Chapter 21 Summary

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The Flight in the Heather: The Heugh of Corrynakeigh

Though day breaks early at the beginning of July, it is still dark when David and Stewart arrive at their destination, the Heugh of Corrynakeigh. They can see Mamore below them and the sea loch which divides it from Appin. They spend five happy days here, and Stewart teaches David how to fight with a sword. Stewart makes a blackened cross with several kinds of wood and then borrows the silver button he gave David to make a sign which he will deliver to John Breck Maccoll, a man he trusts. Stewart hopes Maccoll is sharp enough to read the sign correctly and understand that Duncan Stewart’s son is nearby and needs his help; Stewart also hopes Maccoll is smart enough to figure out where to find Stewart based on the kind of wood he used to make the cross. David suggests that a few words on a note might have been more effective; however, Stewart says they would have been waiting a long time for help, in that case, since Maccoll cannot read.

Stewart delivers the cross and at noon and the rugged, rather savage-looking Maccoll arrives but refuses to deliver any message which is not in writing, as he knows he will forget it. Stewart fashions a quill pen, makes ink from gunpowder, and writes a note on a scrap of paper torn from his French military commission. Stewart requests Mrs. James Stewart to send money, and three days later Maccoll returns from his dangerous mission. He shares the news that redcoats are everywhere and many poor folks are discovered with weapons every day. James Stewart and several of his servants are already in prison for complicity in Colin Campbell’s murder. It is commonly believed that Alan Breck Stewart fired the fatal shot, and there is a reward of one hundred pounds offered for the capture of both Stewart and David.

The short note from James Stewart’s wife begs Alan Breck Stewart not to get caught or both he and her husband will certainly be killed. She sent the only money she could muster and enclosed a copy of the wanted poster. Neither description is flattering, but it is accurate for Stewart because he refuses to dress in anything but his French finery, though it is now quite bedraggled. David is pleased that he is dressed in different clothes than the poster describes, and he begins to think that if he separated himself from Stewart now, he is likely to avoid any kind of trouble. He has enough money to get himself back to Queens Ferry on his own, as well. But Stewart considers himself to be David’s protector and David decides to stay silent and follow Stewart.

Maccoll returns David’s silver button, but not before Stewart has to force him to be honest. Stewart then thanks Maccoll and says he will always speak of him as being a good man. Maccoll leaves for home and the other two continue their journey.

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Chapter 20 Summary


Chapter 22 Summary