Friday, March 19, 2010

The Poor Wee Fools

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 112 in A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES. 

I am in the midst of reading but just had a "WOW" moment... and HAD to stop and blog.  Jamie, Claire, Roger and Ian are with the militia at Moore's Creek and know the battle will begin that afternoon or evening. Jamie has grease smudges on his hands and quietly tells Claire "They've cannon" as he's wiping his hands on his pants. He's realizing MacDonald's troops (who are Highlanders, remember) have swords and not a lot of muskets and powder... or men, for that matter... and are marching into an ambush but a huge group of militia who are armed to the gills.

"Oh, Christ," Jamie said, so softly I could barely hear him. "The poor wee fools. The poor gallant wee fools." 

When I read that line, I had to take a moment. This is one of the most powerful scenes in the series, in my humble opinion. Jamie is realizing his own Scottish people are going to die in this battle... and the group HE is fighting with will win. And he feels terrible about it - but knows he has no choice because - just like almost 30 years ago - Claire has told him the outcome of this war. He's remembering Culloden, when he was on the other side of the cannons with only a sword to protect him.

Wow. I mean... seriously... just... Wow.


  1. SOOOOOO agree--and REALLY well said. This is such a wee part, really, stuck in amongst all the kidnapping, other stuff...but in my mind, it's more powerful than the entire Claire/Jamie/Bree/SB sequences combined. Don't know how much of it you've finished, but check back when you get to the end of this part. Yeah.

  2. How heartbreaking for Jamie. Yes, this is a very moving passage.

  3. I also found it very moving. This is exactly the flip side of what Jamie experienced at Culloden. Remember when he is talking to Donald McDonald and D.M. reminds him that they were both at Culloden? And Jamie says something like, "Yes, Donald. You were behind the cannon. I was in front of them." So Jamie knows exactly what those Highlanders are feeling.

  4. Sorry - the above comment is mine. Forgot to sign it.

    -Sue A

  5. I had to stop and take this in for a minute. How surreal this had to be for Jaime. I loved the part when he said he was doing what was right, because he was the grandsire of Americans.
    This was his adopted country and he would fight for it and his familys future. Yes Carol WOW is all one can say.