In December, Ney is tried by the Chamber of Peers, convicted, and sentenced to death, in direct violation of the Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the Napoleonic Wars. In a strange twist of fate, Ney finds the unlikeliest of allies in his former nemesis, British Field Marshal Sir Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington. Just before dawn on 7 December 1815, with Marshal Ney waiting to be taken away to his execution, the Duke cryptically tells him, "Death is just the beginning."
Three years later, a quiet and mysterious stranger arrives in Cheraw, South Carolina to take up the position as headmaster of a local school. Loved by both his students and the community, a series of intriguing events will only add to the legends surrounding the enigmatic schoolteacher, who is clearly more than he appears.