Smallpox on a boat

“Drums Of Autumn (Outlander, Book 4)” by Diana Gabaldon –

“Reflex alone made Roger lunge forward, grabbing the child like a rugger ball as the seaman threw his arms out in a last effort to save himself. Entangled like lovers, man and woman fell backward together into the open maw of the hatchway. There was a crash and more screams from below, then the sudden, momentary silence of shock. Then the outcries began again, below, and a muttering babble around him.

Roger righted the child, trying to stop its whimpering with awkward pats. It seemed curiously loose-jointed in his arms, and it felt hot, even through its layers of clothes. Light flashed over Roger as the bosun lifted his lantern high, looking at the child with distaste.

“Hope you have had the pox, MacKenzie,” he said.

It was wee Gilbert, the lad with sore eyes—but two days had made such a change that Roger scarcely recognized him. The boy was thin as a wraith, the round face gone so thin that the skullbones showed. The fair, dirt-smudged skin had gone, too, submerged under a mass of suppurating pustules so thick that the eyes were mere slits in the lolling head. He had barely time to register the sight before hands plucked the small, burning body from him. Before he could grasp the sudden emptiness in his arms, there was another splash to port.”

Yes, they are throwing the infected people overboard, including the children.

Start reading this book for free:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s