When hard-up aristocrat Lord `Ratty’ Ballashiels finds an old film reel in his attic he discovers that it’s a home movie of Charlie Chaplin’s visit to Rennes-le-Chateau in the south of France. But Ratty spots a strange anomaly: clearly visible behind Chaplin is the famous millionaire priest of that village, Berenger Sauniere. The film tin is labelled `Chaplin 1932′. Sauniere died in 1917. Before Ratty can process the implication of what he has witnessed, the heat of the projector lamp ignites the film and starts a fire which rips through a wing of his manor house. Investigators subsequently discover a body amid the charred ruins and issue a warrant for Ratty’s arrest. The aristocrat has no intention of handing himself in. Knowing that Sauniere reputedly buried a fabulous hoard of treasure, and convinced that the Chaplin film is a vital clue to its location, he stows away on a boat to France and becomes embroiled in a frightening and dangerous race to uncover the astonishing truth about Sauniere’s legacy.