Outlander Book Club – “On The Road” (Part 2)

This week, I’m taking a look at the second half of Part Three: “On The Road”, and if last week’s reading was all about basking in the after glow of their wedding, this week is all about what happens when two fiery personalities collide. We see two MASSIVE arguments with our leading couple, and the results aren’t pretty. Join me as I dive into some of the key moments between Jamie and Claire this week that signify the continuing growth of their relationship!

Chapter 17 – We Meet A Beggar

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“It’s only habit, I suppose,”  he said. I did it first when I was much younger, when I first heard that story. I didna really believe they have souls, of course, even then, but, ye ken, just as a bit of respect…” He looked up at me and smiled suddenly. “Done it so often now, I’d not even notice. There’s quite a few plovers in Scotland, ye ken.” He rose and tossed the stick aside. “Let’s go on, now; there’s a place I want to show you, near the top of the hill yon.” He took my elbow to help me out of the declivity, and we set off up the slope.

I had heard what he said to the plover he released. Though I had only a few words of Gaelic, I had heard the old salutation often enough to be familiar with it. ‘God go with ye, Mother,’ he had said.

A young mother, dead in childbirth. And a child left behind. I touched his arm and he looked down at me.

“How old were you?” I asked.

He gave me a half-smile. “Eight,” he answered. “Weaned at least.”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

One scene that always comes to mind when I think of Outlander is the scene with the plovers. It’s such a touching piece that confuses Claire as she first observes. However, as she begins to understand the Gaelic words, Jamie is using, she begins to understand Jamie’s story a little more. He lost his mother at an extremely young age, and that has largely shaped the young man we first meet. We also get a look into the folklore of the Scottish Highlands. It is believed that plovers house the souls of mothers who have died in childbirth, and that they are constantly mourning for, or in search of, their lost children. For a young man who lost his mother in childbirth, you can see the appeal of catching a plover and if only for a second, being able to speak with his mother’s spirit.

Does anyone else feel like our favorite Fraser has more friends than somebody who just won the lottery? They just keep popping out of the wood work. I feel like he knows everybody! In all seriousness though, Hugh Monroe seems like a good friend to have. There is precisely one person who witnessed the murder Jamie is being accused of. And that man’s name is Horrocks. With some finagling, and not a lot of help from Dear Old Uncle Dougal, Jamie is having to find a way to meet with Horrocks, and Hugh is here to help! Thank God for small mercies, eh?

But hand to God, the BEST part of this entire chapter is the love scene between Jamie and Claire. Jamie, ever the horseman, is explaining to Claire that the way to familiarize a horse with your scent is to rub your armpit on their nose. And THEN, gut bustingly, suggests all Claire had to do to get him past being skittish with her–rub his face between her legs… Oh. My. God… I about DIED when I read this for the first time. Jamie Fraser, ladies and gents… Phew… I’m still recovering, give me a second…

The only thing that could make this moment better in my eyes, is one of those tender lines I love so much. Oh, wait. Diana thought of that too. When Jamie says, “Does it ever stop, the wanting you?”, Claire can’t give him a straight answer, because the honest truth is, this is territory she never entered with Frank. Try as she might she’s on unfamiliar ground, and she is rapidly realizing she has a stronger physical connection with Jamie than she ever did with her first husband… oopsie…

Chapter 18 – Raiders In The Rocks

Dougal is back from his errand, and it would seem Jamie and Claire’s wedding was a complete success. Black Jack was informed that Claire would no longer be available for questioning as she was no longer a British subject, and let’s just say he was NOT a happy camper. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that conversation. Of course, Claire’s safety wasn’t the only thing that mattered to Dougal when he suggested she and Jamie marry, but more on that in a couple chapters!

In the meantime lets discuss the raid! Scottish culture was so interesting in the 18th century. Imagine living in a place where clan rivalry was a lifestyle and different groups of men were constantly living in a state of outlawry, stealing cattle, and goods from unassuming rent parties. You can see by the way the men respond to the Chisholms raid that this is a regular occurrence on the road. Jamie tells Claire as much–he’s been dealing with these kinds of fights since he was 14. Sidebar: There’s no way in HELL any mother with decent sense would let her 14-year-old son do something like that… Ah, the times are a-changin’ — markedly by the looks of it.

Not only is it common for men to steal goods, but it also seems that taking men as hostages for ransom ALSO seems like an everyday occurrence. This is exactly what Jamie and Dougal are trying to avoid. They are both extremely valuable targets as nephew and brother of The MacKenzie, and in this fight are potential prizes for six different men that are trying to take them. It is in this scene that we really see the beautiful swordsmen Dougal and Jamie are. They are experienced and skilled–they would have to be to win a fight that’s 3 to 1. We are also literally able to see the ties that bind these two men. I think it goes without saying that they have a complicated relationship, but as I said in Book Club #2, Dougal taught Jamie everything he knows, and it doesn’t matter how much of an asshole Dougal has been in the interim–that personal history is still worth something.

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


Jamie and Dougal were at the center of it, fighting back to back. Each of them held his broadsword in the left hand, dirk in the right, and both of them were putting the arms to good use, so far as I could see.

They were surrounded by four men–or five; I lost count in the shadows–armed with short swords, though one man had a broadsword hung on his belt and at least two more carried undrawn pistols.

It must be Dougal, or Jamie, or both, that they wanted. Alive, for preference. For ransom, I supposed. Thus the deliberate use of smallswords, which might merely wound, rather than the more lethal broadswords or pistols.

Dougal and Jamie suffered from no such scruples, and were attending to business with considerable grim efficiency. Back to back, they formed a complete circle of threat, each man covering the other’s weaker side.

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

In a time when women were viewed as nothing more than pieces of property kept at home to cook and do laundry, I was extremely impressed that the men of the rent party took it upon themselves to teach Claire how to use a knife. It’s something that I agree with 110%. Everyone should know how to defend themselves, especially in such a dangerous place; the raid the night before was a perfect example of this. To be honest, I think the guys had a bit of fun with it as well–making a dummy and sticking bits of wood and things in it to make the training as accurate as possible.

It was a brilliant exercise on their part, and Dougal was right. Even if you can bring yourself to get past the act of stabbing someone with the intent to kill, it’s still a hell of a shock to sink a knife into a living person, and a lot of people aren’t physically prepared for the strength and skill it takes to stab someone in the correct way to disable or kill them. So, bravo, to the gentlemen of this chapter for their progressive trains of thought!

Chapter 19 – Waterhorse

I think this is probably the shortest chapter in the entire Outlander series, and it is the ONE chapter from Outlander that Diana has openly admitted could have been cut from the book. But its such a fun little piece, and I’m really glad she kept it because Claire seeing the LOCH NESS MONSTER?? How freaking cool!! The slightly problematic portion of this chapter is that one of the group’s drovers, Peter saw Claire talking to what he perceives as a “Water Horse” and now thinks she’s a witch–something that will be important later.

Chapter 20 – Deserted Glades

Man, it feels good to finally be “in the know”. Up until this point, we’ve heard a lot of rumors and different sides of the story, along with Claire’s own assumptions on Jamie’s situation with his uncles. But NOW we have Jamie’s firsthand account, and it goes a little something like this…

Jamie was whacked on the head with an axe and went to France to recover. When he came back, he was met at the port by Dougal, Murtagh, and the MacKenzie men. On their way back to Leoch, Rupert and Dougal decided to do a little cattle rustling and during all the hullabaloo with Jack Randall’s redcoats, Jamie decided to make a run for it over to the Fraser lands, where he thought he stood a better chance of safety, at which time he was promptly SHOT–likely by Rupert to keep him from fleeing back to the Frasers… talk about family drama…

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“It’s Lallybroch,” he explained, feeling with his free hand for stray whiskers. “Besides being a rich bit of ground, the estate sits at the head of a mountain pass, d’ye see. The only good pass into the Highlands for ten miles in either direction. Come to another Rising, it would be a valuable bit of land to control. And if I were to die before wedding, chances are the land would go back to the Frasers.”

He grinned, stroking his neck “No, I’m a pretty problem to the brothers MacKenzie. On the one hand, if I’m a threat to young Hamish’s chieftainship, they want me safely dead. On the other, if I’m not, they want me–and my property–securely on their side if it comes to war–not wi’ the Frasers. That’s why they’re willing to help me wi’ Horrocks, ye see. I canna do that much wi’ Lallybroch while I’m outlawed, even though the land’s still mine.”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Oh yeah, and there’s one little thing I forgot to mention. Now that Jamie and Claire are married, if Jamie dies, Lallybroch and everything the estate contains belongs to Claire, which, in my humble opinion, makes her a prime target for the exact same people that have been trying to off Jamie. I suppose this whole mess explains why Jamie has been sleeping with a dirk in his hand for the past however-many-months. Good grief, you never know who you can trust, do you? Especially when it comes to Colum and Dougal MacKenzie!

The attack in the glade is without a doubt the most important event to occur in this chapter, and a couple of things in particular stood out to me. The first was Jamie and Claire’s understanding. Claire knew that the man planning to rape her would be at his most vulnerable in the moments right before penetration. She had a knife, and she knew how to use it. Despite his own instincts, Jamie knew Claire’s plan was likely the only one that wouldn’t result in one of them be injured or killed and so, agreed to let Claire handle it. I think both decisions took an ample of amount of guts. A moment of hesitation from either one of them could have been disastrous, and for them both to keep a clear enough head to do what needed to be done was something I’m not sure I would have been able to do myself. Color me impressed.

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


Pressing my skirts down, I became aware of a hard object in the right-hand pocket. The dagger Jamie had given me. Could I bring myself to use it? Yes, I decided, looking at Harry’s pimpled, leering face, I definitely could.

I would have to wait ‘til the last possible second, though, and I had my doubts as to whether Jamie could control himself that long. I could see the  urge to kill marked strong on his features; soon consideration of the consequences would no longer be enough to hold him back.

I didn’t dare let too much show on my face, but narrowed my eyes and glared at him as hard as I could, willing him not to move. The cords stood out in his neck, and his face was suffused with dark blood, but I saw an infinitesimal nod in acknowledgement of my message.

I struggled as Harry pressed me to the ground and tried to pull up my skirts, more in order to get my hand on the dagger hilt than in actual resistance. He slapped me hard across the face, ordering me to be still. My cheek burned and my eyes watered, but the dagger was now in my hand, concealed under the folds of my skirt.

I lay back, breathing heavily. I concentrated on my objective, trying to erase everything else from my mind. It would have to be in the back; the quarters were too close to try for the throat.

The filthy fingers were digging into my thighs now, wrenching them apart. In my mind, I could see Rupert’s blunt finger stabbing at Murtagh’s ribs, and hear his voice, “Here, lass, up under the lowest ribs, close to the backbone. Stab hard, upward into the kidney, and he’ll drop like a stone.”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

The other moment that stood out to me was the love scene. Jamie and Claire have this urgent need to have sex any time there is a crisis at hand, and I’m not sure whether I find that tendency endearing or annoying. I know everyone deals with stress and danger in different ways, but being aggressively intimate with your partner after you were almost raped and murdered seems a bit much… They were both in shock after what happened, and I suppose sex was there only thought at the moment. I don’t know… maybe I’m missing something? Leave me a comment if you have any thoughts! I would dearly love to know what you guys are thinking on this subject.

On the heels of one thing I wasn’t super thrilled about comes another frustrating moment for me as a reader. This time, my wrath is 100% aimed at Jamie Fraser. Your wife was almost raped, RIGHT in front of you, and your first inclination is to leave her alone in the woods?!?! Shame on you Jamie Fraser. He lost MASSIVE brownie points on this one. Claire is obviously still shaken by what happened. How could she not be? Jamie even admits that he feels guilty about what happened and blames himself. Let it be said that I don’t blame him for the attack. It wasn’t his fault. But you would think, if he felt it was his fault, he would be OVER protective, and he seems to be acting like it didn’t happen.

I don’t blame Claire one bit, if I’m being honest. I think I would have reacted the same way under the circumstances. It’s easy to lull yourself into a false sense of security if nothing traumatic has ever happened to you, but this soon after a sexual assault, and her husband is going to LEAVE her… Yeah, I probably would have panicked and dug my heels in too in her shoes.

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“It’s verra dangerous, and I’ll not have ye there, Claire. I shall be busy, and if it comes to it, I can’t fight and protect you at the same time.” Seeing my mutinous look, he dropped his hand to the saddlebag and began rummaging.

“What are you looking for?”

“Rope. If ye wilna do as I say, I shall tie ye to a tree until I come back.”

“You wouldn’t!”

“Aye, I would!” Plainly he meant it. I gave in with bad grace, and reluctantly reined in my horse. Jamie leaned to kiss me glancingly on the cheek, already turning to go.

“Take care, Sassenach. You’ve your dirk? Good. I shall come back as soon as I can. Oh, one more thing.”

“What’s that?” I said sullenly.

“If you leave that copse before I come for ye, I’ll tan your bare arse wi’ my sword belt. Ye wouldna enjoy walking all the way to Bargrennan. Remember,” he said, pinching my cheek gently, “I dinna make idle threats.” He didn’t, either. I rode slowly toward the grove, looking back to watch him racing away, bent low over the saddle, one with the horse, the ends of his plaid flying behind.

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Within a matter of minutes or hours though, Claire her anger with Jamie is moot; he’s given her what she’s wanted for months now. She is alone, and she knows where she is which means she can find her way back to Craigh na Dun and to Frank. The problem is, she finds herself worrying about Jamie. Whether she likes it or not, she has formed an attachment to Jamie. She doesn’t want to hurt him. And she can’t help but thinking how he’s going to feel when he returns to the glade to find her gone without a trace. Regardless, her guilt is fleeting, and she decides to make a “run” for it, nearly drowning in the process. To make things even worse, her savior is Corporal Hawkins, and she is in for Round Three with, Captain Jonathan Randall.

Chapter 21 – Une Mauvais Quart d’Heure After Another

As readers I think we were all collectively hoping we had seen the last of Black Jack Randall when Claire and Jamie got married, and Dougal told him to take a hike. Of course, this is the Diana Gabaldon Universe, and unless a character death is witnessed with a time and date, that character is never gone for good. (Let’s be honest, sometimes even when a character is dead and buried, they aren’t gone for good.) Getting Dougal’s account of how angry BJR was at Claire’s evasion, it wasn’t hard to envision the level of tortuous intent Jack would have when the two inevitably crossed paths again.

In Chapter 21, we see Jack’s repugnant nature on full display. At first we are lured into a sense of false security. The conversation seems almost civil, and while they certainly have a sarcastic banter between them, it doesn’t surpass common courtesy. Claire’s witty nature even manages to make Jack laugh — a massive mistake. From that moment on, Jack and Frank are inextricably linked. Try as she might, Claire can’t fully separate the two men anymore, and for the briefest of moments in a later chapter, Claire can’t even recall her husband’s face; it is Jonathan Randall she sees in her mind’s eye.

The choice of bringing up Randall’s connection to the Duke of Sandringham was a serious miscalculation on Claire’s part. To the casual observer, Jack’s association with an aristocrat suspected of Jacobite leanings may not mean too much, but it’s an entirely different beast when someone is aware Randall is in league with Sandringham. Claire has put all her eggs in one basket, hoping Randall will let her go–and he doubles down. Because of BJR’s erectile dysfunction during his attempted rape, it is often speculated by readers that Randall is homosexual. Allow me to put those rumors to rest. According to Gabaldon, Randall is an “equal opportunity sadist”. Okay, so what does that mean? You may ask. Well folks, all that means is Randall gets off on pain and fear. He doesn’t discriminate based on sex. If you’re a first time reader, you may be thinking, “Why does this matter?” Trust me. It does.

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


I was furiously angry, disgusted, humiliated, and revolted, but curiously not very frightened. I felt a heavy, flopping movement against my leg and suddenly realized why. He wasn’t going to enjoy it unless I screamed–and possibly not then.

“Oh, like that, is it?” I said, and was rewarded at once with a sharp slap across the face. I shut my mouth grimly and turned my head away lest I be tempted into any more injudicious remarks. I realized that rape or not, I was in considerable danger from his unstable temper. Looking away from the sight of Randall, I caught a sudden flicker of movement at the window.

“I’ll thank ye,” said a cool, level voice. “To take your hands off my wife.” Randall froze with a hand still on my breast. Jamie was crouched in the window frame, a large, brass-handled pistol braced across one forearm.

Randall stood frozen for a second, as though unable to believe his ears. As his head turned slowly toward the window, his right hand, shielded from Jamie’s view, left my breast, sliding stealthily toward the knife, which he had laid on the desk next to my head.

What did you say?” he said, incredulously. As his hand fastened on the knife, he turned far enough to see who had spoken. He stopped again for a moment, staring, then began to laugh.

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

I never had any doubt that Jamie would come to Claire’s rescue. I mean, he’s Jamie-freaking-Fraser. What DID surprise me was that he didn’t kill Randall. With all that has passed between those two it really shocked me that he chose to merely incapacitate his torturer. Factoring in what is yet to happen in this story, I can’t help but feel that Jamie could have saved himself A LOT of trouble if he had killed Jack right then and there–but he didn’t, and I suppose there’s no sense in crying over spilt milk. What is worth noting in this endeavor is just how much danger Jamie placed himself in to rescue his wife. He braved an entire fort full of redcoats, and committed a rather sizable case of arson all to ensure her safety, only to arrive on the scene and find the stuff of nightmares. Black Jack Randall about to rape Claire.

I suppose this leads us into the meat and potatoes of this chapter: The Argument. Jamie and Claire have only been married for a few weeks. They haven’t had cause to get their hackles up over anything. It has really just been a time for them to get to know one another and figure out how to be husband and wife. However, an argument of epic proportions was pretty impossible to avoid given that they both have tempers, and are prone to rash behavior. When you add in the circumstances surrounding the argument…well… let’s just say “fireworks” would be putting it mildly.

Claire is used to the 20th century and the way things are done there. She says in Chapter 22 that it’s not a lack of danger in her time, but a difference in the nature of that danger which causes her to not take Jamie’s warnings seriously. The 20th century is an age of mass murder and world war. She’s also of the mind that she can take care of herself. She doesn’t need a man telling her what to do, and of course, this conflicts with the 18th century belief that women are only meant to “do what their told and obey orders”. Despite everything, Claire’s feelings for her new husband are becoming dangerously fleshed out. She wants more than anything to return to her own time, and even as an avid member of Team Jamie, I can’t say I blame her.

Jamie, on the other hand, is upset about quite a few things. He’s trying his best to keep his temper under wraps, but the man can only take so much. Our hero is taking a good portion of the blame on his shoulders for what happened in the glade. He feels that 1) he should have checked for redcoat rapists hiding in the weeds, and 2) he should have been able to perform a miracle and defend Claire adequately. Am I the only one that thinks Jamie expects too much of himself? None of it was his fault, and having the restricted information he did, I don’t think he was wrong in his anger. Once again, Claire has put herself in a situation where she is in need of rescuing, and once again he has to put himself and his men in harm’s way to come to her aid.

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


Jamie waited until they were out of earshot. Then he yanked me around to face him. He was clearly furious, on the verge of explosion. I felt my own wrath rising; what right did he have to treat me like this?

“Sulking!” he said. “Sulking, is it? I’m using all the self-control I’ve got, to keep from shakin’ ye ‘til your teeth rattle, and you tell me not to sulk!”

“What in the name of God is the matter with you?” I asked angrily. I tried to shake off his grip, but his fingers dug into my upper arms like the teeth of a trap.

“What’s the matter wi’ me? I’ll tell ye what the matter is, since ye want to know!” he said through clenched teeth. “I’m tired of having to prove over and over that you’re no an English spy. I’m tired of having to watch ye every minute, for fear of what foolishness you’ll try next. And I’m verra tired of people trying to make me watch while they rape you! I dinna enjoy it a bit!”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

In the end, Jamie and Claire both said things they regret. And while they’ve forgiven each other for the words they said in anger, they haven’t forgotten them. Nor are they likely to for a long time. Wounded pride and hurt feelings rolled into the strain of a new, arranged marriage is creating a significant road bump. The situation is only exacerbated by the times in which each of our main characters were raised, and we’re going to see those difference collide once again in the next chapter.

Chapter 22 – Reckonings

It’s THE hot button topic around the Outlander Universe. Jamie taking his belt to Claire. If you’ve listened to The Sassenach Files Podcast, you know where I stand. To understand my viewpoint on this, I think it is vital to point out the concept of presentism (uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts). Jamie gets a lot of flack for his actions, but I personally don’t blame him. He is a man of his time, and women of the 18th century were viewed as their husband’s responsibility. Unfortunately, that responsibility extended to punishment, but I feel that there is one key thing missing from most people’s interpretation. This isn’t a matter of spousal abuse. If a man had done the same as Claire, he likely would have had his ears cropped, been flogged, or possibly been killed. There was no double standard, and Jamie made that clear. It is simply a matter of justice.

So, I can’t blame Jamie for what happened, and I can’t be mad at him either. He did what he thought was right by the standards in which he was raised. That being said, it takes a great deal of integrity to apologize and make things right with your spouse after such a knock down, drag out fight, but he trudged forward and did his level best to make amends in only the way Jamie can–telling stories. He makes the executive decision to tell Claire pretty much every bad thing that has happened to him including the last time he received a beating. In all honesty, it does kind of sound like he deserved it. Jamie, who was sixteen at the time, was overheard by Mrs. Fitz as he was making fun of her robust figure.

I guess I always took it for granted that you just don’t mess with Mrs. Fitz. Apparently Jamie didn’t get the memo, and he paid dearly for it. Twelve lashes bare-bummed, and then he had to crawl across the Great Hall of Leoch on hands and knees to beg forgiveness… As Jamie puts it, damaged pride hurts on anybody but it smarts particularly when you’re a teenager. He tells all of these stories to Claire to make her realize what happened to her, has has happened to everyone else, and she shouldn’t feel embarassed about it. He knows he can’t take back what he did to her, and I don’t think he regrets it. But he feels bad about hurting her pride, and is giving her what he can to take the sting off of it–all his previous humiliations on a silver platter.

Hearing Jamie’s story about his own whipping in the hall also sheds light on something else we were curious about. It turns out Jamie took the beating for Laoghaire at Hall because he knew what it felt like to be beaten and humiliated in front of everyone, and didn’t want her to have to experience that… He is such a sweetie!!

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“Oh, Jamie, I do love you!”

This time it was his turn to laugh. He doubled over, then sat down at the roadside, fizzing with mirth. He slowly fell over backward and lay in the long grass, wheezing and choking.

“What on earth is the matter with you?” I demanded, staring at him. At long last, he sat up, wiping his streaming eyes. He shook his head, gasping.

“Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks, and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and you say ye love me.” He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other.

“You’re no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let’s go.”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

After Jamie and Claire mend fences, Jamie continues to share interesting anecdotes from his life, but they continue to get more and more serious in nature. The most notable of which is the rest of the Fort William story including an indecent proposal by Jack Randall. BJR made Jamie an offer: make free of your body and there will be no second flogging. I can only imagine how Jamie felt, sitting in Randall’s office, trying to decide what would be worse, sexual violation or 100 lashes with a cat of nine tails on an already obliterated back. In all honesty, I think I may have chosen the former. Of course, with Randall being Randall, there is nothing to say he would have honored the deal. It would have been completely within his power to go ahead with the flogging anyway.

I’m not sure there’s a polite way to decline something like that, but, of course, Jamie with his “Fraser fire”, couldn’t help refusing in a rude an uncouth manner and only pissed Black Jack off further. I think that is what Jamie regrets. Jamie can’t help but wonder if witnessing the horrid events of the second flogging was what killed his father. As Dougal told Claire, there are ways to make a flogging better or worse, and Jack wasn’t giving Jamie any quarter the second time. Jamie was extremely weak for a good month after the beating, and didn’t even know Brian was dead until long after he was buried. The guilt and grief he feels over this series of events is extremely evident simply in the way he is telling the story. Ugh… I just want to give him a hug!!

Chapter 23 – Return to Leoch

As if we didn’t hate Black Jack Randall enough, it only adds insult to injury when we find out from the mysterious Horrocks that his torment of Jamie goes further than we imagined. Jack killed the sergeant major Jamie was accused of murdering. What the actual f***…?? I mean, I know this guy gets kicks and giggles out of being the source of everyone’s misery but seriously!? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by anything Randall does, I mean he IS “Black” Jack — and as Jamie puts it, his father was called “Black” Brian for the color of his hair. Randall is called “Black” Jack because of the color of his soul… truer words have never been spoken Mr. Fraser.

Now, that we know Horrocks is a dead end, what’s next? Jamie has options, but the preferable path is to clear his name in Scotland and start a small farm or go back to Lallybroch to take his rightful place as laird of the estate. It is over the course of this discussion that Claire starts to feel really, REALLY bad about how she’s behaved. She nearly got Jamie killed with her reckless actions, while Jamie doesn’t move an inch without thinking about Claire, her comfort, and her safety. Plus, she still fully intends to leave him at the earliest opportunity, and her conscious is starting to get the better of her.

So, with a guilty conscious, bruised ego, and extreme fatigue, Claire is nearly at her wit’s end by the time she arrives back at Castle Leoch. And, in case there was ANY doubt, I’ll just come out and say it. That is no bueno, mis amigos… Claire’s personality becomes downright noxious when she is not in the right head space. Seeing Laoghaire again has brought back all of her previous wonderings on the subject of the girl and Jamie’s intimacies, but now she is seeing those musings through the green-eyed lens of jealousy. Jamie is amazing. She knows him well enough by now to make that unequivocal statement. She also saw enough jealous stares as he carried her to their bedroom to know that all the other girls of marriageable age in the castle ALSO see that, and with all of this knowledge in hand Claire works herself into an absolute frenzy Jamie is not prepared for.

It’s Jamie vs. Claire: Round Two…aaaannnnnnd FIGHT *Ding Ding.

This argument makes my head spin. It’s so immature on a THOUSAND different levels. I get that they’re both tired, and jealousy is involved, which doesn’t EVER help a situation, but between Claire accusing Jamie of… whatever she’s accusing him of, and Jamie trying to assert his conjugal rights… *face palm* I really just CAN’T with these two. I can’t make up my mind on whether accusing Jamie of actions becoming of Jack Randall was below the belt or not, but it certainly woke him up, and with the words, “If that’s what you think of me, then go. I won’t hinder you.” Claire wakes up too. *Alright kids, are we going to handle this like adults now?

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


Reaching he took the package from my lap and tore away the wrapping, revealing a wide silver band, decorated in the Highland interlace style, a small and delicate Jacobean thistle bloom carved in the center of each link.

So much I saw, and then my eyes blurred again.

I found a handkerchief thrust into my hand, and did my best to staunch the flow with it. “It’s…beautiful,” I said, clearing my throat and dabbling at my eyes.

“Will ye wear it, Claire?” His voice was gentle now, and his use of my name, mostly reserved for occasions of formality or tenderness, nearly made me break down again.

“You needna do so,” he said, looking at me seriously over his cupped palm. “The marriage contract between us is satisfied–it’s legal. You’re protected, safe from anything much save a warrant, and even from that, so long as you’re at Leoch. If ye wish, we may live apart–if that’s what ye were trying to say wi’ all yon rubbish about Laoghaire. You need have little more to do wi’ me, if that’s your honest choice.” He sat motionless, waiting, holding the tiny circlet near his heart.

So he was giving me the choice I had started out to give him. Forced on me by circumstance, he would force himself on me no longer, if I chose to reject him. And there was the alternative, of course: to accept the ring, and all that went with it.

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

So where was Jamie really, while Claire was making all these baseless accusations? Well, he was getting the wedding ring he promised her… Oh Claire… If I shake my head anymore, it’s going to fall off, folks. With that revelation, our heroine is forced to make a choice: 1) Refuse the ring, leave Jamie, and go back to the stones. He already said he won’t hinder her. The marriage is legal and binding. She has all the protection she needs from Randall if that is what is holding her back. Or 2) Take the ring, trust Jamie, and try to make their marriage work.

BREAKING NEWS: Claire took the ring. I repeat. She took the ring!!

The resulting sex scene is probably THE sex scene that comes to mind when I think about Outlander. It is a sex scene that only Jamie and Claire can bring to life: hot, rough, passionate, and yes, even a bit violent. Yes, you read that right–violent. I mean, I’ve heard of hammering out the details, but man… This is one of those scenes that the show tried to convey, and somehow the show watchers don’t believe me when I say they toned it down for television… trust me, it’s true…and if you want to know what I mean, you’ll just have to read it. There’s no other way to explain…at least not in a semi-PG 13 Blog post, there isn’t…

And with that little tidbit, I bid you ado for another week. Check back next Friday, November 20th for the next edition of Outlander Book Club where I’ll be discussing Part Four: “A Whiff of Brimstone”.

Until next time, Cheers!

2 Replies to “Outlander Book Club – “On The Road” (Part 2)”

  1. I would like to read other people’s comments but in spite of subscribing to the blog ( I think) I can’t access them.


    1. Hey Alison, glad to see you’re enjoying the blog. Unfortunately there are no other comments to view at this time. Hopefully that will change in the future 😉


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