Prologue and Chapter 1
• It is 1809 and the French have taken Madrid. Major Blas Vivar has a strong box he is trying to keep out of French possession.
• The British forces abandon a hundred drunk and unconscious soldiers in a village.
• The lieutenant takes ammunition from crates and tells a soldier to burn the rest but the soldier says it will kill the others.
• Major Dunnet tells the lieutenant quartermaster to abandon the crates and join the troops. He hates the lieutenant.
• Riflemen are left to guard the rear so the artillery can be pulled out. A soldier comes and warns of approaching French.
• French cavalry attack the riflemen and they hold but then the French dismount to attack on foot. The men are told to retreat.
• Major Dunnet panics and orders the riflemen in the square to retreat. The lieutenant countermands the order.
• It is too late for...
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