Oh, give me your hand, sir! You're a brave fellow, Gibbons! Sharpe's a killer! Killed three French cavalrymen and saved Wellesley's life - three seconds, slash, cut thrust! And that was when he was still a sergeant. Shall we say six o'clock tomorrow morning, in the field behind the camp? Or should we say it was damn dark, and you made a damn bad mistake?
Silly mistake. Say no more about it, eh?
Good thinking, Gibbons. Sharpe would have shot out your left eye at a minute past six, and you'd have spent all day tomorrow looking up at nothing with the other.
Those men who've fought in a big battle before, one pace forward.
This place is called Talavera. There's going to be a battle here tomorrow. You'll fight in it... maybe even die in it. But you won't see it.
There's a lot of smoke in a battle. Our cannon, their cannon. Our shot, their shell. Our volleys, their volleys.
You don't see a battle. You *hear* it. Black powder blasting by the ton on all sides. Black smoke blinding you and choking you and making you vomit. Then the French come out of the smoke - not in a line, but in a column. And they march towards our thin line, kettledrums hammering like hell and a golden eagle blazing overhead. They march slowly, and it takes them a long time to reach you, and you can't see them in smoke. But you can hear the drums. They march out of the smoke, and you fire a volley. And the front rank of the column falls, and the next rank steps over them, with drums hammering, and the column smashes your line like a hammer breaking glass... and Napoleon has won another battle. But if you don't run - if you stand until you can smell the garlic, and fire volley after volley, three rounds a minute - then they slow down. They stop. And then they run away. All you've got to do is stand, and fire three rounds a minute. Now, you and I know you can fire three rounds a minute. But can you stand?