Outlander Book Club: The Fiery Cross Chapter 22 breakdown

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /
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Outlander, Sophie Skelton
Outlander — Courtesy of STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with Claire getting things ready in the morning. She’s looking around at all the people in her kitchen, as Jamie is out getting his militia ready.

Brianna is with Jemmy in the kitchen, which brings up the topic of the Muellers. They turned up overnight and Gerhard Mueller decided to get into Brianna’s bed with her. That’s when she left and brought Brianna to the big house.

It brings up memories and then a discussion about Gerhard Mueller. Claire remembers the scalps, including that of Nayawenne’s. Fergus says that it’s not the French way to get revenge, but Marsali points out that the Tuscarora victims weren’t Jamie’s or Fergus’s family. If those women had been Brianna, her, or even Lizzie, the men at the Ridge would have fought against the Muellers.

This isn’t just an important topic for the time. It’s an important topic for now, especially here in Canada if you’ve been following the news. I had to stop briefly at this point because I made a connection to things that continue to happen against the Native Americans/Indigenous populations in both the United States and Canada.

A little later, Brianna and Claire come across a large cross by the front door. It’s clearly something that Jamie has made, but the two women aren’t really sure what it’s about yet. They don’t have time to discuss it as Mrs. Bug has something to share with Claire.

Mrs. Chrisholm is letting her children run around, including into Claire’s surgery. Mrs. Bug explains that she cleaned up the surgery for Claire, but that included all the moldy bread. I don’t remember seeing it anywhere mentioned, but this is Claire’s start to create penicillin. It’s just added in and we’re supposed to put the pieces together for now.

Later, there’s a commotion between Mrs. Bug and Mrs. Chrisholm, and it’s clear that tensions are rising. Claire thinks about how men are a little better company due to the lack of drama between them. Brianna also has to bite her tongue when Mrs. Chrisholm comments on Jemmy’s crying while in the house.

Claire takes Jemmy to the whiskey hut to help Jemmy with his teething. There isn’t anything there, so she heads back. On the way, she sees Jamie in the river, and she realizes that it’s a ritual. Afterward, Jamie explains that the militia isn’t the same as leading men at Culloden.

There are some similarities. Culloden and the American Revolutionary War are big events that change everything for many people. While Jamie was on the wrong side of history the first time, he has a chance to be on the right side of history this time. However, he needs to play his hand just right. Switching sides too soon will make him a traitor to the Crown, but switching sides too late will make him a Loyalist.

And he has people to think about. These people don’t owe him anything. They don’t have to follow him. They’re not loyal in the way that his men at Culloden were. So, he has to do something that helps to build that loyalty, and that’s what the cross will be about. It’s something Dougal used in Scotland, and it’s something Jamie will use now.

He also shares that he wasn’t praying to God. He was asking Dougal to be with him.