Outlander Book Club: Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 15 breakdown

John works through the investigation despite being poisoned in Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 15. Here's our breakdown of the chapter.
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

You can tell that we’re getting to the end of the novel. Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 15 helps to connect more dots.

John spends most of this chapter dealing with the aftereffects of being poisoned. That poison was given in the previous chapter, and it’s clear that Trevelyan is far more connected to the whole situation John has been investigating than he originally believed.

We finally get a few answers, including about that German wine. It turns out the wine isn’t German, but Austrian!

Breaking down Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 15

John and Tom head to see Captain von Namtzen, who warmly greets the two men. He has a lot to share about the German wine. It turns out that the name Hungerbach is actually Austrian, and this family is known for the Schilcher wine produced. They even live in Mecklenberg Square in London. John and co. need to head to Reinhardt Mayrhofer.

However, there is a more serious situation to deal with right now. John has been poisoned. Trevelyan must have slipped some mercury in the sherry from the previous chapter. The antidote is eggs, and Tom and Namtzen encourage John to eat the eggs despite John not really wanting to. John doesn’t believe Trevelyan wanted to kill John but make him ill.

However, John needs to continue the investigation. They need to get to the Mayrhofer house, and they learn that Reinhardt and his wife haven’t been seen since Tuesday. Well, it turns out that man who was murdered in the green dress was Reinhardt. On top of that, Finbar Scanlon had visited Reinhardt’s sick wife.

There’s even more. Tom finds his brother’s shoes in the house. Well, Jack had been brought to the house by Trevelyan as a “protector to the Frau,” and Jack has since disappeared. Jack had traded his shoes for a pair with wooden soles, which leads John to realize that Jack and the Frau are planning on getting on a ship.

Could this chapter be used in an adaptation?

There is no way this chapter couldn’t be used if there was an adaptation of the book made. This is one of those chapters that helps to put the pieces of the puzzle together. We get answers about who the man in the green dress was, and we get a direct connection to Trevelyan. There is even a mention of Jack Byrd, who Tom wants to find.

An episode or a series would need this part of the story. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense how John has put it all together. Finding the murderer without all this would be impossible.

I do think that we’d need to see John poisoned, as well. Although we know that he would have to survive considering Outlander, having a bit of drama here also helps to connect everything back to Trevelyan. It’s clear that Trevelyan knows that everything is over for him soon if he doesn’t figure out a few extra steps.

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