Chapter 30 Summary
David feels as if he has come home, but he also still feels responsible for Alan Breck Stewart. In addition, he feels as if he should do something regarding Colin Campbell’s murder and James of the Glens’ imprisonment for complicity. The next morning, David unburdens himself of these matters to Rankeillor. Even as he speaks, David is moved with pride at his future prospects. Rankeillor assures the boy that it is David’s duty to do whatever he can to help his friend Stewart get to France, even though it puts David at risk of prison and even hanging.
Stewart’s kin, James of the Glens, is another matter entirely. David has already thought it through and knows he has to do what he can to exonerate James of the Glens. The lawyer is impressed with the young man’s loyalty and writes two letters for David to take with him. One is addressed to the British Linen Company which authorizes David to be paid what the Shaws owe him; the other is to another Balfour, a well respected man, who may be able to help David when he offers his testimony to help James of the Glens. Finally David and Stewart leave for Edinburgh. Their hearts are heavy as they remember all their shared experiences and know they will soon have to part.
They decide that Stewart should remain in hiding in the country where David can meet him or send a messenger to communicate with him every day. David will obtain a lawyer, a Stewart from Appin (and therefore completely to be trusted), who will arrange for Stewart’s transport to France. Though David and Stewart tease one another, they are much closer to tears than to laughter. They arrive near a place called Rest-and-be-Thankful, and they can see the city ahead of them. Without saying it, both men know this is the place where they will part ways. They make the arrangements for communicating and David gives Stewart what little money he has so Stewart will not starve. They shake hands and say goodbye; neither of them looks at the other’s face.
David does not look back as he walks to the city; he feels as if he could sit down and weep like a child, but he does not. When David arrives in the city, he is struck by all the sights, sounds, and smells into a “kind of stupor of surprise.” He allows the crowds to propel him as he thinks about Stewart back at Rest-and-be-Thankful. He feels the gnawing of remorse as he is guided by “the hand of Providence” to the doors of the British Linen Company’s bank.