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”....
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".....