In 1744, Jamie and Claire go to Paris, armed with her knowledge that Charles Stuart will invade Scotland and begin the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion in less than two years; their aim is to prevent him from gathering enough financial support in France to begin the uprising.
Jamie and Claire first travel to Le Havre in February to meet Jamie's cousin, Jared Fraser. Jared asks Jamie to run his business for him for about 6 months while he travels throughout France inspecting wineries and establishing new contacts for his business. In return Jamie will receive a salary and use of Jared's Paris town house and staff. While in Le Havre, Claire publicly diagnoses a case of smallpox in one of the seamen from the Comte St. Germain's ship leading to the loss of his ship, cargo and profits. The Comte warns Claire that she will pay for her actions.
Claire and Jamie move to Paris and start forging the connections they need to move into Bonnie Prince Charlie's inner circle. Claire meets and befriends Louise de La Tour and through her meets Mary Hawkins and realizes that she is supposed to become the wife of Jack Randall.
Claire meets King Louis XV at a ball at the Palace of Versailles. She is groped by the Vicomte de Rambeau whom Jamie dunks in the fountain. This amuses Louis so much he invites Jamie and Claire to stay the night at the Palace. The next day the King's English visitors arrive. Claire mistakes Alexander Randall for Jack Randall. Terrified that Jamie will kill him in front of the King, which would mean instant death, Claire faints.
Claire starts working as a volunteer at L'Hôpital des Anges, through mutual respect she befriends Mother Hildegarde. Here she also meets the bonesetter Monsieur Forez. Claire helps Mother Hildegarde decipher a letter for Charles Stuart saying that there is fifty thousand pounds waiting for him once he sets foot on English soil.
While at Versailles for a function Claire is poisoned with bitter cascara. Claire confronts Master Raymond to find out who he has sold cascara to and finds that the most likely suspect is the Comte St Germain. Raymond tells Claire she may still be in danger and gives her a white crystal which is sensitive to poison.
In May there is an explosion at the Royal Armory resulting in many patients arriving at the L'Hopital. Claire and Mary Hawkins work late tending to the patients. Murtagh and Fergus are waiting to accompany them home and as there are no coaches to be had they decide to take a shortcut through an alleyway. Once past the alley in another street they are attacked without warning by richly-dressed men in masks. Murtagh is hit from behind, knocked out and wrapped in a sailcloth. The man who grabs Claire has a small beauty mark just above the fork of his thumb. He tries to force Claire to her knees and in the struggle Claire's hood falls down and her hair comes loose. When the men see her face they become frightened, call her La Dame Blanche and start to run off. Claire hears a terrible shriek and realizes Mary is being raped. Claire kicks the man raping Mary while his companions also seize him and they all run off. Alexander Randall arrives on the scene, closely followed by Jamie and Fergus.
While Jamie and Claire are hosting an important dinner party that evening which cannot be cancelled without a good explanation and they must keep Mary's rape hidden to save her reputation. They take Mary back to Jared's house, dose her with poppy syrup and put her to sleep in an upstairs bedroom while they attend to their guests. Alex Randall is left to stand guard over Mary. At the dinner party the Comte St Germain reveals that Charles Stuart has secured a loan to enable him to invest in a shipment of high quality port with the Comte. Mary wakes in a drugged stupor and hallucinates that she is being raped. She runs screaming out onto the upper landing with her bruises showing clearly through her torn nighshift and with Alex running after her trying to restrain her. Mary's screams disrupt the dinner party and to them it looks as if Alex is trying to rape Mary. Jamie is forced to punch Alex out to stop the situation turning into a complete melee.
Claire visits Master Raymond to buy herbs to help heal Mary Hawkins and learns that Master Raymond has been embellishing and spreading the story that Claire is La Dame Blanche. Claire visits Mary and tries to comfort her as well as heal her wounds. Mary writes down her testimony relating to the attack and gives it to Claire to deliver to the Bastille.
Claire and Jamie go to visit the Duke of Sandringham, ostensibly to discuss investments, but in reality to try and extract information from him. While Jamie and the Duke are engaged in business Claire slips away to look for Alex Randall but the first person she finds is Mary Hawkins who has slipped out of her uncle's house to come and find Alex. A footman arrives and informs Mary and Claire that Alex Randall has been dismissed from his position with the Duke and is believed to be have taken a ship back to England. Jamie arrives to tell Claire the same thing, having just learned it from the Duke, but Mary refuses to believe it and runs off. Claire takes after her in pursuit and runs slap bang into Jonathan Randall. When Claire demands to know why Randall isn't dead he tells her that it was Marley that died in the stampede. When Jamie appears behind Claire, Randall looks as if he has seen a ghost. Jamie shows no emotion, takes Claire gently by the arm and leads her away. Jamie takes Claire to their waiting carriage and hands her in. Before Claire realizes what is happening Jamie has slammed the door of the carriage on her and ordered the coachman to drive Claire straight home while he disappears.
Claire is terrified about what Jamie is going to do and sends Fergus to find Murtagh. As she calms herself down Claire realizes that Jamie will not kill Randall in cold blood but will challenge him to a duel and will have to follow the procedures for duelling which will take a little time to put in place. Claire goes inside the house and is startled to find Dougal MacKenzie there. Thinking quickly Claire asks Dougal to accompany her to the police station. En route she explains the situation to Dougal and her plan to name Jack Randall as one of the men who attacked her and Mary so that Randall will be arrested and Jamie will be unable to fight him. Dougal tells Claire what he has overheard in taverns about a group calling themselves Les Disciples. This group is made up of young men of family with an interest in unwholesome things. To be initiated into Les Disciples a man must take a maidenhead or the nipples of a married woman. The Comte St Germain is rumored to be part of this group. After lodging the complaint with the police Dougal asks Claire if she would like him to speak to Jamie but she refuses adamantly. The reason that Claire doesn't want Jamie to kill Randall is that as long as Randall lives so does Frank. Dougal demands that Claire keeps his visit a secret from Jamie.
When Claire gets back to the Rue Tremoulins she finds that Jamie has been and gone. He has cut of some of his hair to ensure it won't get in his eyes during the duel and taken his sword. Jamie returns to the townhouse intending to collect some clothes and move to an inn to prepare for Randall's release. When he finds Claire at home he demands to know why she had Randall arrested. Claire begs Jamie to delay killing Randall for one year to allow Frank's ancestor to be conceived. Jamie is so angry and betrayed by Claire that he demands that she choose between Randall's life and his own. If she wants him to spare Randall for a year then she must kill him now because he cannot live while Randall does. In desperation Claire tells Jamie that as she has saved his life twice, he owes her a life and she is calling in that debt. After much thought Jamie concedes to Claire's demand but smashes a hole in a stained glass window to show his anger and frustration. Jamie refuses to let Claire touch him that night and does not come to bed. In the morning they make their peace.
Jamie, Claire and Fergus accompany the Duke of Sandringham to the Royal stables in Argentan as the Duke wishes Jamie to advise him on the purchase of some broodmares. During the journey to Argentan Jamie reveals to Claire why he agreed to spare Randall's life long enough for Frank to be born. He tells Claire that if anything happens to him he wants Claire to go back to Frank and that is the only reason he is letting Randall live a bit longer. By the time they arrive at Argentan, Claire's back aches miserably and her feet are hot and swollen. The Duke of Sandringham comes and sits with Claire during the picnic lunch and asks her if Jamie still has a price on his head in Scotland. On learning that he does the Duke puts a proposition to Claire. If Jamie severs his ties to Charles Stuart, he will be pardoned and can return home.
Back home in Paris, Claire massages ointment into Jamie's pulled muscle and tells him about the offer from the Duke of Sandringham. Jamie decides he can't take up the offer as he has to try and stop Charles Stuart. When Jamie asks Claire where she got the ointment from she tells him Monsieur Forez gave it to her, she is shocked to learn that Monsieur Forez is a hangman and the ointment is hanged-men's grease. Later that night Claire starts to bleed slightly. She is very worried but knows there is nothing she can do. The bleeding has stopped by the morning but Claire decides it is time she stops working at L'Hopital des Anges.
Monsieur Forez calls on Jamie and Claire with the outward excuse of delivering a herbal package to Claire from Mother Hildegarde. His real purpose is made clear when he gives Jamie and Claire a graphic description of exactly what occurs when a traitor is sentenced to the traitor's death of hanging, drawing and quartering.
Claire has a sleep and is woken by Magnus the butler who informs her that Louise de Rohan and Marie d'Arbanville have called on her. As Claire goes downstairs to greet them she overhears Marie telling Louise that Jamie has just challenged an Englishman to a duel in a brothel. Claire asks Magnus to tell Louise and Marie that she is not well and cannot see them. Claire goes back upstairs and looks for her spirits of ammonia to make sure she won't faint. Inside her medical box she also finds a note from Jamie who had returned while she slept. The note says: "I am sorry. I must!" Claire decides that for Frank's sake she cannot allow Jamie to kill Randall. She deduces that the duel will take place in the Bois de Boulogne and decides to find them there in the morning.
In the early morning Claire takes a coach to the Bois de Boulogne and has the coachman inquire among the residents living near the Bois where the known duelling spots are. Claire is scared, grieving and angry and also has a nagging pain at the base of her spine. A young boy living near the Bois comes with the coach and finds the duelling site. As Claire follows the boy she can hear the clash of swords and knows the duel has begun. When she reaches the clearing where the duel is taking place Claire dares not call out to stop it for fear that the distraction will lead to Jamie being killed. At the moment that Jamie disarms Randall, Claire's placenta ruptures. She sees Jamie slice at Randall with his sword just before she collapses into unconsciousness. Claire is rushed to the L'Hopital des Anges.
Claire gives birth to a stillborn baby daughter. The midwives make her hold the child whom they wrap in a length of white satin. The baby is very small but perfect. Mother Hildegarde baptizes the baby and names her Faith.
After five days at the L'Hopital Claire is still very feverish and very unwell. She has not seen or heard from Jamie since collapsing. Claire is visited by Master Raymond who sneaks back in after initially being thrown out by the nuns. Raymond heals Claire with his hands which emit a soft blue glow. As he moves his hands slowly over Claire's body she can see all her organs and feel the bacteria dying. When Raymond reaches Claire's womb he tells her to call for the red man. When Claire cries out for Jamie the last of the infection is conquered and Raymond vanishes under the bed as the nuns come running to Claire's cry. When the nuns leave Raymond re-emerges. Claire asks him why he is still calling her Madonna when she has lost her child. He tells her that he did not call her Madonna because she was pregnant, but because she has a blue aura around her like the Virgin's cloak, and the same color as his own aura.
Claire spends several more days at the L'Hopital sleeping and in a fug of grief and pain. There has been no word of Jamie. Concerned for her friend, Louise de la Tour turns up to remove Claire from the L'Hopital and take her to Fontainebleu to recover. On the journey to Fontainebleu they pass three dead Huguenots hanging from trees. When they arrive at the house Louise asks Claire if she will make an effort to go to Mass as the servants are superstitious and have heard the rumors about Claire being La Dame Blanche.
After some days at Fontainebleu Claire stirs herself out of her depression for long enough to go and see Fergus. When she suggests he needs a bath Fergus takes off running. Claire follows him but instead of finding Fergus she finds a filthy, starving Huguenot pastor hidden in a barn - the Reverend Walter Laurent. The Reverend Laurent turns out to know Master Raymond, and although he thinks that Raymond is a good man, he warns Claire that Raymond is rumored to engage in occult activities. When the pastor asks Claire where Jamie is, all her anger and bitterness burst forth and she states that she never wants to see Jamie again. Claire feels that Jamie cared more for his honor than for her, their child and Frank, and she cannot forgive Jamie for that.
Jared's butler Magnus arrives at Fontainebleu with the note from Murtagh giving details of the ship being used to transport Charles Stuart's port. Claire learns that the reason the note had not been given to Jamie as planned is because Jamie had been arrested for duelling and was in the Bastille. Louise knew this but did not tell Claire fearing to upset her and because Claire had not asked where Jamie was. In further conversation with Louise, Claire learns that Jamie did not kill Jack Randall and she is so overcome she faints.
Claire leaves Fontainebleu determined to free Jamie from the Bastille so that he can continue his mission to stop Charles Stuart's shipment of port. She seeks advice from Mother Hildegarde and Herr Gerstmann who tell her that women seeking favors from the King are expected to lie with him in return. Claire determines that she has no choice and must go through with her plan however distasteful it may be.
Claire has an audience with Louis and begs him to free Jamie. She learns that he remains imprisoned because the Duke of Sandringham demands it as he wishes to keep Jamie away from Charles Stuart. Claire reveals to Louis that Jamie is not a Jacobite and Louis agrees to release Jamie on the condition that he leaves France. Louis will make sure that the charges against Jamie are dropped so that he can return to Scotland. Once these negotiations are over Louis asks Claire for a small service in return. Thinking that she is going to have to sleep with him, Claire follows Louis through a door but it does not lead to a bedroom.
Louis takes Claire into a darkened round room, lit only by tiny oil-lamps. In the center of the room is a huge round table and the people sitting around it are all hooded. Standing in the room are the Comte St Germain and Master Raymond, both of whom have been accused of sorcery. Louis instructs Claire to listen to their testimony then use her powers as La Dame Blanche which enable her to see the soul of a man, to determine who is telling the truth. Claire decides that the Comte has committed enough evil and needs to be stopped. She declares that he is associated with a group called Les Disciples du Mal. The Comte retaliates by accusing Claire of being the servant of Satan in league with Master Raymond.The Comte produces a snake from his shirt and quotes a passage from the Bible that says that servants of the true God can handle snakes without being harmed. Master Raymond then speaks up and provides the rest of the quote which is that servants of the true God will not die if they drink deadly poison. As Claire, the Comte and Raymond now all stand accused of sorcery, Raymond suggests that they all drink some poison to prove their innocence. He produces a flask of 'Dragon's blood' and pours out three cups. Both he and Claire drink it without effect, but the Comte falls down writhing and then subsides into limpness.
Louis takes Claire back through the door and leads her to the chaise and lifts her skirts. He oils her with rose oil and then penetrates her with a few thrusts before leaving to go to his mistress to finish off.
Claire returns to Fontainebleu and drifts back into listlessness. She is roused out of this state one day when she hears Fergus involved in an altercation with a stable boy. Claire stops their fighting but not before Fergus's breeches are torn down the side exposing a buttock and upon it, the freshly healed mark of a burn left by a ring. Claire recognizes the mark as being the same as the one that Randall branded Jamie with and questions Fergus about it. Fergus explains that it happened three months ago in May, on the day that Jamie visited the brothel and encountered Randall. Fergus was upstairs visiting with the prostitutes and when Randall came looking for a prostitute he chose Fergus. He was rough with Fergus and burnt him with his ring. When Fergus cried out in pain Jamie came running and beat Randall up and challenged him to the duel.
Following Fergus's revelation Claire drifts back into a deep depression which she uses to protect herself from feeling pain. She is walking in the grounds one day when a footman announces that Jamie has arrived. Claire runs from Jamie, not wanting to see him or talk to him for fear that he will crack open her shield of depression and let the pain come flooding in, but she runs into a closed arbor and unable to escape she is forced to face Jamie. Jamie begs Claire to tell him about the baby as he knows nothing and so Claire does. Jamie gathers all his courage and asks Claire to let him comfort her. Claire gathers her own courage to accept his offer and they make their peace.
The next day Claire and Jamie ride into the countryside. Jamie confronts Claire about her sleeping with Louis and lying to him about it. He is hurt more by her lies than the act itself as it means that Claire does not trust him to love her anyway. Claire offers to be beaten for what she has done and Jamie realizes how much her pride is worth to him allowing them both to confront their pain and hurt and heal themselves. Jamie tells Claire that although he didn't kill Randall, he wounded him in such a way that he will never father a child. While Claire contemplates this and the fact that she still has Frank's ring on her finger, Jamie explores the hillside and finds a cave which contains the entwined skeletons of two people who had died there in each others arms.
Claire and Jamie leave France and return to Lallybroch with Fergus in autumn. Claire receives unsigned parcels from Master Raymond containing odd things such as rare herbs, crystals, smooth stones with figures and letters carved into them and bones. Claire resumes her doctoring by looking after the Lallybroch tenants. Claire and Jamie preside over the first potato harvest which is a success and celebrate with a feast for all the tenants in the field.
In 1745, Jamie and Claire settle into life at Lallybroch and welcome a new niece in spring. But their peace is shattered in August with the arrival in the post of a broadsheet stating Charles Stuart's intention to reclaim his throne, which has been signed by the Jacobites who support him, and to which he has added Jamie's name. With his name on the broadsheet Jamie is publicly branded a traitor and thus has no choice but to go and fight for Charles Stuart.
After four days march, Jamie, Claire, Fergus and the 30 Lallybroch men arrive in Calder on the 17th September. Claire and Jamie move towards their tent and Jamie is attacked from behind by sixteen year old William Grey who recognizes Jamie as an outlaw and thinks that he has abducted Claire. Jamie wrestles John into submission and proceeds to question him. John refuses to give away any information even when threatened with a heated knife. Jamie rips Claire's bodice so that her breasts are bared and tells John that if he doesn't speak up, Claire will be raped. John agrees on the condition that Claire is released.
Once Jamie has the information from John he says he must kill him as he is a spy. Claire pleads with Jamie not to kill John and Jamie orders two of his men to take John in the direction he has said his camp lies. If he's telling the truth they are to tie him to a tree where he will be found in the morning, if he is lying they are to kill him. Before John leaves Claire tends to his arm. She then walks up to Jamie and slaps him hard across the face.
Jamie explains to Claire why he tore her dress and although she says she will never understand men, she accepts his reasoning and they make up.
Claire, Jamie and the Lallybroch men meet up with the Highland Army at Tranent. While Jamie goes off with the commander, Lord George Murray, Claire decides to set up medical facilities. Claire thinks that no-one will listen to her suggestions because of the fact that she is English, so she sends a note to Jenny Cameron asking her to come and help and Jenny obliges.
Claire is kept busy dealing with the wounded after the Battle of Prestonpans ends. She is relieved when Jamie returns safely but has no time to spend with him. Late in the day when the flow of wounded has subsided, Claire discovers that Jamie was trampled by a horse during the battle and that he has a sabre slash across the ribs.
In October, after Prestonpans, the Highland army returns to Edinburgh. Claire spends her time rebuilding her stocks of medical supplies. One day she is summoned by Charles Stuart who tells her that a clan chieftain has arrived and is considering giving his support to the Stuart cause, but he won't make a decision without speaking to Claire first. Claire is bewildered and then shocked when she discovers the chieftain is Colum MacKenzie.
Colum apologizes to Claire for the fact that she got caught up in his witch trial trap against Geillis and offers to punish Laoghaire for sending her there if she desires. Claire considers her feelings towards Laoghaire but decides not to take revenge as she survived and she has Jamie. Colum then explains to Claire that he is in so much pain that he is drinking a bottle of brandy a day. He asks Claire to give him something that will allow him to end his life quickly and cleanly. Claire gives him cyanide.
The next day Claire runs into Lord Balmerino who shows her some broadsheets portraying Jamie as a depraved and dangerous Highlander and herself as the Stuart Witch.
Colum dies before informing Charles Stuart that he will not back him. Dougal becomes chief and the MacKenzies are committed to the Jacobite cause. Claire and Jamie realize they now have no choice but to try and ensure that Charles Stuart is victorious.
When Jamie is laid up with the flu, Claire is shocked to find Jack Randall at her door. He takes her to the abandoned abbey beside the Palace and makes a proposition - he will pass information to Claire about the English army if she will agree to give medical care to his brother Alex. Randall then torments Claire with details of what passed between him and Jamie, but Claire agrees to his bargain for the sake of the men in the Highland army.
Claire goes to Alex Randall's rooms the next day and finds him very ill and emaciated. She diagnoses him with tuberculosis and congestive heart failure and tells him he likely has less than a year to live. Alex asks Claire not to tell Jack. He then tells Claire that he knows about Jack but it doesn't matter because he is his brother. Claire meets Jack Randall once a week, and sometimes more often to receive his intelligence information. She does not tell Jamie about this.
Jamie is ordered by Charles Stuart to go to Lord Lovat and return to the Jacobite army with the men of Clan Fraser. Claire accompanies Jamie and Murtagh to Beauly.
Jamie and Claire arrive at Castle Beaufort and are met by Lord Lovat himself who wastes no time in insulting them both. After washing up they are shown into the Beaufort Castle library to find more than twenty men seated around the room. Lord Lovat's son, Young Simon, insults Claire by calling her Mistress Honeylips to test her Gaelic and is punched in the jaw by Jamie. Claire leaves the room and spends time with Lord Lovat's daughters, Frances and Aline. She sees Lord Lovat throw Maisri the seer into the hallway.
After two weeks Lord Lovat summons Jamie and Claire. He asks Jamie to swear an oath of loyalty to him. When Jamie refuses, Lord Lovat threatens harm to Claire if he doesn't. Jamie tells Lord Lovat that no man would dare harm Claire because she is a white lady like Dame Aliset. Lord Lovat is shocked into silence and Jamie throws his false teeth on the fire.
A couple of days later Claire is walking in Beauly Priory and meets Maisri the Seer. Claire and Maisri have a deep discussion about the curse of prophecy, and Maisri reveals to Claire that she has foreseen Lord Lovat's death at the hands of the axeman.
Claire diagnoses Lord Lovat as suffering from prostatitis and Lord Lovat uses this as a reason for not going to Charles Stuart himself.
Claire and Jamie leave Beauly in mid-December to rejoin Charles Stuart's army in Edinburgh. They are accompanied by Young Simon and the Fraser men but intend to part company with them at Comar with Jamie telling Young Simon that he is taking Claire back to Lallybroch before rejoining the army, but he has no intention of going back to join Charles Stuart.
Jamie and Claire arrive in Lallybroch a week later only to find that none of Jamie's men have arrived back. Murtagh arrives to report that Jamie's men were all caught deserting and are locked up in the Tolbooth under sentence of death. Jamie and Claire return immediately to Edinburgh.
While Jamie, Dougal and Young Simon ride to Stirling Castle to plead with Charles Stuart to release the Lallybroch men, Claire stays in Edinburgh and visits them daily with Fergus. Claire goes to a pawnbrokers to pawn her pearl necklace so that she can buy some blankets for the Lallybroch men in prison. While in the pawnbroker's shop, Mary Hawkins walks in the door. Mary asks Claire to visit Alex and Claire finds his condition has deteriorated.
Over the next few days Claire does her best to bring the Lallybroch men food and treat their ailments, seek support for their cause among the chieftains, and visit Alex Randall daily. Alex shows his gratitude by summoning Jack Randall and asking him to give Claire information about English troop movements. Claire learns that General Hawley has succeeded Cope and been ordered to retake Stirling Castle and is expecting another 6000-7000 troops to join him which would leave the Highlanders well outnumbered.
While Claire ponders what to do with this information she arrives back at her rooms to find that all the Lallybroch men are there, having been pardoned and released from prison. Jamie has ordered them to join him at once at Stirling and Claire declares that she will lead them there.
In 1746, while Jamie and his men take part in a skirmish before the Battle of Falkirk Muir Jamie tells Claire to wait the battle out in a kirk, and if things go wrong, to seek sanctuary there. Claire waits inside the church with her horse and during the battle she is joined by Dougal MacKenzie and his men who are fleeing the English. They have Rupert with them, and he is badly wounded with a punctured lung. Claire realizes there is nothing she can do to save Rupert. Jamie arrives in the afternoon to tell them the English are nearby.
Early next morning, the English approach the church and demand that the Scots surrender. When they refuse the English threaten to fire the thatch roof. Claire shouts out in protest at this and on hearing her English accent the English soldiers demand to know if there is an Englishwoman in the church. Dougal seizes the moment to pretend that Claire is an English hostage and he will release her in exchange for his men's freedom. Jamie is furious but Claire convinces him that it is the only option open to them. Jamie thinks Claire will be taken to Callender House and promises to come for her that night.
The English take Claire to Callendar House where she tells the English that she is a lady from Oxfordshire on her way to visit relatives in Edinburgh when she was captured by Scottish brigands. Claire learns that the English are preparing for major battle the next day. Not knowing what to do with her they send her to the temporary headquarters of a Colonel Campbell at Kerse. Claire is unable to escape during the journey to Kerse, and on arrival they discover that Colonel Campbell has been summonsed away to Livingston.
Claire is taken to Livingston and meets Colonel Campbell. When Colonel Campbell learns that one of the men who had 'captured' her was Red Jamie Fraser, he informs her that he is under orders to send on any information pertaining to Red Jamie Fraser, and that consequently he will be sending Claire south in the morning under the escort of Captain Mainwaring.
Captain Mainwaring has to deliver a supply train of wagons to Lanark before taking Claire south and after a week on the road Claire still has no idea exactly how far south they are going to take her. Claire attempts to escape one night but is stopped by a soldier with rape on his mind. She is saved by Corporal Rowbotham who thereafter takes care to spend each night guarding her tent.
Captain Mainwaring's party arrive in Tavistock and the Captain tells Claire to get her coat as he is taking her to Bellhurst Manor. As Claire is driven up the drive to the house she thinks she recognizes the crest on the pillars, and a beggar she catches a fleeting glimpse of through the trees. When the butler opens the door and Claire peers into the hallway she finds herself face to face with Mary Hawkins.
Claire pretends she's seen a mouse and screams to prevent Mary giving away her identity, but it is all for naught as she is taken to see the owner of the house and discovers it is none other than the Duke of Sandringham. The Duke is surprised and then suspicious to see Claire and starts to question her - he demands to know if she is an English hostage, a fervent Jacobite or a French agent. He tells Claire that she is very hard to kill, and when she reacts blankly, he summons his valet, Albert Danton, to the room. Claire doesn't recognize the man at first, but then sees that he has a small beauty mark above the fork of his thumb and realizes that he is one of the men who attacked her and Mary in Paris.
The Duke reveals to Claire that he arranged for Danton to dispose of her in that attack and that it was ironical bad luck that Mary was with her at the time and was despoiled, thus ruining the marriage that the Duke had arranged for her. The Duke also admits that Jack Randall works for him and that he controls Jack and binds him to him by offering him what he desires - punishment. When Claire asks why the Duke wanted to have her killed, he tells her that she and Jamie were attempting to thwart an affair that he had interested himself in. He was responsible for the seamen's attack on Jamie, but when Dougal arrived in Paris the Duke wondered whether Jamie was actually working for the Stuarts. The Duke tried to lure Jamie away from France by offering to secure a pardon for him, but when that didn't work he decided that Claire's death would be enough to stop Jamie.
At this point Claire glances through the window behind the Duke and sees Hugh Munro's head - he was the beggar Claire had seen in the trees as she came up the driveway when she arrived at the house. Hugh signs to Claire that he will send word to Jamie.
When Claire states that the Duke is a Jacobite, he replies 'Not necessarily'. He then demands to know whether Claire is, as she was first working against the Jacobites and then for them. When Claire refuses to tell him, he orders her to be taken to her room and tells her that her one invaluable attribute as a houseguest is that she is Red Jamie's wife and can be used to lure Jamie there.
Claire is taken to a lavish room with wooden bars on the windows and is locked in. Hearing a commotion outside, Claire peers through the window and sees Hugh Munro being beaten senseless by the Duke's staff. Claire shouts, breaks the glass in the window and pounds on the door, but to no avail. She is ignored and no-one comes to her cries. In despair Claire breaks down and sobs her heart out.
Mary Hawkins bribes the housekeeper to let her spend the night in Claire's room with her to keep her company. She tells Claire that Hugh has been hanged for poaching which sends Claire into despair until she manages to pull herself together. Mary then reveals to Claire that she is in her godfather's house because he has arranged another potential marriage for her, to a Mr Isaacson from London. Mary is there to meet and hopefully marry Mr Isaacson. She has been told not to say anything about her rape as Mr Isaacson doesn't know. Mary is very unhappy about this and had left Alex without telling him.
Claire and Mary eventually fall asleep and Claire is awoken in the dead of night by Jamie grappling with Mary whom he has mistaken for Claire. Once correct identities are established, Jamie tells Claire to get dressed as they have to get out of the house quickly before someone notices. Mary defies Jamie and insists he take her as well, saying she will scream the house down if he doesn't.
As they leave down the servant's stairs they hear someone approaching. Jamie steps into the shadows but there is nowhere for Claire and Mary to go. The man who appears is Albert Danton and when Mary sees him she recognizes him and calls out in shock that he is the man from Paris. Danton sees Claire and whispers La Dame Blanche in horror. Jamie grabs Danton and tells him that if he had the choice Danton would die a slow death. He then slits Danton's throat and Danton's blood sprays all over his shirt and spatters his face. Mary is violently sick.
They make it out of the house and meet up with Jamie's men. Jamie notices Murtagh is missing and says he must have gone to look for Hugh Munro. Claire tells Jamie that Hugh has been killed when Murtagh reappears with a string of sausages around his neck, a large ham under one arm and a blood stained cloth wrapped bundle under the other. When they reach the far side of the park, they retrieve Hugh Munro's body and ride off.
After riding through the night they arrive at Hugh's impoverished home and Jamie takes Hugh's body to his widow. Jamie swears to Mrs Munro that he will provide for her family. Just as Jamie is about to leave, Murtagh steps into the house with Mary Hawkins and carrying one of his saddlebags. Murtagh bows to Claire and tells her he has brought her her vengeance. He then bows his head to Mary and Mrs Munro and says he has brought them justice for the wrong done to them. Mrs Munro opens Murtagh's saddlebag and draws out the Duke of Sandringham's head.
It takes Jamie, Claire and their party several weeks to make their way back to Edinburgh. When they arrive Claire and Mary Hawkins go immediately to visit Alex Randall whom they find closer to death. Alex asks Claire to return the next day with Jamie and she agrees. When Jamie and Claire arrive the next day, Alex tells them he is waiting for one more person. Claire and Jamie are shocked when that person turns out to be his brother Jack. Alex asks Jack to do one last thing for him and Claire realizes that Mary is pregnant and Alex wants Jack to marry her, and that Alex is actually Frank's ancestor and not Jack. Alex performs the ceremony himself with the last of his strength, with Claire and Jamie as witnesses. He then fades away with Mary by his side.
Jamie takes Jack Randall back to his rooms while Claire stays with Alex and Mary until Alex passes away. When Claire finally returns to her rooms she foolishly says to Jamie that at least they know that Frank is safe now. That comment is a touchstone to Jamie's taut emotions and he erupts, damning all Randalls and asserting that Claire is his, and his alone and he will not share her. Claire asks him to take her to bed and they heal each other sexually. Claire wakes in the night to find Jamie crying quietly over the depth of his love for her.
Jamie and Claire join the general retreat of the Highland Army northwards to Culloden House where Charles Stuart has his headquarters. When they arrive at Culloden House on April 15th, Auld Alec is the first person they see. They find him close to starvation, lying in the hay in the stables. Alec tells them that the Highland Army has run out of food, all the horses have been slaughtered and eaten, except for Donas who was kept for Charles Stuart to ride on his triumphal return to Edinburgh, and that Charles Stuart has ordered the Highland army to take a stand on Culloden Moor.
While Jamie goes to see Charles Stuart, Claire seeks a place of refuge from the impending doom, and finds herself in a small room at the top of Culloden House. Jamie arrives and angrily informs her that despite the fact that the men of the Highland Army have not eaten for two days and have no ordnance for their cannon, Charles Stuart is proceeding with his plans to take a stand on Culloden Moor.
Jamie is defeated and in despair at Charles Stuart's pigheadedness. Reluctantly Claire suggests to him that there is one way left in which they might prevent the slaughter at Culloden - she could poison Charles Stuart. Jamie is shocked and appalled but does give consideration to Claire's proposal. He tells Claire that he cannot do it and Claire is greatly relieved. As they comfort each other Claire looks up and sees Dougal staring at her with revulsion from the doorway.
Dougal accuses Claire of being a witch and grabs her to kill her. Jamie frees Claire and tries to calm Dougal down but Dougal will not let Jamie stop him from killing Claire. Dougal rounds on Jamie with his dirk. Jamie is unarmed and they end up struggling together. In the course of the struggle Jamie gets Dougal's dirk off him and stabs him in the base of his throat. Dougal dies in Jamie's arms, speaking words that only Jamie can hear.
As Dougal breathes his last breath, one of his men, Willie Coulter, appears in the doorway and witnesses him die. Jamie asks Willie to give him one hour to see Claire safe and then he will come back and answer for what he has done. Willie is so frightened he agrees, and Jamie asks him to stay with Dougal's body until he returns.
Jamie is in shock, but manages to takes Claire outside and find Murtagh. He tells Murtagh what he has done and produces a document that he wants Murtagh and Claire to sign. The document is a Deed of Sasine, predated to July 1745, before Jamie's signature appeared on Charles Stuart's declaration, making him a traitor whose property would be subject to forfeiture by the Crown. The Deed cedes Lallybroch to Young Jamie, to be held in trust by his parents until he comes of age. Claire and Murtagh sign it as witnesses and Jamie asks Fergus to take it to Lallybroch. He gives Fergus his ruby ring to show to Auld Alec and tells him to ask Alec to give him Donas to ride. Jamie then asks Murtagh to gather the Lallybroch men and wait for his return.
Jamie then takes Claire and rides to Craigh na Dun. Claire is alarmed to see where he has brought her and struggles as Jamie drags her up the hill to the empty cottage. Once in the cottage Jamie tells her she must go back. He is now both a traitor and a murderer and will be hunted by both the English and the clans. Jamie tells Claire that he will see her safe, lead his men away from the battlefield and set them on the road to Lallybroch and then return to Culloden himself.
Claire tells Jamie that she won't leave him. She will dress as a man and ride at his side into battle. Jamie is horrified and tells Claire she must go back because she is carrying his child, and that is all that will be left of him. He begs Claire to see the child safe. Claire's heart breaks but she agrees to do as Jamie has requested. Jamie tells Claire that he will find her through time and then they make love slowly and passionately. Exhausted they both fall asleep and wake near dawn.
Claire asks Jamie to cut her so that she will have his mark on her forever, and they both carve their first initial into each others palms. Jamie tells Claire to tell Frank that he is grateful and trusts him because he must, and also hates him to the marrow of his bones. He asks Claire to bless him and she starts to say a Celtic prayer but they are interrupted by the sound of the approaching English and Jamie pushes Claire towards the stones. Claire turns back to look at Jamie and he grabs her and claims her with his body in a brief, fierce coupling. With his last kiss he tells Claire to "name him Brian" and Claire runs for the stones while Jamie draws his sword to face the English. Claire turns to look back, but an English soldier is in close pursuit so she flings herself at the stones.
In May 1948, Claire returns through the stones filthy, in poor physical health and pregnant. She is found and taken to a hospital in Inverness where she gives her name but refuses to speak further. Filled with terror and grief she wakes screaming and moaning after nightmares and desperately tries to hang onto the images of Jamie in her head. One morning she opens her eyes to find Frank in the room.
Claire immediately tells Frank she is pregnant, thinking he will leave then and she can be alone with her memories of Jamie. But Frank has already been told by the medical staff and is prepared for the news. He asks Claire to tell him what happened, and as she feels obligated to Frank she does so.
Of course he doesn't believe her and reacts by picking up a vase and smashing it on the floor. Frank reacts to Claire's story with anger and suspicion. He grabs her arm and snarls at her that she will tell him where she's been and what she's been doing. Claire tells him about meeting Jack Randall and marrying Jamie and gives him Jamie's full name when he asks. Claire says that she knows Frank won't want to have anything to do with her and tells him to go away but he says to her gently that he's not going anywhere.
Frank notices Claire's silver wedding ring and tries to take it off her finger, but Claire becomes upset and refuses to let him have it. The doctors sedate her and lead Frank away, but he vows that he will know the truth. The doctors think Claire is suffering from delusion and trauma.
Frank has Claire vetted by a psychiatrist. Claire spends a couple of weeks recovering in Inverness and then she and Frank move back to London. Claire's health is precarious and her pregnancy dangerous.
Claire tells Frank she will give him a divorce and he can return to the life he had begun to build up during her disappearance, but he refuses to abandon Claire and her unborn child. Frank is offered a position at Harvard and he and Claire move to Boston where no-one knows them and they can make a clean start. Frank and Claire are irritable and terrified as Brianna's birth approaches, not knowing how it will affect their relationship. Claire's pregnancy is high-risk and she and Frank do not share a bed, sleeping in twin beds, they do not kiss, and Frank always dresses in the bathroom or closet so Claire does not see him naked. Claire continues to have sexual dreams about Jamie.
Claire notices that women cluster around Frank at cocktail parties like bees round a honeypot and is certain that he has been having liaisons with other women but notes that he has been very discreet and has never had lipstick on his collar and always comes home at night.
When Brianna is born, Claire tries to get Frank to leave them but he won't. Frank is smitten with Brianna from the moment she's born. Claire and Frank continue not to touch each other and the only conversation they have is about domestic arrangements. Frank makes Claire promise that she won't tell Brianna that he is not her real father as long as he is alive.
Claire cannot bear to be reminded about the Jacobite rebellion and refuses to read any books on the subject, including those written by Frank.
In 1968, Claire travels to Scotland with Brianna in April and seeks the help of Roger Wakefield to find out what happened to the men of Lallybroch after Culloden. She would also like to track down Geillis. Claire plans to tell Brianna the truth about Jamie once she knows if all the Lallybroch men survived Culloden.
Roger takes Claire and Brianna to the old kirkyard at St. Kilda. Claire receives a shock when shown Jack Randall's grave. Asking to be left alone so she can regain her composure Claire wanders through the graves and screams out loud when she discovers Jamie's gravestone. She tells a shocked Bree and Roger that Jamie was her husband and Brianna's father. When they get back to the manse Claire starts to explain more. Claire is relieved to find that Roger shows a glimmer of cautious interest, but Bree is appalled and worried.
Claire finishes recounting her story to Brianna and Roger. She tells Brianna that Jamie was right. Her pregnancy was dangerous and Brianna's birth hazardous and they both probably would have died in the 18th century. Claire confesses to Brianna that she couldn't bear to leave Jamie and hated Brianna before she was born as Brianna was the reason Claire had to go back. Brianna reacts rather badly to this confession, shouts at Claire that Frank Randall is her father and that he never loved Claire, picks up the metal poker from the hearth and hurls it through the window and leaves.
Roger remains in the room and Claire asks him if he believes her and he replies that he's damned if he knows. Roger asks Claire if he can look at her silver wedding ring as it may have an 18th century silversmith's mark which would provide some proof to her tale. Claire says that she has never removed Jamie's ring, but she takes it off and discovers that the words da mi basia mille from Catullus's love poem are inscribed inside the ring. She is overcome with emotion but manages to get herself under control and points out to Roger that it's still not proof. Roger replies that it is absolute proof to him.
Claire reveals that despite the fact that Frank was a Jacobite scholar she couldn't bear to read any of his books and doesn't know what happened to any of the men she knew who took part in the Rising. Roger fills Claire in on the fates of the main players in the Rising.
After the catharsis of confession, Claire feels exhausted but at peace but she will not rest until she does one more thing. She explains to Roger that she has two things she must say to him. The first is the reason that she wanted him there when she told her story was because, like Brianna, he has the right to know who he is. Claire then reveals to Roger that one of his ancestors, William Buccleigh MacKenzie, was actually the child that Geillis bore to Dougal. He was taken in by William and Sarah MacKenzie who had just lost their own two month old baby son and given their dead son's name.
The second reason is that it is now 1968, the year that Geillis Duncan went through the stones, and Claire is fairly certain that Geillis hasn't yet made the trip. When Claire spoke to Fiona Graham about the Druid group she belonged to, Fiona had told her that a tall, blonde woman with green eyes called Gillian Edgars had also been making enquiries. Claire tells Roger that it is his decision whether he should look for Gillian. Roger says that of course he must find her and warn her that if she goes back she will be burnt at the stake. Claire asks him - but if Gillian doesn't go back, what happens to you? Roger considers all the unknown ramifications but decides that he will look for Gillian.
Roger and Claire go to Gillian's flat looking for her, but find only her rude alcoholic husband Greg, who tells them she isn't home and to bugger off. They then head to the Institute for the Study of Highland Folklore and Antiquities where Gillian spends a lot of time. Pretending to be academics from Oxford assessing Gillian's suitability for a graduate position, Claire and Roger talk to the Director of the Institute and learn that Gillian's interest in standing stones borders on the obsessive. Roger is overcome with the realization that Gillian is real and Claire's story may well be true. Claire steals the key to Gillian's study carrel.
After leaving the Institute, Claire suggests to Roger that he goes back to visit Greg Edgars that evening with a bottle of whisky to make him talk. She asks him to take Brianna with him because Claire thinks that although Brianna does not believe her, she will believe whatever Greg Edgars has to say about Gillian. While Roger does that Claire intends to break into the Institute and steal Gillian's notebook.
Claire steals the notebook and then goes to an Italian restaurant where she has a meal and ponders the rightness and wrongness of trying to interfere with Gillian's plans. When she finishes her meal she opens the notebook and begins to read. The notebook is a mix of myth and science laid out in three sections. The first section labelled 'Observations' lists the position of the sun and moon on all the ancient fire and sun feasts days over many years, the second section labelled 'Speculations' contains thoughts on such things as the need for a blood or fire sacrifice, and the final section labelled 'Conclusions' spurs Claire into action.
On the eve of Beltane, Claire, Roger and Brianna set out for Craigh na Dun to stop Gillian Edgars. They have been unable to contact her husband, Greg. They climb the hill and Roger spots a light by the stones. Claire can hear the stones buzzing and stumbles into Roger. The smell of petrol reaches them and Roger races towards Gillian. Claire yells Gillian's name and passes out.
Roger, Claire and Bree are up all night giving statements to the police and finally get to bed around dawn. They eat dinner together that night and then Roger removes himself to the study to think about whether he should reveal some information he found on Jamie to Claire. After much contemplation he decides that he owes Claire and Brianna the truth, regardless of how much discomfort it will cause. Roger approaches Claire and shows her the passage he has found in a book - a passage that suggests that although Jamie Fraser went to Culloden intending to die, he did not succeed and had survived the battle.