Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 750
Saturday, February 1–Tuesday, February 18
The weather is nice, so Blomkvist and Berger go for a walk. Vanger sees them and invites them in; he recognizes Berger and they chat charmingly before discussing business, two heads of companies. Vanger knows publishing because his family once owned six newspapers and still owns one. He asks Berger one question: was there a story? She tells him there was but “it was a different story.” Blomkvist berates himself for listening to an old friend. Vanger offers to become a partner in Millennium because he has the money and it will be a good investment. His one condition is that Blomkvist return as publisher.
They will write a joint press release that will send a clear signal to Wennerstrom, and other new companies will then be interested in advertising in Millennium. Vanger reminds them Wennerstrom is “not omnipotent” and has enemies who will be eager to see him fall. Dirch Frode and Martin Vanger join them for a pleasant dinner, and then they conduct two hours of business. They agree on a four-year contract with a costly buyout at the end of two years. Vanger will become a board member for the magazine; if he dies, Martin will take over his position. For maximum impact, they will announce the new arrangement on March 17—the same day Blomkvist turns himself in to the authorities and begins his prison term. During the entire conversation, Blomkvist is silent. No one consults him or even notices he is there. Later, Berger confesses she and Vanger have been planning this for a week. She was furious at being abandoned; Blomkvist is outraged at being bypassed.
As Blomkvist continues to study the documents, he discovers Harriet changed in the last year of her life in Hedeby. All accounts say she turned inward and became uncommunicative. She stopped talking about herself with friends, sharing gossip, and confiding; her friends said she became “impersonal.” Harriet had always been a Christian, but she became more religious. She explored the Pentecostal church and began reading books on Catholicism. Blomkvist reasons that something in her own life must have pushed her to these studies; perhaps it was her father’s accidental drowning. Morell had given this aspect of the case a lot of time and attention but got nowhere. Harald’s daughter Anita, two years older than Harriet, had been a close friend in the summer of 1966, but she had nothing new to offer the investigation. But whereas others said Harriet had become distant, Anita did not say it.
Another puzzle for Blomkvist to ponder is a list of names Harriet placed on a blank page at the end of her diary. There are five names or initials and five numbers. None of Harriet’s friends know these names. The numbers seem like phone numbers but do not have a likely connection to Harriet. Blomkvist assumes it is a code of some sort.
Salander initiated her fourth meeting with Nils Bjurman. Her computer got crushed in an accident. It is “depressing but not disastrous.” She has everything saved elsewhere but needs a good, fast computer to do her work. Insurance will cover most of the cost, but even with the money she has hidden at home, she is still 18,000 kroner short. Her guardian said he had no time in his schedule for her, but she persisted and is going to pick up a check from him at his office tonight.
Blomkvist can see that both Vanger and Morell kept thinking about and pursuing leads in the case for years after Harriet’s apparent murder. Their later information is not as reliable, though, and Blomkvist can see that any valuable information will come from their early investigations. He goes to visit Cecilia one evening. She is an interesting and educated woman. She is also lonely and tells Blomkvist she needs a lover. He obliges.
Salander is seated in Bjurman’s office when he comes from behind and puts his hand down her blouse. She remains impassive, so he forces her to have oral sex with him in exchange for her check. He thinks this is better than having a “whore” because he is paying her with her own money. Bjurman threatens Salander; he says she must never tell or he will have her institutionalized. She considers using the letter opener on his desk, but her first guardian, Palmgren, taught her well that every action has consequences that must be considered—and rash actions often have dire consequences.
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