Outlander Book Club: The Fiery Cross Chapter 23 breakdown

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Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter stats with Roger returning home very late. He’d been on an errand for Jamie, looking for a Dutch family. He explains that he went to where he thought he was supposed to but there wasn’t a Dutch family anywhere around, so he’s come back empty-handed.

The focus of the chapter isn’t on that all too much, though. It’s about what’s coming up, with Jamie’s big event for everyone on the Ridge. Roger knows exactly what’s coming, and he’s not all that surprised when Brianna tells him that Jamie wants him to sing to the crowd first.

Jamie may not like music (because he can’t hear it), but he does appreciate how others enjoy it. He can see that Roger has a talent, and it will help get the crowd ready for the thing that Jamie will do.

That thing involves the cross that Brianna saw at the Big House. Roger notes that it will be a fiery cross, and it’s something that people won’t have seen since Culloden. It was rare before them, but Roger is clearly interested in witnessing this bit of history.

For Brianna, a fiery cross means something much darker. She imagines the burnings of crosses by the KKK on the news. Roger saw them, but those images didn’t affect him the way they did Brianna. Not only was Bree much closer to the KKK in terms of location, but she also had Black friends and it would have affected her knowing how the KKK would have affected her friends.

Roger notes the history of the fiery cross and how the “Klan” in KKK comes from the “clan” in Scotland. Many of the KKK were descendants of the Scots, and they would have likely used the burning crosses due to their heritage.

So, how did the burning crosses come over from Scotland if they weren’t used after Culloden? Roger notes that maybe this is how it all starts. Could Jamie be the one that starts it all without meaning to? It’s an interesting look at how history can be developed.