Outlander Book Club: A Breath of Snow and Ashes Chapter 53 breakdown

Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Jason Bell/STARZ
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Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with Jamie writing to Lord John Grey. He hopes John has some contacts to be able to get the rifles that he needs.

Claire notes that Jamie hasn’t shared why he needs them. If Jamie is honest, he isn’t sure. Right now, he’s just annoyed that Manfred’s actions led to the strained relations between the Frasers and the McGillivarys, which means Jamie can’t get the promised guns from Robin. Instead, Jamie has to go through smugglers.

Jamie makes it clear that he’s not really sure whether he’s going to give the rifles to Bird, although he doesn’t state that outright. He’s received an invitation to a Committee of Correspondence with the Continental Congress.

This is where the seeds of political rebellion are starting. Jamie is an Indian Agent for the Crown and someone has suggested him for the Committee of Correspondence. He would end up walking between two fires.

He doesn’t think it too much of a problem just yet. Doesn’t he have until July 4, 1776? Claire points out that is when the Declaration of Independence is signed. The fighting has already started in some parts of the country, and it’s going to get worse very soon. Claire thinks back to the time of World War II when neighbors were turning on each other.

Jamie points out that the McGillivarys could have “recommended” him. Even Richard Brown or any of Hodgepile’s friends still around may have done it. People want Jamie out of the way, and making him look like a potential traitor would be the way to do it. There are a lot of people around who didn’t support the Jacobites and won’t like Jamie being in charge.

Jamie notes that he’s never fought out of necessity and not principle. Claire points out that this is a war about principle and quotes Thomas Jefferson. The quote mentions “all men,” and Jamie wants to know if that includes the Indians. He is concerned about what happens to them after the War, and I love that about him. Claire can’t say, but we all know what happens in real history.

Finally, Jamie decides that he will give Bird the rifles. He may come to regret it and find the guns pointed at him in the future, but he’ll go through with it for now.