Study Guide

Outlander Chapter 25

By Diana Gabaldon

Chapter 25

Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live

  • Claire and Geillis are captured and thrown in the thieves' hole. 
  • There will be a witch trial, and Claire and Geillis will likely be burned at the stake. 
  • In the hole, Geillis reveals that Laoghaire left the ill-wish (she bought it from Geillis, even) and that she, Geillis, is the one pregnant with Dougal's child, not Laoghaire.
  • That's why she poisoned her husband: He knew she was pregnant and that it wasn't his child. 
  • Also, Geillis is a Jacobite, and she's been diverting her husband's money to France to help the Jacobite cause.The examiners arrive and hold a trial. A few people testify against Claire: Father Bain, the man who saw her with the waterhorse at Loch Ness, and the mother of the dead changeling baby.
  • Ned Gowan shows up in the nick of time to support Claire and get her a trial separate from Geillis Duncan.
  • They want to dunk her under water. A witch would float, but an innocent woman would sink. Claire declines this sorry excuse for a test and is whipped instead.
  • Jamie shows up and demands she be cut down. 
  • However, Geillis Duncan confesses that she is a witch, "and the mistress of Satan" (25.285), which is distracting enough for Jamie and Claire to get a chance to run.
  • Claire realizes something, though, as she looks at Geillis one last time: She has a smallpox vaccination scar on her arm. Whoa.
  • Once Claire and Jamie are safely away from the village, Jamie asks Claire if she is a witch.
  • She explains that she isn't… but she is a time-traveler. 
  • Jamie believes her. And he tells her that it's her birthday, October 20th, even if it is about two hundred years before she was born.
  • Later, Jamie takes Claire to Craigh na Dun… so that she can return to her own time.
  • Before she leaves, she tells him to beware the Rising—it won't succeed, and the Highlanders will die. Hundreds of them.
  • Jamie leaves to let Claire be alone for her trip back to the present… but she can't do it. She finds him in a nearby cottage.
  • He tells her it's time for them to go home to Lallybroch.