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

CHAPTER 21: The Flight in the Heather: The Heugh of Corrynakiegh

Summary

Alan and David move stealthily through the mountains in the dark until they reach a cave with a stream close by. In this pleasant hideout they spend five days cooking porridge, grilling trout and sleeping on heather beds. Alan decides to send word to James of the Glens about his safety. In the night he visits the house of John Breck to leave a sign, a blackened cross with his silver button on it, in the window. The next day Breck comes to visit Alan. Alan sends a written message to James through Breck. Three days later, Breck returns with the news of James' arrest. He also gives Alan a packet containing some money sent by Mrs. Stewart. David and Alan soon depart for their destination.

Notes

This chapter serves as a quiet interlude between the chapters that are packed with physical action. After an exhausting journey, Alan and David take shelter in the cave of a mountain, where they rest for five pleasant days. During their stay, David learns from Alan how to use a sword. He also considers the idea of parting ways from Alan, for he still fears for his own safety if he is discovered with his friend.

Alan has trusted friends all over the Highlands who come to his aid whenever he needs help. John Breck seeks him out and takes a letter from Alan to James of the Glens in spite of the danger. He also returns to tell Alan about the arrest of James and to bring money so David and Alan can continue their journey.


CHAPTER 22: The Flight in the Heather: The Moor

Summary

David and Alan resume their flight, continuing for almost eleven hours until they cross barren land to reach a forest of dead firs. Here they decide to take turns resting. David sleeps first while Alan keeps an alert watch. During David's watch, however, he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he is shocked to see Red soldiers on horseback coming in their direction. David alerts Alan, who reacts immediately. They both crawl unseen to a heather bush, where they hide until dark. The soldiers settle around a fire, and Alan and David press onward through the night. At daybreak, as they walk through the heather down a hill, they meet four rugged men. They are followers of Alan's friend, Cluny Macpherson, who had been a leader in the rebellion six years ago. While the men take word to their chief about Alan's arrival, Alan falls asleep. A short while later, the men return with an invitation from Cluny. All of them walk towards Ben Alder Mountain.

Notes

In this chapter, Stevenson contrasts the immaturity of David with the maturity of Alan. David thinks only about himself, constantly concerned about his own safety and exhaustion. He states that "the aching and faintness of my body, the laboring of my heart, the soreness of my throat and eyes in the continual smoke of dust and ashes, had soon grown unbearable that I would gladly have given up." When he is on watch, the boy falls asleep, putting both Alan and himself in jeopardy. Alan, on the other hand, remains faithful to David, even when the boy behaves irresponsibly and keeps complaining. Alan is strong and unfazed by the challenge at hand, while David appears weak and frightened. When David expresses his inability to walk further, Alan volunteers to carry him. David fails to understand the urgency with which they must continue their journey. Alan's kindness and generosity contrast with David's selfishness and thoughtlessness.

Stevenson introduces one more character from Scottish history in this chapter. Cluny Macpherson was a Jacobite leader who fought during the Great Rebellion and later went into hiding. Alan is glad to hear that his friend is able to see him and looks forward to meeting his ally.

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