Kidnapped | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Kidnapped | Chapter 22 : The Flight in the Heather: The Moor | Summary

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Summary

David and Alan resume their flight through the night and the morning as long as they can, stopping around noon on a "muir," a flat open land with low-growing vegetation. Alan takes first watch; David falls asleep on the second and wakes to the sight of a group of horse soldiers searching through the brush. He wakes Alan, who decides they must flee toward a mountain called Ben Alder, even if their flight will take them across the path of the oncoming soldiers. They move as quickly as possible, fighting pain and exhaustion, and make it to the mountain, where they are accosted by a group of soldiers. Alan is pleasantly surprised that the soldiers are sentries for Cluny Macpherson, who is an exiled Jacobite and will welcome Alan.

Analysis

In the last chapter David had considered separating from Alan; in this chapter, he learns again how much he must rely on the knowledge, experience, and relationships that Alan has. On the moor, where they are more exposed than anywhere else they have stopped, David falls asleep on his watch. The dangerous, uncomfortable trek on hands and knees across the rough terrain is David's fault. When they reach the mountain, David is beginning to fall sick from exhaustion, while Alan leads on. Then, when they are ambushed, it is Alan's connections that ensure their safety. If Alan is more of an outlaw, David is more of a burden. Their share in causing difficulty grows equal again.

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