Kidnapped | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Kidnapped | Chapter 16 : The Lad with the Silver Button: Across Morven | Summary

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Summary

From Torosay, David takes a ferry to Kinlochaline on the mainland, where he speaks with Neil Roy, a friend of Alan Breck's who directs him to follows Alan to Aucharn. Leaving Kinlochaline, David quickly meets another catechist—Mr. Henderland—who is very different from the first one he met on the road to Torosay. Mr. Henderland, moreover, knows David's Reverend Campbell well, and the two men quickly form a bond. They continue on the road together, while David asks him questions about the conflicts among clans in the highlands. David spends the night at Mr. Henderland's house.

Analysis

David has mixed luck with showing the button, which sometimes produces no reaction and sometimes assures him safe passage. He makes the mistake of trying to bribe Neil Roy, who is greatly offended by the bribe but offers to help David as soon as he sees the button. David is slowly learning to make his way across the highlands almost on his own when he meets Mr. Henderland. Mr. Henderland, he learns, is a friend of his old minister Mr. Campbell. This connection earns David just as much goodwill as the button had with Neil Roy. The connection between the ministers is David's first familial connection that functions in the way that Alan's do, offering him the assistance of a man who will do whatever he can to assist him. David cannot rely on his own reputation yet, so he must trade on Alan's and Mr. Campbell's reputations.

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