Today, September 3, is Jonathan Wolverton Randall's birthday. What an unforgettable, unspeakably evil character! Tobias Menzies is just mesmerizing as Black Jack Randall in the OUTLANDER TV series.
I thought I'd mark the occasion with a few quotes from Diana Gabaldon's books. (Warning, there are SPOILERS below if you haven't read all of the OUTLANDER books! Read at your own risk.)
1) Claire, just after leaving Jamie in Wentworth:
By now I had sufficient command of myself to speak, and I did so. I stepped back a pace, so that the torchlight fell full on me, for I wanted him to remember my face.2) Jamie's memory of Wentworth makes me shudder all over:
“You asked me, Captain, if I were a witch,” I said, my voice low and steady. “I’ll answer you now. Witch I am. Witch, and I curse you. You will marry, Captain, and your wife will bear a child, but you shall not live to see your firstborn. I curse you with knowledge, Jack Randall--I give you the hour of your death."
(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 35, "Wentworth Prison". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
The voice did not come at first; for a moment he hoped it would not--perhaps it had been long enough...but then it was there again, whispering in his ear as though it had never left, its insinuations a caress that burned his memory as once they had burned his skin.3) Claire and BJR in DRAGONFLY:
"Gently at first," it breathed. "Softly. Tender as though you were my infant son. Gently, but for so long you will forget there was a time I did not own your body."
The night stood still around him, paused as time had paused so long before, poised on the edge of a gulf of dread, waiting. Waiting for the next words, known beforehand and expected, but nonetheless...
"And then," the voice said, loving, "then I'll hurt you very badly. And you will thank me, and ask for more."
(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 48, "Away in a Manger". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
"I wonder, you know," he said. "Whether you have had from him as much as I?" He tilted his head to one side, sharp features coming into focus as he moved out of the shadow. The fugitive light caught him momentarily from the side, lighting the pale hazel of his eyes and making them shine, like those of a beast glimpsed hiding in the bushes.4) Many of you will remember this bit from Episode 106, "The Garrison Commander". I thought it was really well done, but I missed Claire's last line.
The note of triumph in his voice was faint, but unmistakable.
"I," he said softly, "I have had him as you could never have him. You are a woman; you cannot understand, even witch as you are. I have held the soul of his manhood, have taken from him what he has taken from me. I know him, as he now knows me. We are bound, he and I, by blood."
I give ye my Body, that we Two may be One...
"You choose a very odd way of seeking my help," I said, my voice shaking.
(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 38, "A Bargain With the Devil". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
He drew back his arm and hit me in the pit of the stomach.5) Who exactly is BJR referring to in this next quote? His brother Alex Randall, or Alex MacGregor? We don't know, and Diana Gabaldon isn't saying. But it's fun to speculate!
I made no noise, because I had no breath. I sat on the floor, doubled over, struggling to draw air into my lungs. I was shocked far beyond the actual pain of the blow, which was beginning to make itself felt, along with a wave of giddy sickness. In a fairly eventful life, no one had ever purposely struck me before.
The Captain squatted down in front of me. His wig was slightly awry, but aside from that and a certain brightness to his eyes, he showed no change from his normal controlled elegance.
“I trust you are not with child, Madam,” he said in a conversational tone, “because if you are, you won’t be for long.”
I was beginning to make a rather odd wheezing noise, as the first wisps of oxygen found their way painfully into my throat. I rolled onto my hands and knees and groped feebly for the edge of the table. The corporal, after a nervous glance at the captain, reached down to help me up.
Waves of blackness seemed to ripple over the room. I sank onto the stool and closed my eyes.
“Look at me.” The voice was as light and calm as though he were about to offer me tea. I opened my eyes and looked up at him through a slight fog. His hands were braced on his exquisitely tailored hips.
“Have you anything to say to me now, Madam?” he demanded.
“Your wig is crooked,” I said, and closed my eyes again.
(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 12, "The Garrison Commander". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
"I canna think why I did it. But I put my arms about him, and we just lay still for a bit. He stopped crying, finally, and kissed me and stroked me. Then he whispered to me, ‘Tell me that you love me.’ ” He paused in the recital, smiling faintly..6) I always find this bit from the opening of VOYAGER oddly reassuring:
“I would not do it. I dinna know why. By then I would ha’ licked his boots and called him the King of Scotland, if he’d wanted it. But I wouldna tell him that. I don’t even remember thinking about it; I just--wouldn’t.” He sighed and his good hand twitched, gripping the coverlet.
“He used me again--hard. And he kept on saying it: ‘Tell me that you love me, Alex. Say that you love me.’ ”
(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 40, "Absolution". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
There was a rustle near [Jamie's] ear, and he turned his head to see the crow. It stood on the grass a foot away, a blotch of wind-ruffled black feathers, regarding him with a bead-bright eye. Deciding that he posed no threat, it swiveled its neck with casual ease and jabbed its thick sharp bill into Jack Randall’s eye.Happy Birthday, BJR -- and may you rot in hell where you belong!
(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 1, "The Corbies' Feast". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)