It’s school vacation week on the Island which equals a mass exodus on Friday and Saturday. After that, it gets really, really quiet. Perhaps it is the perfect time then to meet the devil.

The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse is presenting The Devil and Daniel Webster, a one-man show, on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. It’s the story of a New Hampshire farmer who sells his soul to the devil and then is defended by Daniel Webster. The tale is a fictional one written by Stephen Vincent Benet and first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1936, but Mr. Webster was once very real. A famed orator and lawyer, senator and statesman, Mr. Webster would be the one you’d want coming to your defense on a cold dark February night with the devil on the docket.

David PB Stephens will perform the show. He was last seen on the Island in the production of Visitors at the playhouse. Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door, 24 Church street, Vineyard Haven.

Now sit back, close your eyes and listen to these words from the beginning of the story. Then on Saturday night, those who are still on the Island should go out hear the story as told by Mr. Stephens.

It’s a story they tell in the border country, where Massachusetts joins Vermont and New Hampshire. Yes, Dan’l Webster’s dead or, at least, they buried him. But every time there’s a thunderstorm around Marshfield, they say you can hear his rolling voice in the hollows of the sky. And they say that if you go to his grave and speak loud and clear, “Dan’l Webster, Dan’l Webster!” the ground’ll begin to shiver and the trees begin to shake. And after a while you’ll hear a deep voice saying, “Neighbor, how stands the Union?” Then you better answer the Union stands as she stood, rock-bottomed and copper-sheathed, one and indivisible, or he’s liable to rear right out of the ground. At least, that’s what I was told when I was a youngster. You see, for a while, he was the biggest man in the country. He never got to be President, but he was the biggest man. There were thousands that trusted in him right next to God Almighty and they told stories about him that were like the stories of patriarchs and such. They said when he stood up to speak, stars and stripes came right out in the sky, and once he spoke against a river and made it sink into the ground.