Study Guide

Holes Chapter 26

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Chapter 26

  • Surprise! We're still in the story of Katherine and Sam.
  • The next morning – after the big kiss – Katherine is sitting alone in the schoolhouse when a mob, led by Trout Walker, comes storming into the building. They say awful things to Katherine, turn over desks, pull books off of shelves, and generally destroy the place.
  • Katherine escapes and runs to the sheriff's office. But when she tells him about what's happening at the schoolhouse, he doesn't seem concerned at all.
  • The sheriff tells Katherine that he's planning to hang Sam for kissing a white woman. But if Katherine gives the sheriff a kiss, he'll just run Sam out of town instead. Oh, just run him out of town, eh? Geez.
  • Katherine is horrified. As she runs out of the office, she hears the sheriff saying, "The law will punish Sam. And God will punish you" (26.31).
  • She runs straight to Sam, who is on the banks of the lake hitching Mary Lou to his onion cart. She tells him that the sheriff is planning to hang him, and that they have to get the stink out of there as quickly as possible. Sam agrees, although he's sad to leave his precious Mary Lou behind.
  • Sam and Katherine get into Sam's boat and start rowing to the other side of the lake, but sure enough, they hear the sound of Trout Walker's motorized boat as it follows after them.
  • The narrator very succinctly tells us what happens next. Walker's boat smashes into Sam's boat. Sam is shot and killed. Katherine is taken back to the shore.
  • And to top it all off, Mary Lou the donkey has also been shot.
  • Since that day, no rain has fallen on Green Lake.
  • Three days after Sam's death, Katherine shoots the sheriff, puts on fresh lipstick, and kisses him, starting her career as "one of the most feared outlaws in all the West" (26.45).

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