A Breath of Snow and Ashes Quotes

Quotes by Book: Outlander | Dragonfly in Amber | Voyager | Drums of Autumn | The Fiery Cross | A Breath of Snow and Ashes | Echo in the Bone | Lord John Books

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

“I regarded him gently over my own bowl of stew. He was very large, solid, and beautifully formed. And if he was a bit battered by circumstance, that merely added to his charm.
‘You’re a very hard person to kill, I think,’ I said. ‘That’s a great comfort to me.’
He smiled, reluctant, but then reached out and lifted his glass in salute, touching it first to his own lips, then to mine.
‘We’ll drink to that, Sassenach, shall we?'”

“Now sweetheart…” Roger began.  I could have told him this was a mistake;  Frasers in a fury tended to pay no attention to honeyed words, being instead inclined to go for the throat of the nearest party unwary enough to speak to them.

Jem sighed like a punctured tire and dropped his head on Roger’s shoulder with the force of a spent cannonball.  He seemed to inflate again for a moment, but then put his thumb in his mouth and subsided into that peculiarly boneless state common to sleeping children.  His flesh seemed to melt comfortably into Roger’s own, his trust so complete that it was not necessary even to maintain the boundaries of his body — Daddy would do that.

The troubled scrutiny in his eyes wavered suddenly, like the glass of a window struck by a stone, in the split second before it shatters, and he shut his eyes. He swallowed once, and opened them again.  “Claire,” he said very softly, and the smashed and splintered fragments showed clear, sharp and jagged in his eyes.

“Still, I felt uneasy and upset. What I did mind about, I realized, were Ian and Fergus. And Jamie. The fact was, killing someone in the heat of battle is quite a different thing from executing a man, and I knew that. Did they?”

“It was 1773. And on the 18th of April, in Seventy-five… the shot heard round the world was already being loaded. The room was warm, but I shuddered convulsively. What in the name of God did I think I could shield them from? Any of them.”

“Greased lightning,” Jamie said with a drowsy air of satisfaction. He was still in bed, lying on his side to watch me dress.

“What?” I turned from my looking glass to eye him. “Who?”

“Me, I suppose. Or were ye not thunderstruck, there at the end?” He laughed, almost silently, rustling the bedclothes.”

“Oh, you’ve been talking to Bree again,” I said tolerantly. I turned back to the glass. “That particular figure of speech is a metaphor for extreme speed, not lubricated brilliance.”

“The only one who had seemed to accept the notion wholeheartedly was Malva Christie, and in her case, I thought the acceptance was due simply to her faith in me. If I told her something, she believed me; very refreshing, after years of assorted Scots looking at me with varying degrees of squiggle-eyed suspicion. ”

“I write quickly, as Mr. Higgins has other errands, but my daughter bids me send herewith a box of Matchsticks, her own Invention. She has schooled Mr. Higgins most carefully in their Use, so if he does not burst inadvertently into Flame on the way back, he will be able to demonstrate them to you.”

“The expression, though- it changed in an instant from something so guilelessly amiable as to seem almost half-witted to something you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.”

“Come out, Simms!” he echoed. “What kind of man takes shelter beneath a Scotsman’s skirt, eh?”

Jameson’s voice was loud enough that everyone heard that, and most laughed- including Jamie.

“A wise one!” Jamie shouted back, and shook the end of his plaid at Jameson. “This tartan’s sheltered many a poor lad in its time!”

“And many a lassie, too, I’ll wager!” shouted some ribald soul in the crowd.

Very fine, Jamie thought.  Not satisfied with the irony of the situation, God has now decided that he should fight to the death against the allies he had declared himself to moments earlier, in defense of an officer of the Crown he had just declared himself against.  As his son-in-law was fond of remarking – great.

“I seem to recall,” I said, “a certain abbey in France.  And a very stubborn
young man in ill health.  And his friend Murtagh – who took his clothes in order
to prevent his getting up and wandering off before he was fit.”

Silence.  I opened one eye.  He was standing stock still, the fading light from
the window striking sparks in his hair.

“Whereupon,” I said conversationally, “if memory serves, you promptly
climbed out a window and decamped.  Naked.  In the middle of winter.”

The stiff fingers of his right hand tapped twice against his lef.

“I was four-and-twenty,” he said at last, sounding gruff.  “I wasna meant to
have any sense.”

“You told Da? And he just said fine, and both of you thought it was perfectly all right to- to- lug me off into the woods for three days, without telling me what was going on? You- you-”

“High-handed, insufferable, beastly Scots,” Ian said, in such a perfect imitation of her mother’s English accent that she burst out laughing, despite her annoyance.

“Sugar in your chocolate? That’s the most decadent thing I’ve ever heard of,” he said severely. “Even worse than the arse-wiping paper, aye?” She saw the teasing glint in his eye, though, and merely snorted, nibbling the last shreds of orange yam flesh from the blackened skin.

“Someday I’ll get hold of some chocolate, Ian,” she said, discarding the limp peel and licking her fingers like a cat. “I’ll put sugar in it and feed it to you, and see what you think then!”

“It was as though the tremors of unrest jarred loose those who were not firmly attached to a place by love of land or family, and the swirling currents of dissension bore them onward, the first preliminary fragments of a slow-motion explosion that would shatter everything.”

Dear Mr. Fraser-
What in the name of God are you about? I have known you in the course of our long Acquaintance to be many Things- Intemperate and Stubborn being two of them- but have always known you for a Man of Intelligence and Honor.

“The one thing Roger had not envisioned about the making of history was the sheer amount of alcohol involved.”

“He likely was the most prominent man in Boone, if by that, MacDonald meant that the other twenty inhabitants all knew him for a drunkard and a thief.”

“I have yearned always,” he said softly, “for love given and returned, have
spent my life in the attempt to give my love to those who were not worthy of it.
Allow me this: to give my life for the sake of one who is.”

Captain Roarke, who was in fact a misbegotten son of a poxed whore, as he cheerfully admitted himself, sat down with me for a time and accepted a bottle of beer.

Who had it been? One of the Saint Theresas- Theresa of Avila? Who’d said in exasperation to God, “Well if this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder You have so few of them!”

But in the speaking of the ancient words, he found the conviction he thought he pretended- and was stricken by the thought that he did indeed go to fight for something more than the welfare of his own people.

She was clearly in a dangerous mood; he was interested to note both her father’s manner of controlled ferocity and her mother’s sharp tongue at work- the combination was both fascinating and alarming.

He had learned to live with separation and absence and with the occasional death of friends left behind. But the notion of never seeing this odd girl again caused him a most unexpected degree of grief. Almost, he thought with surprise, as though she were his own daughter.

“My pleasure will be the greater,” John  assured him. “I am exceeding fond of your daughter, her temperamental resemblances to her sire notwithstanding.”

“Oh, it can’t be!” I said- but it was. With a tremendous upheaval of snow, dirt, and charred wood, the white sow thrust her way into daylight. Fully emerged, she shook her massive shoulders, then, pink snout twitching irritably, moved purposefully off toward the wood.

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