The Lost Man
Jane Harper
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 29

Despite the heat, the house was full of visitors who came to pay their respects. The guests glance at Cameron’s painting, while not paying too much attention to it. A woman waves at both Ilse and Nathan, who introduces herself as Melanie Birch of Atherton. She had recognized Nathan and wanted to greet him and catch-up as it had been a long time since they had last seen each other. Upon retreating to the kitchen, where Nathan finds Katy looking pale but continuing to serve sandwiches with Simon, he continues to have unpleasant thoughts about the neighbors who had visited and the fateful incident that occurred with Keith nine years ago. Overwhelmed by mixed feelings, he retreats to Ilse’s office and decides to look over Bub’s mustering plans. Ilse joins him shortly after and informs Nathan that Bub might have been the one who killed his dog because, during that time, he had been baiting dogs for money. Cameron was supposed to warn him, but had forgotten.


The heat in the house, and the lack of cold water in the kitchen, serves as a reminder of the harsh weather conditions in the town. Although it had been almost ten years, Nathan continues to be affected by the events that took place when he was excommunicated and harbors a lot of resentment towards his neighbors. The theme of family secrets is revealed when Ilse informs Nathan that Bub had been baiting people’s dogs around the same time, as well as how Cameron was supposed to warn him (Harper 161).

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