“Not So Hot on Her Trail”
Brianna and the Murrays secure her passage to the Colonies. She shows her big heart and Fraser stubbornness when she insists on taking the contract of a young teenage girl instead of a strapping male to be her servant. She leaves Scotland with sadness and loss for the place and family she has known for such a short time. Roger experiences déjà vu as he walked through Inverness in 1769. He finds Brianna in the passenger books and secures himself passage as a seaman. He’ll be on his way to the Colonies the next day.
Inside the Chapters:
Chapter 35 Bon Voyage
At the port of Inverness, the desperate and needy people remind Brianna of puppies at the pound. She wants to help all of them. Young Jamie and Ian Murray are helping secure her passage and encourage her to find someone who can travel with her as a servant to keep her safe and assist her with anything she needs. Of course, she didn’t think she needed a servant. That stubborn Fraser bloodline. Though annoyed with the Fraser/Murray menfolk, she is thankful to know her mother is safe in the Colonies with Jamie, her father. He sprang to life for her when she read his letters. Young Jamie tries to get her to choose a manservant. She is not impressed with the pickings on the dock (p608, Nook).
Distracted by delicious smelling hot beef pastries, Brianna pushes her way through to buy one. Her height makes quite a stir (p609, Nook). Feeling self-conscious, she retreats to eat. The self-consciousness does not abate with her knowing she lacks undergarments as is the 18th century way. As soon as she bites into the warm bridie, she forgets about everything else (p610, Nook). She notices a slight, fair man looking to get her attention. He is looking for someone to take on his daughter as a servant. He cannot afford to keep her, and a man will ill sexual intent is going to buy her contract. The man is embarrassed by what he’s certain will happen to his daughter if he doesn’t find someone quickly to secure her contract. A veritable “pound puppy” is wheedling into her heart. She cannot say no even though her Murray relatives are unhappy with her taking on Lizzie Weymss. Clever Brianna has it her way when she has Lizzie eat some of her food. The girl owes her. Brianna presses her advantage over the men (p615, Nook). Young Jamie and Ian reluctantly agree. She too has the Fraser stubbornness (p615, Nook). Joseph Weymss loved his daughter so much he put her on a ship to the Colonies with a stranger, so she could have a better life even though he might not see her again.
As the ship leaves shore, Brianna is feeling sad about leaving this place and the family she barely knows. Regardless of the newness of knowledge about her paternity and culture, she feels no less grieved than saying goodbye to her mother or losing her father, Frank. Lizzie, on the other hand, was seeming not distressed in the least, though Brianna suspected deeper feeling underneath the veneer. The two shared the arisaid Jenny had given Brianna for warmth. She knows it will be okay. She has survived all the parting of ways up until now, and she will no doubt survive this. Though she wished she could’ve stayed longer in Scotland. She would return to Scotland and Roger after she follows through with her plans. She feels the bracelet of silver Roger gave her warmed from her skin. Tears fell silently from Lizzie’s eyes. Brianna wiped them away without a word. They stood there still as could be until they could see Scotland no more.
Chapter 36 You Can’t Go Home Again
Inverness, July 1769
Roger walks around Inverness. It is different and the same. He notices the similarities and what’s missing, like Reverend Wakefield’s church and manse. Where the manse would be built the area is filled with foliage, cinquefoil, sweet broom, and a small rowan sapling. The smell of car fumes was replaced by the distant tang of raw sewage. The churches were missing, but Loch Ness looked much the same. As he walks, he notices Mountgerald a large home at the end of High Street that was built with human sacrifice in the foundation (p619, Nook).
He opens the door to a pub with a sense of déjà vu. The name of the pub was different, but it smelled like beer. His first sip was surprising in its strength. He heard the business of a port pub being done around him. He notices a ship’s captain interviewing those who wanted to emigrate to the Colonies. He listened unobtrusively to see where the ship was heading and what the different levels of passage entailed and cost. If money were an issue, people would enter indenture as a means to travel. Roger witnesses a family getting sized up for this purpose.
Roger leaves the pub and knows he doesn’t have enough funds for travel. He was only able to collect a small amount of coin before going through the stones. Roger ponders the ways he could travel to the Colonies. He could work for more passage money. Unfortunately, it could take him a year or more to earn enough. First, he must find her among the passenger lists, so he’s sure where she’s gone. The harbormaster’s office is in the same location it is in the future (p623, Nook). Roger painstakingly goes through the passenger ledgers looking for Brianna Randall. It took more than one slow read through. He wonders about some of the names he sees on the pages. If he didn’t find her in the pages, he would head to Lallybroch. Finally, he reaches a name, Brianna Fraser. She was going by Fraser. She had taken the Phillip Alonzo to Charleston, South Carolina on July 4, 1769. Why South Carolina? No other ships went to North Carolina in July, so she must have picked the closest destination with the plan to travel overland once she arrived. He struggles with surety that it is her, but he presses forward. It was a big enough risk for him to follow her through the stones, and now to board a ship to the Colonies without knowing for certain. He’s a driven and brave man.
Roger learns there’s a ship heading to the Colonies in short order, the Gloriana. Captain Bonnet is the man to see to secure his spot as a seaman. He finds Captain Bonnet in the pub. He gives his name as MacKenzie, thinking he could do what Brianna had done. Roger finds Bonnet to disconcert him. His green eyes penetrated Roger uncomfortably. With position secured, Roger is to report for duty by sundown. Roger sizes up Bonnet as a man who seeks out and takes advantage of any weakness (p628, Nook).
Both chapters are building tension, expectation, with the action rising. We are going to see exactly what Roger is made of during his journey. We already are seeing the grit Brianna has within. Imagine Brianna’s response to
What’s Coming up? Chapters 37-39 Drums of Autumn (DOA).
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