The whole Scene:
Pale in the shadows, he saw Claire Randall’s face. Completely drained of color, she looked like a wraith against the dark branches of the yew. She stood for a moment, swaying, then sank to her knees in the grass, as though her legs would no longer support her.”Mother!” Brianna dropped to her knees beside the crouching figure, chafing one of the limp hands. “Mama, what is it? Are you faint? You should put your head between your knees. Here, why don’t you lie down?”Claire resisted the helpful proddings of her offspring, and the drooping head came upright on its slender neck once more.”I don’t want to lie down,” she gasped. “I want… oh, God. Oh, dear holy God.” Kneeling among the unmowed grass she stretched out a trembling hand to the surface of the stone. It was carved of granite, a simple slab.”Dr. Randall! Er, Claire?” Roger dropped to one knee on her other side, putting a hand under her other arm to support her. He was truly alarmed at her appearance. A fine sweat had broken out on her temples and she looked as though she might keel over at any moment. “Claire,” he said again, urgently, trying to rouse her from the staring trance she had fallen into. “What is it? Is it a name you know?” Even as he spoke, his own words were ringing in his ears. No one’s been buried here since the eighteenth century, he’d told Brianna. No one’s been buried here in two hundred years.Claire’s fingers brushed his own away, and touched the stone, caressing, as though touching flesh, gently tracing the letters, the grooves worn shallow, but still clear.”‘James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser’, ” she read aloud. “Yes, I know him.” Her hand dropped lower, brushing back the grass that grew thickly about the stone, obscuring the line of smaller letters at its base.” ‘Beloved husband of Claire,’ ” she read.”Yes, I knew him,” she said again, so softly Roger could scarcely hear her. “I’m Claire. He was my husband.” She looked up then, into the face of her daughter, white and shocked above her. “And your father,” she said.Roger and Brianna stared down at her, and the kirkyard was silent, save for the rustle of the yews above.
“No!” I said, quite crossly. “For the fifth time—no! I don’t want a drink of water. I have not got a touch of the sun. I am not faint. I am not ill. And I haven’t lost my mind, either, though I imagine that’s what you’re thinking.”Roger and Brianna exchanged glances that made it clear that that was precisely what they were thinking. They had, between them, got me out of the kirkyard and into the car. I had refused to be taken to hospital, so we had gone back to the manse. Roger had administered medicinal whisky for shock, but his eyes darted toward the telephone now as though wondering whether to dial for additional help—like a straitjacket, I supposed.”Mama.” Brianna spoke soothingly, reaching out to try to smooth the hair back from my face. “You’re upset.””Of course I’m upset!” I snapped. I took a long, quivering breath and clamped my lips tight together, until I could trust myself to speak calmly.”I am certainly upset,” I began, “but I’m not mad.” I stopped, struggling for control. This wasn’t the way I’d intended to do it. I didn’t know quite what I had intended, but not this, blurting out the truth without preparation or time to organize my own thoughts. Seeing that bloody grave had disrupted any plan I might have formed.”Damn you, Jamie Fraser!” I said, furious. “What are you doing there anyway; it’s miles from Culloden!”Brianna’s eyes were halfway out on stalks, and Roger’s hand was hovering near the telephone. I stopped abruptly and tried to get a grip on myself.Be calm, Beauchamp, I instructed myself. Breathe deeply. Once… twice… once more. Better. Now. It’s very simple; all you have to do is tell them the truth. That’s what you came to Scotland for, isn’t it?I opened my mouth, but no sound came out. I closed my mouth, and my eyes as well, hoping that my nerve would return, if I couldn’t see the two ashen faces in front of me. Just… let… me… tell… the… truth, I prayed, with no idea who I was talking to. Jamie, I thought.