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“Cooking Tomatoes”

[Excerpt (aka “Daily Lines”) from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon. All Rights Reserved.]

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William had, out of what even he would admit to himself in the depths of his heart was simple obstinacy (though he passed it off to his conscience as honesty and pride—of a shockingly republican nature, but still pride), continued wearing the clothes in which he had arrived in Savannah, though Lord John’s manservant took them away every night and brushed, laundered or mended them before returning them in the morning.

On this particular morning, though, William waked to the sight of a suit of dark gray velvet, with a waistcoat in ochre silk, tastefully embroidered with small beetles of varying colors, each with tiny red eyes. Fresh linen and silk stockings were laid out alongside—but his ex-army kit had disappeared, save for the disreputable boots, which stood like a reproach beside his wash-stand, their scuffs and scars blushing through fresh blacking.

He paused for a moment, then put on the banyan Papa had lent him—fine-woven blue wool, comforting on a chilly morning—washed his face and went down to breakfast.

Papa and Amaranthus were at table, both looking as though they’d been dug up, rather than roused, from bed.

“Good morning,” William said, rather loudly, and sat down. “Where’s Mr. Cinnamon?”

“Somewhere with Trevor,” Amaranthus said, blinking sleepily. “God bless him.”

“The little fiend yowled all night long,” Lord John said, shoving a pot of mustard in William’s direction. “Kippers coming,” he said, evidently in explanation of the mustard. “Didn’t you hear him?”

“Unlike some people, I slept the sleep of the just,” William said, buttering a piece of toast. “Didn’t hear a sound.”

Both relatives eyed him beadily over the toast-rack.

“I’m putting him in your bed tonight,” Amaranthus said, attempting to smooth her frowsy locks. “See how justified you feel around dawn.”

A smell of smoky-sweet bacon wafted from the back of the house, and all three diners sat up involuntarily as the cook brought in a generous silver platter bearing not only bacon, but also sausages, black pudding and grilled mushrooms.

“Elle ne fera pas cuire des tomates,” his lordship said, with a slight shrug. She won’t cook tomatoes. “Elle pense qu’ils sont toxiques.” She thinks they’re poisonous.

“La facon dont elle les cuisine, elle a raison,” Amaranthus muttered, in good but oddly-accented French. The way she cooks them, she’s right.

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This excerpt is from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon, the ninth book in my Outlander series of novels. All rights reserved.

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This excerpt (or “Daily Lines”) was released on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. This webpage was last updated on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 4:30 a.m. (Pacific Time) by Diana Gabaldon or Diana’s Webmistress.