From GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.
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It took a month, rather than two weeks, but by the time the wild grapes began to ripen, Jamie, Roger and Bree—with precarious ceremony and a lot of giggling from the groundlings below—tacked a large sheet of stained white canvas (salvaged and stitched together from pieces of the damaged mainsail of a Royal Navy sloop that was refitting in Wilmington when Fergus happened to be strolling along the quay) onto the framing of the New House’s new kitchen.
We had a roof. Of our own.
I stood under it, looking up, for a long time. Just smiling.
People were trooping in and out, carrying things over from the lean-to, up from the Higginses’ cabin, out of the springhouse, in from the shelter of the Big Log, down from the garden. It reminded me, suddenly and without warning, of making camp on an expedition with my Uncle Lamb: the same higgledy-piggledy bustle of objects, good spirits, relief and happiness, expectation of food and rest.
Jamie set down the pie-safe, easing it gently onto the new pine floor so as not to dent or mar the boards.
“Wasted effort,” he said, smiling as he looked up at me. “A week, and it’ll be as though we’d driven a herd of pigs through it. Why are ye smiling? Does the prospect amuse ye?”
“No, but you do,” I said, and he laughed. He came and put an arm around me and we both looked up.
The canvas shone a brilliant white, and the late-morning sun glowed along its edges. The canvas lifted a little, creaking in the breeze, and multiple stains of sea-water, dirt and what might possibly be the blood of fish or men made shadows that shimmered on the floor around our feet, the shallows of a new life.
“Look,” he whispered in my ear, and nudged my cheek with his chin, directing my gaze.
Fanny stood on the far side of the room, looking up. She was lost in the snowy light, oblivious to Adso the cat, twining about her ankles in hopes of food. She was smiling.
Return to my official webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE for links to information and more Daily Lines (excerpts).
[Many thanks to Jo Anne Mitchell’s husband for the lovely bee on a North Carolina coneflower!]
I first posted this excerpt (Daily Lines) on my official Facebook page on February 20, 2019.
This text is copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon. All Rights Reserved. You may share the link to this excerpt, but please do not copy and paste the entire text and post it elsewhere.Thank you.
This BEES excerpt was last updated on Sunday, March 3, 2019, at 3:45 p.m. (PT) by Diana’s Webmistress.