Outlander Book Club: Drums of Autumn Chapter 26 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 Mark Mainz/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Mark Mainz/STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with Claire checking in on her Tuscarora patient, who we found out about briefly in the previous chapter. This man is suffering from the measles, and he’s not doing well at all. Claire has been respectful toward him up to this point, and she continues to try to do her best for him.

However, Claire does confirm that the Native Americans don’t do well with the European diseases like smallpox and measles. They do much better with parasites and some of the more common diseases in their area before the colonists moved over. There is also a quick mention of how the African people deal better with particular diseases that they brought with them when imprisoned by the colonists.

I do find this interesting. It’s not uncommon knowledge now that the Native Americans didn’t do well with European diseases. Their bodies weren’t used to the viruses. And it’s something we still see now when international diseases spread.

Sadly, the Tuscarora man dies. Claire and Jamie turn to Young Ian to help deal with burying the body. That’s not what his people would do. They decide it would be best to hand over to Nacognaweto and explain that he died of disease. However, they will need to wait because the measles will be on the man’s clothes and Claire doesn’t want the rest of the tribe getting sick.

The plans are put on hold temporarily. Lord John Grey comes down with measles, and Claire notes that the two-week incubation period hasn’t passed yet. John didn’t get the disease from the Tuscarora man but from passing through some of the local areas where there were bouts of sickness.

Claire and Jamie need to keep Young Ian and Willie safe. Jamie will need to camp out with the boys while Claire tends to John.

It’s not like she wants to tend to John, but there’s no way as a doctor she would ever not do it. However, Claire does realize that it’s John’s love for Jamie that makes her dislike him so much. She thinks of the affairs she believes Frank had, although she admits that Frank was discreet.

I do often wonder if Frank did have affairs. Diana Gabaldon says he didn’t, and I do wonder if Frank was actually doing research into Jamie and whether the phone calls were to get information or to arrange things that Claire could find about him if she did look. Of course, sometimes a spade is a spade.

However, we don’t get Claire’s point of view of the story. We can only go off her words, and she’s not the most reliable storyteller.

But it’s memories of Frank and what she believes were affairs that make her dislike John Grey so much.