Outlander Book Club: Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 14 breakdown

Lord John Grey visits Trevelyan in Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 14. Here's our breakdown of the chapter.
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Despite still having no evidence, Lord John Grey decides to make it clear that the wedding is off in Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 14. He also continues to search for some answers.

John decides it’s time to pay Trevelyan a visit. He hopes that this will lead to a few more answers. Instead, it just leads to John being insulted and amused at the same time. I think we also see the game that Trevelyan is able to play.

This chapter gets us nowhere in terms of any investigations, though. Could it be used if there was a TV series?

Breaking down Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 14

The chapter starts with John getting a visit from Corporal Jowett. It turns out that the Scanlons have left. People saw them moving boxes on the day the man in the green dress was found. Now nobody has heard from them. Considering how they were potentially innocent and about to be questioned about O’Connell, is it all that surprising they’re on the run? If they were guilty, of course they were going to leave!

John thinks about how he doesn’t know much about murder investigations or murderers. He still isn’t sure that Jamie murdered Sergeant Murchison at Ardsmuir, but Harry is sure that he did. However, John knows that he needs to get to the bottom of the murder.

First, he needs to deal with Trevelyan. When he can’t find Trevelyan at home, he heads to the man’s work. That’s where he shares that Trevelyan is to call the wedding off. Of course, Trevelyan isn’t happy with that idea and asks if Hal has approved of this. John makes it clear that it is his decision.

John pulls out a piece of the green dress fabric, but Trevelyan shows no sign of knowing anything. He even says that he wasn’t involved in the murder of the woman.

John tries to use the mane of the magistrate, John Fielding, to get Trevelyan to agree to call the wedding off and talk about his involvement. Still Trevelyan doesn’t take the bait. He also doesn’t share any knowledge of Lavender House or Mr. Scanlon. He points out that the magistrate has been in Bath for the last week, so has nothing to do with any of this.

John realizes that he can’t get Trevelyan to talk about the murders. Instead, he turns to the fact that he believes Trevelyan as syphilis. Trevelyan refuses to entertain John anymore, and suggests that John sees Dr. Masonby for his “nervous disorder.”

The two do end up coming to an agreement that Trevelyan needs to end the engagement, and he should do it in a way that doesn’t affect Olivia’s reputation. John gives Trevelyan three days to figure it out.

Trevelyan is not happy with any of this. I think of the “if looks could kill” line as I imagine the look that Trevelyan is giving John as John leaves.

Could this chapter be used in an adaptation?

Should this story be used in a Lord John Grey series, this chapter would be necessary. After all, part of John’s story has been about bringing a stop to Olivia’s wedding. He needed to find out what Trevelyan was up to, and I think this chapter hints that he is involved in other events in some way. This man is too collected to be innocent.

I would also love to see John attempt to trick Trevelyan into some sort of confession and fail. We need to see that John has a lot to learn about investigations and spy work. We need to see how he grew from the man we met at Ardsmuir in Voyager to the man that we know of in Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.

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