Study Guide

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Chapter 26

By Stieg Larsson

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Chapter 26

Tuesday, July 15 – Thursday, July 17

  • Blomkvist touches down in Alice Springs, Australia, and drives a rental car to Cochran Farm, a sheep farm that happens to be the place Anita Vanger called from London.
  • The brochure of the farm has a photo of a couple, Spencer and Anita Cochran, married in 1971.
  • Blomkvist comes to a sheep station four hours from the farm. A man named Jeff leads Blomkvist to Anita. In Swedish, Blomkvist says, "Hi, Harriet, it's been a long time" (26.33).
  • Harriet freaks, and Blomkvist realizes that the sheep men have guns and can shoot him.
  • Harriet recovers, and Blomkvist tells her he's not trying to cause trouble – he just wants answers.
  • He tells her how he found her, and about being hooked up in Martin's basement.
  • He says only he and his partner know she's alive, but he'll have to tell Henrik.
  • He learns what happened in 1966: Harriet hides in Anita's car and Anita drives her off the island.
  • Since Anita and Harriet look alike, Anita lends Harriet her passport and gives her money.
  • In Italy, Harriet meets Spencer. They fall in love and get married. Nobody connects the two Anitas.
  • Blomkvist asks why she didn't get help from Henrik. She says Blomkvist still doesn't get it.
  • Carefully, he says he suspects she was raped by Gottfried. She starts crying and Jeff comes forth.
  • She introduces Jeff as her oldest son. She has another son, too, and a daughter.
  • She sends Jeff away and tells Blomkvist the story:
  • Harriet is raped by her father for a year. Her mother knows but doesn't care.
  • Harriet doesn't tell anybody because she's ashamed.
  • One night at the cabin, Gottfried is drunk, raping her. He tries to kill her. She runs to the boat. Gottfried follows. She pushes him in the water and holds him down with the oar.
  • Martin is there when she finished killing Gottfried. He takes her into the cabin, ties her up, and rapes her.
  • Martin will tell on her if she doesn't do what he says.
  • Luckily, Isabella sends him to school.
  • When Harriet sees Martin back in town that day, she decides to run away.
  • She says it was between that and suicide. It feels good to finally tell somebody the truth.

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