Just the Outlander chapter
The chapter starts with Ian thinking about Bree. Her name has come up because he’s thought of “Nessum Dorma,” the song from the opera that she told him about. It means “none shall sleep,” and that’s certainly the case right now. Everyone is preparing for battle.
Ian then starts to think about the prostitutes in the camp and then his thoughts move onto Rachel. He doesn’t want Rachel in his head right now, so he starts to think of his dad. That’s when he speaks out loud about hoping Ian Murray isn’t there for him to note its time for his own death. He doesn’t want to die before being with Rachel intimately.
Jamie hears this. Jamie was doing his own preparations for battle and talking to his own dead: Dougal and Murtagh. The two of them offer him comfort when it comes to battle, and that’s something Jamie has explained to Claire before. It turns out that Ian always walks beside Jamie, too. Jamie doesn’t have to ask for that man to turn up.
While Ian was thinking, he was using the war paint that Bree helped him make. He’s now using it to prepare for battle and he explains all the colors to his uncle. The black is to mark strength of the warrior, while the yellow is to mark that he’s not afraid. Colors have meaning all over the world. Black in Western cultures is a mourning color, although Spain in the 15th century would use yellow for mourning—Anne Boleyn wore yellow at Catherine of Aragon’s funeral claiming it was a mark of respect for her culture, but it was a color of happiness at the time. It’s worth looking into.
Back to the story. Ian asks Jamie to place an arrow on his forehead. This is to denote the Indian he replaced in the tribe after he took Roger’s place back in Drums of Autumn. It’s another mark of respect. Jamie finishes it off with a V on Ian’s shoulder to denote Rachel. Ian is carrying these marks of respect and strength ready in this upcoming battle.