SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished chapter 46 in The Fiery Cross.
OK so when we last left off, Claire was getting annoyed with the house guests, and rightly so. Well right after that, she took the hell off with Jamie, Roger and the Militia, leaving Bree to stay at the Ridge and deal with all the annoying people by herself. And don't forget wee Jemmy. So - as a mom - let me set this scene. Bree is breastfeeding Jemmy all damn day long. Don't forget, she couldn't just give him a sippy of half water - half Juicy Juice - and a little bowl of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish - and set him up in front of Elmo. Oh. No. None of that was taking place. Here's what life in charge of the women-folk on the Ridge was like for Bree:
Get up - Feed Jemmy - Put clothes on - Change Jemmy - Eat breakfast with Jemmy on her lap - Feed Jemmy - Churn the butter while Jemmy played with the fireplace poker - Chase Jemmy - Yell at Mrs. Bug and Mrs. Chisolm while holding Jemmy - Feed Jemmy. Wash the floor while holding Jemmy - Change Jemmy - Clean the chicken coop while picking crickets out of Jemmy's mouth - Nap Jemmy. And that was all before noon, my friends. I had nothing but respect for Brianna whilst Claire was having yet another adventure in her breeks on horseback. Yessir. Nothing but respect.
OK so moving right along - I enjoyed the section about the Beardsleys as it was a welcome change from life at the Ridge. COMMA HOWEVER - it - in and over itself - could have been a full length horror flick which would undoubtedly sell out most theatres in the US and Canada. I mean seriously. That dude's festering leg was enough to make me vom... let alone all the, um, VOM!!! And feces. And urine. And moldy food (which you know Claire probably hid in her purse for her experiments back on the Ridge.) And what bugged me even MORE was crazy-assed MRS. BEARDSLEY who lived with him and burnt his toes! EWWW! I would not have wanted to be within 25 MILES of his NASTY ASSED TOES!!! At any rate - all kidding aside - what an amazingly powerful scene when Jamie buried Mr. Beardsley and was in tears, thinking about how his own father had a stroke and wondering how long he may have suffered. Who could blame him? And it just made me even more upset about Ian being gone - and Jenny being mad at him. He should be in contact with his sister, no? Ugh. I canna even go there; talk of Ian breaks my heart. And I want Jenny and Ian to get their rears on a boat and come to the RIDGE. And I dinna see it happening... but maybe herself will surprise me.
SO - what was with Mrs. Beardsley dumping her kid in the woods with Claire and Jamie??? Yeah Yeah - it served to finally put to rest the question of Claire ever spawning again (and by the way - I'm sure there are some fertility doctors who would love to sit down and chat about what Claire seems to consider her overproducing loins. Girlfriend is what - 52? 53? I've heard it happens... but come on.) I will say that - I couldn't decide whether I wanted them to keep that baby. I loved the idea of them raising their very own baby - together. But they already moved into the big house to escape Jemmy screaming all night... so I kindof thought "bad idea". And I have the strangest feeling we'll see that baby again - but what do I know? I liked Stephen Bonnet and wanted to see more of him when Jamie gave him a ride out of town... so DINNA listen to me, Lassies!
Dug the Brownsville section - again, it's a change from the Ridge - but I was fighting a bit of agida until they got the message that the possible battle was off - and Jamie was once again in a good mood. OH - and one thing that bugged me - and I'm sure this is just silly on my part - but I wanted to experience them going back to the Ridge. I was more than a little concerned about Jamie and his obvious PNEUMONIA - which seemed to have cleared up on its own, seeing as we closed out the chapter in Brownsville and started a new one days after their return to the Ridge. And again - there was poor Bree (don't mistake me, I don't love her character, but I can sympathize with any woman left alone with children for days on end. LORD can I sympathize) upset with Roger because she cleaned the floors and all he cared about was his man-trip with Jamie and the boys (and Claire.)
Moving on.... to my one of my sister/mentor's FAVORITE parts - when Claire and Jamie were in Claire's surgery and Claire was explaining the facts of (20th century) life to Jamie. His reaction to the fact that there are little wee swimmie things with tails was adorable - as are most of his reactions to things from Claire's time (I will write up a whole post on this soon - there are things I'd like to see in a future book but am too shy to email DG about.) I really enjoyed the scene... but I loved when Claire did the surgery on the Beardsley boys. And I loved Lizzie's protectiveness over them, too. She is going to become a more important part of this story... I just KNOW it, y'all.
OK so on to the wedding - Jocasta and Duncan - which is where I am now. WHAT A FRIGGIN DAY this has been! My god it's like being at the Gathering all over again! (LORD, THE GATHERING! Poor Jen L. is probably STILL there!) It's been very interesting... ESPECIALLY the part where Jamie got his romeo on with Claire in the grove. Tracey and I are always looking for new ways for Jamie and Claire to get busy - and damn if DG didn't offer up a new and interesting morsel; 3rd base, my friends...3rd base. WHILST HOLDING CLAIRE in one arm, might I add. Unbelievable, that Jamie. Actually I still haven't figured out the logistics of that little acrobatic act. Was he behind her? That's why his arm was around her middle like an iron rod - right?? Le sigh. DG does it again. She never ceases to amaze me with her new forms of copulation for Jamie and Claire. I just sit back, hold my breath and wonder what's coming next.
Anywho... where am I now? Jamie found poor drunk-assed Betty lyin' in the garden all high on what we'd consider Opium. And they're thinking maybe she just picked up someone's drink and that someone is trying to kill whomever's drink it was. (Does that last sentence make any kind of grammatical sense? I thought not.) And the crazy-assed 18th century doctor "bled" her, much to Claire's dismay. Side note - don'tcha just love how Claire silently berates these doctors for their stupidity when she'd be doing the same damn, moronic healing had she been born in the 18th century? Mmmm hmmmm. I think Claire needs to work on her social technique with these docs... but I digress. So anyway... the slave is still drunk but Jamie has convinced himself she was taking the Opium on her own (um... yeah right). I'm sure this will come out later. My guess - as I said on the video I made with Tracey yesterday - is that Ulysses was trying to off Duncan so he couldn't marry Jocasta and move him right the hell out of the picture. And PS - am I the only one who sees Ulysses as the butler in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? (Will Smith was in my class freshman year of high school, but that's not important right now) Totally reminds me of him.
OH and Jamie found out there are like 1,000 regulators gathered together and camped out - just waiting for a conflict - so now he's going to have to deal with THAT when he gets his horny ass back to the Ridge. Why horny, you ask? Well I'll tell you. Because he no sooner got back from his baseball expedition in the grove with Claire, then he's back at it on the terrace, fondling his wine glass and watching her command a group of gentleman with her feminine wiles. For some reason that doesn't embarrass him at all - but chit chatting with Wylie did. OH how could I have missed the WYLIE sitch??? So after the baseball session, Claire went into the stables alone with creepy assed Wylie, because he said he needed to show her something. Next thing you know, boyfriend kisses her and Claire ends up on the verge of kicking him in the privates, but she settles for his shins. So she runs out and runs smack into James Alexander MalcoLm Mackenzie Fraser, who proceeds to pick Wylie's beauty mark off her face and freak the hell out. ooooh it was GOOD drama. Absolutely. Loved it. Although I'd have been mad when he tried to hug her into submission... that was a little odd. So yada yada yada.... Jocasta gets married after Claire tells her poor Duncan canna do the deed because of an early childhood injury. Now we all know Claire is going to be slicing into his nether regions in another day or two.... just so he can consummate this marriage PROPER! But regardless - Jocasta marries him anyway. No one is really sure as to what her exact motives are... not even Jamie.
Sooooo- back to the scene on the terrace where Jamie is fondling his wine glass and thanking the LORD for his belted kilt which covers a multitude of weaponry; both the literal and figurative kind, mmm hmmm. And just as he's about to get Claire and head to the stone bench beneath the willow trees... some annoying guy (George Lyon) grabs him and wants to chit chat about lord only knows what. Turns out he wants Jamie to set up camp with his dinero and make lots and lotsa whiskey - but Jamie tells him (nicely) to eff off because he knows that such a large operation would lead to no kind of good, y'all. So he hightails his hot arse back to the terrace, starts flirting with Claire - and we're thinking "this is it... here we GO!" and then BAM! Wylie shows up and challenges him to a serious game of cards later - and Jamie accepts. And Claire and Jamie go walking on the lawn and start arguing about the situation.
But I was still so convinced they were headed down to the willows to have some matrimonial fun after their tiff that I sent the following email to Tracey:
I was LOVING his POV (point of view) - totally. "He wasn't hungry, either, though. At least not for puddings and savories." Why can't EVERY chapter be from Jamie's perspective?? It's like "Midnight Sun" on acid!!!!!!!! But then DG switched to Claire's POV and it was a bit of a let-down. Anyway - they were getting all amorous and she took her hair down right there at the buffet table (Claire, you ignorant slut!) and then Wylie showed up asking JF to play cards. So now they're walking on the lawn - verra fast - and Jamie's dander is up over the cards, and Claire's all "You don't have shit to gamble with" and the reader (that's me) is assuming they're going to have some mean groping and lovin' out on the stone bench under the willow (oh mother of god, can we say lift up the skirt and HOP on POP??? I'd just ride that wave and watch those injured fingers beat the HELL out of that thigh, I would.) So anyway - I don't know what's going to happen. I almost think nothing is going to happen since we just went to third base at the grove a matter of hours ago. But maybe DG is giving us a verra special gift of a JF double whammy... kindof like when Claire came in the house in the West Indies and found Jamie bathed and nekkid on the bed.... right the hell after we took it from behind while biting the birth at sea. So who knows... OFF TO READ, MOTHERF*CKA!!!!!!
OK let me be clear on this - I am so NOT the person who uses the term "motherf*cker" (see, I can't even TYPE it!) and certainly not with an A on the end, all gangsterish.... but damnit that's what the possibility of a naked Jamie Fraser does to me. So ANYway....
We have now hit JFBM2 - Jamie Fraser Bonehead Move #2 (JFBM1 being the part where he accused her of getting down to bizznazz with Wylie in the stable - snort): Jamie asks Claire for her gold wedding ring from FRANK so he can go GAMBLE!!!!! My god that's right out of a movie! It could be Goodfells or something! Is Karen coming to help you make the sauce?!? Wow. Low, low and more low, Jamie. And I didn't even get a good love scene because Claire gave it to him - AND HER SILVER RING FROM HIM - and stalked off. And I don't blame her. And he'd better plan on kissing her ass after the game tonight or he's going to be sleeping under the trash bin or inside the privy instead of where he would have been sleeping had he not been a moron; in the stables or under a large rock with Claire.