Outlander Book Club: Book 2, Chapter 21 breakdown

Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ /
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Outlander Season 2 — Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 2 — Courtesy of STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

We start the chapter with Claire and Jamie heading to see the Duke of Sandringham. We can’t have a chapter with him without some sort of drama.

While Jamie speaks to the Duke, Claire heads off in search of Alex Randall. Because of custom in society, Alex can’t seek out to speak to Mary and Mary can’t write to him. So, Claire needs to play a little matchmaking.

It turns out Mary doesn’t care too much about custom. She’s secretly arrived at the Duke’s, where she is also looking for Alex Randall. Sadly, they are too late. Alex has lost his employment and he’s on his way back to England. Is that it for Mary and Alex?

While at the Duke’s, Claire and Jamie bump into another Randall. Black Jack Randall is there. He’s most definitely not dead, and it makes Claire scared. She’s even more worried when Jamie sends Claire home and he stays. She knows Jamie wants to duel Black Jack Randall.

In a way, it’s understandable. However, there are a lot of things that Jamie hasn’t considered. Claire is the one who runs through everything, which later sets up the argument between them. Claire worries about Frank, but she also worries about the fact that dueling is illegal in France.

Before she can worry too much about that, Dougal shows up. He never thought Black Jack Randall was dead. It was the orderly who had been pulled out of the prison as a rag doll. However, Dougal knows what Jamie will want to do and agrees to head to the police station with Claire. She’s going to get BJR arrested.

She had been attacked and knew it was someone with noble birth. Claire decides to claim that it was Black Jack Randall. While he’ll eventually get free, she thinks she’ll have enough time to talk Jamie out of dueling.

However, Dougal thinks about the nobles who attacked. He’s heard there’s a gang called Les Disciples, who are noblemen and have to commit crimes such as raping virgins and stealing the nipples off married women. The Comte St. Germain is rumored to be in this gang, leading to Claire to suspect that maybe he had something to do with the attack. However, she’s focused on Black Jack Randall right now.

It temporarily puts things on hold. Jamie shares that he went for a walk and by the time he got back to the Duke’s, Black Jack Randall has been arrested. BJR has an alibi, so Jamie knows that he can still organize the duel.

That’s when Claire asks Jamie to reconsider. Claire wants to make sure that Frank is born. She can’t see an innocent man not born for this. She doesn’t even think of Frank’s entire line that wouldn’t be born. However, all she’s asking for is a year.

When Jamie won’t agree to it, Claire tells him that she owes him a life. Now she is coming to claim that. Jamie reluctantly agrees, but he isn’t happy and he’s angry that Claire would even ask this.

Will he ever forgive her? Claire questions that but knows that Frank is still alive in the future. That’s all that matters for now. And Jamie does eventually forgive her for the request by the end of the chapter.

I’ll admit that I do wonder if Jamie would have even gone through with the duel in the end. If Claire hadn’t told him she owed him a life, would he have calmed down long enough to think about Frank? Would he have been able to kill when he knew it meant innocent lives in the future would be affected? We have to remember at this point that Claire and Jamie still believe that BJR is Frank’s direct ancestor.

There’s a chance that his conscience would get the better of him once he had time to calm down. When it does eventually come to the duel, he’s reacting out of anger without Claire there to help him calm down and think rationally. Jamie is a stubborn man, but he is also considerate when anger isn’t fueling him.