Outlander Book Club: An Echo in the Bone Chapter 41 breakdown

Outlander Season 3 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 3 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /
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Outlander Season 7
Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with William and the Hunters on the road. This is a chance for them to discuss beliefs, and it turns out that Denny and Rachel don’t believe in violence at all. This all comes up because they have witnessed an execution, and the Hunters don’t believe that even prisoners should face violence in the end.

William believes that violence is sometimes necessary. It’s important when it comes to defending one’s life. Denny prefers to believe God will save him, but William points out that Denny is just looking for someone else to fight for him.

We also get to learn about Denny and Rachel’s uncle, who raised them. Dr. John Hunter (a real person in history) knows Lord John Grey. William is shocked by yet another name his stepfather knows. Just how many people does John know?

It’s John Hunter whom Denny got his love for medicine from. He’s fascinated by autopsies and the wonders of the human flesh. I love seeing Denny’s passion come out, but I also love how William does not share in that. There’s an echo of Claire’s love for it and Bree’s dislike. William is a lot like his half-sister.

That night, the trio decides to find a place to stay. Mr. Antioch Johnson is willing to give them a place to stay if Denny and William help him get a cow. It seems pretty simple, and the Johnsons seem hospitable. That is until that night.

William decides to sleep with his knife in his hand. This is a tell-tale sign that something is going to happen. Sure enough, Johnson attacks. If it wasn’t for William’s body not agreeing with the stew, the three travelers would be dead. Instead, William wakes up just at the right time and is able to fight off Johnson. Denny takes Johnson’s ax, but William decides to stab Johnson, killing him.

Denny doesn’t think Johnson had to die. However, if he was allowed to live, how many other people would have died? How many people have died because of the Johnsons? It’s not like Mrs. Johnson was sorrowful. She even had a split tongue, making her look like a snake. These two were never going to be remorseful.

While William doesn’t regret what he did, he notes that this is the first time he’s killed someone. He does feel uneasy with the whole situation, and he thinks if this was the battlefield, he would feel differently. Rachel doesn’t think he would.