Gerhard Mueller is the patriarch of a large German family that lives in the river valley about fifteen miles from Fraser's Ridge.
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When a German pastor arrives on Fraser's Ridge looking for Gerhard Mueller, Claire is heartbroken to learn that Petronella Mueller, whose baby Claire had delivered earlier that year, had died of the measles along with her child. She is also disturbed to learn that Mueller, in his deranged grief, had gone on a rampage and taken the scalps of several Indians, believing they placed a hex on his family that brought the illness. He had, the pastor said, nailed the scalps to the barn door next to the painted inscription Rache ("revenge").
Claire tells Lord John Grey, who is recovering from the measles himself, about Gerhard Mueller's altercation with Jamie at the mill the spring before, likening the man's personality to that of a mule. Later that day, Mueller arrives distraught on Claire's doorstep, bringing with him one of the Indian scalps, which Claire recognizes as that of her friend, Nayawenne.
He is stubborn and hard to dissuade from a notion once lodged in his mind. Not unkind, but ruthless and violent when taken by despair.
A huge older man, Mueller has a weather-beaten face and large hands.
- Gerhard is derived from the Germanic element ger "spear" combined with hard "brave, hardy".
- Mueller (or Müller) is the German equivalent of Miller, derived from Middle High German mülnære or müller. Miller was an occupational surname referring to a person who owned or worked in a grain mill, from Middle English mille "mill".
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