'As far as the eye can see, scarlet men are marching . . . A rich and splendid company, but none more so than the drummer boy.'
But a moment later, the sound of Charlie Samson's drum was swallowed in a wild thunder. The glorious scarlet troops had been ambushed. Men were dead and dying all around, and all the beauty was gone. All that was left was himself and his drum, and a few shady nightwalkers - cowards who came crawling from the ditches and knaves who scoured the dead for wealth . . .