Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

The Honorable Bertie Cecil

The Honorable Bertie Cecil (behr-TEE seh-SEEL), a young nobleman and an officer in the Life Guards who travels in fashionable circles. Although he is deep in debt, he is a gallant young man, loved by ladies and admired by men. When he is accused of forgery, he lets the accusation stand to save a woman’s honor. He flees to Africa and joins the Foreign Legion, serving gallantly. He is condemned to death for striking a superior officer who insulted a noblewoman, but he is saved from a firing squad by a camp follower who loves him and takes the bullets in her own body.


Cigarette (see-gah-REHT), an entertainer who is also a patriotic Frenchwoman, though a camp follower. She falls in love with Bertie Cecil, though she hates the English and is jealous of the woman Bertie loves. She saves Bertie’s life by dashing between him and the firing squad so that the bullets intended for him hit her.

Princess Corona d’Amagüe

Princess Corona d’Amagüe (koh-roh-NAH dah-mah-GEW), a beautiful English widow loved by Bertie. He risks death to defend her honor by striking Colonel Chateauroy. Knowing that Bertie has been exonerated of forgery charges and has the right to his father’s title and estates, the princess agrees to marry him.

Lord Rockingham

Lord Rockingham, known also as The Seraph, Bertie’s best friend and the brother of Princess Corona. He tries to save Bertie from the firing squad.

Berkeley Cecil

Berkeley Cecil, Bertie’s young brother, who inherits the family title and estates after it is assumed that Bertie is dead. He is so selfish that he fears Bertie may return to England to claim what is rightfully his.

Colonel Chateauroy

Colonel Chateauroy (shah-toh-RWAH), Bertie’s commanding officer in the French Foreign Legion. Jealous of Bertie and hating him, he is glad for an opportunity to sentence Bertie to death.


Rake, Bertie’s faithful, intelligent servant, whom Bertie rescued from a bad situation. He is killed while serving in the Foreign Legion with his employer.

Lady Guenevere

Lady Guenevere (GWEH-neh-veer), the woman whose honor Bertie protects by not defending himself against charges of forgery.

Lord Royallieu

Lord Royallieu (rwah-yahl-LYEW), Bertie’s father, who dislikes his son because Bertie looks like his mother’s lover.