A humiliated and shipless captive of the French, Horatio Hornblower faces execution unless he can escape and make a triumphant return to England ...Forced to surrender his ship, HMS Sutherland, after a long and bloody battle, Captain Horatio Hornblower is held prisoner in a French fortress. Prospects turn bleaker when he learns that he and Lt. Bush are to be tried and executed in Paris as part of Napoleon's attempts to rally the war-weary Empire. Even if Hornblower can escape this fate and make it safe to England, he still faces court-martial for surrendering his ship. With little hope for the future and little left to lose, Hornblower throws caution to the wind once more. This is the seventh of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.