A Sergeant in the South Essex, Rodd sees the opportunity to become a rich man in the French retreat from Spain.

Holding back from Sharpe's ambush of a French column, Rodd and his men arrive in time to loot the dead. He refuses Sharpe's orders, and leads the deserters off into the hills where, he asserts, the "Wild Men" will sell them wine, women and food.

Unfortunately for them, the wild men turn out to be more than they can handle. Rodd and his compatriots are lucky to escape with their skins intact when Wellington, desperate for troops, agrees to an exchange of deserters for Baker Rifles. Afterwards, he and his fellows are returned to Wellington, who turns down the Provost Marshal's call for execution and returns all the deserters to their regiments.

Rodd faces off against Sharpe.

Note: This movie has no resembleance to the novel of the same name, but is an original teleplay that does not follow canon. Incidents such as Rodd's desertion would likely have been halted cold by Sharpe and the men of his command were the canon followed. Sharpe's distaste for deserters is well documented, and the script simply had him stand by as a dozen men did so. Such would not have been the case. And were deserters returned, presuming they had not run to the enemy when execution would have been mandadory, no matter how desperately needed, it is unlikely in the extreme a man such as Wellington would have allowed them to go unpunished. Flogging was a standard punishment.