In this week’s episode of the Voyager read-a-long, Claire finds herself being pressed into service as a “Wisewoman and a Plague Hunter”. Marsali, ever embittered toward Claire for being the whore that hurt her mother, puts her feelings aside for some much needed birth control advice. Of course, it takes her a while to get to that point through a stories of explanation. More light is given into the sexual issues Laoghaire has and the dreadful information she is passing on to her daughters. It’s terrifically sad how Laoghaire feels about it. She must’ve been hurt along the way. It’s impossible not to feel a heart tug for her. Marsali’s words echo all that Jamie had told her about his intimate life with Laoghaire. Once Claire understands why Marsali wants to prevent pregnancy, she offers some of her own insights, and gives her a barrier method in the form of a sea sponge, but is interrupted by noise on deck, before being able to fully explain it’s proper use. Marsali is left with half of an explanation.
The interruption comes in the form of an English man o’ war ship heading their way with the intent to board the Artemis. They believe it is to procure deck hands from the Artemis, by pressing the British subjects into service aboard the Porpoise. Soon the real problem is evident, when the acting captain of the Porpoise boards. He tells of a terrible plague upon his ship and the desperate need for medical assistance. After discussion about immunity and explanation of the oath she took, Jamie agrees with Claire going over to the Porpoise to assist in diagnosing the illness, and getting the medical side of things up and running. Claire immediately assesses the situation and declares it to be a Thyphoid outbreak. While she is getting everything in order so it can be turned over to one of the crewman to oversee, she feels movement under her feet, and the Porpoise is underway, It is Claire who is pressed into service without her permission, or Jamie’s, or the captain of the Artemis. Claire is raging, but finds it within herself to put on her doctoring hat and get to work. She has no other choice.
There’s also intrigue to give Claire another puzzle to work on. She hears someone tell the captain he recognized the big red haired man on the Artemis. This has her quite worried, but she has a plague to worry about first.
Claire is given authority to commandeer any men and supplies necessary to fight the outbreak. She is right at home bossing the crew about. The purser even takes to locking himself into his cabin to avoid her demands. She has a plan and is taking it step by step. This includes taking half of the ship’s alcohol for use in disinfection.
Claire certainly is a force to be reckoned with.
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What’s Coming up? Week 18 will cover chapters 48-50.
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