Type ShortStory
Date 1919

The Transition of Juan Romero

A dull story, full of Lovecraft's greatest hits: racism and vagueness.

The narrator, whose "name and origin need not be related to posterity" had, during his time in India, "delved not a little into odd Eastern lore." He now works at a gold mine. There, he encounters Juan Romero, a Mexican laborer, who "at first commanded attention only because of his features; which though plainly of the Red Indian type, were yet remarkable for their light colour and refined conformation."

The narrator possesses an "ancient Hindoo ring". The narrator is, typically, close-lipped about it: "Of its nature, and manner of coming into my possession, I cannot speak." Romero is fascinated with the ring, and soon becomes "like a faithful servant" to the narrator. Of course he does.

One day, the miners break through to a seemingly bottomless cavern. In the night, the narrator and Romero wake to hear a throbbing from the earth, "ike the pulsing of the engines far down in a great liner, as sensed from the deck, yet it was not so mechanical; not so devoid of the element of life and consciousness." The two stumble in the dark into the mine, to the opening of the pit. Romero, apparently, falls in, while a bolt from heaven knocks the narrator senseless.

When the narrator comes to, he is in his bed. Romero's lifeless body is there, the whole episode having been perhaps a dream. The pit, meanwhile, has vanished--solid rock fills the space.

Name Role
H. P. Lovecraft Author