People disappear all the time.
Young girls run away from home.
Children stray from their parents and are never seen again.
Housewives take the grocery money, and a taxi to the train station.
Most are found eventually.
Disappearances, after all, have explanations.
Strange, the things you remember.
Single images and feelings that stay with you down through the years.
Like the moment I realized I'd never owned a vase.
That I'd never lived any place long enough to justify having such a simple thing.
And how at that moment, I wanted nothing so much in all the world as to have a vase of my very own.
It was a Tuesday afternoon.
Six months after the end of the war.
[Men moaning, crying]
Oh, God! Oh, God!
Hold him! Hold him right now! You hear me?
I'll have to clamp the femoral artery before he bleeds out.
It's all right, Jackie boy. You're going home, mate.
You're going home.
Oh, my God!
We've got him now, Nurse.
[People laughing, cheering in distance]
Claire! Did you hear? It's over!
It's really finally over!
Somehow in my mind, V.E. day, the end of the bloodiest and most terrible war in human history, grows fainter with each passing day.
But I can still recall every detail of the day when I saw the life I wanted sitting in a window.
Sometimes wonder what would've happened if I'd bought that vase and made a home for it.
Would that have changed things?
Would I have been happy? Who can say?
I do know this: Even now, after all the pain and death and heartbreak that followed, I still would make the same choice.
♪ 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 Sky ♪
♪ billow and breeze, 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 Sky... ♪
[Swing music playing]
We were in Scotland on our second honeymoon.
Or at least that's what Frank called it.
A way to celebrate the end of the war years and begin our lives anew.
But it was more than that.
I think we both felt a holiday would be a convenient masquerade for the real business of getting to know the people we'd become after five years apart.
What do you suppose that is?
Oh, good Lord. Blood.
Think I should know the look of blood by now.
There's a stain just like it on the house next door.
There's two more over there.
We seem to be surrounded by homes marked with blood.
Perhaps pharaoh has refused Moses, and the spirit of death will travel the streets of Inverness tonight, sparing only those who mark their doors with lamb's blood.
Well, you may be closer than you think.
Could well be some sort of sacrificial ritual, but I suspect Pagan rather than Hebrew.
I had no idea Inverness was a hotbed of contemporary paganism.
Oh, my dear, there's no place on earth with more magic and superstition mixed into its daily life than the Scottish islands.
Hm. Shall we?
The blood you saw is that of a black cockerel.
It's an old custom at this time of year to make such a sacrifice to honor Saint Odhran.
He was sainted in the... The eighth century?
You know your history.
I'm afraid my husband is a historian, Mrs. Baird.
He'd quite happily stand here holding forth for hours if you encourage him.
Highland folklore is far from my speciality, but am I right in thinking there's...
Isn't there an old saying associated with Saint Odhran?
"The earth went over Odhrain's eyes."
He, um... he was buried alive, voluntarily.
Are you a professor, then, Mr. Randall?
I will be soon.
He's accepted a post at Oxford beginning in two weeks.
Ah, then this is a last holiday before settling down to workaday life again, is it?
Well, you've picked a Bonnie time to be here.
Just nigh on Samhain.
I take it that's Gaelic for "Halloween"?
Well, Halloween is derived from Samhain.
The church often took Pagan holidays, renamed them for their own purposes.
Samhain became Halloween, Yule became Christmas, so on.
Well, you're both welcome at the festival, of course.
Mind you, ghosts are freed on the feast days.
They'll be wandering about, free to do good or ill as they please.
Of course, what would Halloween, Samhain, be without a good ghost story?
Oh, and we have those, for sure.
I'll show you to your room.
Before the war we were inseparable.
But for the next five years, we saw each other a grand total of ten days.
It's not without its charms.
Beats an army tent and a cot in the mud.
When the war ended, we both thought things would return to the way they once were, but they hadn't.
So much for marital privacy.
Do you think the sound carries?
I think it's fair to say Mrs. Baird will be kept appraised of any renewed attempt to start a family.
You'll never manage the next branch in your family tree if you don't show more industry than that.
What are you doing?
Mrs. Randall, what am I to do with you?
What are you doing?
You're gonna break the bed.
You know, one of those things I used to try and remember, lying in my cot was the sound of my husband's laugh.
I couldn't conjure it no matter what I did.
Couldn't hear it, even though I'd heard it a million times before.
It's the strangest thing.
I used to, um...
I used to sketch this.
Well, the lines, really.
Why, exactly, I'm not sure, but I had a very clear memory of this... this pattern.
Made little doodles everywhere.
There was, um...
A brigadier once dressed me down because I drew it in the margin of a report for the minister.
[Upbeat big band music]
Frank's passion for History was another reason for choosing the Highlands.
You see up there?
Up on top there, that's Cocknammon rock.
And in the 17th and 18th centuries, you would have often found British army patrol up there lying in wait for Scottish rebels and brigands.
Can you see how it commands the high ground in every direction?
It was a perfect position for an ambush.
Not that I minded.
I was raised by my Uncle after the death of my parents.
[Man speaking in foreign language]
Uncle Lamb was an archaeologist.
So I'd spent the balance of my formative years traipsing through dusty ruins, and various excavations throughout the world.
I had learned to dig latrines and boil water, and do a number of other things not suitable for a young lady of gentle birth.
Oh, yes. The very thought.
Frank's newfound passion was genealogy.
His personal genealogy, that is.
Mine was botany.
I'd developed a keen interest in the use of plants and herbs for medicinal purposes.
So what I can gather, Castle Leoch was the ancestral home of the laird of the MacKenzie clan until midway through the nineteenth century.
Here, take a look.
In a way, burying himself in the distant past gave Frank an ability to escape the recent.
While I was in the army, Frank had served in London in Intelligence, overseeing spies and running covert operations.
See, I think this might've been the kitchen.
I would tell that's probably a hearth.
I have no evidence that my ancestor visited this castle, but it was within his operational sphere, so...
It's just possible that he walked these very halls.
He'd sent dozens of men behind the lines on secret missions.
And most never came back.
He didn't talk about it very often, but I knew it preyed on him.
It won't open.
Oh, come on.
Three, two, one.
What do you think this was used for?
From the lack of proper lighting and ventilation, I would say...
Province of the castle hermit?
Perhaps a troll or two.
I don't think trolls live in pairs.
Solitary creatures, they.
More's the pity.
And no one to share it with.
You'll get dirty.
You can give me a bath.
Why, Mrs. Randall, I do believe you've left your undergarments at home.
Yes, yes, yes, I found hir.
Oh, indeed. Let's have a look.
Is it... is it Walter?
No, darling, Jonathan.
Jonathan Wolverton Randall. Finally.
Captain of dragoons in the British army and your direct ancestor.
Otherwise known as "Black Jack," a rather dashing nickname that he probably acquired while he was stationed here in the 1740s.
The reverend has found a series of army dispatches that mention the captain by name.
Oh, how exciting.
Mm. It is.
Good to see all your sleuthing over the past week has paid off.
Yes, I was beginning to wonder.
It appears black Jack commanded the Garrison at fort William for four years or so.
Seems to have spent quite a bit of his time harassing the Scottish countryside on behalf of the crown.
Well, he was hardly alone in that endeavor.
The English were deeply unpopular throughout the Highlands in the 18th century.
Well into the 20th, it would seem.
I distinctly heard the barman in the pub last night refer to us as "Sassenachs."
Well, I hope you didn't take offense.
It only means "englishman," after all.
Or at worst, "outlander."
I've brought you a wee bit of refreshment, gentlemen.
I brought but the two cups, for I thought perhaps Mrs. Randall might care to join me in the kitchen...
See you later.
This person here...
Ah, it's been so long since I've had a good cup of oolong.
I couldn't get it during the war.
It's best for the readings, though.
Oh, I had a terrible time with that Earl grey.
The leaves fall apart so fast it's hard to tell anything at all.
[Thunder rumbles in distance]
So you read tea leaves, then?
Like my grandmother taught me.
And her grandmother before that.
Drink up your cup. Let's see what we've got there.
Am I going to meet a tall, dark stranger and take a trip across the sea?
[Chuckles]: Could be.
Or could not.
Everything in it's contradictory.
There's a curved leaf, which indicates a journey, but it's crossed by a broken one, which means staying put.
And there are strangers there, to be sure. Several of them.
And one of them's your husband, if I read the leaves aright.
Show me your hand, Dear.
Most hands have a likeness to them.
There are patterns, you know?
This is a pattern I've not seen before.
The large thumb, now, means that you're strong-minded and you've a will not easily crossed.
And this is your mount of Venus.
In a man, it means he likes the Lasses.
But it is a bit different for a woman.
To be polite about it, your husband isna likely to stray far from your bed.
The lifeline's interrupted, all bits and pieces.
The marriage line's divided.
Means two marriages.
Most divided lines are broken.
I suspect your ancestor had a patron.
A prominent and powerful man who could protect him from the censure of his superiors.
Possibly, but it would have to have been someone very high up in the hierarchy of the day to exert that kind of influence.
The Duke of Sandringham.
The Duke of Sandringham.
No, no, no.
Hold on, wasn't sandringham a suspected jacobite himself?
Aye, you know, I believe you're right.
And the Duke died under very suspicious circumstances just before the battle of...
None of that, none of that.
Stand away before you do some permanent damage.
We're getting somewhere at last.
I'm really glad to hear it, but I think I shall take my leave.
Oh, so soon?
Yes, I, uh... feel a bath is in order.
Aye, of course.
Well, I hope you'll join us for Samhain tomorrow night.
What, the pagan festival?
Reverend Wakefield, you do astonish me.
Well, I love a good ghost story as much as the next fellow.
Take your time, darling.
But do try to get home before the storm breaks.
I'd never put any stock in superstition.
And my catholicism was nominal at best.
However, I couldn't shake the feeling that Mrs. Graham's words had the ring of prophecy.
The war had taught me to cherish the present because tomorrow might not ever come to pass.
What I didn't know at the time was that tomorrow would prove less important than yesterday.
Jesus *** Roosevelt Christ.
Can I help you with something?
Frank, I was hoping to have the whole place lit up by the time you got back.
What's the matter?
You look like you've seen a ghost.
I'm not at all sure that I haven't.
When he pushed past me, he was close enough that I should have felt him brush my sleeve as he passed, but I...
And then I turned around to say something, and he'd gone.
He just vanished.
That's when I felt a chill down my spine.
Did you have many scots in your charge during the war?
Yes. Was quite a few.
There was one in particular.
He was a Piper in the third seaforths.
He couldn't stand being stuck with a needle.
What is it, exactly, that you're asking me, Frank?
When I saw that chap staring up at you, I thought he might be someone you'd nursed.
Someone who might be looking for you now.
It wouldn't be unusual.
It wouldn't be surprising if you'd...
Sought some comfort.
Are you asking me...
If I've been unfaithful?
Is that what you think of me, Frank?
No, darling, no. No.
All I meant was that even if you had, it would make no difference to me.
I love you, and nothing you could ever do could stop my loving you.
Forgive me. I...
s*x was our bridge back to one another.
The one place where we always met.
Whatever obstacles presented themselves during the day or night, we could seek out and find each other again in bed.
As long as we had that, I had faith that everything would work out.
[Church bell chiming]
That reminds me, I, um...
I want to set an alarm.
I thought we weren't setting alarms on this trip.
I want to see the witches.
Must I ask?
Apparently there's a circle of standing stones on a hill just outside the village, and there's a local group who still observe rituals there.
Well, they're not actually witches.
This lot are meant to be druids.
Sadly I don't think they'll be a coven of devil worshippers.
Well, it's a pity.
Can't imagine anything I'd rather do.
Where will we be watching this spectacle?
A place called Craigh na Dun.
So according to local folklore, these stones were carried here from Africa by a race of Celtic giants.
I wasn't aware that the celts made a lot of trips to Africa.
Only the giant ones.
Is that Inverness?
Yes, it must be.
Is that Mrs. Graham?
I think it is.
The reverend's housekeeper's a witch.
Not a witch. A druid, remember?
They should have been ridiculous.
And perhaps they were.
Parading in circles on top of a hill.
But the hairs on the back of my neck prickled at the sight.
And some small voice inside warned me, I wasn't supposed to be here.
That I was an unwelcome voyeur to something ancient and powerful.
[Women speaking indistinctly]
Wait for me.
I'm caught on something. I'll be there in a minute.
[Whispers]: Come on.
We should go.
[Swing music playing]
What have you got there?
Mm, I'm looking for that plant.
I think it's a Forget Me Not, but I'm not sure.
Why don't you pop back and get it?
I was considering it.
Would you care to go with me?
Oh, darling, I'd love to, but I've got an appointment with the reverend.
He found a box of materials last night.
Bills of sale from Black Jack's quartermaster.
That sounds terribly exciting.
You're laughing at me.
Shall I meet you for dinner later?
[Mysterious acoustic guitar music]
Once, traveling at night, I fell asleep in the passenger seat of a moving car.
Lulled by the noise and the motion into an illusion of serene weightlessness.
Then the driver took a bridge too fast.
And I woke to see the world spinning outside the car windows, and the sickening sensation of falling at high speed.
That is as close as I can come to describing what I experienced.
But it falls woefully short.
[Birds chirping excitedly]
When confronted with the impossible, the rational mind will grope for the logical.
Perhaps I had stumbled onto the set of a cinema company filming a costume drama of some sort.
[Shouts in Gaelic]
But there was no logical reason for actors to fire live ammunition.
[Bagpipe music playing]
What the devil are you doing?
You're not Frank.
No, madam, I'm not.
Who the bloody hell are you?
I'm Jonathan Randall, esquire.
Captain of his majesty's eighth dragoons.
At your service.
Who are you?
My husband's expecting me.
He'll come looking for me if I'm not back in ten minutes.
Your husband. What's his name?
What is his name?
Frank Beauchamp. He's a teacher.
Well, it's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Beauchamp, a teacher's wife.
You must think me the fool.
You'll be well advised to tell me exactly who you are and why you are here.
Madam, you will find my patience is not infinite.
Get off me, you b*st*rd.
Ah, the speech of a lady.
The language of a whore.
I choose the whore.
Who are you?
Where are we going? Where are we go
[indistinct shouting in distance]
Take your men over here!
I wanted it to be a dream, but I knew it wasn't.
If nothing else, my erstwhile savior fairly reeked of Odors too foul to be part of any dream I was likely to conjure up.
Let's have a look at you, then, lass.
I trust you're able to see me now.
What's your name?
I decided to continue using my maiden name.
If they intended to ransom me, I didn't want to lead them back to Frank.
Claire. Claire Beauchamp.
That's right. And just what the hell do you think you're you said you found her?
She was having words with a certain Captain of dragoons with whom we are acquaint'.
There seemed to be some question as to whether the lady was or was not a whore.
And what was the lady's position in this discussion?
I am not.
We could put it to the test.
I don't hold with rape.
And we've not the time for it, anyway.
Dougal, I've no idea what she might be or who, but I'll stake my best shot she's no a whore.
We'll puzzle it out later.
We've got a good distance to go tonight.
And we must do something about Jamie first.
Escape was my chief concern. But I had no idea where I was.
And trying to find the road back to Inverness in the gathering darkness felt like a fool's errand.
Out o' joint, poor bugger.
You can't ride with it like that, can you, lad?
Hurts bad enough sitting still.
I couldna manage a horse.
I don't mean to be leaving him behind.
There's no help for it, then.
I'll have to force the joint back.
The wisest course of action would have been to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and wait for the search parties Frank must have called out by now.
Don't you dare!
Stand aside at once.
You'll break his arm if you do it like that.
You have to get the bone of the upper arm in the correct position before it slips back into joint.
Hold him steady.
This is the worst part.
It doesn't hurt anymore.
It will be tender for about a week.
You'll need a sling.
Fetch me a long piece of cloth or a belt.
"Fetch me," she says.
Do you hear that, lads?
Give her your belt.
Taking a guess you've done this before.
I'm a nurse.
Aye. Not a wet nurse.
He mustn't move the joint for two or three days.
When you begin to use it again, go very slowly at first.
Stop at once if it hurts.
And use warm compresses on it daily.
All right. How does that feel?
Better. Thank you.
Can you ride?
Good. We're leaving.
Where is it?
Where's the city? Should be visible from here.
You're looking straight at it.
There were no electric lights as far as the eye could see, so as much as my rational mind rebelled against the idea, I knew in my heart I was no longer in the 20th century.
Get yourself up.
You be sure to stay close to the rest of us.
And should you try anything else, I shall slit your throat for you.
Do you understand me?
Gimme your foot.
Give it to me.
Careful. What are you trying to do?
I'll get my plaid loose to cover you.
Thank you, but I'm fine, really.
You're shaking so hard it's making my teeth rattle.
The plaid'll keep us both warm, but I canna do it one-handed.
Can you reach?
Don't want you to freeze before sunup.
You mean we'll be riding all night?
And the next one too, I reckon.
A fine time of year for a ride, though.
You see up there?
I know this place.
Been through here before, have you?
The 17th and 18th centuries, you'd have often found a British army patrol up there.
I recognize that rock.
The one that looks like a cock's tail.
It has a name.
The English, they... they used it for ambushes.
They could be lying in wait right now.
It's a Bonnie place for an ambush, right enough.
Now, you'll be telling me exactly how and why you come to know there's an ambush up ahead.
I don't know, but I heard the redcoats use Cocknammon rock...
Where did you hear?
In the village.
[Shouts in Gaelic]
Lost your way?
I hope you haven't been misusing that shoulder.
This lot isna my blood.
Not much of it, anyway.
Dougal and the others will be waiting further up the stream.
We should go.
I'm not going with you.
Yes, you are.
What, are you going to cut my throat if I don't?
You don't look that heavy.
Now if you won't walk, I shall pick you up and throw you over my shoulder.
Do you want me to do that?
I suppose that means your coming with me.
Serves you right.
Probably torn your muscles as well as bruising.
Well, wasna much of a choice.
If I dinna move my shoulder, I'd never have moved anything else ever again.
I can handle a single redcoat with one hand.
Maybe even two.
Besides, you can fix it for me again when we get to where we're going.
That's what you think.
Here's to you, lass.
For tipping us to the villains in the rocks and giving us a wee bit o' fun!
[All speak Gaelic]
Have a wee nip.
It willna fill your belly, but will make you forget you're hungry.
Help! He's going over!
Help me get him up.
Lift. Take it easy.
The idiot could have said something.
It's a clean exit.
I think the round's gone straight through the muscle.
I don't think it's serious, but he's lost a lot of blood.
It'll need to be disinfected before I can dress it properly.
Yes, it must be cleaned of dirt to protect it from germs.
Just get me some iodine.
All: Oh. Oh, yes. Yes.
Here you go.
I'm all right, just a wee bit dizzy.
You're not all right.
Can you tell how bad you were bleeding?
You're lucky you're not dead.
Brawling and fighting and throwing yourself off horses.
Right, I need a sterile bandage and some clean cloth.
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.
All right. Lift him up.
Come on, you goddamn bloody b*st*rd.
I've never heard a woman use such language in my life.
Hm. Your husband should tan your hide for you, woman.
St. Paul says, "let a woman be silent..."
You can mind your own bloody business, and so can St. Paul.
And if you move so much as a single muscle while I'm tying this bandage, I will bloody throttle you.
Ah. Threats, is it?
And after I shared my drink with you.
We've 15 miles to go yet.
Five hours at least, if not seven.
We'll stay long enough for you to stem the bleeding and dress his wound, no more than that.
He needs rest.
Did you hear me?
The officer you... you encountered.
He won't give up so easily.
He commands the redcoats hereabouts.
He'll have sent patrols out in every direction by now.
I canna stay here long.
You know Randall?
Black Jack Randall, that is?
I won't risk you or anyone else being taken prisoner by that man.
If ye canna fix me up well enough to ride, you'll be leaving me here with a loaded pistol, so I may determine my own fate.
Might've well told me you were shot before you fell off the horse.
Didn't hurt much at the time.
Does it hurt now?
That's about all I can do. The rest is up to you.
Thank you, Sassenach.
All right, well, on your horse, soldier.
I'd been here with Frank two days ago.
Or was that in the future?
How could I remember something that hadn't happened yet?
So far I'd been assaulted, threatened, kidnapped, and nearly raped.
And somehow, I knew that my journey had only just begun.
[Mysterious ethnic orchestral music]