Study Guide

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

  • After his adventures at the Radley Place, Jem is in a bad mood for a week.
  • Scout starts second grade. It's just as bad as first grade.
  • Jem finally tells Scout what happened when he went back to the Radley House: his pants were folded up on top of the fence, and the tear in them had been sloppily mended.
  • Passing by the knothole tree, they see a ball of twine resting inside it.
  • Scout wants to take it, but Jem thinks it might be someone's hiding spot.
  • When the twine is still there after a few days, Jem takes it, and from then on there are no more qualms about taking things found in the knothole.
  • A few months later, the knothole holds their best find yet: two figures carved out of soap that bear a striking resemblance to Scout and Jem.
  • Scout throws them on the ground, thinking about voodoo dolls, but Jem rescues them.
  • Who could have made them?
  • The knothole haul keeps getting better and better: a whole pack of chewing gum, a spelling bee medal, and a broken pocket watch (which Jem tries but fails to fix).
  • Scout and Jem decide to write a letter to their secret benefactor.
  • But the next day, they find that the knothole has been filled with cement.
  • Jem stakes out Mr. Nathan and asks why.
  • Mr. Nathan says that the tree's sick and the cement is an attempt to cure it.
  • Jem asks Atticus if that's true. Atticus says it looks healthy to him, but Mr. Radley should know his own trees.

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