Outlander Book Club: Lord John and the Succubus Chapter 3 breakdown

Lord John finds handing over Private Bodger's body difficult in Lord John and the Succubus Chapter 3. Here's our breakdown of the chapter.
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

You would think that Private Bodger’s regiment would want to get his body back right away. Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case in Lord John and the Succubus Chapter 3. It takes Lord John some time to find someone.

Lord John heads to Bonz with Private Bodger’s body. It’s there that he gets some information about what Colonel Ruysdale is doing with his troops. It leaves for an uneasy feeling, especially when he learns that Ruysdale is also trying to keep the soldiers occupied rather than thinking about the succubus.

When John does finally hand over Bodger’s body, it brings up thoughts of Jamie and Claire. John also learns a little more than he’d probably like about the plans for the soldiers.

Breaking down Lord John and the Succubus Chapter 3

The chapter strats with John getting to Bonz. It’s the 52nd Foot that was Private Bodger’s regiment, which is under the command of Colonel Ruysdale. This gives John a chance to talk about the potential threat of the French.

Ruysdale isn’t interested in sharing much with John. However, John does eventually find out from Captain Benjamin Hiltern that the troops are being kept busy with forced marches to the river and back. The French seem to have pulled back from the East bridge at Aschenwald and now seems to be focused on the West bridge at Gruneberg. This means the English will need to defend it.

John feels uneasy about the way the communication is happening. It’s clear that the various regiments aren’t talking to each other.

Back to Private Bodger’s body, Lord John learns that the sergeant major is down at the river with the troops and the camp surgeon has died. So, John needs to hand the body over to Keegan, the surgeon’s assistant. This opens up a conversation about dirt, making John think of Jamie at Ardsmuir and a conversation about “those wee beasties germs.” This brings up thoughts of Claire, who he still calls “The Woman.”

When examining the corpse, Keegan realizes that there is a case of post-mortem priapism and references the woman Bodger was with before his death. This brings up the Gypsy woman who Lord John had met in the first chapter.

The two then move the conversation onto how Ruysdale is keeping the troops occupied and tired with the forced marches. This helps to stop the fear of the succubus, as that rumor has traveled fast. The men are even “taking matters into their own hands” to make sure they are no use to the succubus should she come for them.

As John leaves the camps, his uneasy thoughts return. It’s clear that Ruysdale doesn’t have the best command. What does that mean for all their efforts?

Could the chapter be used in a TV series adaptation?

If this short story was adapted for the TV series, we would need this chapter. The benefit of a short story is that each chapter pushes the story forward. There is no fluff, and everything is important in the grand scheme of things.

This chapter has some intrigue with the mention of the Gypsy woman, and we have John’s unease about Ruysdale. There are some elements of this chapter that would need to be shown on the screen somehow since they are John’s internalized thoughts. The best option would be to have someone like Tom come with John so that the two of them can discuss things.

But yes, I do suspect that this chapter would be used if there was a Lord John Grey series. It would need to be, especially with the succubus talk.

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