Study Guide

Gone With the Wind Chapter 26

By Margaret Mitchell

Chapter 26

  • Gerald seems to have permanently lost his reason.
  • Scarlett is worried about what will happen.
  • Suddenly a Yankee cavalryman comes up and into Tara.
  • Scarlett is incensed to think he may take their hard-won food, so she sneaks around and gets Charles's pistol, which he never fired.
  • The Yankee sees her and thinks she's all alone and harmless, so he shelves his pistol and Scarlett shoots him in the face.
  • That's it for him.
  • She's somewhat upset, but then she's joyful that she's revenged herself on the Yankees for Ellen (which doesn't make much sense, since the Yankees were kind to Ellen… but whatever).
  • Scarlett sees Melanie has come out carrying Charles's saber, and realizes Melanie is joyful about killing the Yankee, too.
  • Melanie convinces Scarlett they have to hide the body immediately.
  • They ransack the body and find money, which means they'll be able to get food.
  • Scarlett buries him in a shallow grave.
  • Hard core.
  • She rides over to the Fontaine's house, where Grandma Fontaine tells Scarlett she's going to have to pick cotton her own self. Scarlett is shocked, but she adapts, as is her wont.
  • Grandma Fontaine shares food with them, and convinces Scarlett in private to tell her that Ellen is dead and Gerald is crazy and Melanie is staying with them.
  • Grandma tells Scarlett, one survivor to another, that life is tough. Thanks, Grandma.
  • Scarlett goes back and sets everyone to picking cotton. Suellen is not pleased, and in the end, only Dilcey is really reliable at picking the cotton.
  • They get some cotton picked and Scarlett thinks the worst is over.