Chapter 12

When Jem turned 12 years old, he didn’t want to play with Scout anymore. He told Scout to start acting like a girl. Scout spent her time with Calpurnia in the kitchen. Dill did not come to visit because his mom got married and he had to stay at home. Atticus had to go to the legislature for two weeks. Since he was gone, the children went to Calpurnia’s church. The church was not fancy but it was full of people. There was no organ or hymnals. Calpurnia’s son, Zeebo, lead the congregation in singing. Reverend Sykes asked for the people to give $10 to Tom Robinson’s wife. Reverend Sykes told Scout and Jem that Atticus was doing a good thing in defending Tom Robinson. When Jem asked Calpurnia about singing hymns line by line, she said it was because almost no one in her church could read. Calpurnia told them how she learned to read. Scout and Jem never thought about how old Calpurnia was before or where she lived. Jem asked her why she talked one way with them and another way around black people. She said she didn’t want to put on airs or act differently in front of her friends. When they got home from church, Aunt Alexandra was waiting for them.

 

Chapter 13

Aunt Alexandra got settled into the house where Atticus, Scout and Jem lived. Scout and Jem were surprised to see her. Aunt Alexandra explained that she and Atticus thought it would be good for Scout and Jem if she stayed with them during the summer. She could watch over them while they were out of school and while Atticus was at work.

Aunt Alexandra met the people of Maycomb and became involved in different groups. She had parties at the house where the women got together to talk or gossip. Aunt Alexandra didn’t like Scout running around in overalls and getting dirty. She thought Scout should start acting like a lady.

 

Chapter 14

Scout asked Atticus if she could go to Calpurnia’s house to visit. Calpurnia lived in an all black neighborhood. Aunt Alexandra said definitely “no”! Aunt Alexandra wanted to get rid of Calpurnia but Atticus didn’t want to.

That night, Scout and Jem got in a fight. Atticus sent them to bed. Jem and Scout thought there was a snake under Scout’s bed. They were surprised to find Dill under the bed. Dill explained that he ran away from his mother’s house because she wasn’t going to let Dill visit Scout and Jem that summer. Atticus got food for Dill since he hadn’t eaten during his 300- mile journey to Maycomb. Dill took a bath. He was filthy from his long trip. Atticus called Dill’s Aunt Rachel to let her know where Dill was.

 

Chapter 15

Because Dill had run away, it took a while for Jem and Scout to convince his mom to let him stay with them. Finally, she said he could stay. For a week they played and had fun.

One night the sheriff, Heck Tate, and some other men came to the Finch’s house. The Sheriff told Atticus that Tom Robinson was being kept in the jail so he would be safe. Some people wanted to hurt Tom.

On Sunday, Scout asked Atticus what the fuss was and Atticus said that Tom Robinson was in jail until his trial. All Sunday afternoon Scout and Dill played. Jem did not want to play so he read football magazines. That evening, Atticus left in the car. The kids did not know where he went. Later Jem and Scout pretended to go to bed. Instead they sneaked out and got Dill. The kids went downtown and spied Atticus sitting outside the jail. Suddenly four cars pulled up! Men got out and told Atticus they wanted Tom Robinson. They wanted to hurt him. Atticus said to leave him alone. Scout couldn’t stay hidden. She ran to Atticus and surprised everyone. Atticus tried to make the kids go home, but they would not. Scout recognized one of the men. He was Walter Cunningham’s dad. He and Scout talked and finally the men left without hurting Tom Robinson.

 

Chapter 16

The next morning Atticus, Aunt Alexandra, Jem and Scout ate breakfast together. They talked about what happened the night before and how the kids had kept Atticus and Tom Robinson safe from the mean men at the jail.

After breakfast Atticus left for the courthouse. He told Jem and Scout not to come downtown that day. The children sat on the porch and watched many people come by the house. Everyone was going downtown. The reason everyone was going downtown was to watch Tom Robinson’s trail. After lunch, Jem, Scout and Dill could not wait any longer. They went downtown to see all the people. Everyone was excited about the trial. There were so many people in the courthouse that Jem, Scout and Dill could not find a place to sit. Reverend Sykes from Calpurnia’s church found them a seat up in the balcony. When the children sat down, the first witness took the stand. The witness was Heck Tate, the county Sheriff.

 

Chapter 17

The trial to put Tom Robinson in jail had begun. The first person on the witness stand was Mr. Tate, the Sheriff. He was asked what happened the night when Mayelle was attacked. Mr. Tate said he drove to the Ewell’s house after Mr. Ewell came and told him his daughter was hurt. When Atticus questioned Mr. Tate, he asked if he had called a doctor since Mayella had been beaten. Mr. Tate said he had not called a doctor. Mr. Tate said Mayelle had a bruise on the right side of her face and around her neck.

The next witness was Mr. Ewell. He came up front looking clean and well dressed although he lived in a poor run-down area of town. Mr. Ewell explained about the night Mayella was hurt. He said he agreed with Mr. Tate that Mayella was beaten on the right side of her face and that he saw Tom Robinson do it. Then, Atticus had Mr. Ewell write his name on a piece of paper. He wrote with his left hand. Atticus was trying to prove that Mr. Ewell could have beaten Mayella since she was beaten mostly on the right side of her face and he was left-handed. Scout wondered if this was enough proof that Mr. Ewell beat Mayella instead of Tom Robinson.

 

Chapter 18

The next witness to be questioned was Mayella. She was very scared and nervous and began crying. The judge told her to just answer the questions and not to be afraid. Mayella’s story of the night she was attacked was that she was on her porch when Tom Robinson came by. Mayella asked him to chop up an old dresser for her and she would pay him a nickel. She said when he came into the yard he attacked her. She said she screamed and fought back. Atticus asked Mayella about her relationship with her father. He asked her if her father had ever beaten her. Mayella answered that he had never touched her. Atticus still believed that Mr. Ewell, not Tom Robinson hurt Mayella. Atticus had Tom Robinson stand up and then asked Mayella if this was the man who beat her. She said it definitely was. Scout noticed that when Tom stood up that his left arm was 12 inches shorter than this right arm. Reverend Sykes sitting next to Scout told her he got his arm caught in a cotton gin machine and cannot use that arm!

Atticus again questioned Mayella and said wasn’t it her father who beat her up and not Tom? But she cried and still said it was Tom. The trial was over for the day.

 

Chapter 19

Tom Robinson took the stand. When he tried to place his hand on the Bible, it kept falling off. Everyone in court could see that Tom’s left hand was shorter than his right hand and that he couldn’t use it.

Atticus asked Tom questions about how he knew Mayella Ewell. Tom said that he walked by her house every day on his way to work. Sometimes, Tom said he helped Mayella by chopping firewood or carrying water for her. Tom said that Mayella’s brothers and sisters never helped her do any work. As Tom talked about Mayella, Scout realized that Mayella must be the loneliest person in the world. She didn’t have any friends.

Atticus asked Tom what happened on November 21st. Tom said he was walking by the Ewell house and Mayella called him to come in. All the children were gone because Mayella had given them money to buy ice cream in town. Hen Tom went in the house, Mayella tried to hug and kiss him. Tom tried to run away and he tipped over a chair. Mr. Ewell yelled in through the window at Mayella and Tom left in a hurry. Mr. Ewell yelled at Mayella that he would kill her. Dill got sick to his stomach and Scout and Dill left the courtroom.

 

Chapter 20

Dill and Scout sat under a tree. Dill was sick of the way Mr. Gilmer was treating Tom on the witness stand. Dill said it wasn’t right to treat anyone that way.

Mr. Dolphus Raymond saw the kids and offered Dill a drink from his paper sack. Scout told him not to drink it but he did and he told her it was just Coca Cola. Scout asked Mr. Raymond why he pretended to drink alcohol from a bag. Mr. Raymond said he pretended to be drunk so he could live the life he wanted. Most people didn’t think much of him because he was white and had a black girlfriend and biracial children. Mr. Raymond said as long as he pretended to be drunk, people left him alone.

Scout and Dill decided to go back to watch some more of the trial. When they got back inside, Atticus was giving his closing arguments. Atticus told the jury that they should not find Tom Robinson guilty unless they could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he raped Mayella Ewell. Atticus said that the Ewells lied because they wanted to get Tom Robinson in trouble. Just as Atticus finished his speech, Calpurnia came into the courtroom for Jem and Scout.

 

Chapter 21

Calpurnia came to the courthouse with a note for Atticus. It was from Aunt Alexandra saying that Scout and Jem were missing. Mr. Underwood told him they weren’t missing. They were up in the balcony. Atticus told them to go home. Scout and Jem wanted to come back to the courthouse after dinner. Atticus told them they could. Calpurnia was very upset at the kids for being at the trial and not telling anyone where they were. Aunt Alexandra was mad too.

Scout and Jem returned to the courthouse after dinner. They had been gone an hour and the jurors were still out trying to come to an agreement about whether to put Tom in jail or let him go. Everyone in the courtroom waited quietly. Finally, at 11:00, the jurors came back. They all decided that Tom Robinson was guilty of hurting Mayella and should go to jail. Atticus went over to Tom and talked to him. Everyone left except the black people in the balcony and Atticus. When he walked out, all the black people stood up. This was their way of showing respect to Atticus and thanking him for defending Tom. Atticus was very upset he had lost the case and Tom was going to prison.

 

Chapter 22

Jem was very upset and crying about the trial. He thought Tom should not have gone to jail. He did not hurt Mayella Ewell. He told his dad (Atticus) that it wasn’t right. Atticus agreed with him but said it wasn’t over yet. Atticus was planning on trying to change the verdict or decision to show that Tom didn’t hurt Mayella and that he was innocent.

The next morning, there was food piled high in the kitchen. The black people brought it for Atticus as their way of showing thanks to Atticus for all his help during the trial.

Dill came over to play so he, Jem and Scout went outside. They noticed all the neighbors were gossiping about the trial. One of the neighbors, Miss Maudie, invited the children in for some cake. Miss Maudie said Atticus did an unpleasant job in their town for defending a black man.

When they left Miss Maudie’s house, Miss Rachel (Dill’s aunt) told Dill to go home because there was danger coming. Scout asked what was happening. Miss Stephanie answered that Bob Ewell, Mayella’s dad had spit in Atticus’ face and told him he would get back at him if it took him the rest of his life.

 

Chapter 23

After Bob Ewell spit in Atticus’ face and said he would get him, Jem and Scout were afraid that Atticus might get killed. They wanted Atticus to get a gun to defend himself. Atticus told the children that he wouldn’t get a gun. Atticus explained that Bob Ewell was mad about the trial. Atticus told Jem that he should stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes and see how he might feel. Atticus said that Bob was not going to kill him but just spit and say mean things about them.

Atticus talked to Jem and Scout about how a jury is chosen for a trial. Scout was sad that women can’t be on juries. Jem was mad that the jury would put a man in jail just because he was black. Atticus said that juries have a hard time finding a black man innocent. There was a lot of prejudice in the small town.

 

Chapter 24

Aunt Alexandra invited her missionary circle to coffee. All the women sat around and gossiped. Calpurnia served the ladies coffee and dessert. The ladies talked about how they should help the poor people in Africa. Scout was all dressed up in a pretty dress. She helped serve the food. Aunt Alexandra invited Scout to stay and talk to the ladies.

Atticus came into the living room. He asked to talk to Alexandra and Calpurnia. They went to the kitchen. Miss Maudie went with them. Atticus told the ladies that Tom Robinson was dead. He was shot trying to escape from prison. Atticus wanted Calpurnia to go with him to tell Tom’s wife. Many people were very sad that Tom was dead. Calpurnia and Atticus left to tell Tom’s wife the bad news. Aunt Alexandra, Miss Maudie and Scout went back to the living room but they didn’t say anything about Tom’s death. They didn’t want the others to gossip about his death.

 

Chapter 25

Dill and Jem met Atticus and Calpurnia who drove by. They were on their way to tell Mrs. Robinson that her husband, Tom, had been shot and killed while he was trying to escape from prison. Dill and Jem were told they could come along with them if they stayed in the car.

Atticus went to the Robinson’s front door and asked a boy where his mother was. He said he would go get her. When Atticus told Mrs. Robinson the news, she fainted. Calpurnia and Atticus carried her inside the house. She was shocked and very sad about her husband dying. When Mr. Ewell heard about Tom Robinson being killed he said, “It made one down and about two more to go”. Mr. Ewell was just trying to scare Atticus and his children.

 

Chapter 26

School started back up for Jem and Scout. Jem was in 7th grade and going to the high school. Scout was in 3rd grade. One day in school, Miss Gates, Scout’s teacher asked the students to bring in articles from the newspaper about what was happening in the news. One boy brought in an article about Adolph Hitler. He was the leader of the Germany. The article said that Hitler had been hurting the Jewish people who lived in Germany. Miss Gates talked about how bad that was and how Hitler was hurting people just because they were Jewish. She said he was prejudiced against the Jews.

Scout thought a lot about this discussion. She went home and talked to Jem about it. She told Jem she heard Miss Gates say to someone that it was okay Tom Robinson was killed. This didn’t make any sense to Scout since Miss Gates was telling the class it was not okay to hate anyone. It shouldn’t matter what color skin someone has or what religion they are. Miss Gates was telling the class that it was okay to kill black people but it was not okay to kill Jewish people.

 

Chapter 27

By October, things had settled down in Maycomb. No one talked much about the trial or Tom’s death anymore. About the only news were three small things that happened to Bob Ewell. Judge Taylor and Helen Robinson (Tom’s wife). First, Bob Ewell got a job and then was fired right away because he was so lazy. Bob Ewell blamed Atticus for getting fired but Atticus didn’t have anything to do with it. The second thing happened to Judge Taylor. One night when the judge was home alone, someone broke into his house. The intruder didn’t take anything but he scared Judge Taylor. The third thing that happened was that Bob Ewell yelled at and scared Helen Robinson, Tom’s widow a lot. Helen’s boss found out about it and caught Bob following Helen to work and staring at her. Helen’s boss told Bob Ewell to leave her alone or he would call the police. Bob Ewell left Helen alone after that. It was now Halloween. Scout was to be in a play about Maycomb County.

 

Chapter 28

Jem and Scout walked to the school on Halloween night. They teased each other about being scared. Jem carried Scout’s costume. She was going to be dressed up in a big chicken wire and cloth costume to look like a ham. As the children walked along, Cecil Jacobs jumped out of the shadows and scared them. When Jem, Scout and Cecil got to the school, they put Scout’s costume backstage. Then, they went to the Halloween games. Soon, the play began. Scout put on her ham costume. She had to wait so long for her turn that she fell asleep. Mrs. Merriweather got mad at Scout.

After the play, Scout and Jem started to walk home. Scout still had her ham costume on. As they were walking back through the woods, Jem heard someone following them. Scout thought it was Cecil again, but it wasn’t. Suddenly, the stranger ran towards the kids. He grabbed Scout. Scout screamed and Jem tried to pull the stranger off her. Scout heard Jem fighting with someone. Jem screamed. There was another noise. Scout realized there were now four people there. She saw a man carry Jem to her house. The doctor came and told them Jem’s arm was broken. The sheriff came and told them Bob Ewell was dead.

 

Chapter 29

Everyone was surprised and shocked to hear that Bob Ewell was dead. He had been the one who attacked Scout and Jem as they were coming home from the Halloween play. Mr. Tate, the sheriff, asked Scout to tell him what happened that night. Mr. Tate said the costume Scout had on that night protected her and probably saved Scout’s life. Atticus and Mr. Tate talked about Bob Ewell and how he was so bad to try to hurt children. They said he was too much of a coward to try to hurt Atticus. Scout was explaining how someone that night had carried Jem into the house after being attacked by Bob Ewell. Mr. Tate asked who it was. Scout pointed to a man standing in a corner of the room. He was a tall, very pale man. Scout recognized who it must have been.