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KIDNAPPED - ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON Report of -Isagani B. Nguho
LIST OF CHARACTERS MAJOR CHARACTERS; David Balfour A sixteen year-old orphan who has many adventures before establishing his identity in the world. Ebenezer Balfour Davids uncle and master of the House of Shaws. He is miserly and ruthless. Alan Breck Stewart A brave Jacobite rebel (sympathizer of James II and the Stuarts) who befriends David and remains loyal to him to the end.
LIST OF CHARACTERS MINOR CHARACTERS; Elias Hoseason The cunning Captain of the "Covenant". He is Ebenezer Balfours friend and Davids kidnapper. Mr. Campbell The kind minister of Essendean. He delivers Alexander Balfours letter to David and directs the boy to the House of Shaws. Ransom An innocent cabin boy aboard the "Covenant". He works for the first mate, Shuan, in the round-house and becomes a victim of his violence. Shuan An expert seaman and a moody officer aboard the "Covenant". He is responsible for the death of Ransom.
LIST OF CHARACTERS MINOR CHARACTERS; Mr. Rich The second mate in the "Covenant". He attends to David during his sickness and provides him company in the ship. Mr. Rankeillor - a benevolent man and a shrewd lawyer. He helps David in securing his rightful place in society. Ardshiel A respected and exiled captain and member of Alans clan. James Stewart Ardshiels half-brother. He helps David and Alan make their flight from the Highlands. Colin Campbell The leader of the Campbells. He is referred to as the `Red Fox.
LIST OF CHARACTERS MINOR CHARACTERS; Duncan Mackiegh The dishonest, blind catechist (a person who brought Christianity to the more remote parts of the Highlands) who directs David to Torosay. Henderland The kind and generous catechist who provides shelter to David for a night and puts him on the boat to Appin. Neil Roy Macrob The skipper of the ferry that travels between Torosay and Kinlochaline. John Breck Maccoll A friend of Alans. He carries his message to James Stewarts wife.
LIST OF CHARACTERS MINOR CHARACTERS; John Breck Maccoll A friend of Alans. He carries his message to James Stewarts wife. Cluny Macpherson A rebel in the uprising of 1745. He gives shelter to Alan and David in his cave for five days. Duncan Dhu Maclaren Alans devoted friend. He acts as a good host and takes care of David at his home for a month. Robin Oig The son of the notorious Rob Roy. He comes to the house of Duncan and extends a hand of friendship to David and Alan. Torrance The servant of Mr. Rankeillor. He accompanies the lawyer, Alan, and David to the House of Shaws to trap Ebenezer.
On a June morning in 1751, after the death of his father, David leaves the place of his birth to go in search of fortune. The minister of Essendean, Mr. Campbell, comes forward to bid him good-bye. He also hands over to David a letter written by his father, Alexander Balfour; the letter is addressed to Alexanders brother, Ebenezer, asking him to look after David.
Around noon on the second day, David reaches Edinburgh. Standing on top of a hill, he inhales the beauty of the place and feels happy to be a part of a new and exciting environment. Walking along, he meets a shepherd from whom he gets the directions to Cramond. Later, he inquires about the House of Shaws from the neighbors. The people react angrily to the mention of his uncles name, making David apprehensive. His enthusiasm is further dampened when a woman named Jennet Clouston curses the House of Shaws and its inhabitants.
David is ushered into the gloomy house and led to the kitchen by the stranger who answered the door. The room is barely furnished. A bowl of porridge and a glass of beer are on the table. The stranger looks like a crook and is shabbily dressed. David is not able to guess either his age or his profession. The old man offers the bowl of porridge to David and consumes the beer himself. He introduces himself as Ebenezer, the brother of Alexander (Davids father), and takes the letter from the boy. He looks disturbed when reading its contents.
In an attempt to relieve his boredom, David spends his time in useful pursuits. He starts reading Latin and English books, which are available in the library of the house. One day he discovers on the inside of a chapbook (a small book, usually of poetry) an inscription in his fathers hand addressed as follows: "To my brother Ebenezer on his fifth birthday". This message puzzles David, and he starts considering the idea that his father and his uncle were twins. However, his uncle looks disturbed when David questions him about it.
Waking up the next morning, David starts contemplating the events of the previous night. Assured of his superior strength, he goes up to release his uncle from his room. Shortly afterwards, a cabin boy appears at the door and delivers a letter to Mr. Balfour. Reading the letter, Ebenezer tells David that they will have to leave for Queensferry to meet the captain of the "Covenant" and, later, to visit their lawyer. David, although suspicious of his uncle, departs with his uncle because he wants to view the sea up close and also to meet the lawyer.
At Queensferry, Ransom leads them to the captains quarters. Captain Hoseason welcomes them and talks to Ebenezer about the ship. In the meantime, David and Ransom walk by the water and explore the docks. The smell of the salty air and the imposing image of the sea stir Davids heart again with romantic images of sailing.
When David regains consciousness, he experiences excruciating pain. The noise of the sea deafens his ears, and the smell of the ships cabin nauseates him. He feels stiff and realizes his hands and legs are tied up. Restricted in his movements and feeling dizzy in the darkness, he falls down in a swoon. He is awakened by a small man with green eyes. Mr. Riach looks friendly as he washes and dresses Davids wounds. He also asks the captain to move David to another part of the ship where the boy can have a berth of his own. In his new lodgings, David meets different kinds of sailors who relate to him their tales of adventure.
News arrives that Shuan has killed Ransom. The captain tells David to take the boys place in the Round-house. His duties will include serving the officers during meal times and supplying them with drinks on their demand. David begins the new work with apprehension. He finds it very strenuous, but at least it keeps him from brooding. In addition, it gives him more freedom to roam around and view the sea, for the round-house is placed six feet above the decks. He also has the opportunity at times to eat rare delicacies.
Ten days after the start of its journey, the "Covenant" strikes another boat while heading south on a foggy night. Only one occupant of the boat survives, and he is brought to the Round- house. He is a small man, but appears to be strong and agile. In spite of the accident and the death of all his other shipmates, the lone survivor seems calm. He takes off his greatcoat and lays a pair of silver-mounted pistols down on the table. Speaking with a Scottish accent, he calls himself a Jacobite and informs the captain that he was on his way to France. He offers the captain sixty guineas to take him to Linnhe Loch, and Hoseason agrees.
As Alan and David lay their trap and wait, the captain makes the first appearance. Alan challenges him and the captain retreats from the round-house. Shuan enters next. When David informs Alan that Shuan is Ransoms killer, Alan falls on him with full force, stabbing him to death. David then notices five men approaching, and he shoots in their direction; one man is shot and the others run. Then a group of men rush at the door, with one coming in through the skylight. With his pistol, David killed one of the men and wounded another.
At six oclock the next morning, Alan and David assess their position. They are satisfied with their performance in the fight. In the aftermath of victory, they sit down to have a drink. Alan commends David for his abilities and gives him a silver button from his coat as a mark of friendship.
At the beginning of this chapter, Alan and David are in a relaxed mood, smoking pipes and talking about their adventures. Alan gives information about his background. He is a deserter from the English army who is now working for the French army. Every year he visits Scotland to pick up military recruits for the French and to collect rents from the tenants on behalf of Ardshiel, who was forced out of the country and is now living on the continent. Alan also describes his intense hatred for the Campbells.
Late at night, Hoseason comes to the roundhouse. He is fearful for the safety of the ship, for the weather is bad and the route is dangerous. Alan does everything he can to help save the ship and avoid the reefs. Just as they began to celebrate their safe passage, the ship is caught by the tide and tossed upon a reef. A large wave hits the ship, and David is washed into the sea. Although he is not a swimmer, he manages to stay afloat and paddle to safety.
After spending the night at the inn at Kinlochin, David starts on his journey to Appin. On the way, he meets Henderland, a catechist. This man is easy to talk to and David becomes friendly with him. Henderland knows Campbell of Essendean and admires him. The catechist talks about Alans reputation and about the expulsion of the tenants by the soldiers of Red Fox. He then invites David to his home to spend the night
After spending the night with Henderland, David takes a boat to his destination. Arriving at Appin, he rests in the woods and starts musing about his condition. At that moment he notices four travelers coming his way on horses. Getting up, he asks them the way to Aucharn. David does not realize he is talking to Colin Campbell, the Red Fox. As they converse, gunfire is heard; the Red Fox is hit and falls off his horse dead. Horrified, David runs uphill in pursuit of a man in a black coat whom he suspects to be the killer. However, Campbells men mistakenly assume that David is an accomplice and chase him.
When David has the opportunity to speak, he informs Alan that he wants to part ways because he suspects Alan to be an accomplice in the murder of Red Fox. Alan tries to convince the boy of his innocence, and David reluctantly offers him his hand in friendship. Alan tells him that his options are to get caught by the Campbells or risk an escape with him. David is left with no choice but to join his friend. Then Alan relates to him the fate of the "Covenant" and the events following Davids fall into the sea.
Under cover of night, David and Alan walk through the mountains to reach the house of James of the Glens. The lighted house has its door open, but soldiers walk around it with their weapons. James comes forward to welcome Alan in Gaelic. He looks anxious and predicts disturbances in the area as a consequence of the death of Red Fox. He has Alan and David change their clothes before travelling on. He also informs them that he may have to issue a description of them as suspects in order to escape punishment himself.
When they reach Clunys dwelling, the Jacobite leader welcomes Alan and David with open arms. The strange house, called Clunys Cage, is mounted on a hillside with a tree serving as the central beam for the roof. The cage, which is comfortable, serves as one of Clunys hideouts. Cluny plays the part of a good host by serving them a delightful lunch and later setting the table for a game of cards. David declines to join in the game, for he wants to rest. While he is in a deep sleep, Alan secretly borrows money from David to continue his game with Cluny.
After the brief stay at Clunys, David and Alan continue their journey. David, who believes in moral values and justice, still condemns Alan for taking his money. Nurturing anger and resentment, David walks along in silence. Alan feels regretful and apologetic. He makes an attempt to start a conversation but fails to get a positive response from the boy. David, tired in body and spirit, is provoked, however, when Alan remarks that he is a Whig. David vents his anger on his friend and raises his sword to challenge his friend. Alan, however, refuses to fight with David.
On reaching land, David walks towards Queensferry to go the residence of Mr. Rankeillor, his attorney. In the meantime, Alan hides himself in the fields by the roadside. David meets the lawyer, who inquires about his birth and parentage before inviting him to dine with him. Mr. Rankeillor hears the boys tales of adventure and calls it a great odyssey.
After David washes up, Mr. Rankeillor tells him the story of the two brothers, Davids father and uncle. Mr. Ebenezer had been a gallant youth, who ran away from home to join the rebels in 1715. It was his brother, Alexander, who brought him back. Later, both the brothers fell in love with the same girl. When the girl chose Alexander, Ebenezer was given the estate as compensation; but the land was eventually to go to Alexanders heirs; therefore, the property rightfully belongs to David.
Mr. Ebenezer makes his appearance first at the window and then at the door. He listens to Alans claim that he has news of David. Armed with a gun, he threatens Alan of the consequences if he is proved a liar. Ebenezer then listens to Alans fabricated tale of how David had been saved from drowning and kept in a ruined castle. Since the expense of looking after the boy was proving costly, Alan asks Ebenezer for money for the boys maintenance. After the old man agrees to pay, Alan extracts information from him about the kidnapping of David.
The next morning, as Rankeillor and Torrance bid the boy farewell, Davids thoughts center on Alan. He would be leaving his friend in a short while. Troubled by this thought, he accompanies Alan to Edinburgh. At a chosen spot, they take leave of each other in silence, but their hearts are full of admiration for one another. It is agreed that David will either meet Alan or send a messenger to meet him every day at a particular spot until the lawyer arranges for Alans safe departure to his home.
Stevensons Kidnapped is the story of an orphan in search of his fortune, who becomes involved with and saved by an outlaw suspected of murdering the Red Fox, Colin Campbell. The tale of David Balfour, his relationship with his uncle, his kidnapping, his flight into the Highlands, and his return to his hometown to claim his fortune, is fictional. The story of Alan Breck Stewart is based on Scottish history. http://pinkmonkey.com/booknotes/monkeynotes/pmKidnapped39.asp
Alan is a staunch follower of the Stuarts and a devoted Jacobite leader. He is an admirer of Prince Charles, a friend of James of the Glens and Cluny Macpherson, and the enemy of Red Fox. The stories of David and Alan intertwine throughout the plot, making the novel both an adventure tale and a historical novel, suited for both children and adults. http://pinkmonkey.com/booknotes/monkeynotes/pmKidnapped39.asp