Henri de Lagardere, the best swordsman in France, suddenly finds himself duty-bound to protect the baby female heir of a murdered friend--a girl who matures into a beautiful woman who will one day inherit a princely fortune--a girl with whom Henri falls madly in love. But his affection is hopeless: the difference in their ages and stations in life precludes any permanent liaison. One by one, over the years, Henri tracks down and kills the assassins of the girl's father, until only the ringleader is left. But the final villain is a powerful man close to the French court, and cannot easily be impeached. Only the dead may speak to pull him down from his high perch--with the assistance of The Hunchback! A riveting tale of action, politics, and suspense in the tradition of The Three Musketeers.