Outlander Book Club: An Echo in the Bone Chapter 44 breakdown

Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of David Bloomer/STARZ Media Center
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of David Bloomer/STARZ Media Center /
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Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of David Bloomer/STARZ Media Center /

Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with Claire checking in on Stebbings. Mr. Dick is there, too. The two characters do appear to be caricatures of real people, and I do find this a flaw every now and then in the books. It really does remind me of the caricature Mr. Willoughby seemed to be.

Claire is pulled away from Stebbings to deal with another person in need of medical attention. In fact, Stebbings has been complaining about this man’s stinky foot. It turns out that Mr. Ormiston’s foot is gangrenous and needs amputation.

Lieutenant Stactoe and Dr. Denzell Hunter are busy debating where the amputation needs to happen. Stactoe says below the knee, but Hunter believes it should be above. Claire agrees with Hunter, and she makes it very clear that she wants the tools to be boiled. After all, she knows what could go wrong if unsanitary tools are used.

Of course, an argument breaks out. Stactoe does not want his tools ruined with boiling water, and in the argument, the bed is overturned and Mr. Ormiston ends up on the floor. Poor guy!

Rachel comes into the room to see what the commotion is. She sees that Denny’s glasses have fallen onto the floor so grabs them and puts them back on her brother’s face. I love that she brings a sense of order to the problem.

Hunter is also called out of the room. Mrs. Brown has gone into (likely false) labor, and she wants Hunter to be there. He is the nephew of a famous doctor. Of course, she wants him there. This is the thing about Hunter. He is able to get places because of his name, and he is going to use it right now.

In the end, Claire is the one he chooses to do the amputation. Stactoe takes all of his own tools so Claire can’t use them, so Claire needs to use her knife that Jamie had given to her and sharpened to do the amputation. She uses the rum that Dick brings to disinfect the leg and she makes sure the knife is sanitary before cutting.

I love that we see this chapter. At first, it looks like it doesn’t seem to offer much except another show of what Claire faces in her time as a doctor. However, for me, it gives Hunter a chance to see the doctor that she is, and it helps to create a bond between the two of them.