In July 1776, Brianna and Roger are in Wilmington for the execution of Steven Bonnet. Not long after the execution, they plan to return to the 20th century. While in Wilmington, Brianna encounters William Ransom, her half-brother. She and William have a casual conversation, in which Brianna introduces him to her children and states that she wishes they could speak longer.

In September 1980, Brianna and Roger are settled at Lallybroch. Brianna and Roger begin reading the letters left to them by Claire and Jamie. Brianna also applies for a job as a plant inspector at Loch Errenty. Her new colleagues chafe at a female boss, and lock her in one of the tunnels as a prank.

Brianna and Roger become unnerved after both Jem and Mandy report seeing a "Nuckelavee" on Lallybroch property. After initially believing that a tramp has taken up residence in the broch, Roger discovers William Buccleigh MacKenzie living on the property, and Brianna and Roger reluctantly allow him to stay with them.

Meanwhile, Brianna's coworker Rob Cameron displays increasing interest in her, seeming curious about her knowledge of Gaelic and the history of Lallybroch.

Near the end of October, Brianna discovers that Rob Cameron has kidnapped Jem. She and Roger believe that Rob has tried to take Jem through the stones, so Roger and Buck go through the stones to track Jem down.