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Napoleon sends for Talleyrand, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and informs him that the Countess de Launay is returning with war communiques from Spain, instructing him to seek Russia's support. Talleyrand accepts a bribe from the Spanish Ambassador to arrest the countess. At an inn in the Pyrenees, Étienne Gerard, as he witnesses the arrival of the countess, longs to serve with Napoleon. When she is arrested, Gerard, who has fallen in love, aids her escape and drives her to Paris, where he is made a captain. In thwarting Talleyrand's attempts to arrest the countess, Gerard hides himself in a chest, and the countess secretes some important papers in his cap, which Gerard tosses away when he is arrested as a deserter; in recovering the cap he poses as Napoleon's guard and kidnaps the emperor, but the countess arrives with the documents just as Gerard is about to face a firing squad.