Forgiveness Ep 146

Drums of Autumn

Chapters 61-62

Week 31

“Forgiveness”

Summary:

Claire was sent to the longhouse. She examined Roger. Jamie wanted to keep some facts to themselves. Roger baptized a baby. Young Ian was adopted into the tribe to replace the man Roger had killed. He was named Wolf’s Brother and joined Works with Her Hands’ family. With sadness Roger, Claire, and Jamie left the village toward River Run. Roger learned the baby might not be his. Jamie and Claire left Roger to decide. Stephen Bonnet was arrested. Brianna implored Lord John to arrange a meeting. The mother bear roared. Lord John was injured. Bonnet made a fiery escape and asked Brianna to go with him.

Inside the Chapters:

Chapter 61

The Office of a Priest

An exhausted, Claire was taken to the longhouse. The air smelled of smoke and burnt things. There was singing; she wondered if it was for the dead woman. She exclaimed when she saw Jamie and Roger. Roger embraced her. He was thin and stank but seemed healthy to her. I love how Claire clinically assessed him immediately. This demonstrated how much she cared for him. He asked after Brianna immediately. She noticed his injured foot, but Jamie interrupted and asked how Claire was. Oddly he told her his arm needed to be looked at because it hurt. As Claire points out, he would never say he was in pain in front of Roger. She looked him over and didn’t think his arm was broken (p963, Nook). What do you think of Jamie’s idea? Claire went back to Roger to look at his foot. She blurted out Brianna was pregnant. Roger was stunned to learn Bree was in advanced pregnancy (p964, Nook). Claire thought Bree wanted to give Roger an escape plan since she believed the baby was Bonnet’s but moreover that she believed Jamie wouldn’t see it as a marriage without a priest, church, and contract. Claire reassured Roger of Brianna’s health and well-being. Brianna had wanted to go with Claire and Jamie to find Roger; this was a great relief to him. Jamie admitted it was a misunderstanding.

Claire inspected Roger’s foot and was alarmed at the infection. Roger explained it was infected off and on. Roger only wanted answers. Brianna had not set Jamie and Young Ian upon him to turn him away; it was Jamie’s idea (p966, Nook). In Jamie’s mind, a person can only die once, so it was safe to bring Claire with him on this dangerous trip. If the past couldn’t be changed, Jamie assumed correctly. Roger explained that was precisely why he didn’t tell Brianna about the notice (p967, Nook). Claire wholeheartedly disagreed with this idea of protection, just like Brianna had. Claire lambasted Roger for not telling Bree and trying to prevent her from going into the past. Jamie would rather have not met Brianna than for her to go through all she had since entering the 18th century. Roger had an epiphany. Brianna could not go back through the stones now. She was too far pregnant. Claire had tried to send her back early on, but Brianna wouldn’t go without Roger. Jamie felt responsible for Brianna being stuck in his timeline (p968, Nook).

Suddenly a group of Mohawks entered the longhouse. An older woman handed Roger the cradleboard. The woman knew he was the son of a priest and wants him to baptize Father Alexandre and his lover’s baby. Roger wasn’t sure at first, then Jamie reminded him any man could perform the duties of a priest in the time of need. Roger paled but decided to perform the baptism in French.

“Écoutez les paroles de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, en obéissant à la parole de notre Seigneur Jésus et sûre de sa présence avec nous, nous baptisons ceux qu’il a appelés à être les siens.Qui est votre Seigneur, votre Sauveur? Voulez-vous placer votre foi en Lui? Promets-tu de dire à cet enfant la bonne nouvelle de l’Évangile, et tout ce que le Christ commande, et par ta communion fraternelle, de renforcer ses liens familiaux avec la famille de Dieu?” Then Roger turned to Jamie and Claire, the baby passed between them. Roger finished sprinkling water on the baby’s head and said, “Je vous baptise, Alexandra, au nom du Père et du Fils et du Saint-Esprit, Amen.”

The group of Christian Mohawk left the village and Roger wondered if he was going to be next to die. Claire shared what she learned from staying in Tewaktenyonh’s house the prior night (p970, Nook). Young Ian had not been seen since the chaos of the night before. It was the following afternoon before there was a visitor to the longhouse. It was Young Ian. He was there to say goodbye to Jamie and Claire. His hair had been plucked into a Mohawk style, his ear pierced, and his face tattooed.  The adoption ceremony was to be in the evening (p972, Nook). Oh, my crushed heart. The ceremony included his whiteness being scrubbed away with sand and given a new name (Wolf’s Brother). Jamie surprised the Mohawk by placing his plaid over Young Ian’s shoulder. Are any of you crying? Imagine Jamie writing to Jenny about her son.

They left the next morning after Jamie silently hugged and kissed Ian goodbye. The trio was quiet throughout the day and set up camp that evening. Roger spoke, asking Claire about the circle in the Indies. She was too tired to explain, so she simply said yes. Then he went on to tell Claire there was another stone circle eight days travel from Fraser’s Ridge. There would still not be enough time to get back to River Run, collect Brianna, and get back to the stone circle for them to go back to the 20th century. Jamie brought up that Roger didn’t have to stay. He could go back to his own time. Tempers and words flared (p975, Nook). Roger fired back showing the gemstone he stole from Bonnet not knowing Bonnet stole it from Claire and Jamie who had taken it from Geillis. Roger explained to them what happened (p976, Nook). Jamie mounted his horse and told Claire to come with him. Roger told her to go and he would come if he could. Claire and Jamie rode away leaving Roger with a gemstone in his hand and a decision to make.

Young Ian made a huge sacrifice but made it for love and obligation. Jamie had great anger toward Roger and treated him badly. How could a man hearing such shocking news be able to know how he felt about it? I don’t like the big deal that’s made of a child not being of one’s blood. Jamie adopted Fergus (Claudel) and loved Laoghaire’s daughters as his own. Both Claire and Roger had been adopted, and Frank had raised Brianna as his blood daughter. Roger had been through hell during the many months since Jamie had given him to the tribe, you would think Jamie having been a captive would certainly understand the difficulties Roger faced. He seemed to have little compassion for Roger and blamed him for losing Young Ian. What compelled Jamie to act in such a way?

Chapter 62

Three-Thirds of a Ghost

River Run, April 1770

Lord John dropped the bomb on Brianna that Stephen Bonnet was captured. Lord John sent the nearby servant to bed to keep listening ears away. He wanted to go to bed himself, but the information could not hold any longer. Bonnet had been caught in Cross Creek and charged with smuggling tea and brandy, but charges were added when his identity was discovered. Lord John searched Brianna’s face for signs of swooning. She was steady though pale. Bonnet was to hang the following week. Lord John was impressed by how much the baby had grown in two months since their engagement. The baby moved pressing out toward him, and he worried about the stress of knowing could cause her to go into preterm labor. His worry escalated, and he thought to get a servant, but Brianna merely said thank you. The calmness she expressed relieved Lord John to the state of her health. Brianna wants to see him. Lord John misunderstood thinking she wanted to watch the execution. He protested. She only wanted to talk to him. John choked on his drink. She went on to tell him of her outrageous plan to see Bonnet and the utter scandal it would cause. Well, Brianna knows how to take a conversation from zero to redline in one moment. I don’t think there’s enough booze to keep Lord John from shock from Brianna’s boldness.

He asked her why she wanted to speak to Bonnet. She handed him a piece of paper written by her father (p981, Nook). Bottom line, Brianna wanted to be free whether or not Roger returned. Forgiveness was at the heart of her need to see him (p982, Nook). Before retiring to bed, he asked if he could feel the baby move. He was delighted to feel the baby press against his hand.

Lord John took Brianna to the garrison. Bonnet was being held in the basement of the warehouse. The soldier on duty, Hodgepile was bribed to allow them in.  The name was known to Brianna from Ronnie Sinclair’s description. They gained entrance, Hodgepile was startled seeing Brianna.  They passed the contents of the warehouse leaving Brianna with a sense of confinement. Hodgepile instructed her to be careful with the lantern. Fire would be especially dangerous. Once down in the basement, the dampness took over. She was determined not to panic. Lord John encouraged her. She entered the room on her own. Bonnet was chained to her relief. Brianna spoke (p985, Nook). Brianna vomited and then gathered herself. She told him her name (p985, Nook). His manner almost made her laugh. He told her the jewels had been stolen after he sold one to buy a ship. She wondered if Roger stole the two. The timing fit she thought. He reminded her she got the ring back (p986, Nook). She wanted nothing from him but had come to give him something. She told him the baby was his. What in the hell caused her to think this was a good idea and there was only a chance the baby was his anyway. She hoped the knowledge would give him ease knowing he left something behind after he died.

Enter Sergeant Murchison. He threatened her. Brianna reacted and swung the lantern at his head. Stephen Bonnet grabbed her before she could hit him again. He wasn’t chained after all. It also looked like Murchison had killed Lord John who was sprawled on the floor in the hall. Murchison again threatened to shoot Brianna, but the cramped quarters made it impossible (p988, Nook). In the dimness of her mind, she heard her name. Bonnet was shouting at her to stop. The building was going to blow, and they had to get out. She blocked the door until he explained everything. She refused to let him leave Murchison to die, so he slit his throat to be done with it. Brianna was contracting with Braxton Hicks though, not contractions that cause labor. She, of course, did not know this fact. Bonnet ran out, and she stopped to check Lord John for a pulse. She found one weak and irregular. She calculated the risk of being in the basement if the upstairs caught fire and convinced herself it was safe while she tried to puzzle out how to save Lord John. She was about to administer first aid to Lord John when Bonnet returned yelling for her to run. She believed it was safe and he should go away (p993, Nook). She agreed to leave, but Bonnet had to carry Lord John to safety. He picked up Lord John, and she followed as quickly as she could. Can you imagine being seven months pregnant and running for your life from a building about to blow up? They made it out of the building to the wharf. The building was burning brightly. Bonnet asked her to go with him to his ship. She declined. He asked her if it was true that the baby was his while peering into her face. He reached into his mouth and pulled a gem from his cheek. He put it in her hand to help pay for the baby’s upkeep. He left, and she pondered shooting him as he ran off. She heard Jamie’s voice in her head and put the gun down. She opened her hand and found the black diamond staring back at her.

What was Brianna thinking? The woman has her mother’s penchant for rashness and not caring whether she created a scandal. Each read I have a difficult time figuring out WHY she would tell Bonnet the baby was unequivocally his. HOW did that propel her forgiving him? WHAT will happen now that he has escaped and believed he is the baby’s father? For all her engineer brain thinking, she certainly does not stop to think about the what-ifs and how they might impact the future.

Links of Interest: The anthropology blog post I talked about in the podcast.

What’s Coming up? Chapters 63-65 Drums of Autumn (DOA).

How can you participate? Send your comments to contact@adramofoutlander.com or call the listener line at 719-425-9444 by Friday of each week. If you’re reading ahead, you can leave comments for any part of the book too. Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.

The Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook

Featured Image By Ken Thomas – KenThomas.us(personal website of photographer), Public Domain attribution.

The intro and outro music segments are taken from a piece by Damiano Baldoni at URL on Free Music Archive. Curator: ccCommunity. Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Fighting Words Ep 145

Drums of Autumn

Chapters 59-60

Week 30

“Fighting Words”

 

Summary: Brianna susses out a truth about Lord John. She allows herself to feel close to Roger. She hatches a plan and proposes marriage to Lord John. She threatens him. She apologizes and explains. He explains why he cannot marry her. They become “engaged.” The priest prepares for death. Roger prays for him. The priest is taken from the tent. The drumming stops and all hell breaks loose. Roger escapes the tent but is knocked on the head. A familiar face is found in the longhouse. Claire and Young Ian are missing.

Inside the Chapters:

Chapter 59 Blackmail

Brianna wakes to relieve her bladder and notices the ominous thunderclouds. She worries about the weather in the mountains. Had her parents found Roger? Instead of going back to bed, Brianna dons her cloak. She finds it unacceptable to have a slave empty her chamber pot. She exits through the kitchen to rain striking her in the face. Brianna made it to the necessary (privy) to empty the chamber pot and used the rainwater to rinse it out. For a moment she stands in the rain, she wasn’t sure why she did it, but she purposely stood under the gutter spout allowing rainwater to pour over her. She notices a glimpse of light coming from the slave quarters. She does not want to explain herself or be seen. The lightning, however, shows her who was leaving the slave quarters. It was Lord John Grey. She runs after him to avoid being locked out. To his shock, she bounds through the door as he is closing it. She makes a comment and goes to her room; he doesn’t follow.

She slips back into bed naked after drying herself and leaving her clothing to dry in front of the fire. Her brain puzzles out what she saw and what she has experienced from Lord John. She hadn’t felt the primal sexual acknowledgment she was accustomed to feeling. There was indifference. His sexual bell was chiming as he left the servants’ quarters. There was no way her father knew and could be a friend to Lord John because of his past. For a fleeting moment, she could feel Roger about her feeling aroused, then the hands of Bonnet rose from memory. Anger and shame replaced arousal. Needing to move, she goes to the window and looks out into the rain. It was too late to go to Hispaniola and leave for the 20th century. Maybe if Roger was with her now, and they left to the island cave, but he was not there. Was Roger even alive? Her mother would return before the birth. She does her best not to think of Jamie or Bonnet because rage swells when she does.

The inaction and helplessness of the situation bother her. She recognizes she decided to keep her baby and live with whatever consequences there would be. She is on the hearthrug warming herself. She thinks of Roger and disallows any thought of Bonnet to encroach. The only night with Roger fills her mind evoking passion and arousal (p937, Nook). She allows the sensations to ebb before moving slowly to the bed experiencing hot and cold together. As she pulls the quilt over her bare body, she knows emotions must not lead; decisions need to be made.

For three days she makes a plan. She needs to get him alone. She finds Lord John in the library reading Marcus Aurelius (a favorite of Jamie’s).  She asks him to walk with her. He agrees though it is warm and cozy inside. It is quite cold outside. As they walk in the garden, she proposes he marry her (p938, Nook). He thinks she is out of her mind from the pregnancy and wants to call upon Dr. Fentiman. Brianna vehemently disagrees with the doctor coming and ups the ante (p939, Nook). He forcefully takes her by the arm; she worries he might mean her harm. When they reach a private spot, he speaks to her (p940, Nook). She flushes and apologizes, assuring him she would not have said anything to anyone if he turned her down. She further explains, and they discuss the ins and outs of her plan (p941, Nook). Lord John explains why he cannot marry her (p943, Nook). Brianna is shocked to learn her father knows of Lord John’s sexual persuasion. They find a more sheltered spot to talk, he sneezes, and she hands him a handkerchief. He thinks it smells surprisingly of girl flesh. She asks what he meant about teaching her to play with fire (p945, Nook). Brianna tells him Claire thinks John might hurt Jamie. She asks if he has seen the scars on her father’s back. He shocks her by saying he did that to Jamie. John tells her about their relationship at the prison and Brianna thinks John flogged Jamie for not having sex with him. John is rightly affronted. John says Jamie did it to himself (p947, Nook). He does not accept her proposal, but in front of watching eyes, he puts a ring on her finger and kisses her. They are engaged to buy time and get her aunt off her back.

I have far too many thoughts about this chapter to type them all out. You’ll need to listen to the podcast to get them.

Chapter 60 Trial by Fire

Roger and the priest were alone without food or fire. The waiting was tormenting. Finally, men came in the late afternoon. The sachem did not speak to Fr. Alexandre; he simply painted his face black from forehead to chin. The men left, and the priest sat on the floor. The priest asks Roger to pray for him that he might die well without crying out. After dark, they heard the drums. Roger could feel the beat in his bones. The Mohawk men returned for the priest. He went with them without a word or looking back, wearing only his bare skin. Roger stood in the tent praying and listening. He knows what power a drum has. He was frightened. He sat without knowing for how long then the drumming stopped, and there was yelling. He made his way to the door, but the guard was still there. He stood frozen listening to the hellish noises and fighting. Something smashed into the panel of the tent and tore a hole in it. He only saw a small area of the clearing outside and figures fighting. Then he heard something terrifyingly familiar (p951, Nook). Roger was determined to get free and to the Scots. He pulled apart the bed cubicle to make a weapon from the splintered wood. Roger charged out of the tent narrowly missing being hit by a war club. He struck the Mohawk who smelled of whisky. He turned toward the fire (p952, Nook).

Roger was on the floor of the longhouse. There was someone with him. He got onto his hands and knees and squinted to see who the other person was (p953, Nook). Jamie was alive. Roger cleaned his face with his plaid until Jamie woke up, vomited, and stared at Roger with hand on his knife (p954, Nook). Jamie apologizes to Roger for doing him wrong (p954, Nook). With a truce, Roger asks what happened. Jamie didn’t know and was shocked to find out the burned man was a priest. Though the white people weren’t invited to the execution, they were not asked to leave either, so he and Claire stayed. Jamie explains to Roger what he saw and that he had tried to get Claire away for fear of being attacked next. Father Alexandre had died well. Roger was having a hard time believing the priest was dead. Pushing the thoughts away, he asks Jamie how many men he brought with him (p956, Nook). Roger gave Jamie water and sees how worried for Claire he is (p957, Nook). Jamie pressed back against the longhouse pushing Claire behind him. He was fighting then woke up in the longhouse with Roger and no notion of where Claire was.

Jamie’s arm might be broken by taking a hit from a war club. He hopes and believes Claire and Young Ian are safe. If the boy were dead, he would rather have his heart torn out and eaten than face his sister. Jamie looks for distraction from his thoughts. Jamie watches Roger (p960, Nook). Roger wants to know why Claire came with him but not Brianna. Jamie tells him Claire refused to be left. Roger doubted Brianna would be any easier to leave behind (p961, Nook).

Roger killed a man. The priest was executed. The priest’s love went into the flames to join him after handing her child to Claire. All hell broke loose. Roger and Jamie ended up in the same longhouse. In-law relations are not getting off to a good start.    

What’s Coming up? Chapters 61-62 Drums of Autumn (DOA).

How can you participate? Send your comments to contact@adramofoutlander.com or call the listener line at 719-425-9444 by Friday of each week. If you’re reading ahead, you can leave comments for any part of the book too. Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.

The Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook

Any images are from Wiki Commons. Click on picture for attribution link.

Photograph of Elk Knob peak, North Carolina. By James Lautzenhelser, 2011. From Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 2.0.

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Difficult Negotiations Ep 144

Drums of Autumn

Chapters 57-58

Week 29

“Difficult Negotiations”

Summary:

With the help of Young Ian and his friend Emily, Jamie agreed to offer a ceilidh to be hosted by the Pretty Woman with a whisky tasting. Claire became acquainted with the Pretty Woman and her granddaughter. The conversation began with, Claire searching for the truth about the opal and soon revealed who the ghost was that saved her and his purpose in the past. The ceilidh was a hit, and no damage was done. Roger was likely going to be given to them in a few days. Brianna prevented a proposal from one of the male suitors. Brianna met a lord. An alliance was being forged. (1:20)

Inside the Chapters:

Chapter 57

A Shattered Smile

Jamie was hot and heavy in negotiation with the sachem for Roger’s release for the past few days even though no one admitted Roger was at the village. Jamie believed Roger was in the village or nearby. They had whisky to exchange for him. The whisky was a challenging offer to make because of the mayhem it could cause when the men drank it. The upside is the alcohol could be used to trade by the Mohawk if they feared to drink it. Young Ian was proving a great intelligencer by sharing hearth in the village. It turns out Roger was a hot commodity among the young women, more than one wanted to take him to their longhouse cubicle (p904, Nook). Remember discord in the other Mohawk village surrounding the priest is what brought them to this village to get a ruling. A unified tribe was very important to them. Jamie and Claire discussed the opal as an alternative offering to the whisky. The response to the opal had been anger, and no one would touch Jamie while he held it. He wanted Claire to keep the gem for protection against harm (p906, Nook). Young Ian agreed with the opinion that something else was going on in the village that had nothing to do with them. There had been a disagreement in the council house the night before, and Emily, Ian’s interest wouldn’t tell him what it was (p906, Nook). Young Ian affirmed he and Emily liked each other. Emily had the idea to have a whisky sampling that night. Young Ian suggested a ceilidh to be hosted by the Pretty Woman and managed by Emily (p907, Nook). Claire asked Young Ian to ask Emily about the opal.  Jamie and Claire wondered about who’s bed he was sleeping in. (6:15)

The ceilidh began after dark with high-level council members. Jamie and Young Ian sat with the sachem. Emily sat on the whisky barrel. The rest of the women present did not take part in the tasting, only Emily. Claire could feel Roger’s presence somewhere in the village and knew the burden of importance this gathering held. Claire marveled at the manner in which Works with Her Hands served the whisky. She took it in her mouth and spat three mouthfuls in a cup as a way of portioning out the whisky. Claire wondered how much was absorbed through the girl’s mouth. A young boy came in looking ill. Claire could tell immediately he had a dislocated shoulder. She approached the wary mother and boy (p908, Nook). Claire easily relocated the shoulder with the boy surprised at the immediate relief from pain. He handed back the gemstone. Claire became aware of the ceilidh once more. Young Ian was singing in Gaelic. The others joined in. Music transcended the language barrier. (9:25)

Claire felt Tewaktenyonh (the Pretty Woman) watching her. She turned, and their eyes met. The Pretty Woman sent a young woman to summon Claire to her (p910, Nook). The young woman translated between Claire and her grandmother. The Pretty Woman asked about the opal. Claire showed it to them, and gooseflesh rose on the elder woman’s arms at the sight of the stone. The young woman asked how Claire procured the stone. Claire told them it came to her in a dream. The old woman sang and rubbed tobacco over the fire. Claire could hear the men at the hearth in the distance and wondered if Roger could get hear them too. The scent of smoke and tobacco jarred memories in Claire. She thought of battlefields and high school football games. The old woman asked Claire to tell her about the dream (p912, Nook). The description disturbed the two women. The young woman translated the story that went back forty years of the man Claire saw in her dream. His manner of speech was unusual, but he spoke their tongue. He was brave, intense, and handsome. He only spoke of coming war and to kill all the white men, the French men (O’seronni) before it was too late. He told them of the British and French fighting each other in the future, and that was when they should strike to save their people. The man’s name was Tawineonawia (Otter Tooth), and he told them they were shortsighted and lazy. He would not tell Pretty Woman how far in the future he could see. He tried to convince the tribe, but to no avail. He became more erratic and would not stop returning with his message. Eventually, the men of the village decided to kill him because they believed he had an evil spirit within. He did not understand that he remained a stranger to the tribe and he was in danger. (14:40)

Claire noticed what was going on in the ceilidh, but her spine was prickling. Otter Tooth looked like the Mohawk, sounded like them, but he was a stranger with fillings in his teeth. He hadn’t understood because he believed they were his people and wanted to save them. They had meant to harm him and did. They tortured his bare body, and he ran away. The warriors from the village followed behind and after four days; they caught him (p917, Nook). The legend surrounding the opal was told to Claire (p918, Nook). Claire who had always tried to disbelieve the supernatural was certainly steeped in it. After they ate and drank, Claire left the longhouse. Jamie was waiting for her outside. He thought progress had been made and Young Ian was right to throw the ceilidh. Claire looked at the longhouses wondering where Roger was. It had been seven months. Winter was ending, and they could get back to River Run in time for the birth. Jamie asked Claire if she learned anything about the opal. Claire said she would tell him inside the longhouse. The tika-ba had been the man’s ticket back to the future if needed; it was now Claire’s legacy. (21:50)

Chapter 58

Lord John Returns

River Run, March 1770

Phaedre brought a dress for Brianna to change into. A lord was coming for dinner, and Brianna had to hide her growing belly under heavy stays and flounce. Brianna wants to know who the lord is. She wants nothing to do with the whalebone stays (p920, Nook). This culture is completely foreign to Brianna and us. She allowed Phaedre to dress her even though she couldn’t breathe, and she worried about the baby. The lord in question was none other than Lord John Grey of Mount Josiah Plantation in Virginia (p922, Nook).  She pondered this lord being a friend of her father’s. When Brianna went down for dinner, they were a few familiar faces, but no Lord John Grey. Brianna entered the room without the whalebone stays and showed off her burgeoning belly. The group was polite if not hiding the surprise at her improper dress. Lawyer Forbes entered the courting ring with a bang. He showed her four jewels and asked which she liked best. He was clever and would present her with one as an engagement ring if she gave her preference. Brianna’s head swam, and nausea spiked. Precious gems could guarantee her passage back through the stones. Brianna knew the game Forbes was playing at and declined to say which she preferred. She wondered if she could steal the stones and run away. She could hide in the mountains and wait to hear of her parents return or go straight to Wilmington and a ship. Forbes asked her again which she preferred, and she declined under the guise of having simple tastes. Jocasta wanted dinner to proceed even though Lord John hadn’t arrived. Just then Ulysses announced the visitor. He was to sit next to Brianna at dinner. (28:50)

Brianna was surprised by Lord John’s stature. Her mother had never described it only his jobs and attributes. He was slight, delicately boned with beautiful eyes, and near a half a foot shorter than her. He startled at the sight of her (of course she knows not why). He quickly turned on the charm and clever anecdotes, but he never mentioned her father. Brianna was tired of the well-meaning visitors; she wanted to be left alone. She realized they were Scots and could never leave her alone in her current situation (p926, Nook). Brianna woke to find herself on a sofa being tended to by many. Once they left her alone, she wanted to cry, but she couldn’t. She decided in her stubbornness that they were all coming back to her. That was that, and her half-Scottishness couldn’t believe anything else. (33:20)

Jocasta came in with Ulysses and Lord John, and of course, tea. Jocasta offered to call Dr. Fentiman, but Brianna vehemently declined. Lord John wished to speak to her since he was leaving in the morning. After leaving the tray, Jocasta and Ulysses left them to chat. Lord John inquired after her well-being (p927, Nook). Brianna told him Roger wasn’t on a ship. He kept talking and planned to travel to Wilmington to make more inquiries. Brianna told him he didn’t have to go (p929, Nook). She went on to ask him if he knows what hand-fasting was and if it was legal in the Colony of North Carolina. He didn’t know but would find out. Brianna believed she was married, but Jocasta did not, hence her many attempts to find her a husband. Brianna thought he was the latest candidate when he showed up. Lord John now understood why the odd company was assembled for dinner. John explained to Brianna what Judge Alderdyce’s mother had in mind (p930, Nook). Lord John saw Brianna as blunt as her mother and full of honor like her father. Brianna’s ire rose at the idea of her father’s honor (p931, Nook). At that, Lord John decided he would stay on at River Run and they would speak again. (41:20)

There’s so much whirling in my mind about the village, the negotiation, Young Ian’s burgeoning relationship with the young woman, Claire’s conversation with the Pretty Woman and all that was revealed. Claire was right that Otter Tooth had tried to save his people from the future. He was a traveler like her. He was her people too. Hopefully, in three days Roger would be in their hands and headed back to River Run in time for the birth. Lord John showing up at River Run has shocked Brianna thinking he was a suitor like the other men, but he was only trying to fulfill her father’s task of finding her young man. His humor, charm, and kindness drew her in. It looks like friendship and alliance is forming between them.

What’s Coming up? Chapters 59-60 Drums of Autumn (DOA).

How can you participate? Send your comments to contact@adramofoutlander.com or call the listener line at 719-425-9444 by Friday of each week. If you’re reading ahead, you can leave comments for any part of the book too. Comments or messages may be included in the podcast or a written post.

The Outlander book series is written by Diana Gabaldon. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook

Any images are from Wiki Commons. Click on picture for attribution link. Featured image: By C.O. Greene – http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/nc/nc0100/nc0142/photos/101779pv.jpg, Public Domain,

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