Study Guide

Kidnapped Chapter 11

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 11

The Captain Knuckles Under

  • While Alan and Davie are eating breakfast, Davie gloats a bit over the fact that Riach and Hoseason – who both like their alcohol – now have no access either to the round-house or to their drinks.
  • Alan offers Davie one of the silver buttons off his coat and says that if he shows that button to a friend of Alan Breck, he will immediately help Davie. Davie laughs a little (on the inside, at least) at Alan's vanity.
  • Then Riach calls to them from the deck, asking for "parley," or a truce (more shades of Pirates of the Caribbean!)
  • Riach implies that the captain is losing control of the men, and that Davie will be totally safe: no one wants more violence. Alan agrees to the parley.
  • Riach then begs for a bit of brandy, which Davie gives him.
  • Hoseason appears at the window of the round-house.
  • Hoseason complains that now his ship doesn't have enough men to go on as planned. They'll need to stop at Glasgow (a major shipbuilding center of the time) to pick up extra sailors. Alan could go ashore there and make his own way, Hoseason offers.
  • Alan refuses to wait for Glasgow and demands to be let off on this coast.
  • Hoseason warns that Shuan was the one who knew how to navigate that coast, which is rocky and hard for ships to pass safely. Now Shuan's dead, and no one on board is familiar with the area.
  • Alan doesn't care: he says that Hoseason has to set Alan on the ground near Alan's home county (here he lists several Scottish place names on the remote western coast). If he drags Alan all the way to Glasgow, Alan will tell everyone he meets how Captain Hoseason and his gang of fifteen tried to kill a man and a boy.
  • As an added bonus, Alan once again offers money: thirty guineas if they land on the sea coast near Alan's home, sixty guineas if Hoaseason goes right up into the Linnhe Loch (a sea inlet).
  • Hoseason finally agrees, after much persuading, though he's still worried about running into British naval ships (what with Alan being a Jacobite and all) and about the tricky coastline.
  • They also agree on a trade: Hoseason gets a bottle of brandy in exchange for two buckets of water. Alan and Davie use the water to wash out the round-house, and Hoseason and Riach "could be happy again in their own way" (11.39), i.e. with a drink in their hand.

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