comet23: What the function is doing is essentially to keep running itself until some condition is met. That means that the 1 is just part of the "whole result", if that at all makes sense.
comet23: It actually is returning the last thing that's evaluated, but 1 isn't that.
You start out by asking your function "is my number, n equal to 1?", which it's not so you multiply n by the result of calling your function yet again, this time with 4.
This continues until n actually is 1, at which point you start to gather up all the results of your function calls, so what you really have is a kind of pyramid shape of function calls.