Kidnapped | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Kidnapped | Chapter 30 : Good-Bye | Summary



With his affairs settled, David turns his attention to securing safe passage to France for Alan Breck and to doing whatever he can to free James Stewart of the Glens from his wrongful imprisonment for involvement in the murder of the Red Fox. Mr. Rankeillor advises him that the latter task risks David's own safety and freedom, but David persists. Mr. Rankeillor gives David a note to secure credit at a bank in Edinburgh, so that David may help fund Alan's passage, as well as a letter of introduction to the Lord Advocate, so that David may testify on behalf of James Stewart. With these, David heads to Edinburgh accompanied by Alan. Alan and David agree on a meeting place and time that David can share with anyone he sends to help Alan flee the country. Then, Alan and David part ways for a final time. Alan goes to hide himself in the countryside outside of Edinburgh while he waits for his contact and passage to France. David goes to withdraw money from the bank in Edinburgh and begin his new adventures.


David's actions in this last scene demonstrate that he has become an honorable man, a man even Mr. Rankeillor can respect. David has shown that he can assess whether a man is trustworthy and devise a clever scheme that outsmarts his devious uncle. Now David shows that he keeps track of the debts that he has incurred and that he is willing to pay them, even at the risk of his own life. David's desire to help Alan Breck return to France fulfills a responsibility to the man who saved his life multiple times and is responsible for returning him to Queen's Ferry and securing his property. David's choice to then return to the highlands in an effort to free James Stewart is even more respectable, because he risks his own freedom and safety to do so.

Alan, meanwhile, returns to precisely the same life that he has had all along. While David has grown and changed throughout their endeavors, transforming from a boy into a man, Alan has been a steady force whose principles and goals have not changed. He will return to France and then secretly to Scotland, taking all of his bluster and reputation with him.

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