|Also known as:||La Aguja (The Needle)|
|Appearances:||Sharpe's Gold (first appearance) Sharpe's Company, Sharpe's Sword, Sharpe's Enemy |
(TV): Sharpe's Rifles, Eagle, Company, Enemy
- "She had the face of a hawk, slim and cruel...Teresa was beautiful as a fine sword was beautiful...."
- — Sharpe's Company
Proud, clever, and ruthless, Teresa Moreno was first seen in Sharpe's Gold at age 23, a prisoner of the French. She is rescued by Sharpe, and his Light Company, who raid her village, then under French occupation. When Sharpe did not kill the French colonel who had tied her splayed on a bed, once free, she drives the Frenchman's own sword into his groin with evident satisfaction. She has Sharpe reeling from the moment he sees her. She then leads him to her brother, Ramon, another prisoner, nailed to the cellar wall. Ostensibly betrothed to Partisan leader, El Catolico, her allegiances change over the course of the book, and she aids Sharpe's plans before finally becoming his lover. After the death of el Catolico, she takes over leadership of the partisan band under the nom de guerre, la Aguja, or The Needle, a name given her by Sharpe.
She and Sharpe continue to see each other as duty permits, but are more often apart than together. In Sharpe's Company, she reveals to Sharpe she has given birth to their daughter, Antonia, and while Sharpe is digesting that bit of news, tells him their daughter is in the town the British army is about to lay siege to; Badajoz. Sharpe is unable to get to them before the city is sealed and extracts promises from his friends that they will protect his woman and child should he be killed in the assault. Unfortunately, Hakeswill overhears the location of his enemy's family too, and arrives at the same time as Robert Knowles who is determined to protect Sharpe's family. He murders Knowles and threatens Antonia with a sharpened bayonet. Harper, Sharpe, and Teresa all triy to kill him when his sanity finally cracks, but he escapes, leaving Antonia with a single scratch at her throat.Sharpe marries Teresa the day after the sack of Badajoz at her uncle's house with three of the Light Company guarding the main gate with loaded muskets. He tells her he loves her, and he "tried to hide his happiness because he believed that to show emotion...was to expose weakness." (Sharpe's Company) It is apparent she is the perfect mate for him, as good a soldier, and as romantic at heart as he, and it is clear that he does love and admire her.
In spite of this, Sharpe is unable to stay faithful, allowing himself to be seduced by Helene in Sharpe's Sword and nearly so by a former lover, Josefina in Sharpe's Enemy while under truce with a French company, but Teresa arrives in time to interrupt the flirtation, and laughs at her husband, who tells her that Josefina has gotten too fat. She counters that he thinks any woman wider than a ramrod is too fat, and that she would be fat one day. He tells her he lovesd her. She was pleased with his promotion to major, and shows him the rifleman doll she had made for their daughter.
Colonel Dubreton came outside to greet them, as she would not enter an inn full of Frenchmen, truce or no, and was introduced, "You are as beautiful as you are dangerous, ma'am." To Sharpe's surprise Teresa was polite to him, and Dubreton said to be her friend, it might be worth losing the war. She was pleased with the compliment, and allowed Dubreton to kiss her hand to her husband's complete astonishment. She rode that night to get reinforcements for Sharpe.
In the last minutes of the battle at the Gateway of God, she returnes with Nairn and the British reinforcements and spotts Hakeswill fleeing across the snow. She rides after him, hating him as much as Richard for his previous threat to her daughter, she lifts her blade to kill him, when he spun, firing his musket blindly. The bullet caught her in the throat, killing her instantly. Sharpe spots the body from the fort, and ran to her, unbelieving. He holds her body and sobs.
Teresa and Sharpe had been together for about two and a half years all told, married for about eight months at the time of her death, but had spent more time apart than together. The longest uninterrupted period the family shared, was the month of his recovery after being severely wounded by Leroux in Sharpe's Sword. Their daughter, Antonia, would be raised by Teresa's brother Ramon and his wife Lucia. Sharpe left his entire fortune to that point in their hands for his daughter's benefit.
- "She had loved him with a pure, simple love that forgave, understood...she had seethed with life...been restless and forceful...a killer...yet she had a child like faith in love."
- — Sharpe's Enemy
In the series, Teresa's love is equally hard won, as after having watched the French rape and murder her mother she had dedicated her life to killing French, and nothing more, until she meets Richard Sharpe. It is a difficult relationship, with Teresa torn between her promise and her love for Sharpe. In Sharpe's Eagle (TV), she tells Sharpe she wants things to be simple, but she knows she cannot live happily without him. He has forced her to admit she would care if he lived or died in battle, and she realizes she would.
Also in TV Series, she had been a partisan leader when she met Sharpe for the first time in Sharpe’s Rifles.
She became Richard's wife and mother of his daughter, Antonia. She was eventually shot by Sharpe's oldest enemy Sgt. Hakeswill.