A dramatic incident in the history of the Napoleonic wars has been captured dynamically by the author and illustrator of the renowned Haboushka and the Three Kings. While the army and navy of France assemble on the shores of Boulogne in anticipation of an attack on England, two drummer boys, Jean and Armand, await their first taste of battle. In the tradition of pomp so dear to his heart, Napoleon issues a foolhardy order to review the fleet in the face of an impending storm. No sooner is the order carried out than the storm breaks in all its fury and Napoleon, remorseful and repentant, watches the partial destruction of the flotilla. The Emperor is not alone on the shore. Jean too is waiting -- for Armand is among those missing. From sunset to dawn, the Emperor and the drummer boy stand, until a speck on the horizon comes into view -- Armand floating in on top of his drum.