Archives

Geillis Duncan: Unraveling her web

My usual warning: This article contains spoilers from all of the Outlander series books including the novella, The Space Between! I have tried to limit all information to that which specifically pertains to Gillian Edgars or Geillis Duncan.  I have also included my own personal speculations and thoughts which may or may not be accurate. They are only my personal thoughts on direction of story, characters or still unanswered questions about events and people!

 

Previous Geillis post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/geillis-duncan-the-witch-within-comes-out/

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You may have noticed that I have chosen not to sit down with Geillis/Gillian and do this interview on a one to one basis as I did with Frank Randall… Can you really blame me?  I am sorry but I  could not bring myself to sit down with the woman, even though I’ve heard that she can be perfectly charming and quite friendly.  I just did not feel comfortable with the idea and the possibility that she might perceive my inquiries as some sort of threat. As we’ve noted previously, she does not kill or curse indiscriminately and if she feels you pose no potential threat to her agenda, she most likely would not bother with you. But, if she felt for some reason that I might present her in a bad light…really, what other light is there to present her in? Anyway, if she felt that my interview or questions would cast any doubt or suspicion upon her, I am reasonably sure that she would have no qualms about harming me!

lottie verbeek

So, because of this I have decided instead, to continue on my investigation of her from a distance! It has taken a great deal of  detective work to trace her activities and her trail but I believe I have finally managed to piece together her travels, her various victims and her ultimate demise. In previous posts, we’ve mentioned some of her early travel and arrival into the past briefly. In this post, we will examine that again as part of documenting her trail, her behaviors and the unfortunate results of her actions. 

Geillis has been referred to by some as a Black Widow… as in the spider that kills her mates- The prevalence of sexual cannibalism, a behaviour in which the female eats the male after mating, in some species of Latrodectus has inspired the common name  “widow spiders”.   Research at the University of Hamburg  in Germany suggests this ultimate sacrifice strategy has evolved to promote the survival odds of the offspring; however females of some species only rarely show this behavior, and much of the documented evidence for mate cannibalism has been observed in laboratory cages where the males could not escape. I have to conclude after my thorough investigation of Geillis, that she would indeed fall into that rare category of one who kills their mates!

Geillis black widow

Let’s start back at the beginning again as a bit of a refresher? We know that she went through the Standing Stones at crag na dun at Beltaine in 1968. She was observed setting her husband, Greg Edgars, on fire and going through the Stones by Claire, Bree and Roger.

standing stonesgillian goes through the stones

She arrived some time shortly before 1739, and the first trace of her we find is her arrival in the rural area outside of Cranesmuir, where she was presumably already married to a man by the name of Isbister? She went by the name of Geillis Isbister.  Her husband quickly and suspiciously died around Samhain of  1739, shortly before Roger and his ancestor relative Buck arrived in the area. They were staying with the MacClaren family at the time and Mr. MacClaren told them the story of how this odd couple had shown up and taken residence in a remote croft on the hill. She was a healer and people did go to her. For some reason though, women stopped going to her and her clientele was only men? After Samhain, her husband’s body was found hanging near the burned out croft and Geillis had disappeared. Naturally, the neighbors were suspicious of some evil there? It was at this time that one Dougal MacKenzie showed up at the MacClaren residence during his quarterly rent collection. He was told of the event at the croft and the mysterious disappearance of the woman? Dougal assured the MacClarens that he would look into the situation. He was gracious and thoughtful enough to provide Buck and Roger with horses to continue their search for Jem.

 

38ea6309de30d6c3e54f890e1f7d28b5

Roger’s thoughts on meeting his ancestor, Dougal MacKenzie in My Own Heart’s Blood.

Roger and Buck meet Dougal2 moby

During this time Buck was very ill and a healer was sent to tend to him. This healer was another time traveler by the name of  Hectar McKewan, it was discovered, knew Geillis Isbister quite well!  He took Roger and Buck to Cranesmuir to find her. There was some discussion between Roger and McKewan about the time traveling and Geillis being one of them. Well, certainly she was a time traveler but McKewan stated that she was not the same as him. Yes, she was a an exceptional healer, but she could not heal in the way that he could with the blue aura and such?

McEwan talks of Geillis being one of us2

 

Now, some important things to note here: Geillis obviously moves very quickly to replace her dead husbands…probably having the next ones lined up ahead of time?  She seemed to find Mr. Isbister quickly after arriving in that time, and must have immediately moved on to Arthur Duncan because she was already married to him by the time that Roger and Buck found her in Cranesmuir. 

Outlander-103-Exclusive-Lotte-Verbeek-as-Geillis-Duncan-and-John-Sessions-as-Arthur-Duncan-

Another interesting note: It has been questioned whether Geillis knew of Claire Randall before Claire showed up at Castle Leoch… The supposition has been that she did not? At least she never made any admission or acted like she did. Her only reaction was that of wondering what Claire was at the time. We have, however,  found evidence contrary to this. In going through Geillis’ extensive notes and case studies on disappearances and deaths near Stones, we found her reference to one Claire Randall.  Geillis did know of Claire’s disappearance through the Stones at Crag na dun but Claire was going by the name of Claire Beauchamp when Geillis met her so possibly she would not have been suspicious at first? But, after knowing Claire for a while, she was more curious and suspicious of her behaviors. Might she have been making her own hypothesis in her mind? She knew of the theory of time travel approximation of about 200 years, knew that Claire Randall had went through at Crag na dun in 1945, so she would have expected to maybe hear of some odd person showing up in this local area around that time… This brings us to another pondering thought? Could she have went back with some thought or assumption that she might one Claire Randall? Now, I know that is a long shot assumption with no real definitive proof to back it up but it is something to think about?

 

Geillis did know of Claire Randall disappearing

The last important thing to note here is Geillis’ strange power of attracting men to her? Hectar McKewan makes mention of how men seem to be entranced and attracted to her.

McEwan comments on men being attracted to Geillis

Her own son, Buck is oddly attracted and tempted by her even with knowing she is his Mother! And, knowing full well what she is and is capable of, both McKewan and Buck conveniently make excuses to be away one evening. This leads Bree and Roger have a rather disturbing and disgusting thought of them both going to find Geillis?

Bree reminds Roger of how Geillis husband dies

Buck had another thought about the whole situation as well. He did ponder the idea of having been responsible for his own conception?

Buck ponders what if

 

We have examined Geillis’  arrival and her early days at Cranesmuir. We already know about her meeting Claire and her eventually being accused of witchcraft.  You can refresh your memory here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/geillis-duncan-the-witch-within-comes-out/

Before we move on to her life in France, we should address an interesting and intriguing fact that connects her to France prior to Dougal’s taking her there?

On one of Claire’s visits to Geillis, she finds a book that ties Geillis directly to Witchcraft and to one other person?

Grimoire D'le  Comte St. Germain

Grimoire D’le
Comte St. Germain

Claire knows exactly what a Grimoire is and confronts Geillis on it.

geillis had grimoire of Comte St. Germaine

                                                                                              ——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Life in France

Now, we move on to what little we know of Geillis’ life in France? Details of that time are limited and sketchy at best. The details we do know of were told after the fact by both Geillis and by the Comte St. Germain. To find out more about Comte St. Gemain, and about Master Raymond, you would be well advised to read The Space Between, a novella by Diana Gabaldon.

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/short-fiction/the-space-between/

We know that she threatened Dougal into helping her escape to France after the Witch trial. We also know that at some point while there, she had a relationship with Comte St Germain. She also mentions at a later point that she has had five husbands? We know of Edgars,  Arthur Duncan, and her last one- Barnabus Abarnathy. That would make three- we can not be sure whether that first man was actually her husband- so I suppose we should leave him out of the count for the time being. None the less, that would leave at two husbands who met their untimely demise at her hands, presumably in France?

Our questions concerning her time in France revolve around how much Dougal might have actually knew about  her acquaintances and her activities,  her relationship with St. Germain and when it started, and what on going  involvement she may have had with events surrounding Culloden and afterwards?

When Dougal meets Claire in Paris, he knows of the Comte St Germain and his questionable activities… he insists that he’s heard about the man in local taverns? Given his involvement with Geillis, I find that story a bit lame even for Dougal! Geillis explains to Claire when they meet later that she took the name of Melisande Robicheaux and kept it because Dougal had given it to her and she was fond of it!  Claire mentions knowing of Melisande Robicheaux and her somewhat iffy reputation but makes no reference to St. Germain…  Apparently, she had forgotten about seeing his Grimoire in Geillis’ possession all those years before? But, to Claire’s credit, she did have a lot other pressing things on her mind at the time!

geillis recalls melisande

  For me, the nagging question now is when did he give her this name? She had been siphoning off Arthur’s money for some time to put towards the cause… What else might she have been doing to aid the cause?  The fact that she was in possession of Comte St. Germain’s Grimoire before ever going to France leads us to assume that she did know of him, had some contact with him prior to France? So, her decision to escape to France apparently was for more than one reason.   She must have had some reason or plan for choosing France as her destination.

This brings us to Comte St. Germain’s recollections of his involvement with one Melisande Robicheaux. In 1779, he is Paris on some other mission and remembering his relationship with Melisande.

Comte St Germain mentions Melisande and Master Raymond

He also speaks of a physical relationship with Melisande and was suddenly panic sticken, slightly revolted then relieved that he had not  had sex with his own daughter? Another thought did come to him, that possibly he did have sex with his grand daughter?

Germain relieved that he has not had incest with his daughter

As he recalls his relationship with Geillis, it becomes clear that she knew much more about witchcraft and other things than he did? That would lead us to ponder the thought that he was just as much caught in her web and under her control as other men were!   St. Germain really knew little about witchcraft, or about what they were?  It seemed that he relied on Melisande for his information so it seems strange that he would have had a Grimoire which she would relied on for any real or useful information? In fact, after his experience with Master Raymond in the Star room, it was Melisande who later sent him a package of  powder which she thought Master Raymond may have used?  In the attached note, she mentioned the Frog (Master Raymond) so it could be possible that she was acquainted with him or at least knew of him? It becomes apparent later that neither Geillis or St. Germain were aware of what they might really be, they just assume themselves to be some sort of Witches.

Melisande sent Germain Afile powder from Rose Hall Jamaica

In another reference to Melisande and the West Indies, St Germain’s associate, Fabienne tells of her snake leopold and west indies

python revered by voodooists

We know little else about her time in France or what else she might have been doing during that time. All we know is that some time after Culloden, she made her way to the West Indies and took up residence on the Island of Jamaica at Rose Hall.

Geillis mentions Culloden

Witch of Rose Hallhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Witch_of_Rose_Hall

White Witch of Rose Hall- Coven

It was at Rose Hall that her truest reign of terror began and ended.  You might say that Geillis had finally found her niche in the world as a Witch and possible Voodoo practitioner?  She also dealt in some Piracy, kidnapping of young boys and any number of other activities that we have no idea about and probably do not want to know? Her last husband Barnabas Abernathy died of mysterious circumstances, thereby leaving her in control of the plantation and the slaves there. She took full advantage of all it and immersed herself in continuing her “research” of  various forms of Witchcraft. By this time, she was delving deeply into the darker aspects of it such as some of the African dark magic practices and Voodoo… And, if all of that were not enough, she spent the remainder of her spare time researching such things as the Brahan Prophecy and the lineage of the Fraser Clan!

Jamie and Claire find her residing there in all of her “Glory” in the middle of her reign of terror. Her “research” includes the use of Virgin boys? She believes that certain ones  have some sort of hidden secret stone within them, one which she deems most powerful and is need of? In all honesty, I am not really certain exactly what her plans were- at that point, she was going over the edge into her madness so I don’t think even she was quite sure! She did know she needed the stones and was not successful in finding them…so she kept kidnapping boys, torturing them and killing them in the end. Jamie’s young nephew Ian was one of these boys but, fortunately for him, he was not a virgin… so she just kept him around for her own amusement and entertainment?  When Jamie and Claire went to Rose Hall, they were shocked to see that it was Geillis who was Mrs. Abarnathy, but no less surprised than she was to see them!

 They attempt to make some casual conversation with Geillis and find out how she came to be there, while also trying determine what else she knows? She rambles on about a variety of things and tells them of how Dougal helped her escape, her time in France and eventually ending up inheriting the plantation from her poor deceased husband.  She also keeps referring to an important visitor coming so she must be ready for him? There is some added discussion, Jamie offers to help with some maintenance outside so that he can search the grounds. Claire offers to assist Geillis with some things, ends up doctoring some slaves and returns to Geillis who is rummaging through papers and a box of stones. Claire realizes that the box of Stones is the Silkie treasure while Geillis goes on a long rambling discussion of  the Stone Circles and Gems Stones.

Geillis talks of stones and witchcraft

It is during this discussion that Geillis questions Claire and wants to know what they are?

geillis asks claire what are we

In Geillis’ discussion of the Stones, she mentions their properties and how the male stones are stronger. 

Male & Female Energy Crystals

The following stones are said to vibrate with male, also known as projective, energy, and are magickally appropriate for spells and rituals that repel, as well as for workings that involve God energy, males and masculinity, virility, power, success, exorcism, protection, and things of a physical or intellectual nature:

Agate (banded, black, brown or red), amber, Apache tear, aventurine, bloodstone, calcite (orange), carnelian, cat’s eye, citrine, diamond, flint, fluorite, garnet, hematite, jasper (mottled or red), lava rock, mica, obsidian, onyx, opal (black or fire), pipestone, pumice, quartz crystal ( rutilated or tourmalated), rhodochrosite, rhodonite, ruby, sard, sardonyx, serpentine, sphene, spinel, sunstone, tigers eye, topaz, tourmaline (red), and zircon.

The following gemstones are said to vibrate with female, also known as receptive, energy. They are magickally appeopriate for spells and rituals that attract, as well as for workings that involve Goddess energy, females and femininity, fertility, growth, nurturing, and things of an emotional, spiritual, or psychic nature:

Agate (blue lace, green or moss), amethyst, aquamarine, azurite, beryl, calcite (blue, green or pink), celestite, chalcedony, chrysocolla, chrysophase, coral, emerald, jade, jasper (brown or green), jet, kunzite, lapis lazuli, malachite,  marble, moonstone, mother-of-pearl, olivine, opal, pearl, peridot, quartz crystal (blue, green, rose or smoky), sapphire, selenite, sodalite, sugilite, tourmaline (black, blue, green or pink), and turquoise.

crystal%20chart

white-witch-of-rose-hall 1309072024004187-jamaica-witchcraft-part-11

By the end of their discussion, Claire is realizing how far gone Geillis is and she anxiously waits for Jamie to come back in so they can get the Hell out of there! They’re quite sure that Ian is probably there somewhere but there is too much going on to search for him right then? And, besides, Geillis has some very big, very dangerous slaves completely under her control… as in zombie like due to some drug she has been giving them? Yes, she is truly embracing the Dark Arts and the Voodoo realms… what she does not quite realize though is that her slaves have their own plans? What ensues later is the discovery of the other dead boys, but no Ian? 

Later on, while waiting for Jamie, Claire as usual can not stay put as told… and returns to the house. She finds the plantation deserted, Geillis long gone and the Reverend Archie Cambell waiting at the house for his meeting with Geillis? It turned out that the Reverend was doing some research on the Fraser genealogy for Geillis in relation to the Brahan Prophecy…

Geillis and the Brahan prophecy

At some point during the discussion, matters deteriorated into another murder, one that Geillis had nothing to do with! In the aftermath, Claire decided to take one last look in Geillis’ work room and found a startling sight along with odd notes … a pentacle drawn on the table, stones around it, an a picture of Bree inside the Pentacle. Horrified, she realized what Geillis was planning to do!  She eventually gets back to Jamie and they head off to search for where Geillis might have went to accomplish this time travel?

Grimoire16

stone circles on Jamaica

They found nothing at the ancient circle but did end up finding a cave nearby?

suswa-cave-entrance

Claire is drawn to the cave and they head into the darkness of it where Claire can feel the Cave and can feel Geillis?

Claire feels the cave

dark cave3

They stumble their way deeper into the cavern and do eventually find Geillis and young Ian. Geillis has him tied up and plans to use him as her blood and fire sacrifice to get through the Stones to Bree?

Geillis in the cave1

There is  confusion and chaos, a battle for their lives and when Jamie is injured, Claire snaps. She thinks of nothing else but saving them and stopping Geillis!

Geillis meets her end

Now, one would think that should be the last of Geillis Duncan? They leave her body in the cave and eventually make their way to America, where they begin to start a new life and help young Ian recover from the trauma of Geillis that will haunt him for years to come.

                                                                                                                                  ——————————————————————————————————————————

No, unfortunately, that is not the last we see or hear of Geillis Duncan! Even in death, she reaches out to touch the Frasers and MacKenzies, while haunting them with her secrets and her mysteries. At some point in the future, she manages to show up again… or at least part of her does?

In an odd twist of fate and time paradoxes or whatever one would like to call it…Claire is visiting with her friend Joe Abarnathy before she decides to go back through the Stones in search of Jamie. During their visit, Joe receives a box and is asked to give his medical opinion on it?  The box is a box of bones?

skeleton2

 

Joe suggests that Claire give her own reading and diagnosis on the bones.

 

joe and Claire examine the bones

Claire reads the bones

bones

Claire reads the bones2

Geillis haunts the cave

Dead woman not a slave

death by beheading

Now, of course, at that time, Claire had no idea of who this skeleton might be? That connection did not come to her until years later! And, the bones of Geillis as far we know are still out there somewhere waiting to be identified because Claire remained in the past…

skeletons in the closet

Besides her bones, her notes and her Grimoire are still around as well? Those, though are mostly accounted for and were suppose to be locked away for safe keeping… Well, we know how that usually goes? Someone always seems to leave things out and naturally they fall into the wrong hands!  This would be the case with some of those notes. Before we get into that, let’s take a few moments to examine who was in possession of some those items before they came into Roger and Bree’s “safekeeping”. It’s interesting and does bring up some other thoughts on who knew what and even who might appear somewhat suspicious. At one point, everyone appeared suspicious on some level…. even the easy going and domestic housewife, Fiona!

In 1968,  Fiona is the infatuated housekeeper of Roger Wakefield. Coincidentally, she is the previous housekeeper, Mrs. Graham’s grand daughter? We all remember Mrs. Graham don’t we? The housekeeper with a secret life as a Druid Caller and Dancer…ohhh and don’t forget her sideline career as fortune teller!  Now, whatever could possibly be suspicious about them?  Fiona sets aside her infatuation and even helps Roger go through the Stones to find Bree, even goes so far as to donate her engagement ring as needed stones for Roger to carry with him.

outlander-premiere-stone-circle-dancers-starz Mrs Graham and Claire

Of course, Fiona does have a bit of explaining to do? She admits to Roger that Grannie Graham was the leader/Caller of the Dancers, and that Gillian Edgars was one of the dancers for a while? She also admits somewhat warily that now Grannie was gone, she was the leader/Caller? Hmmm one can only wonder what sort of lineage or ancestry this family has and what they could be hiding?

samhain

Fiona admits that Gillian was one of them

Fiona has something else to admit to Roger? She is in possession of Geillis’ Grimoire!

grimoire12

Fiona show Roger geillis grimoire

The grimoire is filled with Geillis’ notes, research and spells

Geillis and her grimoire drums of autumn

Geillis writes of sacrifice required

Years later when Roger and Bree return to Lallybroch in the future, Fiona is happily  married with a family… but could she still be hiding something or some involvement? Does she know something more that has put them all in danger? It’s just a lingering thought in my mind… there is the incident at her home, where Bree had taken the children thinking they would be safe there…. it’s one of those odd pieces that I keep pondering over and will remain unanswered for some time to come!

Now, on to the other notes of interest… the ones which Roger and Bree were keeping in preparation of some sort of guideline for future generations, the ones which Rob Cameron happen to get his hands on?

Did Geillis know Rob

grimoire11 grimoire2

That brings us to the last piece of puzzle in the web that Gillian Edgars/Geillis Duncan began weaving in the future, wove all through the past right back to her starting point!  She may be a box of bones now but she is certainly not gone or forgotten. Who knows what other plans she set in motion both in her present time before leaving, and in the past?  As far as we can tell so far, her plans included some probable involvement with Rob Cameron, who could be the key to carrying out whatever instructions she might have left him?  Her mysteries include her ancestry, her connection to Comte St Germain and missing years unaccounted for in France, her interest and possible involvement in the research at Orkney Island… and that leaves us with the mystery of her connection to Master Raymond?

This concludes our in depth investigation of one Geillis Duncan. I believe that we have covered every possible connection and thread that she left throughout time. Any remaining questions on her will have to wait until a much later date when more information on the infamous Witch known as Geillis Duncan becomes available!

Frank Randall The Final Chapter

previous post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-2/

Just a reminder, this does contain many spoilers for all of the books right up to Written in My Own Heart’s Blood!

Okay, Frank and I both had far too much Whiskey last night and the discussion got rather more personal than was intended! We decided that perhaps it might be better to continue it at some other time? We’re both suffering  from a bit of a headache this morning!

Frank with a headache

Maybe some fresh air would do us some good? I casually suggest this to Frank, adding that I would love a tour of  the area being that I am not from around here. Frank agrees, not seeing what the harm could be in a drive through the countryside.

Of course, being the workaholic that he is and ever the well prepared and proper Englishman, he brings along his notes and his hat!

Frank on the way to crag na dun

Outlander 2014

And, we’re off  on a lovely outing to spend the day wandering the sights of  Frank’s Scotland… Yes, he does assume that this is just a spur of the moment idea of mine. Little does he realize that I recovered fully from my over indulgence of the previous night, and am now determined to keep this fact seeking mission under my control!  I woke up early and set myself a clear agenda of what I must find out today, whether Frank cooperates is of  course an entirely different matter? Hopefully though, we can get through this and come out with more information than his usual non-committed evasive answers.

 

We start the day with an early morning stop to enjoy the water side view and get some strong coffee. Frank looks and acts like he may be in dire need of it before heading out on the road with me! I try to keep the conversation light and avoid any mention of my true intentions for this trip. He is quite polite and thoughtful as he inquires as to what I might like to see?  Perhaps as long as we’re in the city already, he suggests that I might like a tour of some of the museums or such?  Well, yes I guess that might be interesting but could he give me more of a personalized tour based on his expertise and background as a History Professor? I’ve heard that his lectures were always quite interesting and often contained items and ideas of the personal history that helps us all to relate more to the past…

tobias frank

Frank is as most times, well guarded and cautious, wondering what I am referring to?

tobias frank6

“Ohhhh I’ve just heard how you manage to bring history to such life with your lectures on the more common items of use and décor from the past?”  I  watch his face for clues as I mention a lecture where he presented some objects from his personal collection… a bottle of perfume, and small miniatures that so closely resembled Claire.

Guerlain Bleue, Frank's favorite scent and one that Claire often wore

Guerlain Bleue, Frank’s favorite scent and one that Claire often wore http://perfumesmellinthings.blogspot.com/2014/05/coup-de-foudre-guerlains-lheure-bleue.html

          

L’Heure Bleue / L’Heure Bleu – the perfume Claire was using to smooth down her hair the night Frank saw the ghost staring at her in her window.  Claire notes it is Frank’s favourite.  L’Heure Bleue is an actual perfume by Guerlain. It is spelt without an ‘e’ at the end of ‘bleu’ in Outlander which is incorrect both in terms of French grammar and as a misspelling of the actual perfume. (Outlander, chapter 1). In the dream that Claire has of Frank giving a lecture, Frank again states that L’Heure Bleu is  his favourite perfume (DIA, chapter 10)

“A Lady,” he said softly, cradling the last of the portraits in his palm, shielding it for the moment. “With brown hair curling luxuriantly to her shoulders, and a necklace of pearls. Undated. The artist unknown.”

 It was a mirror, not a miniature.  My cheeks were flushed, and my lips trembled as Frank’s finger gently traced the edge of my jaw, the graceful line of my neck.  The tears welled in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks as I heard his voice, still lecturing, as he laid down the miniature, and I stared upward at the timbered ceiling.

 “Undated. Unknown. But once…once, she was real.”

 (DRAGONFLY Chapter 10, “A Lady, With Brown Hair Curling Luxuriantly”, p. 152 in the hardcover)

 

miniature of woman

Credit and thanks to Outlandish Observations for the imagery and the information! http://outlandishobservations.blogspot.com/2012/08/repost-dragonfly-imagery.html

frank's lecture3

Frank gives away nothing but remains thoughtful as he ponders my comments. “So, what you’re saying is you would prefer to see my personal history collection than that of the generic museum pieces? Unfortunately, I do not have the collection available right now, otherwise I would be more than happy to oblige you on that!”

tobias frank3

Ohhhhh smooth, Frank, very smooth on that evasion! Well, Let’s forgo the museums, shall we, and just head out to the country! Frank laughs and points to the car, “Well, let us just do that then, I am sure that you have some particular spot in mind? I can see that you are quite as devious and determined in your thoughts as even I might be and it’s obvious that you have not given up on your goal!”

As we drive out to the more rural area and enjoy the beautiful scenery, Frank asks a bit warily where I would like to go first? He is resigned to the fact that I do have an agenda which includes grilling him on any number of rather touchy subjects. So, when I glance over at him and respond with my destination, he just nods his head and sighs. “I thought perhaps we could head up to an ancient kirk I’ve heard much about, you might know of it? St. Kilda’s kirk, I believe it’s called?”

He softly answers while driving through the winding roads, “Yes, I am well acquainted with the place as I know you are well aware of, so no need to play games about it.” As he drives one handed, easily managing the country roads, I look over and notice that the wedding ring on his finger. I can not help but feel some compassion for this man who has been accused and suspected of so much… yes, even by me, but in reality has done little to warrant those harsh thoughts other than be the man of a time he was born to? In fact, he has done far more positives than many men of his time would have done.  He accepted a wife’s return from the grave and another man’s arms, tried to make a life together with her and the daughter that he came to love as his own, did his utmost to protect them both from what ever secrets the past and the future might use to destroy them… all the while knowing full well that his wife did not truly love him as she loved someone else. He spent countless year of marriage competing with that ghost from the past. Knowing from personal experience, I can relate well to the fact that it is almost impossible to compete with a dead loved one. I close my eyes during the drive and think my own silent thoughts on how he must feel in this situation. I have been in a similar situation to both Claire and Frank, and can feel the pains of both their hearts. That, however does not dissuade me from this mission of wanting to know more. I can not let it interfere with today’s journey!

frank's wedding ring

We ride on in silence for a time, each of us lost in our own thoughts.  I quiet my mind by looking out at the views. The past come alive as we drive and I see the landscape surrounding me.

Scottish-Countryside4 Scottish-Countryside2 scottish farm house3 scottish countryside3 scottish countryside

Frank turns off on to a side road, then explains that we will have a bit of hiking to get to the old kirk.

road to logie kirk logie kirk path

(Excerpts from Dragonfly in Amber in which St Kilda’s kirk is described)

St kilda kirk1 st kilda2 st kilda3

I assure Frank that I’m fine with a hike, in fact I’m looking forward to it. I am excited to see this ancient old kirk with it’s important history!

*Please note that St. Kilda’s Kirk as mentioned in the books is a fictional creation of Diana Gabaldon’s. For our representation here, I am using Logie Kirk located outside of Stirlingshire.

http://www.instirling.com/walks/logmap.htm

http://www.visitscotland.com/en-us/info/see-do/logie-old-kirk-p669361

 

As we hike up the path, I take time to reassure Frank that I understand what a difficult this visit probably is for him. I want him to know that what ever else may be speculated on by others, I believe his reasons for placing the gravestone here were well intentioned.  We arrive at the site and I am overwhelmed with the view of such history in front of me. After spending a little time exploring the old kirk, we head over to the cemetery.

Logie Kirk

Logie kirk2 Logie kirk3 Logie kirk4

The walk through the cemetery is haunting, eerie and yes, a little unsettling for both of us.

logie kirk13 Old logie kirk3 logie kirk10

 

Upon finding the graves we came here in search of, we are both at a loss for speech at the moment. There is no need for words in this quiet of reflection.

Old Logie kirk2 logie kirk9

 

 

tobias frank5

Finally, he turns to me, gives me a look of determination and says stoically, “Well then, go on with your questions. What ever it is you think you need to know, I’ll try to answer as best I can.”

I sigh sadly, I am rather at a loss for words still… I truly do feel for him, my heart hurts along with his right now and I feel guilty for dredging this all up again but, will carry on as I think it’s important for him to talk about it to someone? I am quite sure that he’s never been able to talk much about it to anyone, save maybe the Reverend Wakefield? Fine then, that’s where I’ll start, with the Reverend! That seems a middle ground and safe point for the time being…

“Some of the accounts and references mention the fact that you and the Reverend Wakefield became very close friends. In fact, Roger mentioned that Reverend often brought his church group up here to maintain the grave yard and the graves.  When Claire returned and everyone thought she was delusional and possibly crazy…including you, I might add? But, you didn’t really believe she was, did you? Because you quickly and quietly asked the Reverend to research all of it and see what he could find out.  I have to wonder too, about that odd Mrs. Graham? She is the one who told you about the Stones, and she was one of those Druid Dancers…

Mrs Graham tries to tell Frank

outlander-premiere-stone-circle-dancers-starz

“When Claire disappeared, you scoffed at Mrs. Graham’s suggestion and probably thought she was a crazy old crone? But, you did have second thoughts on the idea because we know you made that trip back to the Stones. I think you already had your own suspicions even then, but couldn’t say them out loud because of course then you would look crazy as well! No one has ever made mention of your years while Claire was gone. That is all just coming to light now. I have to wonder, did you go back and talk to Mrs. Graham again, possibly taking her more seriously the next time? Did she happen to tell you about her visit with Claire and the reading of her fortune?

Mrs Graham and Claire

“It just seems to me that maybe during those years while she was gone, you did do a lot more research in secret and knew far more than you could say or admit when she returned? I really wonder now how much all of you knew? You, the Reverend, and Mrs. Graham, how many secrets did you keep to protect those you all cared about?”

Frank and Reverend Wakefield Frank and Reverend Wakefield2

 

Frank doesn’t answer me right away, just sits there with head in hands. After a time he responds quietly, “Yes, we kept secrets to protect those we cared about. Is that so wrong?”

I nod my head and sigh, “No, we all keep secrets whether we admit it or not, whether small or large, to protect those others, or to avoid hurting them in some way. I understand that Frank, and I certainly don’t judge you for them. I would imagine that when you discovered some of your information, you realized just how much more there was going on and what a danger there was to your family. I also do understand that you can’t share all of it even now, the danger still exists, doesn’t it, for those you care so much about?”

Frank nods in agreement, “I did my best to prepare them for it, but I couldn’t come right out and tell them everything, could I? Who would have believed me… I don’t think even Claire would have believed me then, she would have assumed I was even crazier than people assumed she was! No, the key to keeping everyone as safe as possible was, I believed, to prepare them but not let them know? I thought it was one of those situations where the less one knows, the safer one is?” He shrugged in frustration, “Maybe I was wrong… but, as I said, I did what I felt was right at the time and I stand by my decision.”

I feel I have to ask him another question about secrets and mysteries while we’re on that subject. “Frank, do any of these secrets that you felt you had to keep have to do with the Fraser prophecy and the Brahan Seer? As a historian, I’m sure you know about the myths and legends of the Brahan Seer, so what I am asking is, do you believe in any of it and how much do you know about it?” I pause a moment and watch his face turn grim.

We know that Bree eventually found a letter from you warning of some grave danger that she could be in. I have to think that this is all tied to that prophecy somehow?

Frank shows his frustration and comes close to losing his temper with me. “Of course it’s all tied together! Why the Bloody Hell do you think I am worried about my family? I can’t tell you any more right now because I just do not know a lot more about it but yes they are all in danger due to that Damnable Prophecy, whether I believe in it or not is irrelevant, someone believes in it and is out to harm my family because of it!”

Additional information on the Brahan Seer and his prophecies, along with more discussion on Fraser Prophecy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahan_Seer

http://outlanderbookclub.freeforums.org/ol-series-fraser-prophecy-t896.html

 

 

 

Some time later we walk back through the grave yard, stopping at the grave of  Jonathon Wolverton Randall. Both of us stare down at it and shake with some invisible chill still hanging in the air. “After all of your research on him, do you know how or why he came to be here in this cemetery?” I ask and then add, “And, why on Earth would you think it appropriate to place the stone for Jamie and Claire here in the same place? Excuse me if I sound a little harsh, but really, don’t you think that was more than a little cruel to do to Claire? I mean, I could understand your frustration and even some resentment with her but if you wanted to get back at her in some way, I just think this was carrying a grudge way too far!”

Frank at the Stones

Frank’s reaction is one of  long lingering frustration and pain, “First of all, I have no idea how or why he ended up here! Second, excuse my language but in the words of my wife…Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! If the woman had chosen to tell me all of the disgusting and gory details rather than keep silent in her attempt to forget the whole thing and go on with her life, Do you honestly think I would have put it here? Damn it all to Hell, I am not a Bloody Time Traveler. Even in my extensive research, I can only find what is actually written down about people.” Frank is angry now and begins to voice his long held frustration over much of the situation. “All I ever knew of the man was that he was a well respected British officer who died doing his duty to his Country .  Culloden was indeed a tragic event for the Scottish people, but one can not forget that many of those British Soldiers were only carrying out orders in time of war? I could only assume that this ancestor of mine was doing that since I was not privy to those most important details like Claire was!” 

frank3

Frank goes on and admits grudgingly, “Yes, I was angry with Claire, I resented that love and that life she had with her Jamie… But, do you know what I was most resentful and bitter about? It wasn’t even about her and Jamie… it was that I felt like the gift of  Time Travel was rather wasted on her? She never did care much about the importance or the details of History, never really understood the great gift she held in her soul, to be able to travel through time, experience and witness all of it? When she returned, she just wanted to forget all of it, didn’t want to be reminded of it. She was never interested in my life’s work, my passion and didn’t want to share it with me. Maybe if she had shared more of it with me, I would have shared more with her?  I know it’s all water under the bridge now, but it still hurts, the way things turned out…”

 

“Bloody Hell, Damn her for not telling me all of it… And, Damn him for constantly haunting me! Do you have any idea what it is like to discover and realize that some ancestor that you admired and held in such high esteem was in reality a cruel, sadistic and Hellish sort of Bastard? Then to wonder, even though his blood is not directly yours, whether that capability or trait runs deep within you… or God help us, in one of your family. To constantly fight a battle within yourself to maintain complete control of your emotions, for to let go in any way might signal that he does exist somewhere in you? To live with that constant fear now…” He shudders and tries to shake off the presence of Jack Randall. “I guess, perhaps Claire was right in not mentioning it to me? Now, I wonder too how she managed it herself, all of those years of knowing, of being with me and seeing some reflection of him?”

haunted at the grave

 

We walk away from the stone and breathe much easier. Soon we find ourselves back at the stone for Claire and Jamie.

logie kirk9

 

“Okay, Why… Why put it up here in an out of the way place where no one would ever see it, save you and of course… the Reverend?  Of course you did it for a reason, but people want to know, Frank? People want to know why you kept it hidden from Claire? And, from Bree… but, you knew they would find it one day, didn’t you, otherwise why put it up anywhere in the first place?”

At the mention of  daughter Bree, Frank reached out and ran a hand slowly over the Stone. “I did it for her, for Bree… Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for her and her future, what ever she decides to do with it.  Everything that each of us comes down to that. We keep our secrets, we change our lives, give up our dreams and our lives if we have to in order to give our children a life, a future. Hopefully, they will remember us fondly with love, know that we loved them beyond all else, they will remember what we’ve taught them and they will carry that with them to pass it to their children? In the end, we are the history- the past, they are the future and we do what we must to ensure that future for them.” He brushes a tear out of his eye as he continues. “All of our lives and our stories are connected, woven into each other’s, the past, the present and the unknown future. Our children, whether they be of our blood or our heart keep us connected for better or for worse… I would hope that it would always be for the better, but that does not always happen. In our case, despite all of our differences and our resentments of each other, despite the secrets we kept, we all did what we thought was best for Bree? Jamie gave her and Claire up to ensure that safety and future for them, Claire gave up Jamie for the same reason… and what did I give up? My loss of a devoted and “happy” wife who would love me as much as she loved that other person seems quite insignificant when compared to what they gave up?  I gained the most of the situation. I received the greatest gift of all, a child whom I loved with all of my heart, whom I never wanted to see hurt in any way. I would lay down my life to protect her and keep her from harm, but as every parent knows, you can not protect them from life completely?  I knew that one day, Bree would search for answers, I hoped her path would lead her here and she would see this. Claire and I agreed, whether it’s right or wrong is really not up for debate… we agreed to keep the secret, thinking it was best at the time for Bree. I think we knew in our hearts that she deserved the truth and this was my way of starting that process. I knew that Claire would one day go back to her ghost that has haunted us from the beginning.”

the highland ghost frank-in-rain-by-kath-powell

 

“That ghost of James Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser has been with me since the first night I saw him! I know that he is not going away until he is sure that his family is safe, his honor and his legacy is shared? Claire is a part of that, as is Bree and her children… For what ever reasons, I am a part of it as well? It  was and is my destiny to protect them into the future… I owe him an unending gratitude for the gift of Bree.

 

Frank’s  heart wrenching cry this time was not for his long lost wife, but for his daughter and all of the pain that he could not protect her from? “It started here in the Highlands for all of us, the hurts, the haunts, the ghosts and the  Demons within… but where will  it end?”

Frank yelling more

Claire and Culloden

Photo credit to Daniela Lippke via twitter!

 

 

I gently lead Frank away from all of it.  “Frank, for you, it has all ended… You have done your part, what you needed to do, and whether it was right or wrong is not for any of us to judge? You need to go on and rest at ease with the fact that while Claire might not have loved you the way you loved her, she did love you? And, Bree will always love you, carry your memory and heart within her, and she knows that you loved her. That is all anyone can wish for upon their passing, the knowledge that they were loved and they made a difference in someone’s life. All of the rest is of no consequence in the end!

frank-leaving-the-stones2

Excerpt from Fiery Cross in which Bree thinks of Frank

Frank in Fiery Cross pg 209

frank's letter in Fiery Cross

 

As we walk away together into the mists, I touch his hand and smile, “If it’s any consolation, Frank, I didn’t bother with another  rather minor little detail that people seem so insistent on debating and bickering over?”

Frank in the mist

He gives me a half hearted pondering look and asks, “Ohhh and what would that be?”

“Ahhhh, that would be that age old question of whether you cheated on Claire? I am not going to delve into it because really, it makes little difference whether you did or not? If you want to talk about it before we leave… if it seems to be some matter on which you feel a need to clear your conscience, then by all means feel free to clear the air? I am of the personal opinion that perhaps you did but, as I said, it makes little difference. I have a document  from herself, Diana Gabaldon in which she clearly comes to your defense on this matter.  There are many, though, who dispute her theory and explanation on this subject and they insist that you treated Claire so badly as to cheat on her?  My response to that is, she did cheat on you as well didn’t she, even though she had a Priest’s atonement and absolvement for any such sin. I understand that you and she did not have a perfect relationship in your years together after her return and you may have turned elsewhere seeking some sort of physical or emotion that she couldn’t give you. I am not condoning it or approving it… that is a highly personal matter for you and Claire to work out someday? I will provide Diana’s transcript for anyone interested in her view on the situation. And, as I mentioned, if you choose to divulge anything now, it will not be held against you later!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/diana-gabaldons-defense-of-frank-randall/

 

Frank’s response… No words, no heartfelt explanation of denial or excuses…

tobias frank2 Frank admits to three

Well… I guess we’ll just leave it at that then and wonder if that means what we think it does?

 

Ahhhh and that concludes our visit with Frank Randall… if anyone should need him, he will be on that other side,  involved in what might be a rather lengthy air clearing discussion with his wife and their other spouse, James Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser otherwise known as the ghost in the night! Hopefully, they can all avoid any discussion with the spirit of Jonathon Wolverton Randall!

the highland ghost