01x04 - The Gathering

Previously...

We were in Scotland on our second honeymoon.

I wanted it to be a dream, but I knew it wasn't.

I'd seemed to have fallen through time.

Seems that the feral cat we picked up on the road is trying to pull in her claws.

Colum's taking credit for bringing you on as healer to the Mackenzies.

I doubt he'll want to see you leave any time soon.

I sent Jamie to the stables to help old Alec with the horses.

Best place for him under the circumstances.

Dinna want him inside the walls.

Jamie needs a woman, ot a lassie.

And Laoghaire will be a lassie until she's 50.

Mistress Beauchamp was just about to tell me of her unusual upbringing.

I'm sure it's a good story.

She came back through the stones.

Aye, she did. They always do.

I must escape Castle Leoch on my own and get back to the stones as soon as possible, or die trying.

♪ Sing me a song of a lass that is gone ♪
♪ Say, could that lass be I ♪
♪ Merry of soul she sailed on a day ♪
♪ Over the sea to skye ♪
♪ Billow and bree islands and seas, ♪
♪ Mountains of rain and sun ♪
♪ All that was good, all that was fair ♪
♪ All that was me is gone ♪
♪ Sing me a song of a lass that is gone ♪
♪ Say, could that lass be I ♪
♪ Merry of soul she sailed on a day ♪
♪ Over the sea ♪
♪ To skye... ♪

[panting]

[panting]

[rifle safety cocks]

[shrieks]

[shrieks, laughs]

[laughing, panting]

Gah! Tonight we feast!

And eat like kings!

You won't make a meal of me yet!

The beast is getting away!

[thumps]

[children cheering]

Something catch your eye there, lassie?

Yes, something I'm not likely to forget in a hurry.

Mistress Claire. You've lost your fichu.

And ye lost yer hair ribbon yesterday.

So I have.

I was so concentrated on escaping you, I didn't even notice.

Are you done with yer game, Lass?

Soon.

The Mackenzie dinna say ye could waste the whole day out here.

[children groan]

Well, who says we're done yet?

There's still lots more to explore.

You were right, mistress.

This part of the woods is much better than the courtyard

or the other side of the castle.

Can I be the boar this time?

I don't see why not.

All right. To the hunt!

[roars]

Mistress Beauchamp!

We're missing the festivities.

It's nae since I was a bairn we've had a gathering at Leoch.

All right.

Shall we let these men get to their festivities?

Come on.

We can play again tomorrow.

Of course.

All right. Shall we?

The hunting game was more than a pleasant diversion.

It allowed me to reconnoiter the terrain around the castle without suspicion.

So far I had found at least two possible escape routes, and left breadcrumbs to mark my way to freedom.

[upbeat violin music]

[chuckles]

Eh?

Doubt ye've ever seen anything as braw as this where yer from, eh?

[chuckles]

No.

The victory day celebrations in London and Paris far exceeded the gathering of the Mackenzie clan in terms of sheer size, but this was something different... simple joy, unencumbered by the trauma of war or the exhaustion of its end.

The Mackenzies were simply glad to see one another.

Despite my eagerness to leave, my heart lifted whenever I walked through the encampment and a small part of me regretted my imminent escape.

I had the entire route mapped out in my head.

At night, both windows would be lighted by torch, beacons to guide me to the breaches in the sentry posts.

But I still needed to find dictions for my ever-present shadows.

[sighs]

Gentlemen, please do not look, but that woman stirring the bowl over there seems to fancy one of you.

I said don't look.

Oh, aye.

She's a pie-eater, that one.

Mm-hmm.

Well, I 'll just be settling my cock to roost in that tonight.

Not so fast.

We said everra man for himself during the gathering.

Aye, we did.

But ye ken how much I fancy a hen with a bit of meat.

Who doesn't?

I may be of some assistance.

I realize I'm a captive audience of sorts.

But I'd rather not be subjected to another one of your inane debates.

So if you please, pull sticks?

Either one?

Aye.

Right. Choose.

Ach.

[laughs]

'Tis all yer w*nk*ng gives ye that much speed of hand.

[laughs]

I'll save some pie for ye, hmm?

I now needed to tend to the other elements of my plan.

I'll need to pick a horse for the hunt tomorrow.

The lad wants a healer to go along just in case.

Ah.

Come along.

[speaking Gaelic]

Uncle Lamb had taught me to ride during the years we lived in Ireland. But that was a long time ago, and I needed to pick a gentle, easy horse.

Mistress. There's no one in need of healing here.

I was told I would be needed for the hunt tomorrow.

She'll be wanting a horse, then.

I suppose, yes, if I mean to keep up.

Most of the horses have been spoken for.

I don't want to be of any trouble.

Perhaps Mr. Mactavish can help me.

Lad's no here.

Best to leave Jamie to his own thoughts today, Lass.

I didn't know I was a bother to him.

I dinna ken if yer a bother or no.

That's for the lad to judge.

I'm just saying it's best for all concerned if young Jamie is left to his self while the gathering's on.

[soft big band music]

[horse whinnies]

'Tis Brimstone.

I'm sure she'll be all right for yer needs.

Brimstone.

Sounds ominous.

Nah.

'Tis like calling a tall man "wee."

She's no fast, but she's sweet and can go for days.

Only thing is if yer not minding her every moment, she'll turn for home first chance she gets.

I'll leave you two to get acquainted.

[horse whinnies]

There would be no turning for home, ot if I had anything to say about it.

♪ The smile in your eyes ♪
♪ Like the sun after rain ♪
♪ To mark the occasion ♪
♪ We went out to dine ♪
♪ Remember the last ♪

Brought the port ye asked for.

Christ, Geillis.

Mrs. Fitz told me I might find you down here.

Hope I'm not disturbing ye.

No, of course not. I-I was elsewhere.

Thank you.

I hope it wasn't too much trouble.

No trouble. We have plenty collecting dust.

[chuckles]

Something in port makes my husband fart like an ox.

Claire.

Are you with bairn, then?

Pardon me?

Ye've quite a stock of food here.

Are ye eating for two?

Do you think that's simply because I have a store here rather than trudging back and forth to the kitchen?

Perhaps that's why you're desperate to get to France?

An illegitimate pregnancy?

I can assure you I've never been unfaithful to my husband.

It's not unfaithful if he's dead.

Is he?

He's not alive.

So he's... dead, then.

He's dead.

And the two of you never conceived?

No. We never had children.

We tried.

Mm.

Maybe you're barren.

Well, it doesn't matter now.

See ye have trouble sleeping as well.

Valerian root. Hm.

I have trouble sleeping too.

But I don't mash my valerian like that.

I boil it whole first.

I was wondering about the proper dosage.

How much do you take?

It's not for me.

Put it in Arthur's evening tea.

Then I sleep like a newborn.

Hm.

Careful, though.

Ye have enough there to put a whole army to sleep till the next moon.

Thank you.

I'll boil it in the future.

When I first came to Cranesmuir, all I had was my wits, ye ken?

I had a fairish knowledge of the plants and their good uses.

I found a man with a respectable position.

Decent house. Some money put away.

I know he's not much to look at, as ye well ken.

But that doesn't trouble me much.

I'm free. Can do whatever I please.

You seem to have built quite the comfortable life for yourself.

Hmm.

Sometimes ye find yerself on a path you never expected.

Doesn't mean it can't lead you to a bonny place.

I'd love to stay and chat, Geillis, but I still have so much to do and prepare for the hunt.

Oh, the hunt.

That must be what yer preparing for.

Of course.

The Highlands are no place for a woman to be alone.

You'd do well to remember that.

See you later at the oath-taking?

Are ye sure?

Promise.

Careful.

Promise is a serious thing in this country.

Mine too.

Later tonight, all the fighting men of the Mackenzie clan would gather in the hall and make their oaths of allegiance to Colum.

No one would be watching the stables.

I was almost ready.

[people chattering]

Tonight would be my one and only chance to escape Leoch and return to Craigh Na Dun.

I knew how I might dodge my shadows.

I had my mount and my provisions.

Now all I lacked was a weapon, should I need it.

Claire.

Yer no wearing that to the ceremony, are ye, lass?

The ceremony?

I assumed a Sassenach wouldn't be welcome at such an important event.

Don't be silly.

Yer Colum's personal guest. Ye must attend.

I'm not dressed for the occasion.

Oh, we'll see to that straight away.

I'd hate to put you out.

[speaking Gaelic]

We'd better hurry now.

The beginning of the oath-taking is the best part.

How do I look?

Lovely.

At first I thought Mrs. Fitz's intervention would disrupt my plans, but then I realized that with her at my side as a proper escort, my shadows would be less vigilant as I moved through the castle. I needed them to relax, to let down their guard and enjoy the festivities if I was to distract them later.

Glenna.

Iona.

I see you have the place looking bright as a new pin.

Oh, that lovely dress again.

Ye wore it so well to the last gathering.

Murtagh.

[bagpipe music]

[speaking Gaelic]

[shouts in Gaelic]

[all shouting in Gaelic]

[speaking Gaelic]

The Mackenzie's welcoming the men to Leoch.

He hopes they had easy journeys.

Shh.

Also hopes that never a day will come when the clan's fighting men will have to draw iron, but if they do...

All: Aye!

He couldn't hope for a better lot than stands before him today to defend the clan's honor.

It is a right daft soul that would challenge the Mackenzies, weapons or no.

And he's proud to be called their Laird.

I swear, by the cross of our lord Jesus Christ, and by the holy iron that I hold, to give ye my fealty and to pledge ye my loyalty

to the name of clan Mackenzie.

And if ever I shall raise my hand against ye in rebellion, I ask that this holy iron shall pierce my heart.

[plays bagpipe]

[people chattering]

I swear by the cross of our lord Jesus Christ, and by the holy iron that I hold, to give ye my fealty and pledge ye my loyalty.

Are they all the same, the oaths?

Aye.

Oh, well.

If you've seen one, then.

[applause]

[laughs, speaking Gaelic]

[laughs]

Congratulations.

Interesting ceremony.

But I've seen enough. Shall we go?

No. Whoa. Where are we going?

Back to the surgery.

I have to prepare the supplies for the hunt tomorrow.

Dedicated, are ye, ow?

Well, I dinna ken how ye celebrate in Oxfordshire, or wherever it is ye cry home, but I'm not missing the gathering, biding with ye down in yer hole.

Suit yourself, but I'm going.

Well, Dougal's standing orders are to stay with ye.

Mistress.

Can ye see fit to stay?

At least until I bag a lass for the evening?

[applause]

Fine.

[sighs]

If I must.

May as well join in.

[laughs]

Now, that's more in the spirit.

Hm?

Eh...

That's not rhenish.

Mm. It's port.

Very expensive.

Port.

[both chuckle]

'Tis very strong.

[chuckles]

'Tis.

[chuckles]

I canna seem to keep my legs.

It's a sedative.

Is that Spanish?

Go. Don't let me keep you.

Some lucky lady awaits.

Take the wine. Share it with I your friends.

[gargles]

[chuckles]

The more unconscious clansmen tonight, the better.

Ooh! Ye rascals! I'll have yer hand!

[bagpipe music]

[gasps]

Laoghaire, you startled me.

I'm sorry, mistress Beauchamp.

It's Claire.

Aye.

Is there something I can do to help you?

Oh, aye, um...

If... if I can trouble ye for a wee favor?

You're not injured, are you?

No, o, I'm braw.

Um... well, I was wondering if... you had a potion that might open a lad's heart to a lassie.

I'm not sure I know what you mean.

Ye ken, a potion, or maybe a brew of some kind that would help a lad...

A love potion?

Oh, o, I dinna mean to offend ye, mistress.

I just had it in mind that, well, ye aid so many with your healing that maybe ye have something in yer keen knowledge that could help a lass hold a lad's attention.

Mr. Mactavish?

Well, you didn't appear to need much assistance the last time I saw you two together.

Well, o for that.

It's for moving his heart forward.

Wait there.


Dried horse dung.

Harmless if a bit pungent.

Jamie would never know the difference.

Perfect.

Here.

Sprinkle the contents of this at his threshold.

Stand outside the door, tap your heels together three times, and recite, "there's no place like love, there's no place like love."

Thanks to ye...

Claire.

Good luck.

Past the storeroom on the right. Avoid the kitchen. Through the east wing, then make for the north stairs.

[men speaking Gaelic]

[whimpers]

[groans]

What the devil?

[men speaking Gaelic]

Thank you.

I should go. I shouldn't be here.

Aye.

Ye shouldna be here.

But since ye are, there's a penalty to pay for that.

[moaning]

[gasps]

Get ye gone, lass. Before ye pay a greater price.

I had to focus and forget about the incident with Dougal.

Fifteen paces towards the well. Keep to the northwest to avoid the sentry, who usually faces south.

[giggling]

Brimstone is on the right, fourth stall from the doorway.

[groans]

Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.

No, Sassenach. Jes me.

How far did ye think ye'd get, lass, on a dark night with a strange horse, with half the Mackenzie clan after ye by morning?

Won't be after me.

They're all up at the hall.

And if one in five of them is sober enough to stand in the morning, let alone ride a horse, then I 'll be most surprised.

Running away on a whim just because the men are drunk?

On a whim?

You know I've wanted to leave here for weeks.

And I know exactly how many sentry posts surround the castle.

And I know how to make my way through the forest and find the road back to Inverness.

Well, that's a very sound plan, Sassenach.

Or would be, did Colum not post extra guards through the woods tonight.

He'd hardly leave the castle undefended, and the fighting men of the clan inside it.

I'm going anyway.

The best trackers in the clan are here.

They'll catch ye.

Colum will not be calling ye a guest after that.

I don't care.

I need to leave this place.

As you so plainly stated,

I'm an outlander, just a Sassenach.

If I offended ye, I'm sorry, Claire.

I know you didn't mean it like that.

It's just... I've been planning this escape for sometime, and to have all my hopes shot to hell just in a moment, It's...

Come along.

I'll take you back up to the castle.

I don't think that's a very good idea.

I had an encounter with some drunken clansmen in the corridor.

They dinna touch ye now?

I can't go back.

Dougal and I were in the corridor near the kitchen and... he was being forward with me, and I may have walloped him over the head with a chair or something, and I think he's unconscious.

Was he drunk?

Very.

[laughs]

Well... I doubt verra much he'll remember that.

And even if he does, I doubt he'll be in a rush to bruit that a lass got the better of him.

Knocked him out cold, huh?

I didn't exactly stick arod to examine him.

[chuckles]

Well, I hope ye left a good mark so he remembers his error in judgment.

'Tis fine, Sassenach.

Come.

This isn't the way back in. Where are we going?

There's an opening to a hidden tunnel.

Found it playing as a bairn.

Here, careful.

Brings us out under the cellar.

Thank you.

For seeing me back safely.

No, lass, it's me that should be thanking you for all yer healing of my scratches.

[muffled scream]

[speaking Gaelic]

God's eyes.

If it's not the young lad, Colum's nephew.

Come late to the oath-taking, are ye not?

Ye don't want to miss your turn in front of himself.

Na, let me go and change first at the cottage.

I'm not decent going to the oath-taking like this.

Don't worry yourself about that, laddie.

We will outfit you proper inside.

Can I keep the lassie for myself?

Let the lady go!

Are ye all right?

Watch out!

Ye dinna have to hit me so hard.

I was willing to come.

Aye, but I dinna want ye maiming half the clan while ye were mang up yer mind.

Got the rest of yer clothes, Jamie.

[speaking Gaelic]

Well, that should be suitable for the Laird's nephew.

You'll be needing this.

"Luceo non uro."

"I shine, ot burn."

Aye, the Mackenzie motto.

[speaking Gaelic]

[laughter]

I'm sorry.

Didn't mean for you to have to stand up for me.

Don't fuss yourself on my account.

How's your head?

Fine.

My sister Jenny says it's harder than an iron pot.

[sighs]

I canna wear this.

I'm not a Mackenzie.

Do ye know my motto, lass?

My clan's, I mean?

No. I don't even know what clan you're from.

Je suis pret.

Find a place in the hall.

Je suis pret. "I am ready." but ready for what?

[bagpipe music]

[snoring]

[indistinct chatter]

[announcement in background]

Jamie's here.

[announcement continues]

Why is everyone so tense?

Shh.

What's going on?

Shh.

Why?

I'll tell ye.

If Jamie pledges fealty to his uncle, Colum, then he'd be in line to succeed as Laird.

He'd be part of clan Mackenzie, ye see?

Why wouldn't Hamish become Laird?

If he's too young, then Dougal?

That may be the way the English do things.

But clans are tanist.

Jamie has Mackenzie blood.

[instinct chatter]

If enough clansmen want Jamie to be Laird, then there it would be, and a terrible thing at that.

Mr. Mactavish seems like a good choice to be laird.

His other uncle, Dougal, might disagree with ye on that point, lass.

He's been holding the honor for himself when Colum dies.

If Jamie takes the oath,

Dougal wouldna let him breathe Mackenzie air for long.

So why doesn't he just decline to take the oath?

Not while he abides at Leoch.

As the Laird's nephew and as a healthy man at arms, he has no choice.

If before all Jamie refuses, the maids would likely be scrubbing the lad's blood from the floor at Colum's feet.

So no matter what he decides, he winds up dead?

Why stay at the castle?

Why didn't he just leave if both his uncles would have his head on a pike?

The lad's got a price on his head.

Would not be long before captain Randall or the watch had him in irons.

The only safe place in Scotland is here at Leoch.

Until now.

If Jamie had just stayed hidden till the gathering was over, Colum and Dougal wouldna pressed the matter any further.

So leaving the stables to escort me back.

Oh, god, this is all my fault.

Aye, it is.

Colum Mackenzie, I come to you as kinsman and as ally.

But I give ye no vow.

[crowd murmurs]

For my oath is pledged to the name that I bear.

I give you my obedience as kinsman... and as Laird.

And I hold myself bound to yer word, so long as my feet rest on the lands of the clan Mackenzie.

[cheers and applause]

Whoo!

[shouts in Gaelic]

[upbeat music]

I'm getting too old for this.

[gentle music]

'Tis a braw day for a boar tynchal, is it not?

It's quite the show of force for a pig hunt.

It's a boar.

Oh, of course.

20 men armed with spears and muskets.

Seems about right to kill one hairy pig.

You've plainly never seen one then.

Get yer mount.

Time to go.

[sighs]

[men cheering and drumming]

[boars grunting]

[men cheering and drumming]

[boars continue grunting]

[horse whinnies]

Ahh!

Mistress Claire!

[groans]

Serves you right.

What'd you expect the poor animal to do with you barbarians chasing it?

Did you forget their tusks could be lethal?

Bring him back up to the castle, and tell Mrs. Fitz to give him some hot broth and some blankets.

It'll need to be stitched, but I don't have any sterile tools here.

So he'll be all right then?

Yes, you'll have a limp.

Score one for the pig.

Maybe next time you'll think about going fishing.

[man screams in the distance]

All right, take him back now.

[gunshot]

Lass.

[gunshots]

Wait for me. Wait!

[boar grunts]

[man screams]

Where are you?

[boar growls]

[gasps]

[boar snarling]

[screams]

[gunshot]

[screams]

[panting]

[groans]

Now then, ow then, Geordie, ow then.

You're gonna be all right.

I've got you, man, okay?

You'll be all right.

Dougal, is it bad?

You'll be fine. You're gonna be fine.

It wasn't spurting, which meant the femoral artery wasn't cut. So there was a good chance I could stop the bleeding at the thigh.

Will I lose my leg?

No. No, you won't.

But that would only allow him to linger in increasing agony. The wound to his abdomen... was fatal.

[speaking Gaelic]

[groans]

Here.

[speaking Gaelic]

A better death, perhaps, was what Dougal was giving him... to die cleanly under this sky, his heart's blood staining the same leaves dyed by the blood of the beast that killed him.

Dougal, man.

Aye, I'm here.

I need to know, after we raided the clan MacDonald and stole the 20 kine from under their noses...

Aye, I remember.

We held up at florrach for days.

But we ate well, o?

Aye. Aye, we did for sure.

Tell me here now, man, did you bed my sister, Doreen?

Aye.

I did bed her.

But, you know, she was a bonnie lass.

I ken it.

You always could charm the lasses.

Shh.

[groans]

It will be better soon.

The pain will be gone soon.

It feels better now.

I canna feel my leg anymore, Dougal.

My hands neither.

Dougal, are you there, man?

I'm here, I'm here, I'm here.

I've got you.

Geordie... tell me about your home.

It's near a wide glen, ot far from Loch Fannich.

What's it like there?

I'll wager it's beautiful.

Ah, 'tis.

In the spring...

Yes?

The heather's so thick, ye can walk across the tops without touching the ground.

That sounds lovely.

Wish I could be there now.

Oh, you'll be there soon, lad.

Aye.

Will ye stay with me?

Aye.

Yes.

There you are. There.

[speaking Gaelic]

[indistinct shouting]

Get the ball!

Pass it! Pass it!

[overlapping shouting]

[grunting]

[grunts]

[exciting music]

[grunting]

I taught you this game, lad.

That ye did.

[grunting]

Murtagh!

[grunts]

[grunting]

[indistinct chatter]

Didn't look very fair.

That's twice ye caught me napping.

[yells]

Yield!

What would you think of me if I did?

Not much.

[grunting]

Play fair now.

[groans]

Ah!

[grunting]

[chuckles]

Ye taught me well.

Aye. Too well.

Did we win?

My escape attempt thwarted... [door opens] I was faced with the terrifying possibility that I was destined to stay in this dungeon forever. I wasn't ready to give up, but I needed time to come up with another plan.

You've seen men die before and by violence.

Yes. Many of them.

Ye've done a fine job here as healer.

Mrs. Fitz would have ye sit for a portrait if it was up to her.

And, uh, I wanted to thank you personally for what you did for poor Geordie up there on the hunt.

In truth, I did nothing.

I wish I could have helped him.

Ye did.

Ye took him to a peaceful place, and that's all any of us can ask when we pass.

So thank you.

You're welcome.

If there's nothing else, you'll have to excuse me.

I've a lot to do here in my dungeon.

Well, that's why I'm here, lass, to set ye free from this dank room.

What do you mean?

You're coming on the road.

On the road?

I'm leaving tomorrow, and I'm taking you with me.

Taking me where?

Traveling through Mackenzie lands, collecting rents.

Colum doesna travel, so... visiting the Tenants and Tacksmen that can't come to the gathering, that falls to me, and attending to a wee bit of business here and there.

But why me?

I think it would be wise to have a healer along, especially one that does well under strain.

And there's a lot of that on the road.

So that's the business settled.

Mrs. Fitz will have supper ready, and ye don't want to incur her wrath by coming late.

We leave at first light.

[gentle music]

As the confines of the castle walls faded behind me like a bad dream, I took my first full breath in weeks. I had no idea where this journey would lead me, what opportunity might present itself. I could only hope it would bring me closer to the standing stones of Craigh Na Dun. If so, I was determined to reach them, knowing this time I must not fail.