Now married to Maria, Horatio Hornblower is soon sent by Admiral Pellew in search of the sloop Grasshopper captained by their old friend, Bracegirdle. The ship had been patrolling a stretch of French coast but had not sent in a report for over two weeks. During a raging storm they take aboard two passengers, an American woman and her French speaking Swiss husband. They are not what they pretend to be. Horatio and his men also encounter Wolfe, the Irish rebel turned traitor and now fighting France. They also realize exactly what Wolfe’s plan is when they see three French frigates riding high in the water near his encampment. At home, Horatio is getting used to marriage and having to share his life with someone.