Chapter 30


            “Mr. Arthur, honey,” Atticus corrected me.  He then suggested that we go out on the porch.  I led Boo to a chair.

            Atticus rubbed his head and said, “Well Heck, it was a clear cut self-defense, Jem is almost thirteen but it will go to trial in county court.”

            “Mr. Finch – Jem didn’t stab Bob Ewell,” said Heck Tate.  “Bob Ewell fell on his knife.  He killed himself.”  Atticus looked like he didn’t believe Mr. Tate.  Mr. Tate kept glancing at Boo.  They went back and forth a few times, and they seemed to disagree. Mr. Tate told Atticus that if he told the town exactly what happened tonight the whole town would talk about it, and all the women would want to bring Boo cakes for helping Jem and me.  “To take the one man who’s done you and this town a service and draggin’ him with his shy ways into the limelight is a sin.”

            Mr. Tate stomped off the porch, and Atticus slowly turned to me.

            “Scout, Mr. Ewell fell on his knife.  Can you possibly understand?”

            I hugged him and said, “Yes,sir.  Mr. Tate was right, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird.”

            Atticus rubbed my head and then walked across the porch to Boo.  “Thank you for my children, Arthur.”