Lord John and the Haunted Soldier is a novella in the Lord John Series by Diana Gabaldon. It was first published in 2007 in the collection Lord John and the Hand of Devils, which also included two previously released Lord John novellas.
In November 1758, following the events of June in Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John Grey and other surviving members of the gun crew of the cannon "Tom Pilchard" at Crefeld are brought before a board of inquiry tasked with investigating the cause of the cannon's explosion. The committee includes Colonel Reginald Twelvetrees, brother of the late Nathaniel.
Grey, who had commanded the cannon crew upon the abrupt death of Lieutenant Philip Lister, is both troubled and insulted by the questioning, and stalks out of the inquiry. He then encounters Herbert Gormley, who shows him the remains of the burst cannon, and Grey briefly presents a missing piece – shrapnel that had been removed from his chest by the surgeons – but refuses to surrender it. Eventually, this piece will be the only remaining evidence that the cannons were poorly manufactured. At least one other piece of metal remains in Grey's chest, which causes Grey severe chest pains and uncontrolled shaking.
Harry Quarry warns Grey about Colonel Twelvetrees' willingness to use the cannon inquiry to goad John into action that will be used to discredit either him, his brother Hal, or both. He suggests Grey be seconded to the 65th or 78th regiments temporarily to stay out of Twelvetrees' way for a while, but Grey instead begins to investigate the cannon failures himself.
When Grey returns Lister's sword to the man's father, the elder Lister begs Grey's assistance in locating his late son's missing fiancée and child. While on these tasks, he discovers political intrigue surrounding his half-brother's government contract for supplying black powder to the military, and meets Captain Fanshawe and the other members of Edgar's consortium.
Grey writes on two occasions to his paroled charge, James Fraser; starkly honest confessions of his cares and worries that are never sent, but serve to help ground Grey's thoughts and emotions.
- Lord John Grey, Major in the 46th Regiment of Foot
- Tom Byrd, Grey's valet
- Reginald Twelvetrees, Colonel of the Royal Artillery Regiment, member of the Commission of Inquiry
- Mortimer Oswald, politician, member of the Commission of Inquiry
- Lord Marchmont, member of the Commission of Inquiry
- Herbert Gormley, Ordnance Office
- Captain Reginald Jones, Royal Artillery Regiment
- Edgar DeVane, Grey's elder half-brother
- Maude DeVane, wife of Edgar
- Captain Marcus Fanshawe, grenadier, son of Douglas Fanshawe
- Lieutenant Philip Lister (mention only)
- Mr. Lister, father of Philip
- Anne Thackeray, Philip Lister's lover (mention only)
- Reverend Mr. Thackeray, father of Anne and Barbara
- Barbara Thackeray, sister of Anne
- Simon Coles, lawyer
- Mr. Trevorson, country squire, owner of Mayapple Farm
- Douglas Fanshawe, owner of Mudlington powder mill
- Neil "the Cunt" Stapleton, subordinate of Hubert Bowles
- Jamie Fraser (mention only)
- Harold Grey, Duke of Pardloe, Earl of Melton (mention only)
- ↑ Upon discovering that his first wife, Esmé, had been seduced by Nathaniel Twelvetrees, Hal Grey challenged the man to a duel and killed him.
- ↑ Although the text uses Hal's lesser title, Melton, the events of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade take place before those of The Haunted Soldier, and it was in Brotherhood that Hal resumed his ducal title, Pardloe.