Only a year after its stunning victory at Talavera in July of 1809, Wellington's Peninsular army, vastly outnumbered, its coffers empty is on the brink of collapse. The Spanish government has fallen, the last Spanish armies have been crushed by the French, and all that is left are the peasants fighting the guerrilla, the "little war." But Wellington has one hope left. He knows that in the dangerous Portuguese hills lies a fortune in gold, enough gold perhaps to turn the Peninsular War around. And he knows of one fighting man capable of stealing it: Captain Richard Sharpe of the South Essex Regiment.