Guy's career soars as a pregnant Rosemary's health deteriorates. Before long, true motives are revealed and Rosemary faces unspeakable horror when her due date approaches.
Winter 1813 Wellington is told by the debonair Frenchman Maquerre that Bordeaux is ready to rise in rebellion against Napoleon. Wellington's spymaster, Ross, is doubtful and tests Maquerre by proposing the British use Maquerre's own castle as a base. He reluctantly agrees, but says the castle is in Napoleon's hands. Wellington appoints Colonel Bampfylde to lead the attack on the castle, with Sharpe in support. Sharpe, newly married to Jane Gibbons, is angry that he has lost his command to Bampfylde, but he is soon distracted when there is an outbreak of yellow fever and Jane falls ill. Her chances of recovery seem poor, as there is not enough quinine in the camp to cope with the outbreak. With a heavy heart, Sharpe sets off on his mission, knowing he may never see Jane alive again. Bampfylde, intent on glory, sends Sharpe on a scouting mission and tries to capture the castle on his own. He fails, and the casualties are heavy. Sharpe, seeing the carnage, has Harris and Frederickson sneak into the castle in disguise. Once inside, they force the French to surrender. Shamed by Sharpe's easy victory, Bampfylde sends him on a reconnaissance mission. Sharpe soon discovers that Bordeaux has no intention of rising against Napoleon and that Maquerre is a double agent.moreless
Portugal, 1813 The Spanish town of Adrados has been captured by a horde of French, Spanish and British deserters, who have taken two English women hostage, Sarah Dubreton and Isabella Farthingdale. Captain Sharpe is ordered to deliver the women's ransom, much to the disgust of Sir Augustus Farthingdale. Sharpe and Harper enter the convent where the women are held and are confronted by two French officers. Sharpe learns that one of the officers is the husband of Sarah Dubreton and they are on the same mission. To Sharpe's dismay, he learns that Hakeswill is a leader of the renegades and has increased the ransom price, giving Sharpe five days to come up with the extra money, or the women will be raped. Nairn discovers that the French intend to invade Portugal from Adrados and decides to thwart the plan. Sharpe is promoted to major and given command of the 60th Rifles in order to secure the safety of the women and prevent the French from taking the town.moreless