Study Guide

Kidnapped Chapter 6

By Robert Louis Stevenson

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Chapter 6

What Befell at the Queen's Ferry

  • Ransome, Davie, and Ebenezer arrive at Hawes Inn, where they encounter a cool, self-possessed-looking guy: Elias Hoseason, captain of the Covenant.
  • Ebenezer comments that Hoseason keeps his room really hot.
  • Hoseason replies that he's always freezing -- he has cold blood.
  • Ebenezer says all right, we can't help how we're made.
  • Davie has decided he's going to stick close to Ebenezer. But the room is really stuffy. So when Ebenezer suggests that Davie go off and amuse himself for a bit, Davie does it.
  • Davie looks out at the bay and starts to feel pretty excited: the smell of the sea and the sight of the ship make him think of trips to far-off places.
  • The look of the crew puts Davie off a bit, though: they all seem like criminals, with their swearing and desperate appearance.
  • Ransome comes out of the inn and joins Davie, and they head off for a brew at the inn.
  • Davie asks the innkeeper if he knows a Mr. Rankeillor.
  • The innkeeper asks if Davie came in with Ebenezer, and Davie says yes.
  • The innkeeper asks if Davie is a relative of Ebenezer's. Davie lies and says no. The innkeeper says – and here the plot thickens – that Davie does look a little bit like Alexander.
  • The innkeeper confirms that Ebenezer is much hated throughout the area because he's driven a lot of local tenants out of their homes (including Jennet Clouston). Still, it's sad, the innkeeper continues: Ebenezer was a good, handsome young guy, but that all changed when the rumor got around that he killed his older brother, Alexander.
  • Davie is thrilled to find out that it's just as he suspected: Alexander was Ebenezer's older brother, which makes Davie heir to the house of Shaws. His fortune's been made!
  • Just as Davie thinks this, he sees Hoseason through the inn window and tells us, the readers, that Hoseason is neither so good as he looks nor so bad as Ransome says he is. But Hoseason's at his worst on his ship.
  • Next, Davie hears Ebenezer calling him from outside, and he goes to join Hoseason and Ebenezer.
  • Hoseason invites Davie to come aboard the Covenant for half an hour to share a drink with him.
  • Davie wants to say yes because he's really curious about the inside of a ship, but he's suspicious, so he tells Hoseason he and his uncle have an appointment with a lawyer.
  • Hoseason assures Davie that the Covenant is moored right next to the lawyer Rankeillor's house. Hoseason also leans in and warns Davie to watch out for Ebenezer; if Davie comes aboard, he can tell him some things.
  • Davie is totally drawn in by Hoseason's friendly manner and joins him in a rowboat to go out to the Covenant's anchoring point. Davie is carried up the side of the ship to the deck, and Hoseason starts showing him around the boat.
  • Davie is interested in all of this, but he suddenly wonders where Ebenezer is.
  • Hoaseason answers, "that's the point" (6.34). Hearing this weird answer, Davie breaks free of Hoseason's arm and runs to the side of the ship. He looks down and sees the rowboat that brought him to the Covenant returning to dock with his uncle at its head.
  • Davie yells for help, and Ebenezer turns back to look at him "with a face full of cruelty and terror" (6.35).
  • Watching his uncle rowing away, Davie is suddenly struck unconscious from behind.

Kidnapped Chapter 6 Study Group

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