Kidnapped | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Kidnapped | Chapter 6 : What Befell at the Queen's Ferry | Summary



At Queen's Ferry, Ransome takes Ebenezer and David to a small room at the inn to meet Captain Hoseason. David goes downstairs and makes friends with the landlord. The landlord informs David that his father Alexander was, in fact, the elder brother and the rightful heir to the house and land of the Shaws—which makes David the new heir, not Ebenezer. When Ebenezer and the captain come outside, Captain Hoseason insists that he deliver Ebenezer and David to the lawyer Mr. Rankeillor's office. They take a small boat out to the ship, and David boards first, realizing too late that his uncle never boarded and is headed back to shore. David struggles to escape, but a crew member on the ship knocks him unconscious.


David is trusting enough to leave his uncle alone with the captain, which is a critical mistake, but it simultaneously allows David to learn useful information. David is clever enough to realize that his lack of knowledge sets him at a disadvantage with his uncle, and he thinks to ask people who are likely to know more than he does. The innkeeper gives him the most useful piece of information: David's father was the eldest son of the family, and thus, David is the heir to the property his uncle now possesses. This one piece of information explains his uncle's actions and gives David the motivation to fight his way back to Queen's Ferry after he has been abducted. If he had not learned this, David might have been happy enough to make a life somewhere else that he landed. Unfortunately, David is, at this point, still too trusting of people. He does not realize that Captain Hoseason and his uncle have had the time to hatch a plan. He fails to see that this sea captain who sometimes transports slaves cannot be trusted at all.

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