Study Guide

Outlander Chapter 2

By Diana Gabaldon

Chapter 2

Standing Stones

  • The next morning, Mr. Crook takes Claire on a foraging mission, and totally shows her up in the hiking department. He nimbly climbs hills, leaving her "panting in his wake" (2.8). 
  • At the top of the hill is quite the marvel: Craigh na Dun, a miniature henge, like a baby Stonehenge. The rocks are still large enough to squash a person, though. 
  • That afternoon, Claire meets Frank at Reverend Wakefield's house.
  • They bore her talking about genealogy—the topic du jour is Frank's ancestor, Jonathan Randall, again—until Mrs. Graham takes Claire into the kitchen.
  • Mrs. Graham reads Claire's tea leaves and comes to an interesting conclusion: "Everything in it's contradictory. […] Strangers there are, to be sure, several of them. And one of them's your husband" (2.56).
  • Her palm reading isn't much clearer. It reveals that Claire is "one of those can love again if [her] first love's lost" (2.77).
  • Reverend Wakefield interrupts, dragging Claire to the study to reveal that Jonathan Randall was a secret agent for the Duke of Sandringham… whoever that is. 
  • Claire briefly meets the Reverend's adopted son, Roger, before she and Frank leave.
  • She broaches the topic of adoption with Frank, but he shoots her down. 
  • On a tour of Loch Ness the next day, complete with dramatic tour guide, Claire mentions the stones of Craigh na Dun to Frank. 
  • He's excited and sets his alarm. Where there are stone circles, there are witches, and he wants to see them.
  • They're up early the next day to watch the ritual. Women dance and wave sheets around and the whole thing's pretty exciting. 
  • After the women leave, Claire and Frank make love in the grass near the stones.
  • The next morning, Claire gets up early to check out a plant she noticed near the stones.
  • While she's looking for it, she hears a humming noise. Thinking it's a beehive, she looks in the crack of the cleft stone.
  • "The stone screamed" (2.211). Um. Stones aren't supposed to do that. We'll never look at Pet Rock the same way again…
  • She backs away, and all the stones start humming and shouting, their sounds mixing with those of men shouting and horses. 
  • Claire's vision goes dark and she loses all sense of time.
  • When she comes to, she feels sick and dizzy, but hearing the sounds of human activity, she moves toward it.