the-drum

““D’ye believe in signs at all, Sassenach?”
“What sorts of signs?” I asked guardedly.
In answer, he bent, plucked a sprig from the ground, and dropped it into my hand—the dark green leaves like small
round Chinese fans, a pure white flower on a slender stem, and on another a half-ripe berry, its shoulders pale with shade, blushing crimson at the tip.
“This. It’s ours, d’ye see?” he said.
“Ours?”
“The Frasers’, I mean,” he explained. One large, blunt finger gently prodded the berry. “Strawberries ha’ always been
the emblem of the clan—it’s what the name meant, to start with, when a Monsieur Fréselière came across from France wi’ King William that was—and took hold of land in the Scottish mountains for his trouble.”
King William that was. William the Conqueror, that was. Perhaps not the oldest of the Highland clans, the Frasers had still a distinguished heritage.
“Warriors from the start, were you?”
“And farmers, too.” The doubt in his eyes was fading into a smile.
I didn’t say what I was thinking, but I knew well enough that the thought must lie in his mind as well. There was no
more of clan Fraser save scattered fragments, those who had survived by flight, by stratagem or luck. The clans had been smashed at Culloden, their chieftains slaughtered in battle or murdered by law.
Yet here he stood, tall and straight in his plaid, the dark steel of a Highland dirk by his side. Warrior and farmer both. And if the soil beneath his feet was not that of Scotland, it was free air that he breathed—and a mountain wind that stirred his hair, lifting copper strands to the summer sun.
I smiled up at him, fighting back my growing dismay.
“Fréselière, eh? Mr. Strawberry? He grew them, did he, or was he only fond of eating them?”
“Either or both,” he said dryly, “or it was maybe only that he was redheided, aye?”
I laughed, and he hunkered down beside me, unpinning his plaid.
“It’s a rare plant,” he said, touching the sprig in my open hand. “Flowers, fruit and leaves all together at the one time.
The white flowers are for honor, and red fruit for courage—and the green leaves are for constancy.” My throat felt tight as I looked at him.
“They got that one right,” I said.
He caught my hand in his own, squeezing my fingers around the tiny stem.
“And the fruit is the shape of a heart,” he said softly, and bent to kiss me.
The tears were near the surface; at least I had a good excuse for the one that oozed free. He dabbed it away, then stood up and pulled his belt loose, letting the plaid fall in folds around his feet. Then he stripped off shirt and breeks and smiled down at me, naked.
“There’s no one here,” he said. “No one but us.”
I would have said this seemed no reason, but I felt what it was he meant. We had been for days surrounded by vastness and threat, the wilderness no farther away than the pale circle of our fire. Yet here, we were alone together, part and parcel of the place, with no need in broad daylight to hold the wilderness at bay.
“In the old days, men would do this, to give fertility to the fields,” he said, giving me a hand to rise.
“I don’t see any fields.” And wasn’t sure whether to hope I never would. Nonetheless, I skimmed off my buckskin shirt, and pulled loose the knot of my makeshift brassiere. He eyed me with appreciation.”
DRUMS OF AUTUMN- Diana Gabaldon


“-¿Crees en los signos, Sassenach?
-¿Qué clase de signos? -pregunté con cautela.
Como respuesta se inclinó, recogió una planta y la depositó en mi mano: las hojas eran verdes como pequeños abanicos, la flor blanca con el tallo delgado y había una fresa a punto de madurar. -Éstos. ¿Son los nuestros, lo ves?
-¿Nuestros?
-Quiero decir de los Fraser -explicó-. Las fresas siempre han sido el emblema del clan. Es lo
que significa el nombre desde que Monsieur Fréseliére llegó de Francia con el rey Guillermo y recibió, por su labor, las tierras en las montañas de Escocia.
-Entonces, ¿habéis sido guerreros desde el principio?
-Y también granjeros.
La duda de sus ojos se transformó en sonrisa.
No dije lo que estaba pensando, pero le conocía lo suficiente para saber la idea que cruzaba su mente. Ya no había clan Fraser, sino fragmentos diseminados, aquellos que habían sobrevivido escapando. Los clanes habían sido aplastados en Culloden y sus jefes sacrificados en la batalla o ajusticiados posteriormente.
Le sonreí luchando contra mi creciente desaliento.
-¿Fréseliére, eh? ¿Señor Strawberry? ¿Las cultivó o solamente le gustaba comérselas?
-Por lo uno, por lo otro o por ambas cosas -respondió con sequedad-. O tal vez porque era pelirrojo.
Reí y se puso en cuclillas junto a mí.
-Es una planta extraordinaria -dijo, tocando el retoño sobre mi mano abierta-. Flores, frutos y hojas, todo junto al mismo tiempo. Las flores blancas son por el honor, la fruta roja por el valor y las hojas verdes por la fidelidad.
Lo miré con un nudo en la garganta.
-El fruto tiene la forma de un corazón -dijo suavemente y me besó.
Una lágrima comenzó a rodar por mi mejilla. Jamie la secó, se levantó, se quitó la ropa y me sonrió, totalmente desnudo.
-No hay nadie aquí –dijo-. Nadie salvo nosotros.
Podría haberle dicho que eso no era una razón, pero sabía lo que quería decirme."
Tambores de Otoño- Diana Gabaldon