Below is an excerpt from Book Nine of the OUTLANDER novels. Note that there are SPOILERS…
They were heading northwest. Roger had learned to steer by sun and stars, when he’d surveyed the boundary lines of Jamie’s land, years before, but it wasn’t a skill he’d needed much in Scotland. He thought they were near the edge of the land grant now; he thought he recalled this rocky outcropping. Granted, there were thousands of similar rock formations in western North Carolina, but something about this one rang a mental bell.
"It smells like grapes," Jemmy said, sniffing deep. "Smell ‘em, Dad?"
"Aye, I do." That was it; the whole hillside was a tumble of pale, huge boulders, unusual among the dark rock of the nearby ground—but more unusual for the vast tangle of wild grapevines that crawled over the boulders and climbed the sparse trees that sprouted among them. The grapes had long since ripened and gone, most of them scavenged by birds, insects, wolves, bears and anything else with a sweet tooth. Still, the faint perfume of raisins lay like a veil on the air and the bitter tang of the drying vines was sharp beneath it.
Jamie had pulled loose a length of the tough, woody vine, and was engaged in chopping it into several gnarled sticks, each about three feet long. He handed one to Jem and another to Roger, with the terse adjuration, "Snakes."
This excerpt was also posted on my blog on September 3, 2015, and on my Facebook page on August 23, 2015 as one of my "Daily Lines".
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