Jamie settles into life at Helwater, but the engagement of the eldest daughter leads to a series of unusual events for the Scotsman. Lady Geneva is less than pleased with her fiance, and decides that she would much rather lose her virginity to the virile Jacobite working for her father. She uses a visit from Lord John and his brother to her advantage, learning enough about Jamie's background to blackmail him into sleeping with her. Months later, Jamie is called to rush the family to Geneva's new estate, where she has gone into labor. After a difficult delivery, she dies, leaving behind a new born son. Unfortunately, her husband claims the child is a bastard and that Geneva was a whore; they had never shared the marriage bed. Lady Isabella confesses to Jamie that she knew about his assignation with her sister and thus blames him for her death. When Lord Ellsmere threatens the infant and Lord Dunsany brandishes a pistol, Jamie steps in to diffuse the situation. But Lord Ellsmere makes to stab the baby, and Jamie shoots him, earning the gratitude of his employers, even the standoffish Lady Dunsany. She later offers Jamie his freedom in payment for his heroics, but he decides to stay at Helwater, saying that time are hard in Scotland and that by staying he'll be able to send money back to his family. In truth, he wants to remain to watch over his son. Skipping ahead a few years, Jamie and little Willie have developed quite the bond, with the family joking about how Willie spends so much time with the groom that he's starting to look like him. Once Jamie realizes that their connection will be revealed if he stays, he makes arrangements to return to Lallybroch. He asks Lord John to look after the boy, offering his body as payment. John is both amused and a touch offended, but he tells Jamie that such payment will be unnecessary since he will be marrying Lady Isabella and in effect becoming Willie's stepfather. Willie is upset that his beloved "Mac" is leaving him, first acting out, but then coming to Jamie in the middle of the night asking to become a "stinking Papist" like his idol. Jamie baptizes him and gives him a hand carved snake like his own, telling the boy that he needs nothing to remember him by.
Claire, Bree, and Roger try and track Jamie from the Battle of Culloden so that Claire can try to return to him. They discover records of him at Ardsmuir, but when they go to check the ship manifests for transported prisoners, they find that the archives have been mislabeled -- the manifests are for 100 years previous to the dates they are looking for. After a long distance telephone call with Joe, Claire starts to become disheartened and decides to give up the search, saying that she's losing her life to the obsession of finding him, which is what Mrs. Graham warned her against. Bree admits to be guiltily relieved; she is afraid of losing her mother.