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Kidnapped

Robert Louis Stevenson

Chapters 19–21

Chapters 16–18

Chapters 19–21, page 2

page 1 of 3
Summary

Chapter 19: The House of Fear

Alan and David move through the night and reached the house of James Stewart, the lead of Alan's clan. James, his family, and his clansmen are in a nervous flurry of activity. James is certain he will be blamed for the murder of Colin Campbell.

James offers David and Alan a change of clothes. Alan refuses, choosing to merely batter his fine French clothes, making them dirty and nearly unrecognizable. James bustles about his home, worrying, as his men bury the swords and guns, and his son burns incriminating documents.

James then arms David and Alan with a pistol and a sword each, preparing them for their flight through the Highlands. James tells Alan that he will have to blame Alan and David for the murder if they come after him. James will give their descriptions—before they changed their clothes—to the Campbells, who will then have the English army searching for them. Alan easily agrees, but David is indignant, when he knows he had nothing to do with the murder. David thinks the actual killer should have a warrant put out for the arrest. This shocks Alan and James, and David, not wanting to abandon his friend, reluctantly agrees. Alan and David then leave James' house.

Chapter 20: The Flight in the Heather: the Rocks

David and Alan begin fleeing through the Highland wilderness. They reach a rushing river, broken up at one point by several large rocks. Alan and David leap to one rock, halfway across, and then Alan leaps to the other bank, but David nearly freezes in fear. David makes the second jump and the two begin running again.

Alan leads them to a large pair of rocks. They climb up and find a small, shallow "dish" in the top, enough space for them to hide. Alan admits that he nearly led them the wrong way, and that he forgot to bring a water bottle.

David drifts off to sleep. He is awakened at nine in the morning by Alan, who points out soldiers in the valley, all around them. They have no choice but to toast on the rock all day while the soldiers search for them.

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Vengeance or Loyalty? It depends on your point of view!

by English-Lit-Major, August 20, 2013

"To them, vengeance is a code of ethics that is acceptable."

This seems all wrong to me!

Stevenson takes a very sympathetic approach with the Highlanders. He wants us to LIKE them. He would not have considered vengeance an acceptable code of ethics, so he would not have meant for us to view the Highlanders as a vengeful people. There is something missing in this Sparknotes interpretation.

Considering the historical context, we know the Highlanders considered the English Whigs to be USURPERS. Therefore, they did not v... Read more

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