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I read her blog and she posted this today .
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE SPOILERS FROM BOOK EIGHT
DON’T READ THIS!!!
(still with me?)
Excerpt, Book Eight: Roger in the Past
[You may recall that at the end of AN ECHO IN THE BONE, we left Roger embarked on a quest through the stones to find his son Jem, whom he believed had been taken into the past. From Craigh na Dun, Roger goes immediately to Lallybroch, figuring that if Jem had managed to escape from his captor, he’d head for home.]
His heart rose in spite of his anxiety, when he came to the top of the pass and saw Lallybroch below him, its white-harled buildings glowing in the fading light. Everything lay peaceful before him; late cabbages and turnips in orderly rows within the kailyard walls, safe from grazing sheep—there was a small flock in the far meadow, already bedding for the night, like so many wooly eggs in a nest of bright green grass, like a kid’s Easter-basket.
The thought caught at his throat, with memories of the horrible cellophane grass that got everywhere, Mandy with her face—and everything else within six feet of her—smeared with chocolate, Jem carefully writing “Dad” on a hardboiled egg with a white crayon, then frowning over the array of dye-cups, trying to decide whether blue or purple was more Dad-like.
“Lord, let him be here!” he muttered under his breath, and hurried down the rutted trail, half-sliding on loose rocks.
The dooryard was tidy, the big yellow rose brier trimmed back for the winter, and the step swept clean. He had the sudden notion that if he were simply to open the door and walk in, he would find himself in his own lobby, Mandy’s tiny red galoshes flung helter-skelter under the hall-tree where Brianna’s disreputable duffel-coat hung, crusty with dried mud and smelling of its wearer, soap and musk and the faint smell of her motherhood: sour milk, fresh bread, and peanut butter.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered, “be weeping on the step, next thing.” He hammered at the door, and a huge dog came galloping round the corner of the house, baying like the bloody hound of the Baskervilles. It slid to a stop in front of him but went on barking, weaving its huge head to and fro like a snake, ears cocked in case he might make a false move that would let it devour him with a clear conscience.
He wasn’t risking any moves; he’d plastered himself against the door when the dog appeared, and now shouted, “Help! Come call your beast!”
He heard footsteps within, and an instant later, the door opened, nearly decanting him into the hall.
“Hauld your wheesht, dog,” a dark man said, in a tolerant tone. “Come in, sir, and dinna be minding him. He wouldna eat you; he’s had his dinner.”
“I’m pleased to hear it, sir, and thank ye kindly.” Roger pulled off his hat and followed the man into the shadows of the hall. It was his own familiar hall, the slates of the floor just the same, though not nearly as worn, the dark wood paneling shining with beeswax and polishing. There was a halltree in the corner, though of course different to his; this one was a sturdy affair of wrought iron, and a good thing, too, as it was supporting a massive burden of jackets, shawls, cloaks and hats that would have crumpled a flimsier piece of furniture.
He smiled at it, nonetheless, and then stopped dead, feeling as though he’d been punched in the chest.
The wood paneling behind the halltree shone serene, unblemished. No sign of the saber-slashes left by frustrated redcoat soldiers, searching for the outlawed laird of Lallybroch after Culloden. Those slashes had been carefully preserved for centuries, were still there, darkened by age but still distinct, when he had owned—would own, he corrected mechanically—this place.
“We keep it so for the children,” Bree had quoted her uncle Ian as saying. “We tell them, ‘This is what the English are.””
He had no time to deal with the shock; the dark man had shut the door with a firm Gaelic adjuration to the dog, and now turned to him, smiling.
“Welcome, sir. Ye’ll sup wi’ us? The lass has it nearly ready.”
“Aye, I will, and thanks to ye,” Roger bowed slightly, groping for his 18th-century manners. “I—my name is Roger MacKenzie. Of Lochalsh,” he added, for no respectable man would omit to note his origins, and Lochalsh was far enough away that the chances of this man—who was he? He hadn’t the bearing of a servant—knowing its inhabitants in any detail was remote.
He’d hoped that the immediate response would be, “MacKenzie? Why, you must be the father of wee Jem!” It wasn’t, though; the man returned his bow and offered his hand.
“Brian Fraser of Lallybroch, your servant, sir.”
All I have to say is OMG Does this mean Roger went back further than he meant? Is that Black Brian , Jamie's Dad or do you think that is another Brian Fraser? OMG
Whoa, I didn't know about this- thanks for posting it! My first impression is it must be Jamie's father- but why would Jem and/or Roger go back farther in time?? Soooo confusing...geez, I wish she'd hurry up with the next book already! So not fair to leave poor little Jem hanging like that!
Jem never went back! It's been a year since I read it but I thought that dude hid him somewhere. Roger just thought that he took Jem through the stones. Brianna found Jem after Roger went through.. Ahhh I cannot wait until the next book. Diana sure can tell a story!!
You might be rignt- it's been too long since I read AEITB too- I read it right after it came out, so that was what, 2 years ago. I do remember the part about Rob Cameron, but I thought he had shut him in that tunnel or something, then Jem got on the train thing and then started to hear that buzzing or whatever it is they experience when they get near the stones. Ok, I might have to dig my book out and refresh my memory on that!