The war has ended but Jane,wearying of army life,is tricked by a greedy friend into returning to London and spending her husband's money. Meanwhile Sharpe is set up by defeated Major Ducos and charged with stealing the French imperial treasure. He is put on trial but escapes with Harper and Fredrickson and sets out to find the honest Major Maillot who was coerced into signing the false accusation. Ducos's men have Maillot shot but his widowed sister Lucille hides Sharpe whilst Fredrickson tracks down former foe General Calvet. Calvet allies with Sharpe to hunt down Ducos and regain the treasure. But Jane,now foolishly involved with fortune hunter Rossendale,may be harder to recapture.
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Differences from the original novel:
- Sharpe fights his duel against Horace Bampfylde, after a feud between the two after the events of Sharpe's Siege. The duel takes place before the morning of the battle, and Sharpe's poor aim with the pistol causes Bampfylde's wound to the buttocks.
- Sharpe serves as Maj. Gen. Nairn's aide during the Battle of Toulouse. While Maj. Gen. Ross (based off of Nairn in the books) got away from the battle with only a leg wound, Nairn was killed by a bullet to the lungs.
- Col. Maillot was killed by Maj. Ducos and Sgt. Challon before the Battle of Toulouse. Sharpe and Ducos do not encounter each other during the battle.
- The reasons for Sharpe and Frederickson's arrests are elaborated upon in the book. A letter forged by Ducos revealed that Napoleon's treasure was at the Teste de Buch defended by Sharpe during the events of Sharpe's Siege. Sharpe and Frederickson are accused of stealing the gold from the fortress for their own gain (disputed by Sharpe at the trial due to the sheer weight of it all), with damning evidence coming from the vast fortune obtained by Sharpe at Vitoria and the telescope given by Napoleon to his brother Joseph, also stolen by Sharpe at Vitoria.
- Col. Henri Lassan from Sharpe's Siege is the brother of Lucille Castineau, not Col. Maillot. Lassan's mother the Dowager Countess Lassan is also present, and is killed alongside Lassan by Ducos' men.
- Capt. Peter d'Alembord accompanies Harper to England, where Harper gets horse-whipped by Lord Rossendale.
- Lucille wounds Sharpe with three bullets from a horse pistol. While one of the bullets lodged in his thigh, another one got him in the shoulder and another sliced the top of his ear. Furthermore, Sharpe felt nothing but hatred for Madame Lucille during the first few months of his stay.
- Frederickson finds out Maj. Ducos' location by examining records in Paris. The records led him to Ducos' eyeglass maker, who then directs Frederickson to Naples.
- Gen. Calvet is directed by Napoleon to recover the treasure from Ducos. He meets with Sharpe, Frederickson and Harper at Naples.
- Along with the dragoons and grasshopper gun, Ducos' villa is guarded by two fierce dogs, both wounded by Sharpe during the capture of the villa.
- Ducos was captured inside the villa. The Cardinal's soldiers arrived under command of a Neapolitan colonel.
- In the end, Ducos was executed by firing squad and buried in a ditch.
- Frederickson did not learn about Sharpe and Lucille's expected child until he departed for London. The two were left on bad terms, and never reconciled as far as the novels go.
During the assault on Toulouse, one of the Recoats appears to stab a French soldier with his bayonet - however, his musket does not have a bayonet fitted. See more
The war is over, Sharpe; apparently not for you.
Follows Sharpe's Siege
Over the Hills and Far Away
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