Study Guide

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

  • Jem and Scout spend the day with Dill at his aunt's fish pond.
  • Scout wants to keep an eye out for Mr. Avery, a neighbor who had previously astonished them by peeing in an impressive arc off his front porch, but Dill just wants to go for a walk.
  • Scout, knowing that no one in Maycomb just goes for a walk, smells a rat.
  • Oh, you know, they're just going to go to the streetlight by the Radley Place.
  • And then they just want to peek in the window.
  • Scout doesn't like this at all, but stops complaining when they accuse her of being a girl about it.
  • The trio go under the wire fence at the back of the Radley Place and, after dealing with swishy collard greens, a squeaky gate, and clucking chickens, make it up to the house.
  • Jem and Scout raise Dill up so he can look through the window, but all he sees is curtains.
  • They're still skulking when Scout sees a shadow—a man's shadow, heading towards Jem.
  • The shadow goes up to Jem, raises his arm, drops it again, and then leaves.
  • The kids scram, and Scout trips as she hears a loud noise—someone's shooting at them.
  • The kids make it home (Jem loses his pants along the way) and see a bunch of neighbors in front of the Radley Place.
  • Miss Maudie tells them that Mr. Radley has been shooting at a "N****" (6.60) in his yard.
  • Suddenly everyone notices that Jem doesn't have any pants on.
  • Dill tries to save the day by saying they were playing strip poker, but playing cards is a big no-no in Maycomb, so Jem says that they were actually playing with matches.
  • Whatevs, everyone says, and they head off to bed. Scout worries that every sound she hears might be Boo Radley coming to wreak his revenge. But Jem's off to get his pants. Scout tries to stop him, but Jem heads off anyway.
  • Scout sits outside on the porch, listening for the dreaded shotgun blast and waiting for Jem to return.
  • Finally Jem returns. With the pants.

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