Little is known about Hodgepile's life, other than his association with the military and subsequent outlawry.
Events of the NovelsEdit
In October 1769, Hodgepile's name becomes known to Jamie via Ronnie Sinclair, who conveys that a stranger had been asking questions in Cross Creek about Jamie Fraser's whisky.
The next spring, Hodgepile admits Lord John Grey and Brianna Fraser into the cellar below the warehouse where Stephen Bonnet is being held in custody. Later, Sergeant Murchison says he's "taken care of" Hodgepile when exhorting Bonnet to leave the building with him before it explodes.
In October 1773, while at the malting shed, Claire and Marsali are attacked by a large group of men, who then take Claire captive. Among them is Arvin Hodgepile, erstwhile clerk at the Crown's warehouse in Cross Creek; Lionel Brown, who tries to kill Claire to prevent her reporting his involvement to Jamie; Tebbe, a mulatto who fears supernatural retribution from Claire; Harley Boble, former thief-taker whom Claire had met at the Gathering in 1770; and a man named Donner, who reveals that he is originally from the year 1968.
Hodgepile ties Claire to a tree trunk on the second night, and four men confront her: first, one of the teenage boys fondles her breast and ejaculates on her; Boble hits and kicks Claire, causing severe damage to her face and body; Donner, who begs answers from Claire about her own experience with time traveling; and a nameless man who rapes her. At dawn on the third day of Claire's captivity, Jamie, Ian, Roger, Fergus, Arch Bug, Tom Christie, and Kenny Lindsay arrive and slaughter the entire group except for Lionel Brown, whom they take back to the Ridge for questioning.
Hodgepile was a violent man, striking fear even in men physically larger than himself.
- Arvin means "the people's friend".
- Hodgepile is possibly a combination of the words "Hodge" meaning an "English rustic or farm laborer", and "pile" meaning a long slender column usually of timber, steel, or reinforced concrete driven into the ground to carry a vertical load.
- Arvin Hodgepile is the name of the racist television station manager character in the 1988 film Hairspray.