Chapters 1 and 2
• By 1814, Britain has conquered the Iberian Peninsula and pushed into southern France.
• Napoleon's armies are unbalanced so he rushes troops to the new front.
• The British have advanced as far as they can into France, stopped by the Adour River. A bridge must be built.
• A diversionary action is needed to divert French forces from the river crossing site.
• Major Richard Sharpe is selected to head several rifle companies to lead one part of the diversionary action.
• He visits his friend, Hogan, dying of a fever and has dinner with his new wife.
• Sharpe boards Bampfylde's ship, an obnoxious officer in the British Marines and attends a planning session.
• Sharpe is ordered to capture a fortress that is said to be ill-guarded and under-manned.
• He is then to march inland to Bordeaux to help the French there in their rebellion against Napoleon.
• Wigram tells Sharpe the...
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