Chapter 6

The last night of the summer Jem and Dill hatch the biggest plot of them all (reasoning that, if they get killed, they'll miss school instead of vacation). They decide to try and peep into one of the windows at the Radley house. When Scout (who until tonight knew nothing of the plan) starts to protest, they call her a girl and threaten to send her home. With that, she joins them.

Things take a disastrous turn when Boo Radley's older brother, Mr. Nathan Radley, hears them and, thinking they're intruders, fires a shotgun. They barely make it through the fence in time and high tail it back home so they're not missed by the adults. When they step into the gathering crowd to discuss the gunshot Scout is horrified to realize that Jem is missing his pants. Dill hatches a good one and tells Atticus that he won them from Jem playing strip poker. The adults seem satisfied with the lie, and don't suspect them of causing the gunfire at the Radley place.

After they slink off, Scout discovers from Jem that he lost his pants as they were scurrying through the wire fence. They got caught and he had to leave them behind or risk getting shot. Late that night Jem decides to go after them rather than risk Mr. Nathan finding them the next morning and turning him in. Scout pleads with him not to go, but he does it anyway. When he gets back, he doesn't say a word but lies in bed, trembling.