Sharpe's Peril, by Russell Lewis, takes up where Sharpe's Challenge left off. Sharpe and Harper are on their way to Madras, from where they are to sail to England, when they come upon an East India Company baggage train, also making its way to Madras. The party - which includes among its number a heavily pregnant woman and a headstrong French woman, Marie Angelique, who is joining her fiancé - travels warily through enemy territory. Its leaders fear Chitu, the legendary bandit leader who controls the area. When the attack happens, the Company officers in charge prove inadequate to its defence, Sharpe has to take over and lead the party 300 miles through enemy territory. He has to train up the ill assorted group into proper soldiers and finds himself defending helpless villagers against the corrupt and ruthless Colonel Dragomirov the local Company commander in the area.