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To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 4 Summary
Every day Scout runs by the Radley Place to get home after school. One day she notices something, and works up the nerve to go back and look at it. A tree at the edge of the Radley yard has some tinfoil stuck to a knothole, and inside the hole Scout finds two pieces of chewing gum. She takes it home, and, after some testing to try to make sure it's not poisoned, she chews it. Jem's not too pleased with this and makes her spit it out… and then gargle. Finally, it's summer. Hooray! School's out! On their way home, they find another piece of tinfoil in the same knothole, and behind it a jewelry box, decorated with more tinfoil, containing two Indian-head pennies. Should they keep it? Chewing gum is one thing, but money is another entirely. Soon Dill shows up, full of stories. They're already bored, so Dill kick things up a notch by saying he can smell death, and tells Scout that her end is nigh. She tells him to shut it, and Jem mocks both of them for being (or pretending to be) superstitious. They horse around a little, and Scout ends up flying down the sidewalk in a tire (don't ask), which ends up dumping her in … The Radleys' front yard. Thanks to this adventure, Jem invents a new game: acting out the life and times of Boo Radley. The game starts out simple, but gets more and more complex as the summer goes on. Atticus gives this game the side-eye, but he doesn't explicitly forbid them from doing it since he doesn't know for sure what they're doing. But Scout isn't so sure. She's pretty convinced that when she got dumped out of the tire she heard someone laughing inside the Radley house.
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