It is currently Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:17 am



Welcome
Welcome to outlanderbookclub

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content, and access many other special features. In addition, registered members also see less advertisements. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free, so please, join our community today!


Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:38 am 
Online
Clan Fraser
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:43 pm
Posts: 16463
Location: San Francisco, CA
Image

:bagpipe: As of the beginning of the Written in My Own Heart's Blood rekilt, all books currently published (as of 1/2016) are open for discussion. The spoiler policy can be found here. Please do not discuss excerpts from Diana's Daily Lines related to book 9 or any other not yet published works in the MOBY discussion threads. To discuss excerpts of upcoming works, see the threads here.

Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
Part 8: Search and Rescue
Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs


The men of the family – Jamie, Fergus, Ian, and Germain – are out in the marshes “gigging” frogs:

Quote:
From Wikipedia:
Gigging is the practice of hunting fish or small game with a gig or similar multi-pronged spear. Commonly harvested wildlife include freshwater suckers, saltwater flounder, and small game, such as frogs. A gig can refer to any long pole which has been tipped with a multi-pronged spear. The gig pole ranges in length from 8 to 14 feet for fish gigs and 5 to 8 feet for frog gigs. A gig typically has three or four barbed tines similar to a trident; however gigs can be made with any number of tines. In the past people would attach illuminated pine knots to the end of gigs at night to give them light.


Germain has a close call with a water moccasin, and all watch in awe as an alligator draws near. They debate the various benefits of the different creatures as food, and fill up sacks with frogs and crayfish. As they prepare to head home, they see the chilling sight of at least a dozen British men-of-war ships sailing into Savannah. Clearly, an invasion is imminent.

At home, Jamie curls into bed with Claire, but she’s startled out of drowsy intimacy when Jamie tells her about the British arrival. They discuss what Claire learned from Hal – that the British intended to cut off the southern colonies. By choosing Savannah, the British will be capitalizing on the heavy presence of Loyalists in the south, and once the army has secured Florida and Georgia, they’d be in a good position to march north again.

Claire is worried, but Jamie points out that “there are only two things to do… stay or flee.” They can’t reach the Ridge until March because of the weather, they have no money, and two of the women are pregnant. It’s safest for the family to stay in the city, despite the impending occupation.

At dinner the next night, the family is discussing why all strange meat is described as tasting like chicken when there’s a knock at the door. Two Continental officers appear – Major General Robert Howe, accompanied by a man Claire recognizes as Ezekiel Richardson, in the uniform of an American colonel.

Howe is there to recall Jamie to service, but Jamie declines, stating that he’s resigned his commission. Things are tense – while they could compel Jamie to serve, he points out quite logically that they can’t force a man into leading other soldiers. Angered, the men leave.

Rachel praises Jamie for declining to take up arms, but Jamie demurs, stating that he doubts that his reasons line up with Quaker beliefs. As Rachel points out, though, the effect is the same, no matter the motivation. The family plans to collect and hide its valuables in Claire’s surgery. Claire informs them all that the nondescript second officer was Richardson. They discuss William’s mention of Richardson, William’s quest for Ben’s wife and child, and the likelihood that William doesn’t know that Richardson has switched sides.

That raises the question of which side Richardson is really on – is he a British turncoat, or a double agent, or something else? No matter the truth, he’s dangerous… and Jamie advises Claire to keep her “wee knife close to hand”.

Whew, that’s a long summary!

Thoughts/questions:
- Why “gigging frogs”, beyond the obvious? Does this reflect on Richardson’s slippery nature? The swamp representing the occupation, or enemy espionage? Something else?
- Do you think the family has any other options at this point besides remaining in Savannah?
- Is the idea of Jamie or Ian being compelled into the army a real threat here?
- I was surprised in this chapter that Jamie had never encountered Richardson before, but thinking back, I suppose it’s true. For someone who’s been talked about so much, he hasn’t appeared all that often. Has your opinion of Richardson or his true mission changed at all? What do you think he’s up to?

Other thoughts or reactions to share?

_________________
"There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books." - Irving Stone

Just another reader with a blog... check it out here.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:17 am 
Offline
topaz member

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:19 pm
Posts: 19
After this chapter I had a greater sense that Richardson was working for the British.
Jaime refuses to serve because he knows its a doomed venture that will actually be detrimental to the continental southern forces- and he thinks that retreat would be the wiser option. Richardson on the other hand seems to be in a very pro "Lets lead these American men to their Doom!" From what we've seen Richardson seems like a pretty smart guy... I find it hard to believe he would completely dismiss sound strategic reason due to patriotic sentiment.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:58 am 
Offline
Clan Fraser

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:08 am
Posts: 6107
I still haven't a clue what Richardson is up to. I take your point Bluesnow but I'm still confused.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:47 am 
Offline
emerald member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:35 am
Posts: 303
Location: Japan
Lisa SF, thank you for the excellent summary!

The hammocks/hummocks moment was one of those DG didactic moments I feel ambivalent about - I love to learn those details, but don't always feel that they completely flow.

I loved the images your first question triggered in my mind! The following is completely off the cuff and had never occurred to me until just now...

Lots of mentions of reptiles (alligators, snakes, lizards) and amphibians (frogs) - both cold-blooded, but there are distinctions to do with the environments their eggs can survive in and hence, their eventual biotic range. In this chapter, the frogs (wet and slippery to look at, but from personal experience not all that slippery to touch) are prey. So, apart from appearances being deceptive ... frogs are only slippery by moving physically through space, rather than metaphorically. They can slip away - from water to land (or vice versa) - and elude the hunter, who I think is Richardson. I thought Richardson was the reptile (the gigging, the vertical, striking spear) trying to pin down Jamie (the prey with the range, and mmmm... tastes like chicken!). It's the versatile, wide-ranging, amphibious frog-Jamie (probably thanks to the ranking of General and his overall gift for expressing himself well) who slips out of the trap of re-conscription.

I have no idea about Richardson, though I have a vague sense of distrusting him much more than almost any other peripheral character. I think you can be on the same side politically as someone but still be poles apart, ethically. Richardson strikes me as threatening (and possibly ruthless) but maybe we just haven't learned enough about Richardson's motivations to date.

I do think the family have options.

_________________
Those small spaces of time, too soon gone, when everything seems to stand still, and existence is balanced on a perfect point, like the moment of change between the dark and the light...Chapter 29, The Last Reason, Outlander


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:39 pm 
Offline
Clan Fraser
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 3:06 am
Posts: 4071
Thanks for the summary, Lisa. The chapter title could merely be describing the frog catching scene at the start. I have noticed that the chapter titles never give away the plot of the story, so if you were to scan the table of contents of any of the books you would be none the wiser as to what was going to happen. So maybe this title has no hidden meaning?
On the other hand, we could imagine Germain as a frog, Ian as an eel, Richardson as a snake and Jamie as an alligator.

I wonder if Richardson went along with Howe in order to get a look at James Fraser. He would surely know what Claire looks like. Lisa, you are right that we have seen little of him in the flesh (on the page!) for all that he looms large in the story. I have the feeling he is up to no good, and Bluesnow makes a good point that he must know that it would be hopeless for six hundred men to try to hold a city against an invasion of the size that is in the ships. Maybe he is trying to get Howe to understand that in other ways, rather than tell him directly. If he has changed sides, won't it be hard for him to sneak around in a city full of English soldiers?

I'm glad the family has time to hide some food and provisions, but what if Claire's surgery is requisitioned for housing troops?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:48 pm 
Offline
sapphire member

Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:07 pm
Posts: 923
Location: Florida, USA
Thanks for starting our discussion off, Lisa! If there's a double meaning in the title, I would say, as others have implied, that it probably refers to Richardson and Jamie sizing each other up and attempting to pin the other down. I'm not sure if Richardson is behind the idea of a battle to defend Savannah, despite the poor odds, or if he is just trying to win favor with General Howe who obviously does have more bravado than sense.

It wasn't unusual for men to be compelled to fight against their will, but, in this case, I think that Howe and Richardson are in over their heads and don't have the time or influence to force Jamie and Ian to fight if they aren't willing. Rachel is obviously uncertain since she relaxes visibly when Jamie refuses to join the cause. Their exchange is amusing when Jamie points out that his motivation is self-preservation, rather than pacifism, and Rachel replies that she would take what she could get!

It is true that Richardson has shown interest in Claire and William mostly so far and hasn't interacted with many other characters.

I had never heard of purging crawfish with cornmeal before eating them. I did a search and it doesn't seem to be a universal practice. It's just a matter of taste rather than safety.

_________________
The minister's cat is a camstairy cat.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:30 pm 
Offline
Clan Fraser
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:09 pm
Posts: 11204
Just read the chapter. It was longer than a lot of the chapters of late, which felt a little strange. ;)

I enjoyed the early scene with the men of the family. Just as I enjoyed some earlier scenes with the women working together. It's so nice to see them all interacting as a family. Especially knowing that they will soon separate as Fergus and Marsali stay in a city as printers and the rest return/head to the Ridge.

I don't know what to make of Richardson, other than to be sure that I don't trust him whatever side he may be on. It is possible that he - and Denys Randall - really are on the American side since they seemed to have been working together earlier and we know Denys knows Percy, who is clearly trying to help the Americans, and also that Denys gave info to Fergus for the paper in Philadelphia. And, trying to get some power over the Grey family - by kidnapping William, for example - might make sense for someone trying to help the American cause. But, he might have other motives for his actions and he might be play-acting now and really be loyal to the British. Or perhaps he is loyal to no one but himself. I just don't know. :huh:

Interesting discussion of the chapter title and what it might mean. :flower:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:06 am 
Offline
topaz member

Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:28 pm
Posts: 8
As usual , great summary, Lisa.

I just finished listening to the chapter. I believe Jamie has decided he and Claire have sacrificed enough. Therefore, time spent in Savanah is crucial to preparing physically, mentally and financially for the
trip back to the ridge (home). However, before leaving they must be certain Fergus ( has his head on straight) and Marsali are settled with earning potential. Jamie shoulders the responsibility for the sub families in his clan and he left the ridge tenants in capable hands. I enjoy the narratives where Jamie takes time for himself and share a moment (not just physical) with her. Claire is Jamie's one vice and it's the only time he seems relaxed. That's why I can forgive for him for his ridiculous behavior with John.

DG could have named this chapter "Gigging Frogs" because successful gigging seems to involve out smarting the prey and frogs are slippery by nature ,hard to hold onto. There are two serious threats in this chapter. The first is the ships coming to shore with the cover of darkness. The other, Richardson's elusive behavior making it uncertain of his allegiance to either the loyalists or the crown. Jamie, as head of the family navigates through the cloak and dagger activity with the intentions of keeping his family free and clear of danger. There are times when Jamie is gigging and times when he's the frog. FLS


FLS


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:28 am 
Offline
Clan Fraser
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:41 pm
Posts: 17880
Location: New York
Thanks for the great summary, Lisa. I had forgotten about Jamie's fear of snakes. The sight of the cottonmouth snake unnerves him, but the alligator doesn't scare him at all. Go figure. The discussion of alligators and wolves being possessed based on their red eyes was strange. Jamie is always full of prayers, and doesn't forget to say a verse from the Hunting Blessing.

Claire is so practical and is about to explain the biochemistry of the muscle fiber of various animals when she is interrupted by the two Continental soldiers. :lol: The fact that Richardson's face is described as unmemorable makes me think of him as a criminal, someone who blends in a crowd and is the least likely person to be suspected of any wrongdoing. Claire instinctively tightens her hand around the bread knife when she recognizes Richardson, another sign that he is not to be trusted.

I agree with the explanations given for the chapter title. Richardson is definitely a snake, and gets literally too close to the crayfish, the Frasers (?), when he comes a calling to enlist Jamie (p. 728 of hardcover). Jamie sums up my thoughts perfectly -- "Aye, well. If there's aught fishy about the man, we'll ken it soon enough" (p. 729 hc).

I was wondering about where Jamie could hide his printing press. It isn't exactly small.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:50 am 
Offline
Clan Fraser
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 3:06 am
Posts: 4071
Lady Jayne wrote:
I was wondering about where Jamie could hide his printing press. It isn't exactly small.

Maybe he just draped a dress around the press and passed her off as his mistress?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 128: Gigging Frogs
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:04 pm 
Offline
Clan Fraser
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:09 pm
Posts: 11204
:rotfl:


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
suspicion-preferred