It is late 1901, well into the 2nd Anglo-Boer War, and the British Army is pursuing the Boer commandos that have invaded the Cape Colony of South Africa. Despite some successes they cannot bring the commando of the Boer general Jan Smuts to bay and have decided to try a different tack. George Wheelwright, a captain the the 16th Lancers is on patrol in the western part of the Cape Colony when he is summoned to the headquarters of General French and asked by he and Colonel Haig to undertake an espionage mission. Wheelwright's mission is to find and join the Smuts commando and then report back as to intentions and likely destinations of the commando so that the British may lay an ambush and thus end one chapter in the war that is now dragging into its third year and costing the British tax payers dearly.
George wrestles with the concept of spying and agrees to take the mission. He enlists the aid of his cousin Koos Englebrecht and together they set off in pursuit of the commando. For George and Koos the risks are great. Either may be identified as a traitor by both Britain and Boer and the penalties would be severe. They must live by their wits and not give themselves away at any time, even if that means for George having to apparently turn on his own army.