Kidnapped | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Kidnapped | Chapter 10 : The Siege of the Roundhouse | Summary



The captain tries to enter the roundhouse, and Alan Breck meets him with a sword. He retreats and gathers his men. For the fight, Alan is stationed facing the door with sword and dagger, while David watches the bolted rear door and the skylight. Mr. Shuan attacks through the open door, and Alan kills him. David heads off a group with a battering ram at the back door. The second attack brings more crew members in the front and two in the skylight. David kills both of the crew who come in the skylight, and Alan kills two others and injures many more. The crew members retreat to the sailors's quarters, and the night passes quietly.


David and Alan become allies in the fight against the crew because they are both victims of the captain's criminal behavior and greed. The captain agreed to kidnap and sell David for the profit; he seeks to rob Alan for the same reason. David, moreover, believes that the crew is evil because of Mr. Shuan's murder of Ransome and the cover-up proposed by the captain. The crew members's complicity in the murder makes them all guilty. Without this event, David likely would not have felt it just to attack and even kill the crew members, an act that clearly goes against his Christian principles. David's sense of justice is maturing, along with his courage, fighting skills, and sense of confidence. This fight, moreover, forms a strong bond between David and Alan. Without David alerting him to the danger and fighting with him, Alan would have been killed for his money. Alan is indebted to David for saving his life; thus, Alan remains loyal to David in repayment for this debt.

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