The last cavalier is also Count Hector de Sainte-Hermine, who for three years has been languishing in prison when, in 1804, on the eve of Napoleon's coronation as emperor of France, he learns what's to be his due. Stripped of his title and denied the hand of the woman he loves, he is freed by Napoleon on the condition that he serve as a common foot soldier in the imperial army. So it is in profound despair that Hector embarks on a succession of daring escapades. Again and again he wins glory-against brigands, bandits, the British; boa constrictors, sharks, crocodiles. And at the battle of Trafalgar it's his marksman's bullet that fells the famed English admiral Lord Nelson. Yet however far his adventures may take him-from Burma's jungles to the wilds of Ireland-his destiny lies always in Paris, with his father's enemy, Napoleon.