LJ 2018 -The Scottish Prisoner - Chapter 15 - The Return of Tobias Quinn

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

September 14th, 2018, 2:02 pm #1

LORD JOHN READALONG SPOILER POLICY: Please limit discussion to the events of the Lord John books/stories up to this point (Hellfire, Private Matter, Succubus, BotB, Haunted Soldier, Custom of the Army, The Scottish Prisoner) and the novels that precede/coincide with LJ (Outlander, Dragonfly, Voyager). To discuss LJ in the context of events from later in the series, please see the spoiler thread, here.

The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
Section 3 - Beast in View
Chapter 15 - The Return of Tobias Quinn

Summary originally posted February 2012 by sassenach. To read original discussion threads, view the forum here.

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sassenach wrote: With some trepidation Jamie boards the ship that will take them to Ireland, but not before Tom Byrd and Grey have noticed Jamie’s discomfort, which Grey recognises as Jamie’s predisposition towards mal de mer. Tom wishes he has brought with him his grandmother’s remedy for sea sickness which is “sour pickle, with dill weed”. The men are interrupted by a fellow traveller, an Irishman, who recognising Jamie’s severe reaction to sea travel offers the men a remedy which contains whiskey, ginger root and opium. Jamie closed into a ball of wretchedness, is disturbed by the sight of Tobias Quinn bending over him and offering a draught of something, Jamie, characteristically, tells Quinn to “Go Away”.... :mischief: 

The sense of Quinn’s presence, whilst disturbing, is secondary to Jamie’s wretched state, and when he feels someone touching his arm, Jamie reacts wildly to the smell of opium; he has immediate memories of another time and place, with the shadow of Black Jack Randall never far away. After opium induced sleep, Jamie wakes to find himself still in the grip of opium delirium, but at least on dry land, with the aroma of coffee warming his senses, and Grey and Byrd close by. The smell of peat smoke, confirms that they have arrived in Ireland.

It is with some discomfort that Jamie realises that the same Irish gentleman who offered the opium draft on the boat, has appeared in the room, and appears to be on comfortable terms with Grey. After a slug of whiskey in his coffee, Jamie listens to Quinn giving travel advice to Grey, and whilst the necessity of a coach is needed for Tom Byrd and the luggage, it is agreed that Jamie and Grey will be able to travel on horseback. When Quinn offers to travel with them, Jamie tries in vain to discourage him; however Quinn will not be put off, and arranges to meet them later in the day.

Following Quinn’s recommendation on obtaining the best horses, Grey and Jamie set off, and whilst Quinn is with them, Jamie continues to be uncomfortable, but realises that he can do little, at this stage to deter Quinn from being on a public road with them. Meanwhile, Grey asks Quinn about the local area, and whether a man by the name of Gerald Siverly is known to him. Quinn knows something of the man, and his estate at Ballybonaggin, but is unable to give much information “But he wouldn’t be knowing the likes of me “

Whilst travelling, Grey is able to consider what he knows about Siverly. What is without question is that that he saved John’s life after the Battle of Quebec, after which they shared a salutary drink, but in the intervening years they have had no further contact. However, if Siverly was indeed guilty of the charges now put before him, Grey would have no compunction but to carry out the plans for his court martial, and having discussed all this with Hal beforehand Grey was hopeful he could bring the man to justice in a gentlemanlike way. If not, he had other plans which involved using the Justiciar of Athlone Castle, the highest authority who could arrest Siverly and hand him over to Grey’s authority, and if all else failed, he could resort to plan C, which was using Jamie as a physical deterrent. 
With Jamie engaged in conversation with Quinn, Grey relaxes and enjoys the soft Irish air and beautiful country side.


At last the journey begins, and the added inclusion of Tobias Quinn to the travelling group adds a frisson of uncertainty -
Inevitably, Jamie's mal de mer means that he is at the mercy of his senses - imagine how the sensation of the opium induced dreams made him feel.
It's interesting to be privy to Grey's personal thoughts about Siverly


Share your thoughts and feelings

Incidentally : Scottish Whisky is without an "e" ........whilst Irish Whiskey has the "e"..... :bigsmile:
"There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books." - Irving Stone

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

September 14th, 2018, 6:12 pm #2

I always get a bad feeling when Quinn appears.  He seems like such a nice, friendly guy, but there's a sense of dread, I suppose because he wants to drag Jamie into what we all know is a hopeless cause.  As was discussed in the old thread, it is a little strange that John doesn't seem to have any suspicions about Quinn even though Quinn is perhaps being a little too helpful and insinuating himself into their business.  John usually has good instincts about people, but he doesn't seem to have any inklings about Quinn.  At least not yet.

I adore Tom Byrd and his various suggested remedies. :bigsmile:  I was kind of sad that they left him on his own to travel with the luggage.  [Just read my comments in the old thread and I wondered about Tom's safety with the luggage on his own.  Hadn't thought of that today, but I think I was right to wonder about that since there could always be thieves about.]

Poor Jamie having to deal with seasickness and then opium dreams.  At least he recovered quickly.  There was an odd little parallel when he heard people on the ship talking about shooting him and wishing they would, and being in John's presence; and after Culloden when he first met Hal and wanted Hal to shoot him, but Hal spared his life as a debt of honor for Jamie's sparing John's at Carryarrick.

Do we know how much time has passed since the end of Custom of the Army?  My guess had been months, rather than years, but I'm really not sure.
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Joined: January 31st, 2017, 11:53 pm

September 14th, 2018, 6:52 pm #3

Thanks, sassench for your original post and Lisa for re-posting.  Quinn brings to my mind a leprechaun.  He's seems happy and friendly but is out for mischief.  Whenever Quinn pops up, I am waiting for the trouble to begin.  I feel so bad for Jamie every time he gets on a boat and am suspect of Quinn's help to alleviate his sea sickness.  So far he seems to be helpful but I don't trust him.  And I am also surprised that John doesn't see past this friendly man.  
Incidentally : Scottish Whisky is without an "e" ........whilst Irish Whiskey has the "e"...  Thanks for that bit of trivia!
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Lisa SF
Clan Fraser
Joined: August 2nd, 2011, 11:43 pm

September 14th, 2018, 11:37 pm #4

Ugh, poor Jamie! Very vivid scenes of his seasickness -- poor man. I think it's startling for John to see Jamie so weak and debilitated. And I agree, Quinn's appearance is a sign of trouble. Maybe John was too distracted by Jamie's condition to focus enough to recognize Quinn's untrustworthiness.
"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.
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Joined: October 7th, 2017, 11:10 pm

September 15th, 2018, 12:18 am #5

Thank you sassenach and Lisa SF for your work putting this summary together and posting it.

Thank goodness that, like Stephan, John is good with horses and was able to use that skill to calm Jaime and get him to board the boat.  Too bad the skills were of no use in dealing with sea sickness.  Poor Jaime.  Apparently Quinn was familiar enough with Jaime to have come prepared. 
I appreciated John's realization that he probably saved Jaime's life by keeping him from being transported when Ardsmuir closed. 

As the chapter goes on, I still find  Quinn extremely annoying.  He is too slick for words and way too helpful.  I agree with ABL, that it seems strange that John isn't getting negative vibes from the situation.  John and the female house worker at Helwater seem to take Quinn as a near gentleman.  He comes across to me as anything but.  Maybe he has always been a con man and can use his facility with language to fool others

Reading John's thoughts on all the possible strategies he may use to get Siverly to return to England for the court martial was an interesting experience.

ABL, the following information may give us some clues as to the time frame between "The Custom of the Army" and "The Scottish Prisoner".  The battle for Quebec on the Plains of Abraham took place on September 13, 1759.  John returned to the village 2 weeks later to find Corruthers and Stubb's Native lover had died of Small Pox.  The trees were completely bare of leaves when he brought the baby to the mission and then bid farewell to Manoke.  That was probably the end of October or sometime in November.  The first page of "The Scottish Prisoner"  gives April 1, 1760 as the date.  I don't know how much time has passed between then and the character's arrival in Ireland, no more then a month and certainly less than 2.  So, 5 to 7 months have passed.
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audiobooklover
Clan Fraser
Joined: July 19th, 2010, 10:09 pm

September 15th, 2018, 2:31 am #6

Thanks Vita21 for looking into the timing.  That's about the amount of time I had guessed had passed, but I hadn't gone back to check anything.
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NigheanDubh
Clan Fraser
Joined: September 17th, 2009, 3:16 am

September 15th, 2018, 8:22 pm #7

Thank you for the original post, Sassenach and the bit about the different spellings of whisky/whiskey...I'll have to study the spellings for each spirit.  Thanks again to Lisa for posting. 

audiobooklover: "I always get a bad feeling when Quinn appears." 
Same here.  I can't stand it when that man comes around.  On the boat Jamie is getting a double whammy--sea sickness and the TQ. 
I agree that a sick Jamie was a major distraction for John.  It's also likely that Quinn was on his best behavior so that he could ingratiate into becoming part of the group.  
"'I wish to God,' said Gideon with mild exasperation, 'that you'd talk--just once--in prose like other people.'"
--Game of Kings
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DLT
Clan Fraser
DLT
Clan Fraser
Joined: May 26th, 2012, 7:06 am

September 16th, 2018, 6:37 am #8

Thanks to sassenach for the original summary, and to Lisa for reposting it. It must have been quite something for Tom and John to have to witness Jamie's seasickness and how debilitated he became. Poor Jamie having to deal with seasickness and then trying to get rid of Quinn. I am surprised that John was not more suspicious of Quinn.
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