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MonkeyNotes Study Guide for Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson-Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS

CHAPTER 19: The House of Fear

Summary

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.

Notes

In this chapter David meets the noted James of Glen, about whom Alan has spoken. From what he has heard about the man, David has imagined him to be brave and honest, but he finds him to be quite different. David sees him as an agitated being, who beats his son. Even though James does help them to escape from Appin and gives them swords, pistols, and food, he warns he will have to give a description of them as wanted murderers in order to save himself. David considers his attitude unjust. As an idealistic, just, and moral youth, he feels that the guilty should be punished and the names of the innocent should be cleared. When he mentions his desire to bring the murderer to justice, both Alan and James look shocked. David and the reader still do not know the name of the murderer; in addition, he also has trouble understanding why Alan and James want to protect and shield a killer.


CHAPTER 20: The Flight in the Heather: The Rocks

Summary

David and Alan start on their perilous journey. In David's words, "Sometimes we walked, sometimes ran; and as it drew on to morning, walked over the less and ran more." Most of the people in the neighborhood have heard about the news of Red Fox and are suspicious of strangers in their mist. At day break, the two travelers find themselves in a deep valley adjacent to a roaring river and surrounded by mountains. Afraid of being apprehended by soldiers in the daylight, Alan knows they need to hide behind the rocks in the middle of the river. Alan jumps into the river first and then tries to help the frightened David. After he jumped and tried to pull himself up on the rocks, David found that he slipped again and again. Just as he felt he was sure to perish, Alan pulls him to safety. They run until they find a safe place, out of sight. They hide themselves until night with only brandy to quench their thirst and boost their energy. They take turns keeping watch, for the entire valley is teeming with red-coat soldiers.

After sunset, David and Alan slip through the rocks to again reach the river, where they refresh themselves. Then they begin to ascend the steep side of the mountain. Though the climb is tough, David survives the ordeal and feels happy to be alive; he imagines himself to be on a cloud.

Notes

Stevenson introduces thrill and excitement in this chapter as he shows David and Alan making their escape into the wild Highlands. He also has David describe his feelings in great detail. As they run through the rocky landscape, David says, "I had been weary before, but now I was sick and bruised, and partly drunken with brandy; I kept stumbling as I ran, I had a stitch that came near to overmaster me." Though Alan is older than David, he is more agile and swift in his movements. Experience and an instinct for survival have also made him cautious and stealthy. David, a total stranger to the Highlands and inexperienced with its landscape, finds it difficult to keep pace with Alan and often feels he can push himself no further. After a rest and a dip in the river, however, David finds his spirits revived. He is amazed that he can climb the steep mountain and looks down from the height to the valley below with a sense of wonder.

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MonkeyNotes Study Guide for Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson-Summary
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