Portugal 1813. A band of deserters, including Sharpe's old enemy, Obadiah Hakeswill, have captured two women, one the wife of a high-ranking English officer, and are holding them hostage for ransom. Sharpe is given the 60th Rifles and a Rocket troop, as well as his majority to rescue the women. But while Sharpe may be able to deal with his old enemy, he has yet to face a newer threat, the French Major Duclos.
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Differences with the original novel:
- Hakeswill does not molest Lady Farthingdale because she was praying for her mother.
- Lord Wellington has little to do with the rescue operations.
- Ramona (Isabella in the novel) is not yet pregnant.
- Major Ducos is not introduced until the middle of the story.
- Along with the 60th Rifles, a battalion of the Welsh Fusiliers joins Sharpe in taking the convent and nearby castle. Lord Farthingdale is in charge, along with the colonel and majors of the Welsh Fusiliers.
- Sharpe and Lady Farthingdale do not share an intimate evening together.
- Hakeswill is caught after escaping the castle and is imprisoned in the castle dungeon.
- Sharpe shares Christmas dinner with Colonel Dubreton and the other French officers.
- The rocket troop isn't used until midway through the siege.
- Hakeswill kills Teresa out of defense while escaping the dungeons, during the end of the siege.
- Sharpe delivers the final shot during Hakeswill's firing squad.
Ducos is a very bad boy. Has the ear of Bonaparte himself. Where Ducos rides, dirty work is soon to follow.
Followed by Sharpe's Siege
The Girl I Left Behind
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