Just the Outlander chapter
The chapter is split in two parts. While the chapter itself interchanges between the viewpoints, I’m going to stick to one and then the other for this breakdown.
When it comes to Jamie, we see him getting the hunting party ready for the bear hunt. Ian is joining them, and he’s dressed in his Mohawk outfit ready to fight. Jamie asks Ian for the bear claw that the Tuscarora gave Jamie back in Drums of Autumn. He’d given it to Ian, and Ian explains that he gave it to William at the Dismal Swamp. Jamie can’t be angry about that, but it is disappointing for him.
Jem wants to go on the hunt, but Jamie doesn’t really want that to happen. Jem points out that Aidan is allowed to, and he’s not that much older. Jamie needs to make sure Roger is happy with this, and he also needs to let Bobby know what’s going on. He comes across Roger, who gives his blessing for Jem to go. Roger goes with Jamie to see Bobby to convince Bobby to stay with the other boys and allow Aidan to go.
Bobby says something that reminds Jamie of his own son. Bobby knows that he’s all Amy’s boys have now. He needs to be there for them.
Roger heads out on the hunt with everyone else. When the boys think they’ve seen the bear, Roger keeps them back. However, it turns out that it’s just foxes. Roger now has the chance to ask Jem what he saw when Amy was attacked. Jem admits that he didn’t see the attack but that Mandy did. He also says that Bree got to them like Tarzan, reminding us that while Bree was panicked, her focus was on protecting all the children.
Meanwhile, Claire continues to prepare Amy’s body. Mrs. Cunningham arrives, and she shows her own superstitions. One of those is to place salt in all the wounds so that Amy’s ghost can’t escape and haunt everyone. This is a chance for Claire and Mrs. Cunningham, who later insists on being called Elspeth right now due to the shock of the situation, to bond.
Elspeth reveals that she’s buried three husbands and four children. She would like Claire to work on fixing Amy’s face as all Elspeth wishes is that she saw their faces one last time. While Claire does that work, one of the MacMillan dogs comes in and takes one of Amy’s eyeballs. Claire notes that being eaten by dogs is in the Bible and it links to Jezebel.
Other women arriving bursts the bubble of Claire and Elspeth working together. They all get on with their own tasks and superstitious actions, with Jenny opening doors and windows and making sure there is salt and bread on hand. I love seeing the Highland superstitions still working their way into the story.
When Bobby arrives with Bree, he’s heartbroken over seeing Amy’s body. Rachel is able to help calm him down. This gives Bree a chance to share her concern about everyone going out to hunt the bear. Jenny isn’t worried, though, and she has a son out there too. She makes it clear that she said the blessing of the warrior before they all went out.