Picking up where they left off, the party rides into the courtyard of Castle Leoch and Dougal MacKenzie is confronted by Auld Alec, the castle's master of horse. Alec hadn't expected to see them before the Gathering. Dougal says they've had some good, and some bad, luck along the way. Alec then confronts Rupert MacKenzie about not taking care of his horse's hooves, saying a man as big as he needs to be more careful. The other men then tease Rupert as Claire looks around the courtyard, finally spying a man watching from an upper window.
Mrs. Fitz enters, happy to see the returning party. She hugs Rupert and tells the men to go to the kitchen for food. She insults Murtagh and he playfully grabs her for a kiss and leaves with the other men. Mrs. Fitz then spies Claire and Jamie introduces them and tells her Murtagh found her and Dougal said to bring her along. Knowing Dougal's word is law, she welcomes Claire and tells her they'll find her something to eat and something more suitable to wear than her plain shift. Claire wonders about Jamie who says he can take care of himself, but Claire tells Mrs. Fitz that he's been wounded and needs tending to. Mrs. Fitz asks if Claire is a charmer or a Beaton and Claire, confused, says she's something like that. Mrs. Fitz orders Jamie to follow and he knows better than to argue with her.
Mrs. Fitz leads Claire through torchlit corridors that Claire had walked through two days ago with Frank. She provides Claire with garlic and witch hazel along with boiling water and adds confrey and cherry bark for the pain. Claire is happy with the remedies and thanks the woman who gives her permission to call her Mrs. Fitz.
As Claire tends to his wound, she must remove the blanket and sees Jamie's horribly scarred back. Jamie, embarrassed, tells her four years ago the Redcoats had flogged him twice in the space of a week. He tells her they would have done it in the same day, but there's no joy in flogging a dead man. When Jamie mentions it was Randall who'd had him flogged, she drops the sterile bandage in surprise. She covers by calling herself clumsy and returning the bandage to the boiling solution.
Claire asks Jamie why he had been flogged and he tells her the first time was for escaping Fort William and the second was theft. Claire asks why he tried to escape in the first place and Jamie wryly says they were holding him prisoner. Claire asks on what charge and he says obstruction, a term which meant whatever the English say it means. Jamie tells her it was four years ago. The crown had put a levy on the land-holders of the county and Jonathan Randall led a party of Redcoats to their home to collect food and horses and whatever else they could carry away. Jamie's father was attending a funeral and Jamie had been forking hay when he heard his sister Jenny scream. He rushes to the house to find two soldiers accosting her and he fights them off. Randall stops the fight by placing a gun to Jenny's head and Jamie surrenders. Jamie tells Randall to leave his sister alone and Jack says she's very bonnie and strips her to the waist.
Jamie tells Claire that Randall was sending a message: this is what you get when you fight back against the English. Randall then has Jamie's arms tied up and he proceeds to whip Jamie's back, raising red welts as Jenny cries. Randall then says he's sure that Jenny will be able to offer him more suitable entertainment in the house. Jamie orders her not to go with him even if Randall kills him. Randall then punches Jamie with the handle of his dagger, knocking him unconscious.
Jamie tells Claire that Jenny went with him because she thought Randall would kill him and he figures she was right. He woke up in a cart along with the chickens to Fort William. Claire offers her sympathy and Jamie jokes to shrug off the mood. She then finishes tending to him, binding his arm to his side. Jamie tells her she is a very kind woman with a good touch and her husband is a lucky man.
Reminded of Frank, Claire wonders what he must be going through. His wife disappears without a trace and that his fears would prey on him. Was she abducted? Was she dead? Or, worst of all, had she left him for another man? Heartbroken, Claire breaks down in tears. Jamie asks what's wrong and she says she was thinking of her husband. He asks if Frank is not alive and Claire confirms that he is indeed not. Jamie takes Claire into his good arm and comforts her as she sobs. They share a moment, feeling close until Claire jumps up and apologizes. Jamie tells her she needs not be scare of him nor anyone else there as long as he is with her. She asks when he is not and he warns that being English is not a pretty thing to be in the Highlands. Claire thanks him and he tells her to get some rest because it is most likely someone will want to speak with her before long.
Later that afternoon, Mrs. Fitz wakes Claire and bustles about the room, berating Claire for sleeping so long. She gives Claire a cup of hot broth, then pulls it away from Claire after only a few bites. She then helps Claire disrobe, asking what kind of corset is Claire wearing. Claire explains it's a brassiere from France. Mrs. Fitz helps Claire transform herself into a 18th century woman, dressing her in a shift, a corset, hip pads, and multiple layers of clothing until she declares Claire fit to be taken to himself. Claire looks at herself doubtfully in the mirror.
A man arrives and takes her to the laird's chamber and tells her to wait. Claire realizes she needs to figure out when she is and looks through a book and then finds a letter on the desk dated 1st November 1743. A man with long gray hair and a white beard enters and seeing Claire holding a book, says he sees she has met some of his friends. As Colum walks into the room, she takes note of his disfigured legs and rolling gait. To put Claire at ease, he welcomes her and introduces himself as Colum Ban Campbell MacKenzie, laird of the castle. He invites her to sit.
Claire tries to remember what is happening in this time of history. Colum says he understands his brother and his men found Claire in apparent distress. Claire takes the defense and says she was attacked and nearly raped by one of the soldiers and, feeling proud of herself, adds soldiers of King George II. Colum asks if she suffered any other molestation and Claire says no and to offer her gratitude to his brother for his kind escort. Claire says she needs to arrange transport back to Inverness and Colum says something can be arranged, but wants to know wants to know how a lady such as Claire came to be wandering in the woods dressed in nothing except her shift.
Claire, knowing from Frank that while being interrogated, it's best to keep as close to the truth as possible, tells Colum that she is a widow from Oxfordshire who was travelling with her manservant to relatives in France when they were set upon by highwaymen. She managed to escape, but had to abandon her horse and property. It was while wandering through the woods, that she was suddenly attacked by Captain Jack Randall who she believes Colum knows. After he acknowledges the truth of that, she tells him it was during that encounter when she lost her clothing.
Colum admits that Randall has a bad reputation, but he doubts that an officer and gentleman with a King's commission would decide to rape a stray lady traveller he came upon in the woods for no good reason. Claire tightly asks Master MacKenzie if there is ever a good reason for rape. He begs her forgiveness for his unfortunate turn of phrase. She grants it and asks to get back to the topic of her transport to Inverness. He says there is a tinker named Sean Petrie who will arrive on Saturday as part of his route which will take him to Inverness and usually has room for one or two passengers. Claire claims confusion and asks when Saturday is and Colum says five days from now. The interview over for now, Colum offers her the castle's hospitality.
Claire wanders outside planning her trip back to Inverness and Craigh na Dun and hopefully back home. She acknowledges that she does know something about this era like their customs and dress and colloquialisms, but it was all second hand knowledge acquired from books, museums and paintings. It was as if she had landed on an alien world only glimpsed through a telescope. She observes some playing children in the yard below as Dougal arrives and plays with the children, particularly a red-headed lad named Hamish, who mock-stabs Dougal with his wooden sword. As she watches them play, Claire admits to herself that maybe life on this alien world is not so different after all.
That night, Claire reluctantly enters the hall for dinner, nervously walking the gauntlet of long tables filled with diners who grow silent and stare as she passes. She approaches the head table where Colum sits with Dougal and another woman and curtseys. Dougal offers her a chair next to Colum. Colum cheerfully pours Claire some wine and introduces her to his wife Letitia. Colum asks if Mrs. FitzGibbons gave her comfortable lodgings and Claire says that Mrs. Fitz is a wonder. Letitia says it's a wonder how Mrs. Fitz manages to bake such bannocks with the poor ovens they have at the castle. She then tosses a bannock to Claire who just barely catches it.
Colum refills Claire's wineglass and asks why Claire pronounces her name "Beech-ham" and not the French "Bo-cham" if her family was from France. Claire explains that their ties to France are old, but not close and that perhaps some ancestor decided to Anglicise it. He asks what part of France her folks are from and she answers from the north near Compiegne. To divert the questioning, Claire asks after Mr. Mactavish's health and Letitia asks who? Dougal explains Claire means young Jamie. She asks why Claire is asking and Colum said it was nothing but a scratch then he turns to Dougal and asks where is Jamie by the way. Dougal explains he sent the lad to help Auld Alec in the stables that he didn't want him to be inside the walls, but if Colum didn't agree with his orders... Claire, sitting between the two, nervously drinks from her wineglass. Colum says Jamie is fine where he is and orders a bottle of Rhenish wine. He tells Claire she won't find this wine in Oxfordshire and refills her glass.
He asks if Claire is heading for Compiegne and when she says yes, asks if she knows it well. Claire admits she's never been there and he asks if she'll be staying with family. She tells him distant family that she's never met, but is looking forward to it. He toasts again and says it will be a joyous occasion, he imagines. The redheaded boy Hamish runs to the table and Claire, well into her cups by now, greets the boy and says her name is Claire and shakes her hand. Letitia encourage him to give his name and he does. Claire says it's a pleasure to meet him and that she saw him playing in the courtyard earlier with his father. The boy is confused and Claire says surely Dougal must remember, he was swinging him around. By the icy looks, especially from Letitia, Claire realizes her mistake and apologizes. Hamish confirms he is the son and heir of Colum MacKenzie and Letitia loudly proclaims he is indeed. Hamish moves to sit next to his mother and Claire begs the laird's leave as the ordeal of the past few days have caught up with her. Colum allows Mrs. "Beecham" to leave and she silently berates herself, saying Frank would laugh at how she fell for the oldest trick in the book. Ply the subject with food and drink but all the while continuing the interrogation. She knows she has to be more careful if she would survive the next five days.
The next morning, Claire goes to the bustling kitchen. Mrs. Fitz informs Claire she missed breakfast, but spoons her some porridge. Claire declines the lump and asks Mrs. Fitz where she can find Mr. Mactavish or Jamie upon seeing Mrs. Fitz's confusion. She explains she needs to change his bandages. Mrs. Fitz explains the stables are at the top of the meadow to the east. Walking over the bridge with her basket, Claire notices Rupert trying and failing not to look too obvious watching her. She sees Jamie in the paddock exercising a horse. She accidently disturbs some horseshoes, startling the horse and causing Jamie to fall against the fence. She apologizes and he says the horse is just a girl with spirit, which is always a good thing. She tells him she brought him fresh bandages and lunch and he is pleased.
After lunch, as they sit in the stable, Claire watches Jamie clean up the crumbs and notes that he has quite the appetite and notes he'd probably eat grass if he had the chance. He tells her that he has and that while it doesn't taste bad, but it's not very filling. He explains that it was the winter the year before last when he was living rough in the woods with a group of lads raiding cattle. They'd had poor luck for over a week and ran out of food. Claire questions why he was raiding cattle and living the life of a thief instead of tending to his own farm. Jamie says there is a price of ten pounds sterling on his head which the farmers in those parts would need a whole year to earn. She notes that was excessive for an escaped prisoner and Jamie explains when his friends broke him out of Fort William not long after his flogging, a guard was killed and even though he could barely sit a horse, much less fire a weapon, he was charged with the murder.
Claire says he's a very complicated name and notes that Mactavish is not his real name. Jamie admits it's not and Claire calls the name a nom de guerre or "war name." Jamie is amused at the phrase. He points out that what he just told her is valuable information and while he doubts there are informers in the castle, there might be some in the countryside that would be glad enough to turn him into the English for the money. Claire asks if Colum knows that he's an outlaw and Jamie says yes, Dougal too, that they're his uncles on his mother's side. Claire asks why he told her and he said she asked. Claire says he could have lied or tell her it wasn't her business. He says he didn't think of that and that he decided to trust her instead. Auld Alec orders Jamie back to work and Jamie thanks her for the food. She says if he doesn't get stabbed or flogged it would be thanks enough, but Jamie can make no promises.
As she's leaving the stables, she sees Rupert skulking about and confronts him about following her. She asks why and he ignores her. She demands the courtesy of an answer and she asks if Colum ordered him to follow her. He says no and when she asks if it was Dougal, he said he's only Dougal's eyes, not his head, but those eyes won't look away from her until the head orders him to. Claire scoffs and stomps off with Rupert trailing behind her. Rupert says it could be worse, Dougal could have ordered Angus to follow her. Angus is more often than not drunk and a fornicator of women and a shagger of wee beasties when there's no women to be found.
Back at the castle, Claire confronts Dougal and demands to know what she is suspected of. He tells her that he thinks she might be an English spy because he's sure she hasn't told the truth about what and who she is and until he is sure, he will have her watched day and night. She tells him that he can be free to do what he wants for the next four days. She tells him that Colum gave her leave to go with the tinker Mr. Petrie on Saturday and she taunts him that she would have thought Colum had told him.
For the next few days, Claire carefully watches her behavior and actions to give Dougal and his men nothing suspicious. She joins a party harvesting food for the kitchen and finds pleasure in touching growing things once more. As she's gathering some mushrooms, a woman tells her they are poison and if she plans on murdering her husband with them, let her know if it works so she can try it on hers. Claire knows they are poisonous and explains if you make a powder from the dried fungi, it can stop bleeding. The woman introduces herself as Geillis Duncan and says she knows who Claire is. Claire wonders what the village people are saying about her and Geillis says that she is likely a sassenach spy. She peers into Claire's basket and points out some plants and explains that they will start bleeding. Claire asks why anyone would want to start bleeding and Geillis says it will take care of a child you don't want, but only if you use it early. She explains that the girls in the village go to her for such things and that they say she is a witch. Claire asks if she is and Geillis says hardly, but she laughingly does know how to change toads into pigeons. Geillis invites Claire to visit her in the village sometime to discuss potions and medicinals, but that they'll probably meet during the Hall that night.
That night in the hall of Castle Leoch, Claire watches Colum make his ponderous and painful way to his seat, where he will sit in judgement in disputes between the people living on MacKenzie lands. Claire privately diagnoses his condition as Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome, a genetic degenerative disease of bone and connective tissue, named for the famous artist who did not even exist yet. Claire notes that Lautrec died at the young age of 38 and given the state of medicine in the 18th century, she was sure that Colum was not long for the world.
As Colum hears the disputes, Geillis translates for Claire as the various issues are settled, until finally an angry father brings forth his daughter for judgement as a worried Mrs. Fitz looks on. Geillis tells Claire her father accuses her of loose behavior and he wishes the MacKenzie to have her punished for disobedience. Colum agrees, but Jamie offers to take her punishment instead. Claire is aghast as Jamie is still injured, but with a whispered word from Dougal, Colum allows it and Jamie selects the fists instead of the strap. Claire watches as Rupert delivers a cruel beating, including a blow to his healing wound, calling the entire process barbarous. After it's over, Geillis leads Claire the back way to the kitchen where she once again tends to his wounds.
Claire asks Jamie why he took the girl's punishment and if he even knows her. Jamie replies that he knows who she is, but hasn't really spoken to her, but getting a public beating would have shamed her and she would have taken a long time to get over it. It was easier for him, he's just sore, but not damaged and he'll get over it. Mrs. Fitz arrives to bring willow bark tea for his pain and she thanks Jamie for his gesture as the girl, Laoghaire MacKenzie, is her granddaughter.
After Mrs. Fitz leaves to keep from crying, Claire advises Jamie to take off the shoulder bandage in two days. He asks wouldn't it be easier for her to do it and Claire says she'll be leaving with the tinker on Saturday for Inverness. They awkwardly say goodbye to each other. Laoghaire pokes her head into the kitchen and Claire tells Jamie that it appears someone wants to speak with him alone. He wishes Claire safe journeys, for the first time using her name.
The tinker arrives and Claire is eager to get started. Mrs. Fitz packs her a basket full of bannocks and cheese and Claire thanks her for her kindness. Dougal appears and says Colum wishes to see her and Claire asks why, but he says why doesn't matter. Dougal leads Claire through a familiar passage where she had once been with Frank. It is the same room they had explored earlier, this time cleaner with lit candles and bottles and various instruments filling the tables and shelves. Colum greets Claire and asks if she has any connections with Clan Beaton. He tells her that the healers of Clan Beaton are famous throughout the Highlands and they had one here and this room was Davie Beaton's surgery, but he died from a fever.
Colum says he understands she is a skilled healer herself and Claire admits it's an interest of hers. He asks if she knows how to use the potions and things in the room and she answers some. She thanks him for showing her the room, she tries to take her leave, but he says that since they have not had a healer since Davie passed, he wants her to take up the work. She protests and he says that she will be staying. She asks if Dougal put him up to that and he says she is staying because it is his pleasure that she does so. He believes that she has secrets and perhaps they are the kind of secrets that every woman has, but until he is sure that Claire does not pose a threat to him, to Leoch or to Clan MacKenzie, she will remain there as his guest. She says as a prisoner, and he says only if she tries to leave.
Left alone in Davie Beaton's closet, a very frightened Claire breaks down in tears.