About porcupines and tortoises

the who­le sce­ne:

I sat in the Visitor‘s chair in Jamie’s stu­dy, com­pa­n­ion­ab­ly gra­ting bloo­droots while he wrest­led with the quar­ter­ly accounts. Both were slow and tedious busi­nes­ses, but we could sha­re the light of a sin­gle cand­le and enjoy each other’s com­pa­ny — and I found enjoya­ble dis­trac­tion in lis­ten­ing to the high­ly inven­ti­ve remarks he addres­sed to the paper under his quill.
“Egg-suck­ing son of a por­cu­pi­ne!” he mut­te­r­ed. “Look at this, Sas­se­nach — the man’s nay more than a com­mon thief! Two shil­lings, three­pence for two loaves of sugar and a brick of indi­go!”
I cli­cked my tongue sym­pa­theti­cal­ly, for­be­a­ring to note that two shil­lings see­med a modest enough pri­ce for sub­s­tan­ces pro­du­ced in the West Indies, trans­por­ted by ship to Charles­ton, and thence car­ri­ed by wagon, piro­gue, hor­se­back, and foot ano­t­her several hund­red miles over­land, to be final­ly brought to our door by an iti­nerant pedd­ler who did not expect payment for the three or four mon­ths until his next visit — and who would in any case likely not get cash, but rather six pots of goose­ber­ry jam or a haunch of smo­ked ven­i­son.
“Look at that!” Jamie said rhe­to­ri­cal­ly, scratching his way down a column of figu­res and arri­ving with a vicious stab at the bot­tom. “A cask of bran­dy­wi­ne at twel­ve shil­lings, two bolts of mus­lin at three and ten each, iron­mon­ge­ry — what in the name of bug­ge­ry is wee Roger wan­ting wi’ an iron­mon­ger, has he thought of a way to play tunes on a hoe? — iron­mon­ge­ry, ten and six!”“I belie­ve that was a ploughsha­re,” I said paci­fi­cal­ly. “It’s not ours; Roger brought it for Geor­die Chis­holm.” Ploughsha­res were in fact rather expen­si­ve. Having to be impor­ted from Eng­land, they were rare amongst colo­ni­al small far­mers, many of whom made do with not­hing more than woo­den dib­bles and spa­des, with an ax and perhaps an iron hoe for ground-clea­ring.
Jamie squin­ted bal­e­ful­ly at his figu­res, rum­pling a hand through his hair.
“Aye,” he said. “Only Geor­die has­na got a spa­re pen­ny to bless him­s­elf with, not until next year’s crops are sold. So it’s me that’s pay­ing the ten and six now, isn’t it?” Without wai­ting for an ans­wer, he plun­ged back into his cal­cu­la­ti­ons, mut­te­r­ing “Turd-eating son of a fly­ing tor­toi­se” under his bre­ath, with no indi­ca­ti­on whe­ther this app­lied to Roger, Geor­die, or the ploughsha­re.


All rights for the Pic­ture of Jamie go to the right­ful owner Starz/​Sony
Quo­te and Excerpt by Dia­na Gabal­don from “The Fie­ry Cross“
I own not­hing but the editing

Heike Ginger Ba Written by:

|Human|Woman|Mother|Wife|Friend| Photographer| Blogger| |TV-Junkie|Photoshop-Beginner|Art-Lover|Cologne-based|Outlander-addict |Sherlockian |TWD-devoted


  1. Patricia Crocker
    November 22

    Once again, so enjoy your posts!

    • Heike Ginger Ba
      November 22

      Thank you so very much Patri­cia…

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