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A backroom of Stirling Town House, 17 August 1750

"Ye want me tae work for the Crown? Are ye daft, man?"

The figure on the other side of the oak desk did not so much as raise an eyebrow at this outburst. He was a thin figure in a grey suit and powdered wig, who had introduced himself as Mr Talbert, and Jamie had taken an instant dislike to him.

"On the contrary, Mr McCrimmon. Ye're exactly the sort o man we're looking for. A young man who feels lost and seeks adventure. Ye can find it wi us, or ye can hide in the hills taking potshots at Redcoats until they hunt ye doon and hang ye." He smiled slightly, "And if it maks ye feel better, our organisation dates back to 1562. The Stuarts saw the importance of our work."

"Aye, well. I'm sure Queen Mary liked folk tae pay their taxes as well, but that doesnae mean the current excisemen aren't Hanovarian dogs."

"Mr McCrimmon, let me be brutally honest here. Ye lost. The King O'er the Watter went back there. His remaining supporters have been routed. Ye need tae accept that and move on."

Jamie reached for his claymore, remembered he didn't carry one any more, or at least not into town, and looked for a moment as though he was considering attacking Mr Talbert with his bare hands. Then he his hands dropped to his sides and he sighed.

"Aye, ye're right. Mebbe some day." Honestly, while Jamie hadn't lost his dislike of the Hanoverians, what he'd heard from those who'd been at Culloden had rather soured him on the Prince as well. He'd lost his taste for war. But not, as Talbert seemed to recognise, for adventure. "So what is it ye dae, that ye'd want me for?"

"We invesitgate things. Unearthly visitors, uncanny sights, that manner of thing. Things most people wouldnae credit even if they knew."

"And ye think I will? My family will tell ye, I've no got much imagination."

"That's exactly what we need. A man who sees what's in front o him, and doesnae imagine things. Well, Mr McCrimmon, will ye become an agent o the Curation?"

"Is that what ye call yersels?" Jamie frowned, "What dae ye curate?"

"We maintain a ... collection of oddities, ye might say. Some of them are even our agents."

Jamie laughed, "Oh aye? If that's yer idea o sales blether, ye could dae some work on it!"

Talbert smiled again. "No all our agents, Mr McCrimmon. Not you, nor the man ye'll be partnered with."

"A partnership, is it? I've no even agreed tae join your Curation yet!"

"But ye havenae walked oot either. Ye're interested."

"Aye, I am that," Jamie admitted.

Although he wasn't sure how he was going to explain all this to Kirsty. Escpecially if, as he suspected, Talbert was going to demand an oath of secrecy.

[Author's Note: "Holiday Jobs only with Jamie instead of Zoe" is one of those things that seem like a great idea (well, to me) until you actually come to write it, at which point you quickly realise that an investigative story starring Jamie is a bit of a non-starter, and will probably end up with the mysterious partner doing the detective work, while Jamie serves as Dr Watson. And writing a fic where Jamie is back in the companion role, only to an OC, wasn't the plan. So it goes. I still quite like what I actually wrote, though, so here it is.]
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