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by Robert Louis Stevenson
David Balfour of Shaws Timeline and Summary
Davie leaves his home of Essendean, in southeastern Scotland, upon the death of his father. His friend Mr. Campbell, the Minister of Essendean, tells him to go to the house of Shaws, where he will meet relations who can help him. This relation is Davie's uncle, Ebenezer Balfour, who turns out to be a miser and a cheat. Ebenezer manages to trick Davie into getting onto a ship, the Covenant, bound for the Americas. On the ship, Davie finds that he is going to be sold by Captain Hoseason to a plantation in the Carolinas. Before the Covenant manages to leave the waters of Scotland, it runs in to a small boat carrying Alan Breck Stewart, a Highland rebel and Jacobite. Alan and Davie form an alliance against Hoseason and the crew of the Covenant. Alan tells Davie of his hereditary feud with Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure, whom he calls Red Fox. The Covenant runs aground off the island of Mull, and Davie is shipwrecked on a small, barren, deserted rock called Earraid. Davie nearly dies of starvation and exposure before finding out that, when the tide is low, he can walk from Earraid to Mull. On Mull, Davie discovers that Alan has been looking for him. He sets off to find him. On his way to meet Alan, Davie witnesses the murder of Red Fox. Davie is fingered as an accomplice in the killing. Davie and Alan meet up and go on the run from Red Fox's clan, the Campbell family, and the English soldiers who supported him. The two cross the Highlands on foot, suffering from hunger, poor weather, and exhaustion. Avoiding all the people looking for them, they finally wind up back at Davie's departure point, Queensferry, where he first boarded the Covenant. Alan goes into hiding while Davie finds his uncle's lawyer, Mr. Rankeillor. Rankeillor explains why Ebenezer had Captain Hoseason kidnap Davie. It turns out that Davie is the rightful heir of the house of Shaws, which Ebenezer has taken over illegally. Davie comes up with a plan to get Ebenezer to let go of his money without all the fuss of a lawsuit. He uses Alan to entrap Ebenezer into confessing that he engineered Davie's kidnapping. Rankeillor, in hiding, hears this confession and tells Ebenezer that he must give Davie a share of his estate or face legal consequences for the kidnapping. Davie decides to use his newfound money to go back up north and testify as a witness to the Red Fox killing. He wants to try to clear the name of Alan's kinsman, James Stewart, in the murder trial. Alan wants to arrange passage to France, where he will be safe from English troops. The two part ways in Edinburgh. The novel closes on an inconclusive note. Will Davie save James Stewart? Will Alan make it to France? We don't know!