Study Guide

Touching Spirit Bear Chapter 26

By Ben Mikaelsen

Chapter 26

  • That night, Cole makes his favorite dinner of spaghetti and hot dogs for everyone. Peter announces that he refuses to sleep in the cabin with Cole, even if Garvey is going to be there.
  • Cole says he doesn't have to—Cole will stay in a tent outside for as long as he needs to while Peter comes to trust him.
  • The next day, Peter's parents prepare to leave with Edwin and Cole overhears Peter begging his parents to take him with them, saying he doesn't want to be here with Cole.
  • Before Mr. Driscal leaves, he pulls Cole aside and tells him that if he does anything to hurt Peter again, he will make sure that Cole goes to jail until he rots. Cole says that he understands and that he believes the island can help Peter.
  • After the boat leaves, Cole watches as Peter remains by the shore, looking over his shoulder as though Cole's going to sneak up and attack him.
  • Cole tries to bring him one of his precious Snickers bars, but Peter just screams at him to get away. Cole sets the candy bar down on a rock and walks away. (Hey guys, we'll take that off your hands, no problem.)
  • He goes back to talk to Garvey, who tells him that his mother misses him and that his father has filed for custody—but that Garvey won't let him take Cole again. That's when Cole tells him that he appreciates everything Garvey has done for him; he knows he's gone above and beyond what his job requires of him.
  • That night, Cole has to sleep in the tent and shiver all night while Garvey and Peter take the cabin. The next morning he wakes them up and invites them to join him for his morning dip in the pond.
  • Garvey and Peter just watch him as he goes through his morning rituals. Peter still refuses to talk to Cole, or even to acknowledge his presence.
  • Two weeks go by, but Peter's chilliness towards Cole doesn't seem to be thawing at all. Then Peter starts antagonizing Cole—throwing rocks at him or pushing him into streams while they're walking.
  • But when Cole doesn't react with anger, Peter follows him on his morning soak and goes into the pond, too; he's amazed by how cold it is.
  • It's raining all the time and Cole is miserable because the tent leaks and he's still not allowed back into the cabin.
  • One day during a long rain, though, Peter comes up to his tent and tells Cole he can sleep in the cabin tonight if he wants to. Looks like the kid is coming around after all.