When a new major arrives to take over the company he informs Capt. Sharpe that he has one too many
captains and, since Sharpe came up from the ranks, he is the one to be reduced in rank back to lieutenant
until such time as there is another opening. Also coming with the new commander is Sgt. Hakeswill, an old nemesis of Sharpe's who is determined to ruin him. Teresa informs Sharpe that he has a eight-month-old daughter inside the walls of Badajoz, the next fortress to be beseiged.