ABOSAA Chapter 103: Put To The Question

Join us this fall for the chapter discussions of A Breath of Snow and Ashes!

The year is 1772, the eve of the American Revolution. With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But Jamie knows three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence — with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile.

ABOSAA Chapter 103: Put To The Question

Joined: July 9th, 2014, 8:56 pm

September 15th, 2015, 7:35 pm #1



:bagpipe: The discussion is open to Virgins, Outlander, The Exile, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, all of the Lord John stories, The Scottish Prisoner, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross , A Breath of Snow and Ashes and The Outlandish Companion. The spoiler policy can be found here. If you would like to discuss topics which cover subsequent books, please go here: The ABOSAA Spoiler Thread


A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

ABOSSA Chapter 103: Put To The Question

This chapter starts out from Neil Forbes point of view, so it’s a little strange “hearing” his voice. Anyway, out Mr. Forbes is in a tavern admiring a new ruby stickpin he purchased after a particularly fruitful meeting with some smugglers. He is about to leave when he is abruptly stopped by Roger Mac and Ian Murray. The begin interrogating him regarding the whereabouts of Brianna. He feigns innocence for quite a while, even under the pressure from a “crazy Indian” and a wrathful, soon-to-be minister. The scene abruptly cuts to Elspeth Forbes enjoying a sunny day on the porch of her sister, when Jamie Fraser appears with a picnic basket. He charms Elspeth into joining him on his picnic, which is basically a kidnapping.

Back at the tavern, a child brings a package to Roger that contains a particularly ugly jeweled brooch that apparently belongs to Elspeth. Forbes in taken a back but continues to deny knowledge of Brianna. Roger and Ian finally convince Forbes that Jamie would indeed harm Elspeth because he is a Highlander (like Forbes’ father who escaped Scotland ahead of the hangman). Forbes finally relented and told Roger that Brianna is on the Anemone with Stephen Bonnet. She is supposed to be taken to London, but Roger thinks that Bonnet would not go back to England because he could make more fruitful transactions in the colonies. Roger makes his way out of the tavern after giving Forbes a punch in the face. He thinks Ian is right behind him but looks back and sees Ian cut off Forbes’ ear!

**Whenever I read about Bonnet and Forbes I think of those recurring characters in TV shows that the heroes never get rid of when they have the chance. And then they pop up again to cause trouble. I went all the way back to Drums of Autumn to find the source of Forbes’ feud with Brianna (he was called Gerald or Lawyer Forbes back then). I’m not sure why it changed to Neil. Anyway, these two are incredibly annoying, and I can’ wait for our heroes to get rid of them.

**I’m also a bit frustrated in all of the barriers to Roger and Bree’s happiness.

**I don’t have any real questions for this chapter because it was pretty straightforward. I would love to hear your opinions on the use of Forbes (really annoying) and Bonnet (more interesting character but really disgusting) as plot devices to mess with Bree and Roger. I think mainly the continuing troubles with Roger and Bree are to show the reader that they have a true and loving commitment to each other. It happened with a few hundred pages in Outlander for Jamie and Claire, but it’s taking several books for Roger and Bree. It’s like those sitcoms where the lead male and female characters are in a “should they or shouldn’t they situation.”
Last edited by HarriettEl on September 18th, 2015, 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote

Lisa SF
Clan Fraser
Joined: August 2nd, 2011, 11:43 pm

September 16th, 2015, 12:19 am #2

I see your point, HarriettEl. Forbes isn't particularly credible as a villain -- just an annoying guy, easily forgotten, but I suppose it says something about the ability of petty people to cause great damage. Forbes is a jerk and is pretty weak himself, yet he causes what has the potential to be irreparable harm to Brianna, Roger, and Jem.

I like the contrast with Jamie, who would never actually harm an old woman. He may be using her to further his means, but she's having a delightful time with a man who's treating her with consideration and charm. Whereas Forbes, in order to weaken Jamie, is involving Brianna in a scheme that puts her in true danger. And even if he tells himself he's just getting her out of the way for a time, he knows enough about Bonnet to know he's dangerous and can't be trusted with the well-being of a woman (or anyone).

I love how scary Roger and Ian both are, in their own ways, in this scene. I guess it's a good thing that Roger isn't ordained yet -- would he have the same ability to threaten violence if he were?

I do wish Claire and Jamie had the foresight to leave Bonnet to be hanged way back when they first met him!
"There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books." - Irving Stone

Just another reader with a blog... check it out here.
Quote

audiobooklover
Clan Fraser
Joined: July 19th, 2010, 10:09 pm

September 17th, 2015, 2:56 pm #3

I'm running a bit behind this week, but just read this chapter. Yes, it is odd once again to have Forbes' POV (oh, and he's Gerald in my paperback version; maybe mine was a later printing after she decided to use Gerald? Or an earlier one before she decided to use Neil? Do we know which is the "real" name?). But, having his POV gives an interesting glimpse of Roger and Ian in scary mode. ;) I enjoyed seeing them from someone else's POV in these scenes.

I love how Jamie kidnapped Elspeth Forbes in a fun and non-frightening way. :bigsmile: I'm sure she's having a charming afternoon picnic.

I wasn't at all surprised that Roger punched Forbes before they left, but Ian cutting off his ear is rather more unusual and unexpected. I suppose it must be a more Mohawk thing? :thinking:

As for Forbes as a villain, on my initial read, I think I forgot about him entirely for a while. On a later read-through (or perhaps actually a listen-through), I found myself surprised at how long he lasted as a villain. It's been several books, but he's such a weak and uninteresting character that I don't focus on him much (unlike Bonnet, and of course, BJR earlier). And, yes, despite being a forgettable character, he does end up causing quite a bit of harm.

At the beginning of the chapter, Forbes is thinking that he "disposed of the threat of Jamie Fraser". So, did he think that shipping Brianna off to England would eliminate Jamie from the revolutionary cause? Did he assume Jamie and Roger (and Claire?) would go to England after her to bring her back? Or that worry about his daughter would distract Jamie from politics? :thinking: I'm not sure how this scheme eliminated Jamie's threat (just a threat of taking on leadership??? or something else) from his political machinations.
Quote

Suec
Clan Fraser
Suec
Clan Fraser
Joined: September 25th, 2012, 9:08 am

September 18th, 2015, 5:27 pm #4

I always viewed Forbes as a minor irritant throughout the books without any real development and depth of character. I suppose he does enable a showdown between Jamie and Bonnet eventually..
I would rather like to be kidnapped by Jamie Fraser myself!
Quote

DLT
Clan Fraser
DLT
Clan Fraser
Joined: May 26th, 2012, 7:06 am

November 17th, 2015, 4:18 am #5

audiobooklover wrote: I love how Jamie kidnapped Elspeth Forbes in a fun and non-frightening way. :bigsmile: I'm sure she's having a charming afternoon picnic.
Such a gentleman!
Elspeth has probably not received such attention in a long time.
Quote

Joined: September 30th, 2016, 8:02 pm

December 19th, 2017, 9:28 pm #6

I am listening to this and am confused about the sequence of events. How/when did Jamie & Ian find out about Brianna's kidnapping, as well as who was responsible?

It seems to go from Claire & Jamie's reunion/night at the inn, to Forbes hightailing it to Edenton (ch100), to Jamie finding Roger and telling him that Brianna was taken (end of ch101), to Jamie kidnapping Mrs. Forbes while Ian/Roger question Forbes. I must have missed something. 
Quote

Joined: August 21st, 2015, 5:07 pm

December 20th, 2017, 12:23 pm #7

Without rereading, as I recall, I think we are just supposed to make some assumptions that Jocasta got word to Jamie about Brianna’s abduction who then went and found Ian and Roger. I’m not sure how they figured out it was Forbes. I guess they just ran down the list of likely suspects and he was at the top since they’d had conflicts with him in the past.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
The minister's cat is a camstairy cat.
Quote

audiobooklover
Clan Fraser
Joined: July 19th, 2010, 10:09 pm

December 20th, 2017, 2:23 pm #8

My memory on this is extremely vague, but I thought there might be a bit later when Jamie and Roger are talking and Jamie tells him he heard it was Forbes from someone.  I think they had info about who it was, so knew where to look, but I don't remember when or how they (or we as readers) found out.  Sorry.
Quote

Joined: September 30th, 2016, 8:02 pm

December 21st, 2017, 2:11 pm #9

Thank you Vala and ABL. It was driving me crazy. I had to dig out the book and found very briefly in this chapter... "I heard ye, ken," Murray remarked pleasantly. "When ye made the bargain wi' Richard Brown. In your warehouse, it was." 

So Ian overheard something... but it's still a mystery to me. Why was Ian in Forbes' warehouse at all? And when? Had to be after Jamie got Claire off the boat, but I guess it happened offstage. Maybe more is explained in a later chapter.
Quote

Joined: March 1st, 2018, 11:00 pm

April 26th, 2018, 10:32 pm #10

CorrieO wrote:Thank you Vala and ABL. It was driving me crazy. I had to dig out the book and found very briefly in this chapter... "I heard ye, ken," Murray remarked pleasantly. "When ye made the bargain wi' Richard Brown. In your warehouse, it was." 

So Ian overheard something... but it's still a mystery to me. Why was Ian in Forbes' warehouse at all? And when? Had to be after Jamie got Claire off the boat, but I guess it happened offstage. Maybe more is explained in a later chapter.
I know this is a few months old, but I believe Ian is referring to when he followed J&C while Richard Brown & co were holding them. He overheard their plan and then unties Jamie in the boathouse.

I believe Forbes was in cahoots with Brown to have Jamie shipped off to England on Bonnet's boat (per Ian's eavesdropping). I was confused about that though- did they mean for both Jamie AND Brianna to be on Bonnet's boat ?? Forbes clearly doesn't know that the plan failed as pertains to Jamie since he's still gloating about how well he disposed of the threat of Jamie Fraser (yeah, right!). Seems odd that they'd "dispose" of Jamie and Brianna on the same boat? Did I read that wrong?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Woman was made of Adam's rib; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved - Matthew Henry
Quote

Joined: March 1st, 2018, 11:00 pm

April 26th, 2018, 10:34 pm #11


CorrieO wrote:Thank you Vala and ABL. It was driving me crazy. I had to dig out the book and found very briefly in this chapter... "I heard ye, ken," Murray remarked pleasantly. "When ye made the bargain wi' Richard Brown. In your warehouse, it was." 

So Ian overheard something... but it's still a mystery to me. Why was Ian in Forbes' warehouse at all? And when? Had to be after Jamie got Claire off the boat, but I guess it happened offstage. Maybe more is explained in a later chapter.
I know this is a few months old, but I believe Ian is referring to when he followed J&C while Richard Brown & co were holding them. He overheard their planning and then unties Jamie in the boathouse after he and Claire are separated.

I believe Forbes was in cahoots with Brown to have Jamie shipped off to England on Bonnet's boat (per Ian's eavesdropping). I was confused about that though- did they mean for both Jamie AND Brianna to be on Bonnet's boat ?? Forbes clearly doesn't know that the plan failed as pertains to Jamie since he's still gloating about how well he disposed of the threat of Jamie Fraser (yeah, right!). Seems odd that they'd "dispose" of Jamie and Brianna on the same boat? Did I read that wrong?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Woman was made of Adam's rib; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved - Matthew Henry
Quote