Just the Outlander chapter
We start the chapter with Claire preparing for surgery. She’s calmer and more collected than she was when it came to the leg amputation a few chapters ago.
Before her patient comes in, Richardson visits. He tells Claire everything, about how he has always been a rebel trying to get information from the Crown. He wants the Americans to win, and he has a plan to kidnap someone close to the Duke of Pardloe to get information.
He helped to orchestrate Claire marrying Lord John Grey. He figured that John would share information, and then Claire could use that to help the Americans. He’d figured out that Claire was on the side of the Continental Army. Now he wants Claire to use her influence with the Greys to get more information. That way he won’t have to use the duke.
Before they can have more of a conversation, Sophronia and Mrs. Bradshaw come in. The smell from Sophronia is enough to make Richardson leave, and he nearly bumps into Rachel.
Claire had wanted Jenny to adminster the ether, but Jenny has a cold. I do love how the two of them have moved past their animosity. We can see that with Claire trusting Jenny with something like this. In the end, Rachel has to do it. Claire didn’t want that because of the pregnancy, but it actually gives Rachel more of a chance to learn about reproduction and what happens to the body.
Claire is able to treat all of Sophronia’s problems. She also thinks that Sophronia’s age will make it possible to heal well and have children again. That’s when she surprises me. She offers to sterilize Sophronia. I get that she understands slavery, but she’s always been so against it. I’m surprised she even brought up the option since Mrs. Bradshaw probably wouldn’t have even considered it possible otherwise. I think maybe the only reason she suggests it is because a baby would grow up in slavery, and Claire wants to prevent that from happening.
Rachel states that Sophronia should surely get a choice over the matter. Mrs. Bradshaw does consider it, though. The problem is if Sophronia can’t have children, Mrs. Bradshaw’s husband will start up the affair again. Claire points out that Sophronia’s age didn’t stop him the first time. She’s disgusted by the treatment of this young girl.
In the end, Sophronia isn’t sterilized. The surgery is a success.