A pro-Bourbon Noble, the Compte de Maquerre is in Wellington's
camp, arguing that Bordeaux is ripe for rebellion, but
Maj. Gen. Ross is dubious. He suggests using the
Compte's castle, 60 miles behind enemy lines, as a base. Maquerre
is reluctant, saying his mother and sister had turned it
over to Napoleon, so it must be captured. Col. Horace
Bampfylde is to lead the attack, with Sharpe in support.
is sickness in the camp and Maj. Gen. Ross and Sharpe's
new wife, Jane, succumb to it. The only cure is quinine
which is in short supply. When they reach the castle,
Col. Bampylde wants the glory, he sends Sharpe, Capt. Frederickson
and the Rifles scouting, so he can take the castle alone. He
fails in his mission, but gains heavy casualties.
sees what is happening from afar. He infiltrates
the camp and forces the French to surrender. Bampfylde
returns to the castle and sends Sharpe and his men away. Maquerre
returns with the mayor. They tell Bampfylde that the
region has changed sides, Gen. Calvet is on his way and Sharpe
is dead. Bampfylde is persuaded that he has accomplished
his mission and returns to tell Wellington.
and his men ambush a French convoy and capture a small supply
of quinine. He
also finds out that the region is far from ready to rise against Napoleon, and
concludes that Maquerre is a double agent. When he returns to the castle,
he finds it deserted except for the wounded, along with Maquerre's sister and
sick mother. Gen. Calvet is heading towards the castle,
and Sharpe and his men are desperately short of ammunition.