The Lost Man
Jane Harper
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 21
Summary

Ilse needs help with a calf that had got itself tangled in fence wire. Nathan writes where they are going in the logbook before looking back at Simon and asking him if he had spoken to anyone else about the argument between Cameron and Harry. As such information could implicate Harry and lead people to the assumption that he was involved in Cameron’s death, Simon stated that he chose to keep this information to himself. Nathan finally turns and follows Ilse to the car, and they head out from the homestead. On the way, Nathan gives Ilse the note they had found with Xander. After a long silence, Ilse tells Nathan that it felt like she knew Cameron less and less each day. Eventually, they reach the herd of cattle and Nathan picks up a pair of differently-sized wire snippers and heads to rescue the calf. As they snip the wire, Nathan tells Ilse that he called Jenna but did not find her. Ilse also informs Nathan that Cameron had tried to call Jenna three times, about one week before he died. Cameron had also made calls to St. Helens Medical Centre and had called up one of the hotels there too. Ilse asks Nathan if he thought Cameron had something to worry about with Jenna coming back into his life.

Analysis

Ilse’s confession to Nathan about the calls Cameron had made, while trying to get in touch with Jenna, suggests that Cameron knew why Jenna was calling him. The theme of family secrets is seen in this chapter through Nathan and Ilse’s discussion about Cameron’s actions before his death. Furthermore, he had called the hospital and around most of the hotels in St. Helens without actually booking a room. Although he had not mentioned to Ilse about whether or not he was planning to meet Jenna, it was obvious that the calls he made to the hospital and the hotel were somehow linked to Jenna.

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