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Kidnapped | Study Guide

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Kidnapped | Chapter 7 : I Go to Sea in the Brig "Covenant" of Dysart | Summary



David awakes below deck on the ship, where a Mr. Riach—the ship's second mate—brings him food and water. Mr. Riach convinces the captain to move David up to the forecastle—the sailors's quarters on the upper deck—to prevent his death. There, David gets to know the ship's other crew members and tries to help Ransome in his dealings with the brutal first mate Mr. Shuan and the kinder Mr. Riach, who brings the boy alcohol. David tells his story of being kidnapped to Mr. Riach, who advises him to write his story in letters to Mr. Campbell and Mr. Rankeillor.


David shows his strong, good character while on the Covenant. First, he continues to believe that the truth of his story and the fact that he has been done an injustice will convince others to help him. However, he is surrounded by a ship full of people who are criminals and tend to commit injustices. Mr. Riach is the sole member of the crew who will listen to David's story, and even he is unwilling to help David because it is mutiny to overrule the captain. Second, even though David is in a terrible position, he does his best to try to improve the situation that Ransome is in. David pities the boy for being thrown into a difficult and dangerous life.Although David has little power to help himself, he still continues to try to help those around him.

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