Outlander Book Club: An Echo in the Bone Chapter 4 breakdown

Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ /
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Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with Claire and Jamie sitting guard over the bodies of Grannie McLeod and Murdina Bug. This is custom, and the two are more than happy to do it. After all, Ian was the reason for Murdina’s death, and Grannie McLeod did die on Claire’s watch—Claire suspects the woman was waiting for her to turn her back before dying, though!

We get an important part on what Jamie and Claire will do next. With the Big House burned down, everyone is staying in Amy and Bobby’s place. That’s not sustainable, so Jamie and Claire need to decide what they can do. They could build another house on the land, but there is a risk to them doing that. There are still plenty of loyalists in the backcountry.

Another option is to get to New Bern. That’s something Jamie has been considering. Fergus is there and runs a print shop. There is the option of going to Scotland for his old printing press and bringing it to Fergus and helping with the business.

This would mean taking Ian back to Scotland. Jamie thinks that it is time for Ian to return home, but will Ian think that’s wise? Does Ian even want to return home?

After this, the couple discuss their own deaths. Claire wants to know what Jamie would like her to do after his death. Would he like to be buried in Scotland? She can’t help but think of the grave marker that Frank had made. Even though it wasn’t a true grave marker, it still makes Claire feel uneasy.

Jamie doesn’t think that there will be a body to worry about. If there is, leave it for the crows. Jamie doesn’t ask about Claire, so she brings it up. He makes it clear that he can’t see a life without Claire so he doesn’t want to think about what to do with her body after death.

Finally, it’s time for the funeral. Aidan asks who will stand watch in the graveyard—it’s always the last person to die. Malva had been the ghost there for a while, especially with Allan’s body being buried away from the graveyard in an unmarked spot. While Claire knows that that would be Murdina, she tells everyone that Grannie McLeod died last because she’s scared of Arch overhearing her.

Arch does attend the funeral. Ian gives Arch the chance to kill him—a life for a life. However, Arch makes it clear that now is now the time. He’ll be back when Ian has something worth losing.