Jamie wakes on Culloden Field on April 16, 1746, with a dead Jack Randall lying on top of him. He manages to wriggle out from underneath Randall and then loses consciousness. He is found by four of his men and taken to a farmhouse, but his leg is badly wounded from a bayonet and he knows he will die. Jamie has no memory of the battle or how Randall came to be lying on top of him. He knows that Murtagh is dead, but doesn't remember how he died.
Two days later, a group of English soldiers, led by Major Hal Grey, find the men in the farmhouse and tell them they will all be shot for treason. When Hal realizes that Jamie is the man who spared his brother John's life, he decides that he must honor John's debt and cannot kill Jamie. Despite Jamie pleading that he just wants to die, Hal sends him to Lallybroch hidden under hay in the back of a wagon.
The journey back to Lallybroch takes two days, and Jamie is fevered or chilled the entire way. When Jamie arrives at Lallybroch he is half-conscious and mostly dead from fever. Jenny asks him about Claire. Jamie tells her that Claire is gone, and asks Jenny not to speak her name to him again. She never does.
Jamie just wants to die, but Jenny won't give in and does everything she can to treat Jamie's leg. When it starts to go black and smell, it looks like it will have to be amputated, but Ian won't let that happen after everything else Jamie has gone through. In a last ditch effort to save the leg, Jenny slits it to the bone, washes it with boiling water and stitches it up. Against all odds the treatment works.
When Jamie recovers, he moves to live in a cave on the Lallybroch estate.
Between the years 1747 and 1752, Jamie tries twice to escape to France but the ports are too closely watched and on both occasions he is forced to return to Lallybroch.
In 1752, Jamie continues to live hidden in the cave near Lallybroch. He hunts at night to try and provide food for his family, but during the day he remains in the cave with only books and his thoughts to keep him occupied. Once a month, at night, he creeps down to Lallybroch to shave, spend time with his family and catch up with news of the estate, the district and the political situation in general. When Jamie does leave the cave, he always wears a woolen bonnet knitted of rough, dun-colored yarn to hide his hair.
In September when Jamie comes down to the house, he learns that Ian has been arrested for the fourth time on suspicion of being a Jacobite sympathizer and taken to Inverness. Jenny is heavily pregnant and is responsible for two Lallybroch families whose men were murdered by English soldiers, as well as her own household.
In late November, Jamie has not heard word about whether Ian has returned and he decides to come down early from his cave to find out what's happening. Three days later Ian is still in prison and Jenny goes into labor. She sends Fergus to tell Jamie not to come down from his cave as there are English soldiers in the area, but Jamie ignores her.
Jamie sorts out the household while Jenny is in labor. Just about the time Young Ian is born, three ravens fly towards the house. This is considered extremely bad luck, and when one alights on the roof-tree, Jamie shoots it dead with his pistol.
The midwife appears and tells Jamie that the baby is born, and Jenny wishes to see him. Jenny discusses her plans to marry off two of the Lallybroch widows and asks Jamie if he would like to marry Peggy Murray. Jamie gets very angry and tells Jenny that he doesn't intend to marry again, and to abandon all thought of matchmaking. Just at that moment, English soldiers barge into the house in search of the firearm that they heard Jamie shoot off earlier. As they march up the stairs, Jenny tells Jamie to hide in the armoire.
Jamie jumps in the armoire, forgetting that he is still holding baby Ian. The soldiers come into the bedroom and, on learning that Jenny has just given birth, demand to know where the baby is. Jenny tells them the baby died. Young Jamie hears this and flies into a grief-filled rage, shouting at the soldiers that they have killed the child. The child in question is becoming hungry and Jamie desperately sticks his thumb in Ian's mouth to stop him crying. The English captain doesn't know how to handle Young Jamie's tantrum and takes his men downstairs. Jamie is forced to leave the armoire to give Ian to Jenny before he squawks with hunger. Fortunately the soldiers leave the property, but Jamie and Jenny have been badly shaken by how close Jamie was to being discovered. Jamie tells Jenny he will not come back down to the house for a time.
In 1753, for two months Jamie stays in his cave, but one afternoon he hears a noise and sees English soldiers on the path below. They have waylaid Fergus, who was bringing Jamie a cask of ale. Jamie watches in frustration, and then horror, as Fergus taunts the soldiers, insulting them in gutter French and waggling his backside at them. Four of the soldiers run after him and one takes his sword out and brings it down, probably aiming for the cask, but instead he slices off Fergus' hand. Jamie sees the severed hand lying in the mud before he faints.
Forty-eight hours later, Rabbie MacNab comes up to the cave to let Jamie know that Fergus is all right. Jamie goes down to the house and apologizes deeply to Fergus. Fergus tells him not to trouble himself, as he has been lucky. He then reminds Jamie of the bargain Jamie made with him when he first employed him: Jamie had promised that if Fergus should lose an ear or hand while doing service for Jamie, then Jamie would support him for the rest of his life. Thus, in one fell swoop, Fergus was now a gentleman of leisure.
Jamie takes Jenny down to the priest hole and tells her that he cannot bear to live the way he is any longer. Claire told him that after a few years, traitors from the Rising would only be imprisoned and not hanged. Based on this knowledge he has decided to give himself up, but he will ask one of the Lallybroch tenants to 'betray' him so that the people of Lallybroch can collect the reward on his head. Jenny is shocked at his plan and tells him to take care that he doesn't get killed when the English take him.
Mary MacNab brings Jamie his last meal before he gives himself up to the English and they eat together. After finishing the meal Jamie expects Mary to leave, but instead she offers him her body. Jamie refuses, but Mary tells him that she wants to give him something to keep him whole in return for all Jamie has given her. Jamie is very emotional but accepts her offer and steps into her embrace.
When the English soldiers capture Jamie he fights them, despite having promised Jenny that he wouldn't. He re-breaks the fourth finger on his right hand while punching a dragoon in the jaw. Because of his resistance, he is put into chains when he arrives at Ardsmuir Prison.
Jamie's name is entered into the prison register of Ardsmuir prison on May 16, 1753. He is put into chains and cannot spread his arms more than 18 inches apart. Jamie is the only senior Jacobite officer in the prison. The other Highland prisoners treat him as their chief and give him the nickname Mac Dubh – "son of the black one", a reference to Jamie's father Brian Dubh "Black Brian".
In 1755, two weeks after the new Governor, Major John Grey, arrives at Ardsmuir, Jamie is called to his office. John Grey tells Jamie that he needs his assistance to act as an interpreter – a man was found wandering on the moors, babbling in a mixture of French and Gaelic. Jamie refuses, stating that he is a prisoner, not an interpreter, and makes to leave. John Grey offers to strike off Jamie's irons if he agrees to help, and Jamie accepts the bargain. In return for having his chains removed, John asks for three things: that Jamie will not attempt to escape during the journey, that he will give a full and true account of all the man says, and that he will not tell anyone but John Grey about what he learns.
John and Jamie arrive at Ardsmuir Village well after midnight and go to the inn where the man has been taken. Jamie recognizes the man as Duncan Kerr, a tacksman of Colum MacKenzie's. Despite being addled with fever, Duncan recognizes Jamie. Jamie doesn't let John know that he knows who Duncan is, and he warns Duncan that anything he says to Jamie will be told to John Grey.
Duncan is close to death and a priest is present. Jamie sits at his side all through the night, listening and comforting the man, while John Grey stands by the door. Most of what Duncan says to Jamie is deranged and incoherent, but some of what he says makes sense. Duncan says the gold is cursed, it was given by the white witch for the King's son but the cause is lost and the white witch will not let the gold be given to a coward. Jamie's heart leaps at hearing the words 'white witch' and he asks Duncan who the white witch is. Duncan says the white witch is a soul-eater; she is death.
Duncan dies just before dawn. Just before he dies, Jamie asks him where the gold is. Duncan's eyes fly open and he says in Gaelic that the white witch will come for both Jamie and John, and then he dies. John asks Jamie to tell him what Duncan said. Jamie tells John that he spoke a lot of gibberish about a white witch and seals. Despite having been up all night, John and Jamie then set off to return to the prison.
Three days later, Jamie escapes from Ardsmuir. Jamie walks to the part of the coast where the seals live that Duncan had spoken of. Duncan said the treasure was hidden on the third of three islands, the one furthest from shore and nearly a mile out. Jamie finds the hidden passage down through the cliffs which Duncan had called 'Ellen's tower', which allows Jamie to get down to the beach and only quarter of a mile out from the island.
Jamie is weak from prison and struggles in the water; the current takes hold of him, pulling him in the wrong direction. He is about to give up when he hears his mother's voice calling him, and decides to swim just ten more strokes before he drowns. On the eighth stroke he is picked up by an eddy and carried to the island. After recovering, Jamie searches the small rocky island and discovers a hollow space in the center. Inside is a wooden box filled with 205 ancient gold and silver coins, and a small leather pouch with diamonds, pearls, emeralds and sapphires inside.
Jamie puts the treasure back in its hiding place and swims back into the eddy, which carries him back to the mainland. He falls asleep and when he wakes the next day he starts walking back towards Ardsmuir. He knows he cannot run away, as the English would hunt him and wreak retribution on all the people living near Ardsmuir and on Lallybroch. Jamie also realizes that the men in Ardsmuir need him.
Several days later, he is recaptured and taken back to Ardsmuir. He is put in a single cell, and doused with water by the guards who act without the knowledge of John Grey. Late in the evening Jamie is taken up to John Grey's quarters. Grey asks Jamie if his escape had anything to do with the Frenchman's gold, but Jamie refuses to answer and awaits his punishment. However, Grey decides that the only way to get the information from Jamie is to build a relationship with him, and to Jamie's astonishment, Grey asks him if he will take supper with him the following day and Jamie agrees.
Grey starts to have weekly meetings with Jamie, beginning with a game of chess followed by a dinner of mutton and boiled potatoes, and then a single glass of sherry or port. Grey's attempts to steer the conversation towards the subject of the gold, or of learning anything more about Jamie's personal life are resisted by Jamie.
Jamie sends a carefully coded letter to Jenny, telling her about the treasure and where he has hidden it. Lallybroch has had two years of failed harvests and the Jacobites in exile in France have also been asking for support, as they are in danger of starvation. Ian sends word to Jamie, who replies that as the treasure was intended for Prince Charles's supporters, they should use some of it to support those in exile.
A couple of months later, after Grey and Jamie have finished their meal and are drinking their sherry, Grey casually asks Jamie how his sister fares. Jamie reacts with shock at mention of his family, and Grey proceeds reveal all that he has found out about them, and implies that Jamie found the gold and sent it to them. Jamie reacts angrily, but still refuses to tell Grey why he escaped from Ardsmuir. Grey then resorts to threats and blackmail – if Jamie does not tell him, he will send soldiers to search Lallybroch and arrest and interrogate Jenny, Ian and the three eldest children.
Jamie capitulates and tells Grey that when Duncan Kerr spoke of a 'white witch' he thought that Duncan may have been speaking of Jamie's wife, and he had gone to search for her. He tells Grey that he found a small box containing a few gold and silver coins and a small leather pouch filled with jewels, and that he threw the box into the sea. Grey asks for proof of his tale, and Jamie produces a good sized sapphire which he gives to Grey. Grey then asks Jamie to swear on a Bible as to the truth of his tale, and Jamie does so with some very clever wording that ensures he doesn't lie.
A month later, after a nice meal, Jamie and Grey settle down to their usual game of chess. Without warning, Grey reaches across the board and puts his hand on top of Jamie's. With a voice full of quiet hatred and disgust, Jamie tells Grey to remove his hand or he will kill him. Grey does so and Jamie leaves the room.
Five months later in November, a routine search of the prisoners' cells is carried out. A small piece of tartan is found and John Grey asks young Angus MacKenzie if it belongs to him. Jamie steps forward and claims that the tartan is his. Grey asks Jamie if he knows what the punishment is for possession of tartan, and he replies with indifference that he does.
The punishment is sixty lashes and it is administered then and there, with all the prisoners present. Jamie takes the punishment in a fatalistic state of mental detachment. Afterwards one of the prisoners, Morrison, tends to his back while some of the other prisoners give Angus MacKenzie a beating. The flogging proves cathartic for Jamie, lifting his anger and allowing him to forgive Charles Stuart, whom he now realizes was born a king without the gift of kingship. Jamie knows that he had been born a leader and that by flogging him, John Grey has given him back his destiny.
In September 1756, Grey calls Jamie into his quarters to tell him that, as the renovation of Ardsmuir Prison is almost complete, the Scottish prisoners are to be transported to the American colonies and sold as indentured servants for a term of seven years. Jamie is shocked, but before he can react fully, Grey tells him that as he is not just a prisoner of war, but a convicted traitor, he is imprisoned at the pleasure of His Majesty and His Majesty has not given assent to commute Jamie's sentence to transportation. Instead, Jamie is to be sent to Helwater in the Lake District, to serve as a servant of Lord Dunsany.
Jamie feels anger that he is to be separated from the other men, and fearful for them, but also relieved that he will not have to make that long sea voyage, and shamed by that relief. He assumes that he is to be kept in England in case he should reveal any knowledge of the Frenchman's gold, and John Grey does not deny that accusation. Grey informs Jamie that he will visit him once a quarter to ensure his welfare.
Grey and Jamie undertake the four day journey from Ardsmuir to the Lake District, during which time Jamie does not once speak to Grey. He is consumed with anger and loss, and thinks that Grey is sending him to be a servant in a place where he can visit him as form of revenge and in order to gloat at him. It is only the fact that he has given his parole that prevents him from physically hurting Grey. Under the terms of his parole, Jamie will not enter the Dunsanys house or leave the boundaries of the property without Lord Dunsany's express permission.
Grey suggests that Jamie change his name while at Helwater, so the Dunsanys don't realize that he is the notorious Red Jamie Fraser. When they arrive at Helwater, Grey leaves Jamie in the front hall while he is received in the main drawing room. Jamie follows the footman into the drawing room and introduces himself as Alex MacKenzie.
Jamie is made a groom and as he works with the horses in the fresh air surrounded by mountains, he slowly begins to feel whole again. Jamie makes arrangements for letters to be secretly sent between Lallybroch and himself via bands of passing gypsies and tinkers. He destroys any letters he receives after reading them.
In 1757, Geneva Dunsany becomes infatuated with Jamie and starts demanding that he accompany her on all her rides. Jamie tries to abate her infatuation by only communicating with her in grunts.
In April, the servants at Helwater learn that Geneva Dunsany is to be married to the elderly Lord Ellesmere. Geneva is not told until May. Two days after learning the news, Geneva rides out to the fields where Jamie is working and tells Jamie that she wants him to bed her, as she deplores the notion of giving her maidenhead to the elderly Ellesmere. When Jamie refuses, she threatens to tell her father that Jamie has made improper advances to her, but Jamie calls her bluff and tells her to go ahead. Angry at not getting her way, Geneva then produces a letter from Jenny that she has somehow gotten hold of. The letter mentions gold being sent to the exiled Jacobite Lochiel in France. Geneva tells Jamie that if he doesn't do as she's asked, she will give the letter to her father, but if he will bed her then she will give the letter back to him. Jamie sees no other option but to agree. He tells Geneva to make sure she chooses a day soon after she finishes menstruating, to reduce the chances of becoming pregnant.
Jamie comes to Geneva's room one night, climbing up a vine to her balcony. He demands that Geneva hand over the letter first and tells her that she may not call him 'Jamie'. Geneva has heard the maids talking about sex and is a bit scared that it might hurt, but determined nevertheless to go through with it. Jamie finds himself unexpectedly admiring her courage.
Jamie takes his time with Geneva and tells her that a man should pay tribute to her body. Geneva just lies there letting Jamie touch her and he can't tell if she is ready for the next step. With his lust threatening to overwhelm him, Jamie can hold off no longer and he enters her. Geneva panics and screams at him to 'Take it out!', but Jamie is past the point of no return and covers her mouth, penetrates her fully, and finishes within a few thrusts.
Geneva asks Jamie to do it again and they spend the entire night together. At one point, Geneva tells Jamie that she loves him, but he tells her that it is not love that she is feeling. Jamie leaves an hour before dawn, feeling empty of everything. Geneva marries three days later.
A few months after Geneva's marriage, Jamie hears through the grapevine that she is pregnant and due to deliver in January. Jamie realizes that he could be the father, but does his best not to think about it.
On a dark and stormy night in January 1758, Jamie is told he must help ready the coach to drive Lord Dunsany and Lady Isobel to Ellesmere. He knows that Geneva is due to give birth, and suspects that something must have gone wrong. After arriving at Ellesmere and having to deal with the horses, Jamie hears the gossip from the cook while he eats a meal in the kitchen. He learns that Lord Ellesmere had become very angry when Geneva's pregnancy started to show, saying that the child was not his. He also learns that Geneva had given birth to a healthy baby boy, but she had died a few hours later after hemorrhaging.
Jamie is hit by shock and grief at the news, but before he can do anything the kitchen maid comes racing into the kitchen. She tells Jamie and the footman, Jeffries, that Lord Dunsany wants both of them upstairs and to bring the pistols. While Jeffries dashes out to the coach to get the pistols kept under his seat, Jamie rushes upstairs to Lord Ellesmere's study.
When Jamie enters the study, he can see that Lord Ellesmere has had a lot to drink and is in a belligerent mood. The Dunsanys want to take the baby to Helwater, but Lord Ellesmere tells them that the boy is his heir even if his mother was a whore. Lord Dunsany is outraged at the slur on his daughter's reputation and attacks Lord Ellesmere. Jamie leaps in and separates them and prevents Lord Ellesmere from ringing for his servants.
Jeffries arrives with two drawn pistols. Jamie tries to lead Lord Dunsany out of the study, but just as he does, Lady Dunsany enters carrying the baby. Lord Ellesmere rushes at Lady Dunsany, knocking her aside and snatching the baby from her. He moves towards the window, and Lord Dunsany tries to grab the baby back. Lord Ellesmere opens the window and threatens to drop the baby out if the Dunsanys do not leave, thrusting the baby towards the windowsill as he says this. Reflexively Jamie grabs a pistol off Jeffries and fires at Lord Ellesmere. Ellesmere staggers and drops dead as Jamie catches the baby. Jamie stands there shaking like a leaf, holding his son in his arms.
The Dunsanys prevent a scandal by pretending that Jamie was never present in the room, and they presumably instruct the footman, Jeffries, on what to say in the coroner's court. Ultimately, a verdict of "death by misadventure" is returned. In gratitude to Jamie, Lady Dunsany offers to ask Lord John Grey if he can exert his influence to have Jamie released from the conditions of his parole so that he can return home. Jamie replies that he is not ready to return home yet, and Lady Dunsany tells him that he need only ask.
After Lady Dunsany makes her offer, Jamie realizes that John Grey must have used his influence to stop Jamie from being transported, and that he did not do it for revenge or from indecent motives. On one of Grey's quarterly visits to Helwater, Jamie breaks the ice by starting a verbal game of chess. The friendship between them is slowly repaired and they look forward to their conversations each time Grey visits.
Between the years 1759 and 1763, Jamie loves spending time with his son, William, but grows frustrated with William's behavior. William is spoiled rotten by his doting grandparents, who have lost two of their three adult children. Jamie finds it difficult to restrain himself from disciplining the boy.
In July 1764, Jamie overhears Lady Dunsany joking that William spends so much time with his groom MacKenzie that he is starting to resemble him. Shocked at hearing this, Jamie peers at his reflection in a water trough and realizes that as William grows, he is looking more and more like him. Jamie knows that he must ask Lady Dunsany to leave Helwater, before other people notice the resemblance.
John Grey procures Jamie's pardon in September and Lady Dunsany gives him a horse. When Jamie tells William that he is leaving, William gets angry and upset, and screams and yells to frighten the horses. Jamie deals with the horses and then smacks William's bottom, causing William to scream that he hates him. Jamie snaps, "Well, I'm no verra fond of you either, ye little bastard!'" and William gets very upset at being called a bastard. Jamie is shocked and realizes that people have started to talk. Jamie hugs William tight, and then takes the boy to his room in the stable to give him a wooden horse that he's carved as a farewell gift.
William sees that Jamie has two candles and a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary on his table, and on learning that Jamie is a "stinking papist" he says he wants to be one, too. Jamie baptizes him William James, and when William tells him that's not his name, Jamie says it's his special Papist name. On impulse, Jamie gives William his wooden rosary to remember him by, telling William he must keep it hidden and not tell anyone that he is now a Papist. William promises, and then becomes distraught when he realizes he has nothing to give Jamie, by which to remember him. With a lump in his throat, Jamie assures William that he will remember him.
Upon his release, Jamie tries to track down the other prisoners from Ardsmuir to see if any have returned from their indentureship. None have, but he finds Duncan Innes, who is close to starvation, and Jamie finds work for him.
Jamie returns to Lallybroch, but feels a stranger in his own home. Jenny's three youngest children don't recognize him, and it is obvious that Ian does not need Jamie's help in running Lallybroch, although he tries to include Jamie in his decision making. Jamie feels adrift and lonely, and when Jenny starts up her matchmaking again, he listens.
Jenny hears that Laoghaire is widowed and living alone with her two daughters, Marsali and Joan, and she invites Laoghaire to Lallybroch for Hogmanay. Jamie is quite overwhelmed by the crowd in the house, and after a while he retreats to the Laird's study. Laoghaire appears tentatively at the doorway and persuades Jamie to join her for a dance. They dance all night, mostly with each other. It is obvious that Laoghaire needs a man, and Jamie knows that he needs something to fill the void inside himself. Jamie thinks that if they marry, they can help each other.
In 1765, Jamie marries Laoghaire and moves to her property at Balriggan where she lives with her two daughters Marsali and Joan. But the marriage proves to be a big mistake. Laoghaire seems to be afraid of Jamie, and will go for days or weeks without speaking to him. Jamie moves out less than a year later when he can no longer bear it, and goes to Edinburgh to work. He sends money back to Laoghaire to support her.
Jamie is living in Edinburgh and working as a printer, publishing material under the pseudonym "Q.E.D." Jamie purchased the printing business as a front to hide his illicit smuggling activities, as he needed a business that involved the use of a large wagon and team of horses which he could use to transport his smuggled goods. Jamie realizes the potential of a printing press to be used as a weapon after meeting Tom Gage, a man with Jacobite sympathies who uses Jamie's shop to print his pamphlets. Tom suggests that Jamie write his own tracts and Jamie becomes quite involved. He carries the slugs Q, E & D to remind him of the day Tom Gage put a weapon back in his hands.
Jamie smuggles whisky, rum, wine and cambric, and brings in brandy from France from Jared Fraser. Jamie works hard to ensure that no one knows that Jamie Roy the smuggler and Alec Malcolm the printer are the same person. Fergus handles all the smuggling dealings in the taverns and on the docks, and he never goes to the print shop. During the two years Jamie works as a printer, he is arrested six times for sedition and has his printing shop seized twice, but nothing could be proved and he is let free on all six occasions.
Jamie meets Yi Tien Cho on the docks at Burntisland, near Edinburgh. He is half-starved and dead drunk. Jamie takes him under his wing and renames him Mr. Willoughby, because his name sounds like a coarse word in Gaelic if slightly mispronounced.
Sometime in 1765, Jamie meets Lawrence Stern in Edinburgh when he is delivering a paper to the Royal Society on spiders.
Sometime near the beginning of November 1766, Young Ian turns up in Edinburgh. Jamie doesn't want to send him back to Lallybroch on his own, but can't leave immediately to accompany the boy, so Ian stays with him. Ian asks Jamie not to say anything to his father until he's had a chance to explain himself and Jamie promises he won't.
While Jamie is in the back room of his print shop with his back to the door, someone walks into the shop. He assumes that it is his colleague Geordie, and calls out to him, but it is Claire who replies. Jamie turns round and stares at Claire as she walks towards him, and she asks him when he broke his nose. When he answers, Claire reaches out and touches Jamie's nose. He loses all color from his face, whispers, "You're real", and promptly faints, knocking over an ale pot as he does so.
Jamie comes round from his faint sitting in a puddle of ale. He and Claire end up sobbing in each others arms and hugging each other tightly. They are both aware of a strange feeling of shyness and intimacy after twenty years apart. Jamie asks if he can kiss Claire and they share a slow, light kiss. Jamie explains that he had often seen visions of Claire when he was sick or lonely or dreaming, but she had never spoken to him before. He says to her, "Dinna be afraid, there's the two of us now."
Jamie goes upstairs to change his breeches, which are wet from sitting in the ale. Claire accompanies him and once Jamie has a clean pair of breeches on, he urgently asks her about the child. Claire pulls out a stack of photographs wrapped in waterproof packaging. They are photos of Brianna from babyhood to adulthood, and Claire shows them to Jamie, one by one. Jamie is overcome with emotion and breaks down in tears.
Jamie asks Claire what his daughter's name is. When Claire tells him it's Brianna, he's taken aback and reflexively says that it's an awful name. Claire is upset and tells Jamie that he told her to name their child after his father, Brian. Jamie admits that he thought the baby would be a boy, and Claire angrily demands to know if he's sorry that she isn't. Jamie replies that of course he isn't sorry, but both Brianna and Claire are a huge shock to him.
Claire realizes that while she has had months to prepare herself for this reunion, Jamie has had no time at all. Claire asks him if he's sorry she came back. Jamie grips her tightly and says no, very definitely. He then tells Claire that she is pronouncing Brianna's name wrong – it should be pronounced Bree-anah, and it's a beautiful name.
Jamie suddenly notices how late the hour is, and realizes he was supposed to get Mr. Willoughby from the tavern at noon and it is now after four. He hastily throws on some shoes and asks Claire if she will come with him. She replies that wild horses wouldn't stop her.
They find Mr. Willoughby seriously drunk in the basement of The World's End tavern. As Jamie is carrying him out, a prostitute recognizes Mr. Willoughby and accuses him of doing disgusting things to her feet. Her companions become aggressive, and Jamie and Claire are forced to run for it, with Jamie carrying Mr. Willoughby.
Once they have eluded their pursuers, Jamie takes Claire and Mr. Willoughby to the brothel owned by Madame Jeanne where Jamie has a permanent room. When Claire realizes that they are in a brothel, she asks Jamie why he has a room in a brothel. Jamie explains that Madame Jeanne is a customer of his and provides a room for him to stay in when he gets in late from business abroad. When Claire asks what business that might be, Jamie says that's not the question. The question is, why has Claire come back?
Claire asks Jamie again if he wants her to go. He tells Claire that he has burned for her for twenty years and does not want her to go, but he is not the man she knew. He asks Claire if she will accept him as he is now, and Claire replies yes, and points out that Jamie no longer knows her either. The distance of their twenty year separation stretches between them and they know it will take time to bridge it.
Claire and Jamie eat dinner together and then go to bed. They are both nervous and scared, but their bodies respond to each other instinctively, and they make love for the first time in twenty years. Claire learns that Jamie's printing activities have caused him to be arrested six times, but she vows that nothing will make her leave him, not even if he has committed bigamy and public drunkenness. Jamie startles at this declaration and tells Claire that he is also a smuggler.
The next morning, Jamie and Claire are surprised by a visit from Ian, who has come to search for Young Ian. Ian is disgusted at finding Jamie in a brothel and then shocked to his core to find Claire with him. When he recovers himself, he tells Jamie and Claire that Young Ian had left home over a week ago, leaving only a note saying he was going to his uncle. Upon learning that Jamie has not seen Young Ian, both Ian and Jamie are worried. They both leave to look for him, leaving Claire behind at the brothel.
Later in the morning, Jamie is back at the brothel with Fergus, dealing with a shipment of smuggled brandy and with the excisemen on his heels. He hears a gunshot and goes running to the stairwell to find Claire sitting down with a dead man in her lap. Claire explains that Mr. Willoughby shot the man. Jamie wraps the body in Claire's shawl, and he and Claire take it downstairs to a hidden cellar which Jamie uses for his smuggling operation.
Claire washes the blood off herself using some of the water that Jamie has piped down from the roof to cut the brandy. When Claire tells Jamie the dead man is an exciseman, Jamie is shocked. He looks at the man's face and checks his pockets where he finds only a small Bible. Jamie heaves a sigh of relief as he realizes the man is not one of Edinburgh's excisemen. Jamie explains to Claire that he bribes the Superintending Customs Officer to turn a blind eye to his smuggling, and so the real excisemen do not come into the brothel.
Jamie tries to plan how to deal with everything, including the complications caused by the unplanned appearance of both Young Ian and Claire. Jamie tells Claire that without her in his life, he had forgotten how it was to feel joy and fear, as it had been such a long time since he had had anything to lose.
After dealing with the dead body and the smuggled brandy, Jamie and Claire go to Moubray's Tavern to dine. They are interrupted by Sir Percival Turner who sends Jamie a veiled warning against pursuing his next planned smuggling activity. After Sir Percival leaves, Jamie and Claire take a room upstairs at Moubrays and indulge in some afternoon delight.
Claire and Jamie are walking back to the print shop in the evening when they realize there is a fire in Carfax Close. They rush there to discover that it is Jamie's print shop that is on fire. Jamie rushes in to save his printing press and, aided by others, he manages to remove it from the shop just before the stairs cave in. Jamie is trying to catch his breath outside when Claire and Ian rush up, yelling that Young Ian is trapped upstairs in the building. Jamie accesses the print shop roof via the chocolate shop next door and drags Young Ian out. Ian throws a rope up to Jamie, and Jamie and Young Ian are lowered safely to the ground.
Jamie, Claire and the two Ians go back to Madame Jeanne's, and Jamie questions Young Ian about how he came to be in the printshop and how it came to be on fire. When Ian admits he set the fire, Jamie asks him to explain himself. Ian tells Jamie about the man he followed. When Jamie hears that the man only tasted the brandy he ordered in two of the taverns he visited, Jamie realizes what he was up to.
When Ian reacts angrily at the news that Young Ian had been to the brothel, Young Ian calls him a hypocrite, as he believes that Claire is a prostitute that his father has been visiting. Ian sets Young Ian straight and tells him that Claire is Jamie's wife, and therefore Young Ian's aunt. Young Ian asks Claire if she is a fairy. While Claire struggles to answer, Ian replies that Claire had escaped to France after Culloden, and had thought Jamie dead.
While telling his story, Ian drinks porter and becomes quite drunk. Claire goes off to fetch some tea to try and sober him up while Jamie and Ian help him vomit. When Claire returns, she tends to Ian's burns and he resumes his story. When Ian hears that Jamie has been printing seditious pamphlets and Young Ian is mixed up with it, he gets really angry and demands to know how Jamie could do such a thing to him and Jenny, after all the suffering they endured after Culloden because of Jamie's part in the Rising. Jamie reacts angrily and points out that Ian's son is now the heir to Lallybroch, while Jamie has nothing.
Ian berates Jamie for not sending word that Young Ian was with him, to stop Jenny worrying. Jamie replies that he meant to bring Ian home himself and ask permission for him to come and live with him, as he cares for the lad as if he were his own son. Ian replies that he may do so, but Young Ian is not Jamie's son, but his. Ian then tells Young Ian that they are leaving, but Young Ian refuses to go with him that night, saying he will go in the morning. Ian is shocked and angry at Young Ian's disobedience, and leaves defeatedly.
Ian is very upset at hurting his father, and Jamie tells him that he shouldn't have said that to him. Young Ian, anguished, tells Jamie that he couldn't go with his father as he needs to tell Jamie something else, and he doesn't want his father to hear, as he would be hurt. Ian then tells Jamie that he thinks he killed the seaman, as he doesn't think the seaman could have escaped the fire. Jamie tells Ian that he hasn't done anything wrong, but Ian bursts into tears and is comforted by Claire. When Ian has finished crying, Jamie tells him he isn't damned because it's not a sin to kill in self defense, and that he shouldn't be afraid of telling his father.
Jamie realizes that Ian confided in him because he had killed men and would know what to do. Jamie tells Ian to do the following: ask himself if he had a choice in killing the man, and as he didn't, put his mind at ease; go to confession, or if that isn't possible, say a good Act of Contrition; then say a prayer for the soul of the man he's killed. Finally, he must live with it.
Jamie explains to Claire that the man Ian killed was probably a degustateur de vin – a man able to identify the source and year of a wine simply by taste. The two taverns where the man actually drank the wine were two taverns supplied exclusively by Jamie. Jamie is very concerned that this man seemed to have made the connection between Jamie Roy the smuggler and Alec Malcolm the printer.
Fergus returns and explains how he has disposed of the brandy and the dead exciseman's body. When Jamie and Ian are discussing where Ian is to sleep the night, Fergus asks why he can't go with one of the prostitutes. Jamie is scandalized and replies that Ian is only fourteen, but Ian is very interested and states that he is almost fifteen. When Fergus informs them that he had taken both of Ian's elder brothers to the brothel at that age, Jamie gives up in defeat. Fergus and Madame Jeanne choose a young prostitute called Mary for Ian to spend the night with and he goes off with her.
After Ian leaves, Jamie confesses to Claire that the other way for a man to heal himself when he is sick with killing, is to lose himself in the arms of a woman.
The next day, Jamie and Fergus make alternative plans to land the smuggled liquor at Arbroath, in light of Sir Percival's warning about the ambush. Young Ian wants to be involved with the smuggling, but Jamie tells him that he is not to be a part of it, but instead is to stay with Claire at the inn above the abbey at Arbroath, and once the smuggling is over, they will return Ian to Lallybroch. Ian starts to blurt out a question, but Jamie snaps at him and cuts him off before he can finish his sentence.
Jamie, Claire and Ian travel to Arbroath, with Ian constantly pestering Jamie to be allowed to take part in the smuggling. When they reach Arbroath after four days of riding, it is to find that the inn has been burnt down. Jamie cannot leave Ian and Claire without shelter, and is forced to take them both with him to the smuggling rendezvous. Jamie tells Ian that he is only to go as far as the cliff edge, and must take care of Claire.
Jamie, Claire and Ian go to the cove where the rendezvous with the smuggling ship is to take place, meeting up with Fergus, Mr. Willoughby and Jamie's men. Just as the ship is about to reach shore, excisemen burst from their hiding places in the sand and the smugglers take flight, but Mr. Willoughby is grabbed. Jamie tells Ian to take Claire to safety and he heads down to the beach to rescue Mr. Willoughby.
Jamie and Fergus and six of Jamie's smugglers cross paths with Claire after they leave the beach. When Claire tells Jamie about the excisemen, Jamie goes looking for them and finds one of them hanging from a tree. Jamie suspects that the murder will be pinned on him. Ian returns and they all leave for Lallybroch.
Jamie, Claire and Ian arrive at Lallybroch to a tense reunion with Ian and Jenny. Ian berates Young Ian for running away and causing so much worry, and sends him out to the gatepost to be whipped. Jamie pleads with Ian not to whip Young Ian, saying that he is no longer a child. Ian says that he has told Ian he will be punished and can't go back on his word, but that Jamie can be the one to administer the whipping. Jamie is shocked and does not want to do it, but has no choice. Young Ian is shocked when Jamie comes out to the gatepost, and even more surprised and taken aback when, after Jamie has finished, he orders Young Ian to whip him in return, to punish his uncle for his part in the whole affair. As both Young Ian and Jamie gingerly rub their bottoms afterwards, Jamie tells Young Ian that he'd prefer not to have to do that again, and Young Ian agrees.
The mutual punishment of Jamie and Young Ian relieves the tension in the household, and Jamie and Claire go to bed that evening in a much happier frame of mind. They awake the next morning and are engaged in some amorous foreplay when the door to the bedroom flies open, revealing a teenage girl staring at them in horror. Jamie is just as horrified, but not nearly as much as Claire as the girl exclaims, "Daddy! Who is that woman?"
Suddenly Laoghaire appears in the bedroom and hisses at Claire to go back to where she came from, as Jamie is hers. Jamie shoves Laoghaire out of the room, and tells Claire that he can explain everything, but Claire is in shock and in no state of mind to be reasonable. After shouting angrily at each other, Jamie tells Claire he will sort things out and then come back and talk. He then leaves to deal with Laoghaire who has been pounding on the bedroom door.
Jamie returns to the bedroom to find Claire ready to leave Lallybroch. Claire is filled with anger at Jamie for lying to her about the fact that he was married, and Jamie confesses that he was afraid that Claire would leave him if she knew. All the pain and hurt they have carried over their twenty years apart is released in a vicious argument, and as Claire makes to leave, Jamie grabs her and kisses her violently. Claire responds in kind and their anger finds release in furious, noisy sex which is abruptly interrupted by Jenny tossing a pail of cold water over them. Jenny angrily demands to know whether Jamie is ashamed of rutting like a wild beast for all the house to hear. Jamie dazedly shakes himself, replies that he is ashamed, and leaves the room.
Jamie tells Laoghaire to go back to Balriggan with her daughters, and then he goes for a walk up the hill which is something he does when he's troubled. Jamie returns to the house to find Claire has gone. He is absolutely furious, and he and Jenny have a huge argument ending in a broken window. Jamie gets on his horse and makes to go after Claire, but Laoghaire reappears, clutches Jamie's leg and weeps and wails. At the end of his tether, Jamie throws Laoghaire over his shoulder and carries her into the house to deal with her. While they are both upstairs Laoghaire shoots Jamie.
The shot penetrates Jamie's left arm and side, and he becomes feverish. Young Ian wants to go after Claire, but Jamie doesn't want Claire to return to him out of pity, and forbids him from doing so. Jamie's fever worsens and Jenny lays him on a camp bed in the parlor in front of the fire. Young Ian ignores his uncle, hastens after Claire, and brings her back. Jamie awakens and sees Claire; he thinks that she is part of a fever dream until she touches him, and he realizes she is real. Jamie thinks he is dying and apologizes to Claire, and asks her if she will stay with him for a while. Claire, however, has no intention of letting Jamie die. She has a secret weapon from the future in the form of penicillin, and she gives Jamie his first dose.
While Claire tends to Jamie, he tells her how he came to be married to Laoghaire and how unhappy he'd been. Claire realizes that she had been just as lonely and lost while married to Frank. They both reaffirm their love for each other.
The penicillin works like a charm, and Jamie's fever disappears within two days; within four, the inflammation is also much improved. The Murray clan descend on Lallybroch to visit Jamie, and Claire is introduced to Jenny and Ian's grown children and to all their grandchildren. Jamie is a magnet for his great-nieces and nephews, and settles down to a storytelling session with them while Claire seeks out the women in the kitchen.
Jenny has received a warning from a neighbor that Hobart MacKenzie is on his way, and she comes to tell Jamie that he should leave Lallybroch. Claire arrives back in the room and Jamie explains that Hobart is Laoghaire's brother. Jamie refuses to leave, stating that he is not scared of Hobart and Jenny has to accept that. Jenny leaves the room and then goes outside to the barn. Claire sees her through the window and follows her.
Hobart MacKenzie arrives at Lallybroch with his lawyer, Ned Gowan. Jamie, Claire, Hobart, Ned, Jenny and Ian are present as Ned lays out Laoghaire's case for compensation. Jamie declares that he will continue to support Laoghaire and her daughters, but Jenny insists that that support should stop if Laoghaire remarries. This is agreed to, and the final settlement agreed to is that Jamie will pay Laoghaire an initial sum of £500 in compensation for distress, inconvenience and loss of conjugal services. He will then continue to pay Laoghaire £100 per annum, until and unless she remarries. In addition, Jamie will pay a bride-portion of £300 to each of Laoghaire's two daughters, and he agrees to not take a suit against Laoghaire for attempted murder. Laoghaire agrees to accept this offer in full and final settlement.
After Hobart and Ned have left, Jenny asks Jamie where he is going to get the money to pay Laoghaire. Jamie replies that he will have to use some of the seal's treasure, but as he cannot swim because of his gunshot wound, he wants to take Young Ian to retrieve it. Jenny automatically says no, but Ian acknowledges that Young Ian is a capable swimmer. Jenny realizes they cannot treat Ian as a child forever, but must give him his freedom while he still thinks it is theirs to give. Jenny reluctantly agrees, and Jamie tells her that for Laoghaire's sake he must leave Lallybroch for a while. He proposes going back to France to work for Jared, and taking Young Ian with him so he can be schooled in Paris.
Despite it being winter, Jamie, Claire and Young Ian travel to the seal's cove. When they arrive, the weather is very misty with poor visibility. Young Ian is lowered down to the beach and swims out to the seal's island. Jamie and Claire can do nothing but wait until he returns, a round trip that Jamie knows will take about two hours.
While Claire and Jamie are waiting on the top of the cliffs, Jamie hears shouting. Striding to the cliff's edge, the mist lifts long enough for Jamie and Claire to see two men on the island – one man carrying the box of treasure, and the second carrying the limp body of Ian. The men put the box and Ian into a small boat and row out to a larger boat waiting nearby. Jamie and Claire jump on their horses and follow the boat, but they are spotted and the boat opens fire on them, lifts anchor and sails away.
Jamie and Claire are both shocked and distressed at what they have just witnessed. Jamie decides that the only thing to do is to go to France as planned, and hope that Jared can help them to identify the ship. They cannot leave until the morning, but Jamie cannot slep. He is wracked by guilt thinking that he has caused misfortune to fall Ian's way by trying to use the treasure for selfish reasons – to rid himself of Laoghaire and be with Claire. Jamie does not know how he can face Jenny, after convincing her to let Ian go with him and promising to keep him safe. Claire wakes and finds Jamie praying for guidance. He shares his feelings of guilt with Claire, and Claire tells him he is a terrible fool, that they are married in the eyes of God and it is not wrong for them to be together. At about four o'clock in the morning, they decide to leave, as neither can bear waiting any more.
Jamie sends word to Fergus to round up his group of smugglers, and tells him to wait at Cape Wrath in the north-west of Scotland. Jamie and Claire will return with a ship to pick them up.
Jamie, Claire and Mr. Willoughby travel to Le Havre and go immediately to see Jared in his warehouse, where they explain everything that has happened. Jared explains that, as it is so late in the season, there are few ships still available to travel on, and the best he can provide is a mid-sized sloop called the Artemis which will be ready to sail in a week. Jared has searched the harbormasters' records and discovered that the Bruja has its home port listed as Bridgetown in Barbados. Not knowing the destination of the ship, Jamie and Claire plan to sail to Barbados in the hope that they will find it. Jared informs them that the sailing time to the West Indies is normally two months, but this late in the year they may well be delayed a month or more by winter gales. Both Jared and Claire are concerned about how Jamie will survive the voyage, but Jamie will endure anything to get Ian back.
Jared appoints Jamie to the role of supercargo on the ship. This means Jamie is responsible for the ship's cargo, and his authority can override the captain's when making decisions relating to the cargo. The Artemis will sail to Jamaica with a load of cargo and then reload with rum from Jared's sugarcane plantation to be brought back to France. The return trip will not be able to take place until May when the weather improves, and Jamie and Claire will have the ship at their disposal until that time to search for Ian.
Jamie writes to Jenny explaining what has happened to Ian, and what plans he has made to try and get Ian back.
Jamie meets with a coin dealer, Mayer, and describes to him the coins he found in the seal's treasure. Mayer reveals that the original buyer of those coins was the Duke of Sandringham. Claire wonders if the coins would be worth £50,000, and if so, whether that was the money the Duke of Sandringham had promised to Charles Stuart. Jamie and Claire agree that the coins could possibly be the money the Duke had promised, but the really pressing questions are, what was Duncan Kerr doing – had he come to remove the treasure, or deposit it? And who sent the Bruja to retrieve it?
Over dinner one night, Jared gives a Masonic greeting to Jamie, which he returns. Jared tells Jamie that there are Freemason lodges in the Caribbean, and Jamie should use contacts there to help find Ian.
When the Artemis is ready to sail, Jamie, Claire, and Mr. Willoughby board and, much to Jamie's frustration, sail back to Scotland to pick up Fergus and the men from Jamie's smuggling group. Jamie explains to Claire that the smugglers will provide protection against the men who took Ian, and will help crew the Artemis. The Artemis arrives at Cape Wrath before Fergus and the men, and Jamie is forced to wait for their arrival, despite desperately wanting to begin the search for Ian.
Two days after arriving at Cape Wrath, the six smugglers arrive but Fergus is not with them. Jamie learns that Fergus had sent the men on ahead saying that he had business to attend to. Fergus has still not arrived the next morning and the captain tells Jamie they must leave by mid-afternoon as there is bad weather on the way. Jamie grows more and more anxious as the day wears on, but just as the Artemis is about to cast off, he hears the sound of galloping hoofbeats as Fergus approaches. Jamie's relief quickly turns to anger when he realizes that Fergus is not alone. He has arrived with Marsali, who is boarding the Artemis with him.
Jamie angrily demands to know what they think they are doing. Fergus and Marsali reveal that they have been secretly handfast in front of witnesses. Jamie is furious with them both, and tells them he will put Marsali ashore when they stop for provisions. Marsali refuses to obey and tells Jamie that she doesn't care that Fergus is a property-less, crippled, criminal bastard – she wants him. Marsali argues fiercely with Jamie and starts to get abusive, but Fergus brings her up sharply, saying that Jamie has done a lot for both of them and she owes him respect. Marsali calms down and tells Jamie that she will not go back to Balriggan, and if Jamie puts her ashore she will tell everyone that Fergus has slept with her, thus ruining her name. Jamie realizes she has him over a barrel and lays down the law: Marsali may stay on board, but she and Fergus are to be married properly in the West Indies, and Fergus is not to touch her until that happens.
Jamie's edict to Fergus has immediate consequences. With only two private cabins on the ship, Jamie and Fergus have to share one, and Claire and Marsali the other. This is particularly awkward for Claire, as Marsali hates her. Fergus isn't much better off sharing with Jamie, as Jamie is crippled by seasickness and vomiting constantly.
On the second day, Jamie is very ill. He tells Claire that someone is trying to kill him, but that it isn't Innes. Jamie tells Claire to ask Fergus for more information. Jamie's sickness doesn't abate and nothing that Claire tries helps him in any way. Jamie can't keep anything down and is wretched. Mr. Willoughby mentions to Claire that he has some Chinese medicine that will help, but that Jamie has flatly refused to have it. Claire mentions in a very loud voice all the terrible things that can happen to a person constantly dry wretching, such as twisted testicles that have to be amputated, and Jamie gives in and allows Mr. Willoughby to treat him with his acupuncture needles. Fortunately for Jamie, the treatment works.
With little to do during the voyage, Jamie and Claire spend most of the time together, regaining the intimacy of their initial relationship and filling in the years they spent apart. One time after Jamie has been looking at the photos of Brianna that Claire brought with her, he asks Claire if perhaps she should have waited to come after him, as Brianna is now alone with no husband to protect her and no family to see her wed. The 200 year time difference between Claire and Jamie gapes as Claire tries to explain to Jamie that women in her time don't need protection from men, but that doesn't mean they don't still need men.
Jamie learns from Claire that his smugglers are not being fed their proper diet by Murphy the cook. He is unhappy that they hadn't approached him about it, and tells Claire that he is not their laird, just the man who pays them, and that apart from Innes, he doesn't really know them.
One day while the crew are engaged in trying to kill a shark for dinner, Mr. Willoughy spies a pelican in the water and jumps overboard to catch it. Jamie jumps in after him and the crew manage to get them both back on board without being eaten by sharks. While everyone else on the boat is preoccupied by the dead shark, Jamie and Claire sneak off and have a quick, lustful encounter in their cabin – their first since boarding the boat.
In 1767, Jamie is on deck when a large British man-o-war called the Porpoise fires a warning shot to show they are planning to board them. Captain Raines tells Claire and Jamie that the Porpoise is shorthanded, and they are probably intending to press as many British crew members of the Artemis as they can, as they are legally entitled to do this.
Jamie tells Claire that they will not press Fergus or Duncan because of their disabilities, and so if he is pressed, Claire is to continue on to Jamaica and hunt for Ian, with the help of Fergus and Duncan. Claire protests that Jamie could pass as a Frenchman, in which case the British could not press him, but he refuses to leave his men. Jamie tells Claire that if they are separated, he will find her in Jamaica, but for now it is best if they say that their surname is Malcolm.
The Porpoise draws alongside and a very young, tired and disheveled man climbs on board. He turns out to be the acting captain, Thomas Leonard, forced into the position after all the senior crew died of sickness. Half his crew are ill and thirty men have died. Thomas Leonard is desperately seeking a ship's surgeon. When he explains the symptoms to Claire, she thinks the illness is typhoid fever and is happy to go aboard, but Jamie is not happy for her to do so. Claire explains to Jamie that when she became a physician, she swore an oath to help whomever needs medical help, and Jamie reluctantly accepts her obligation. Jamie says he will accompany Claire, but she says he cannot as typhoid is very infectious, and while she has been vaccinated against it, he has not.
Claire boards the Porpoise while Jamie watches anxiously. When Claire comes back on deck Jamie thinks she is coming back to the Artemis but she signals to Jamie that she will be on the Porpoise for two more hours. Jamie is not happy but cannot do anything about it.
Captain Leonard appears on the deck of the Porpoise and tells Jamie that he needs to keep Claire on board to fight the sickness. Jamie is extremely unhappy about his plans, but Captain Leonard threatens to press all the Englishmen and Scots on board the Artemis if Claire does not stay, and Captain Raines overrides Jamie and agrees to let him keep Claire. Captain Leonard promises Jamie that he will provide Claire with accommodation in Jamaica until the Artemis arrives, and then the Porpoise sails off with Claire aboard.