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

CHAPTER 23: Cluny's Cage

Summary

When they reach Cluny's dwelling, the Jacobite leader welcomes Alan and David with open arms. The strange house, called 'Cluny's 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 Cluny's 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.

David is sick and unaware that he sleeps for three days. When he finally wakes out of his illness, he notices that Alan and Cluny are no longer playing cards. Alan, however, looks dispirited because he has lost all his money and David's as well. David is enraged that his friend has taken and lost his money, but before they leave the cage, Cluny returns David's money to him.

Notes

This chapter continues the interlude between action. David and Alan arrive at Cluny's cave, where they are fed and entertained. It becomes apparent that David is truly sick, for he sleeps at Cluny's for three straight days. While he sleeps, Alan "borrows" David's money.


The historic Cluny Macpherson is portrayed as a powerful man who rules his cave like a king. He spends his time listening to the grievances of the people and entertaining guests. Although he is in hiding, Cluny still emerges as a strong character with his sense of dignity and pride intact. Although he looks fierce and talks roughly, he is good at heart, proven by his generosity in feeding and housing Alan and David and in his returning David's money that Alan lost.

CHAPTER 24: The Flight in the Heather: The Quarrel

Summary

After the brief stay at Cluny's, 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. This gesture softens David's attitude towards his friend, and he asks Alan to help him move into a cottage to rest his wounded legs.

Notes

Stevenson builds up animosity between the two friends. While David is angry with Alan for losing all his money irresponsibly and for making him walk through the rough path, Alan is angry with himself for losing his self-control. David's mind is restless, and his body is exhausted. Unable to cope up with the situation, he becomes unreasonable in his behavior towards Alan. He does everything to provoke his friend, but Alan tries his best to be patient and make up with the boy.

Finally, because of David's arrogance, a quarrel erupts between the two companions. However, Alan again wins David over through his kindness and generosity, and all is well. The whole scene is charged with emotion and tension, but is very reflective of what might really happen in life between two men who are under great pressure and spending all of their time together. In addition, Alan, with all his faults, emerges as a noble person who excuses David for his bad behavior and happily renews his friendship with the boy, even though the immature youth does not desire it.

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