Chapter 31

 

            Boo Radley shuffled to his feet.  He made uncertain moves.  I took him to see Jem one last time.  He leaned forward and an expression of curiousity was on his face, as though he had never seen a boy before.  His hand came down lightly on Jem’s hair.

            “Will you take me home?” he whispered. I took his arm so that it looked like he was escorting me like a lady down the walk.  When we got to his door, he gently released my hand, opened the door, and went inside.  I never saw him again.

            I turned around on his front porch and looked at the neighborhood from Boo’s view.  I thought about all of the things he might have seen:  Dill, Jem, and I getting scolded for playing near his yard: the night of the fire: Atticus shooting the dog.  He had been with us through all of it.  Atticus said you never really knew a man until you stand in his shoes.  He was right.

            As I walked home I thought about all that Jem and I had learned.  There wasn’t much left, except maybe algebra.

            Atticus was sitting up reading in Jem’s room.  I asked if I could sit with him and he agreed.  He was reading a book, so I asked him to read it aloud.  I was falling asleep so he took me to my room.  I told him the story was good, but the man in the story was misunderstood.  People thought he was bad. But when they finally saw him “he hadn’t done anything… he was real nice.”

            “Most people are Scout, when you finally see them.”

            He tucked the covers under my chin, turned out the light , and went into Jem’s room.  He would be there all night, and when Jem woke up in the morning.