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An enthralling novel of Gaspar’s inspirational rise from obscurity to light. Remarkable for its irony, it marvellously presents man’s capacity for self-deception. Gaspar Ruiz joined the republican forces during a revolutionary war in an un-named South American country. He was captured by the Royalist forces and forced to bear arms. Having been recaptured by the republicans, he is about to be shot as a deserter and a traitor.