Duncan is a studious and responsible young man, who does his duty and takes Cora and her sister to the fort, even though she has disappointed him by turning down his romantic proposal. Though an efficient man in battle, he is somewhat undone by the Huron war tactics, since he is unprepared for attacks along the road, trusts the man who leads them, and places some respect in authority. Once he reaches the fort, he informs his superior officer that General Gage is much closer than he thinks and could send reinforcements. He talks about the intel he gathered along the way and calculates that they have three days before conditions in the fort become serious. He proposes to Cora, and then is surprised and disappointed in her refusal. He asks her if she cannot imagine that “friendship and companionship” could grow into something more, given that he has seen it happen before (somewhat devaluing the emotional component she needs in a relationship in the process). Duncan has a somewhat traditional mindset, and asks Cora to trust her father’s judgment over her own, since he assumes her father knows and wants what is best for her. He later asks her again, only to receive an outright no. Duncan talks about what a “most marvelous couple” they would make in London, and tries to make her feel better about what happened at the fort by saying that later on, what they did “will not matter,” since people will have forgotten it. He believes because arranged marriages or platonic ones have worked in the past that they could work again in their case. He is respectful of authority and surprised to learn that Hawkeye has “no country” and has chosen no alliances, and has no interest in supporting England through the war. This offends him due to its lack of commitment. He copies Hawkeye to great success on the river, trusting that if he can navigate the water, so too can Duncan. He is appropriate and wants to create a sense of permanence in his life, and naively believes that Alice and Cora will be safe at the fort. Duncan has a strong sense of individual ethics, which is offended when others treat with indifference the causes near and dear to his heart. Duncan is so aware of Cora and Hawkeye’s love for each other, and so willing to be selfless out of his devotion to her, he trades himself for their lives, so they can be together, even though he knows it will result in his painful death tied to a stake and burned alive. He tries to align himself with their father by saying they could stay and defend the fort together.

Enneagram: 1w2 so/sp

Duncan is moralistic and somewhat condemning of Hawkeye and anyone else who “shirks his duty” and looks out only for himself; he cannot fathom how Hawkeye is headed away from the war, rather than toward it, and has not volunteered for service for the greater good. He abides by the rules even when he deems them a bit callous, but is also not above forgiving wrongs done to him and doing the noble thing. He at first intends to punish Hawkeye for escaping custody, and then protects him and enables him to rescue Cora by offering to trade his own life for hers. Duncan is generous and kind, tries to bolster Alice’s spirits where he can, and is ultimately selfless in his sacrifices.