Outlander Book Club: Drums of Autumn Chapter 63 breakdown

Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/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 starts with Brianna seeing Lord John Grey while he recovers from the head injury. Jocasta is still insisting that she leaves all of River Run to Brianna when she dies. It’s not something that Bree wants, making it clear that she can’t own slaves.

Lord John Grey points out the flaw in Brianna’s need to not own any slaves. It would leave her destitute. John would help her in the mission not to own slaves, buying them from her and freeing them in Virginia. However, she would then need to pay him back everything and there would be nobody to work the plantation. Bree would end up penniless.

It’s not something Lord John Grey wants for her. For me, it just points out the stark issues in the South. It’s that reminder that the plantation couldn’t work without the slaves, putting more horror onto this already extremely dark part of American history.

On top of that, I find it strange that John didn’t bring something else up. There’s no telling what would happen to the freed slaves in Virginia. Sure, they’d have their papers, but there were stories of Black people recaptured and sold back into slavery.

I’m sure it wasn’t in the U.S. history lessons when Brianna went through schooling, but John should have known something about this or at least suspected it. Or maybe he didn’t because it wasn’t something anyone would want to admit.

In the end, Brianna has to just stew on the idea. She also brings up the fact that she doesn’t think Roger is coming back, and even if he did, would he want to raise a child that wasn’t is? John points out that Willie isn’t his biological son and he loves the boy like he was his own. Brianna also thinks about Frank, who did love her even if there wasn’t that love between him and Claire.

What Bree fears is that Roger would stay for the child but never love Brianna. She can live without that love, but she can’t live within a lie for the sake of a child.

Whatever happens, John wants Brianna to do one thing: forgive Jamie. She already has.

The conversation moves on in the next section of the chapter. Bree tells John that two riders have been spotted, one of which looks like Jamie. There’s no description of the second rider, but when the two get to River Run, it’s clear that it’s Claire. John comments to Claire that he never expected something to happen to her.

Claire is curious on a medical level to see John’s injury. She doesn’t need to tend to the wound, but she would like to see what the head looks like after the skull has been damaged. John is happy to oblige here, although he makes it clear that he’s not going to say anything about his bowel movements.

In the end, Claire hands John a pouch with a ring. Brianna has returned it, making it clear that there’s no need for the engagement ring anymore. John makes a jokey comment about being jilted, but there are certainly no hard feelings, even if Roger hasn’t come back with Claire and Jamie.