Outlander Book Club: Drums of Autumn Chapter 21 breakdown

Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Mark Mainz/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Mark Mainz/STARZ /
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Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter picks up two months after the previous one. It’s now December, and the snow has arrived.

The start of the chapter involves a leak in the roof. Many book fans find this hilarious picturing Jamie going to fix the leak in the roof butt naked. It wasn’t what Claire had in mind when she told him not to fix the roof in his good wool!

After that, Young Ian heads out to the Tuscarora again. He and Rollo have joined the Tuscarora on various hunts, and he’s gained a good knowledge of the language. Jamie notes how he has done better with that than with Greek or Latin. That’s likely because Ian sees a value in learning the language. It means he can connect with the local people.

While Young Ian is off, Jamie heads out to check on the traps while Claire remains in the cabin. However, it starts to get late and Jamie hasn’t been back. She decides to go out to look for him, but she isn’t really sure where he’s gone. She follows his footprints around the various traps but then realizes that they’ve stopped when she gets to a trap with a hare in it.

Taking the hare, she heads back to the last sighting and then heads into the forest. That’s when she finally comes across Jamie, who is face-down in the snow. Claire initially thinks he’s been shot in the back, but he notes that he’s just put his back out while jumping. He’d shot an elk but not killed it, so was trying to run after it.

They can’t get back to the cabin. Jamie can’t move because of his back. So, Claire makes a covering with some hemlock branches from the cold air. Jamie also notes that the snowfall is good. While it is cold, it creates a blanket from the wind.

Of course, they can’t survive forever, but Jamie is sure they can survive for a while. They stay together that night in the cold, and Claire tells the story of Scrooge. It turns out that she and Frank had a tradition with Brianna at Christmas to read the story, and they also read it to her from memory one night when their car ran off the road and into a ditch and they had to wait for rescue.

We get this look at how Claire and Frank worked together for Brianna’s sake. They didn’t argue. Instead, they focused on reading the story and remaining calm for their daughter. And yes, their daughter. While Brianna is biologically Jamie’s, Bree and Frank both saw each other as father and daughter, and that’s what counts.

The next morning, Jamie says that he’ll need to stay there for a while. Claire can head back to the cabin to get blankets and food. However, before they do anything, they need to remain still when they hear a group of Native Americans walking by. They’re speaking in a language they don’t understand.

It’s later that Young Ian and the Tuscarora come across Jamie and Claire in the snow. The other Natives were from the Mohawk tribe. They’d come south looking for brides and brought a Jesuit priest with them to perform the ceremony.

The Tuscarora help get Jamie back to the cabin in return for some of the elk meat that Jamie had shot. It had eventually died.