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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