Franco-Spanish Border, 1813
carriage travelling through the countryside is ambushed
by the French. Only
a young nun escapes with her life, struck dumb with shock. Later, the same
French company is attacked by the British. The French colonel shoots his
captain and disguises himself in the captain's coat, claiming he is Capt. Dumas. Sharpe
is suspicious, the man claims to trade in horses, but carries the best sword
ever made - a Kliegenthal. He is also carrying papers
covered in figures, which he says are bills, but could just
as easily be codes.
Berkeley of the South Essex arrives and accepts Dumas'
parole through an interpreter, Capt. Lord Jack Spears. The young nun gives herself up to
Sharpe's protection. Unable to speak, she is given to Ramona to care for
and given the name 'Lass'. Sharpe is told that a French colonel, Leroux,
had been sent to capture a British agent, known only as El Mirador, whose identity
is unknown. Sharpe is convinced that the captured captain is Col. Leroux,
but he remains on parole instead of under guard. Sharpe
is also convinced that the scraps of paper are a code and
that the key lies somewhere in Voltaire's Candide, a copy
of which was found when Dumas was captured.
At Villafranca, Sharpe is re-united with his old adversary
Sir Henry Simmerson. When
Simmerson states the nearby French fort is no threat, a cannon is fired and Dumas
escapes, proving he is Leroux after all. In the town,
Sharpe meets Father Curtis who runs the hospital.
the fort is stormed, Sharpe is terribly wounded, Lass and
Ramona refuse to give up and nurse him towards recovery. Meanwhile,
Harris works hard in the library cracking the Voltaire code
and Harper forges a new sword for Sharpe. If Sharpe
recovers, there will be a spy to be found and a French agent
[Harper is wounded]
Patrick Harper: Am I going to die this time, Father?
Father Curtis: Yes, my son. Have you any last wishes?
Patrick Harper: I wish I'd married Ramona, Father.
Father Curtis: I can grant you that before you go. Quickly, now. Do you
Patrick Harper take this woman to be your lawful wedded
wife? Say "I do!"
Patrick Harper: I do.
Father Curtis: Do you Ramona Gonzales take this man to be your lawful
wedded husband? Say "I do!"
Ramona: I do.
Father Curtis: I now pronounce you man and wife. Now, get up and kiss
Patrick Harper: I thought you said I was going to die, Father!
Father Curtis: Sure, we're ALL going to die, Patrick.