Claire, near-hyperventilating, stays upstairs and begins packing her belongings. Jamie soon returns to explain himself, but Claire isn’t much for listening. Jamie explains that he and Laoghaire have only been married a couple years and that the lasses aren’t his, but that’s quite missing the point.
“It’s Laoghaire,” Claire hisses. “She tried to have me killed!”
“You’re the one who told me to be kind to the lass,” Jamie retorts.
“I told you to thank her, not marry her!”
And then Claire asks the question we’ve all been thinking: Why did he tell her about his son William but not about his wife Laoghaire?
“Because I am a coward,” Jamie says. “That’s why. I couldn’t tell you for fear I’d lose you.”
They continue to argue until Jamie puts his hands on Claire. She initially tells him to get off, but eventually, she is overcome with passion too. “I love you and only you,” Jamie tells her. They’re on the ground, frantically ripping at each other’s clothing when Jenny storms into the room and throws a bucket of cold water on them. (The whole house can hear their goings-on, after all!)
It’s Claire’s turn to leave the room, and downstairs she’s met by Janet, who offers her a whisky and her apologies. She was the one who told Laoghaire about Claire (at her mother’s orders). When Claire confronts Jenny about this, Jenny throws Claire’s suspicious colonies story right back at her. Claire tells her of her other husband in America and how she had to forget her previous life in order to survive. And that, yes, Jamie knows all of it. Jenny, although seeming to understand a bit, says her relationship with Claire will never fully heal.
The next day, with her medicine bag packed, Claire tries to leave Lallybroch, but Jamie is blocking the gates. He attempts to reason with her, but before he gets too far, Laoghaire arrives at the scene brandishing a pistol.
“I have come to protect what’s mine,” she declares. “Maybe it wasn’t perfect, but you were mine!”
At that, her gun accidentally discharges, hitting Jamie square in the arm. She flees as Claire comes to Jamie’s rescue. Once inside, Claire begins using her 20th-century medical instruments to retrieve the pellets in his arm. Finally bandaged and reclining in a chair, Jamie explains himself, why he married Laoghaire. He returned from prison to a home that no longer recognized him. “I was a ghost,” he says. (A feeling Claire can surely recognize.) He reconnected with Laoghaire at a Lallybroch holiday party, but their marriage wasn’t easy. She had been hurt by another man and often flinched at Jamie’s touch. There were days, weeks even, when she wouldn’t talk to him. With the marriage a mess, he left for Edinburgh. Sympathizing with his story, Claire grabs Jamie’s hand, only to feel it burning up. Thank Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ she had the forethought to pack penicillin! (Recap continues on next page)