself, a powerful crooked Italian official and even the Volcano itself whose rumblings warn of a possible repeat of the eruption in 79 A.D. As the tale unfolds James, Sandra and Malcolm find inner strengths, and new friends in Italy and England who with their various skills help them in their struggle.