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Paris, the night of July 6, 1815, three weeks after Waterloo. France has been defeated and invaded, Napoleon has fled. Paris is occupied by the allied troops of England, Prussia and Russia. The people are anxious, wondering what will become of France, who will lead the country under what sort of government. Two men hold the answers to these questions. Both are powerful, intelligent and thoroughly unscrupulous - wily politician Charles Maurice de Talleyrand and police commissioner Joseph Fouché. They sup together in Talleyrand's mansion while the mob clamors below their windows. As the meal progresses, the two men engage in a verbal duel as violent and ironic as it is ferocious. Their own political futures, as well as that of France, hinge on the outcome of this confrontation...