Corporal Robertson served in the British Army in India during the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign. A runaway field-gun which had crashed into a pillar at the Amber Fort in Jaipur revealed a cache of jewels hidden hundreds of years previously by Man Singh, the Rajput Raja of Amber. The corporal and three of his comrades quickly removed a quantity of rubies from the pillar and hid them at Sarnath near Varanasi. They may still be there, over a century later. Corporal Robertson’s great-grandson, James, a retired school teacher, finds details of the rubies and their hiding place in his great-grandfather’s diaries. He and his sister travel to India hoping to find the rubies. They are the only living descendants of Corporal Robertson. There are no descendants of two of the corporal’s comrades. But the fourth had deserted the army not long after the rubies were hidden, in order to be with his Indian mistress and their half-caste son. The three Indian grandsons of that son now claim the rubies as their own. They know that the rubies exist, but not where they are hidden. They must force a fragile alliance with James and his sister. But that alliance does not last, and blood must flow before it is known who will keep the sixteen rubies, including the dark ruby, a ruby the size of the egg of a hen, a ruby said to have been cursed.