This is one for those of you who are now putting the finishing touches to your first TGO Challenge. You may have read this before, perhaps as a child, but this is the perfect gripping yarn to have in your pack for a walk across the Highlands.
The plot is fairly simply. Our hero is David Balfour a young man from the Scottish lowlands who lives alone with his father since his mother has died. When his father died David is packed off to an uncle he has never met. The uncle proves to be a nasty piece of work and tricks David into thinking that they are both travelling to Edinburgh to secure his inheritance. Instead David is Kidnapped, or at least the uncle pays, to have him taken on board a ship bound for the Americas.
As the ship makes its way around the coast of the Highlands it rescues a man from a shipwreck. The man rescued is a jacobite Stewart, Alan Breck, who is eager to reach dry land and to make his way back to Stewart territory. The Captain of the vessel aims to put the ship down near Mull to allow Breck to begin his journey. A storm blows up and the ship is wrecked. David manages to survive and as he struggles east across the barren heather moorland begins to meet people who convey messages left for him by Alan in case he had survived.
Alan and David are re-united and set off across the Highlands to travel on for David to re-claim his inheritance. Alan is a kind of terrorist freedom fighter and he and David have to work hard to avoid the Kings men and make for neutral ground.
As many of you all the TGO Challenge you will be following some of the Kidnapped route. This is great adventure story, not too long, written in short chapters (ideal for camp reading) and pretty easy to read.
There is more to Kidnapped than good old adventures though. There’s a very poignant scene at a port where Gaelic speakers all joint together in traditional song, a large group on a transport ship being ‘cleared’ from their homeland and despatched for America. As at the story unfolds Stevenson tells us much about the traditional life and history of the Highlands.
At Ben Alder David and Alan take refuge in an ancient cottage that is built on the side of the mountain. Their host makes it known that Bonny Prince Charlie himself had sheltered there. You may find yourself in the same place on this year’s walk!
Kidnapped is perfect trail reading. And it is cheap — whether you buy as a paperback or a kindle book. To say anymore would be to spoil the plot. You can’t go wrong!