Confessions in the Thieves Hole

Pictures from Outlander

The whole Scene

Colum has a few small things that you haven’t, so far as I can see. Such as a sen­se of com­pas­si­on.”
“Ah, yes. ‘Bowels of mer­cy and com­pas­si­on,’ is it?” She spo­ke iro­ni­cal­ly. “Much good it may do him. Death sits on his shoul­der; ye can see it with half an eye. The man may live two years past Hog­ma­nay; not much lon­ger than that.”
“And how much lon­ger will you live?” I asked.
The iro­ny tur­ned inward, but the sil­ver voice stay­ed ste­ady.
“A bit less than that, I expect. No gre­at mat­ter. I’ve mana­ged a good deal in the time I had; ten thousand pounds diver­ted to Fran­ce, and the dis­trict rou­sed for Prince Charles. Come the Rising, I shall know I hel­ped. If I live so long.”
She stood near­ly under the hole in the roof. My eyes were suf­fi­ci­ent­ly accusto­med to the darkness that she show­ed as a pale shape in the murk, a pre­ma­tu­re and unlaid ghost. She tur­ned abrupt­ly toward me.
“Wha­te­ver hap­pens with the exami­ners, I have no reg­rets, Clai­re.”
“I reg­ret only that I have but one life to give for my coun­try?” I asked iro­ni­cal­ly.
“That’s nice­ly put,” she said.
“Isn’t it, just?”
We fell silent as it grew dar­ker. The black of the hole see­med a tan­gi­ble force, pres­sing cold and hea­vy on my chest, clog­ging my lungs with the scent of death. At last I hudd­led into as clo­se a ball as I could, put my head on my knees, and gave up the fight, lap­sing into an unea­sy doze on the edge bet­ween cold and panic.
“Do ye love the man, then?” Gei­lie asked sud­den­ly.
I rai­sed my head from my knees, start­led. I had no idea what time it was; one faint star sho­ne over­head, but shed no light into the hole.
“Who, Jamie?”
“Who else?” she said dry­ly. “It’s his name ye call out in your sleep.”
“I didn’t know I did that.”
“Well, do ye?” The cold encou­ra­ged a sort of dead­ly drow­si­ness, but Geilie’s prod­ding voice drag­ged me a bit fur­t­her out of my stu­por.
I hug­ged my knees, rocking slight­ly back and forth. The light from the hole above had faded away to the soft dark of ear­ly night. The exami­ners would arri­ve wit­hin the next day or so. It was get­ting a bit late for pre­va­ri­ca­ti­ons, eit­her to mys­elf or anyo­ne else. While I still found it dif­fi­cult to admit that I might be in serious dan­ger of death, I was begin­ning to under­stand the instinct that made con­dem­ned pri­son­ers seek shri­ving on the eve of exe­cu­ti­on.
“Real­ly love him, I mean,” Gei­lie per­sisted. “Not just want to bed him; I know you want that, and he does too. They all do. But do you love him?”
Did I love him? Bey­ond the urges of the flesh? The hole had the dark anony­mi­ty of the con­fes­sio­nal, and a soul on the ver­ge of death had no time for lies.
“Yes,” I said, and laid my head back on my knees.

Pictures from Outlander
It was silent in the hole for some time, and I hove­r­ed once more on the ver­ge of sleep, when I heard her speak once more, as though to herself.
“So it’s pos­si­ble,” she said thought­ful­ly.

All rights for the Pic­ture go to the right­ful owner Starz
Excerpt and Quotes by Diana Gabal­don from “Out­lan­der“
I own not­hing but the editing
Heike Ginger Ba Written by:

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