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“Jamie and Jenny”

Below is an excerpt from Book Nine of the OUTLANDER novels. Note that there are SPOILERS…

"God, I miss the old bugger," Jamie said impulsively. Jenny glanced at him and smiled ruefully.

"So do I. I wonder sometimes if he’s with them now— mam and da."

That notion startled Jamie — he’d never thought of it — and he laughed, shaking his head. "Well, if he is, I suppose he’s happy."

"I hope that’s the way of it," Jenny said, growing serious. "I always wished he could ha’ been buried with them, at Lallybroch."

Jamie nodded, his throat suddenly tight. Murtagh lay with the fallen of Culloden, buried in some anonymous pit on that silent moor, his bones mingled with the others. No cairn for those who loved him to come and leave a stone to say so.

Jenny laid a hand on his arm, warm through the cloth of his sleeve.

"Dinna mind it, a brathair," she said softly. "He had a good death, and you with him at the end."

"How would you know it was a good death?" Emotion made him speak more roughly than he meant, but she only blinked once, and then her face settled again.

"Ye told me, idiot," she said dryly. "Several times. D’ye not recall that?"

He stared at her for a moment, uncomprehending.

"I told ye? How? I dinna ken what happened."

Now it was her turn to be surprised.

"Ye’ve forgotten?" She frowned at him. "Aye, well… it’s true ye were off your heid wi’ fever for a good ten days when they brought ye home. Ian and I took it in turn to sit with ye— as much to stop the doctor takin’ your leg off as anything else. Ye can thank Ian ye’ve still got that one," she added, nodding sharply at his left leg. "He sent the doctor away; said he kent well ye’d rather be dead." Her eyes filled abruptly with tears, and she turned away.

He caught her by the shoulder and felt her bones, fine and light as a kestrel’s under the cloth of her shawl.

"Jenny," he said softly. "He didna want to be dead. Believe me. I did, aye… but not him."

"No, he did at first," she said, and swallowed. "But ye wouldna let him, he said— and he wouldna let you, either." She wiped her face with the back of her hand, roughly. He took hold of it, and kissed it, her fingers cold in his hand.

"Ye dinna think ye had anything to do with it?" he asked, straightening up and smiling down at her. "For either of us?"

Back to the Book Nine webpage.

This excerpt from Book Nine was posted by Diana Gabaldon (as one of her "Daily Lines") on her Facebook page on March 28, 2015.

This page was last updated on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 9:56 p.m. (PT) by Diana’s Webmistress.