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May 1809. Bound for England with vital dispatches from Constantinople, envoy Sebastian Welland is forced to stop in Lisbon as his ship needs repairs after being damaged in a heavy storm. It will take at least a week before he can continue his journey.

 He learns that the British and Portuguese armies, under Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Wellesley have defeated the French army under Marchal Soult at Oporto. But the threat of a French invasion remains, and Lisbon is alert for trouble. 

Sebastian becomes aware that someone is searching his possessions. Who is the spy?

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 Torre de Belem, Lisbon

    Sir Arthur Wellesley

Due to the ongoing threat, two families oblige Sebastian to escort their womenfolk as they are leaving on his frigate to return to England. Reluctantly, since he already has two Turkish diplomats to supervise, Sebastian agrees. Once in England, the womenfolk are now his responsibility and complicate his affairs horribly, especially as one of them is definitely spying for the French.

Next he is summoned to Brighton to meet with the Prince of Wales. The ladies are also bound for Brighton, so Sebastian's troubles continue. 

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