The Lost Man
Jane Harper
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 25
Summary

Ilse is standing at the grave, carrying a black bag; but Nathan could not see what it contained. He only noticed her retrieving something from it, and watched as she kneeled down for a while before returning to the car and driving away. Nathan immediately heads to the gravesite and checks whether Ilse has left anything. The only thing that he notices is the harshness and heat of the sun, so he quickly rushed back to his car, turned up the air conditioner, and took a long sip from his water bottle. He sits in his car by the grave, thinking about Cameron’s funeral, which was scheduled for the next day.

Analysis

As Nathan considered what Ilse was doing at the stockman’s grave, he notices that the shallow hole where Cameron had been found looked different and assumes the possibility that Ilse had been planting seeds into the ground in memory of Cameron — just like Nathan and Cameron had planted a tree at their father’s grave. This would eliminate Ilse as a possible suspect, and paint her as an affectionate woman who still loved her husband and wanted to give him a proper send-off. Although Nathan had been at the stockman’s grave for only a short while, he felt dizzy and slightly ill — an indication of the harsh weather and the effects of the sun on people. This could also be used to show how Cameron may have succumbed to the sun’s heat after only having stayed for a few minutes. Had Nathan not returned to the car, he might have suffered the same fate: “The sun was beating down on him… in a way that made Nathan feel slightly ill. He stood up so fast he was dizzy” (Harper 141).

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