In chaps. 4-7, how did Jem get even with Scout for contradicting him about "Hot Steams?" Why would there be no more surprises in the Radleys' tree?
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Jem gets even with Scout for contradicting him in Chapter 4. The kids decide to play by rolling in a big old tire. Scout goes first and Jem pushes her. But he is angry so he pushes her really hard and she rolls all the way up against the Radleys' front porch.
The reason that there are no more surprises in the tree is that Mr. Nathan Radley plugs the hole up with cement. This happens in Chapter 7. Mr. Radley tells Jem that he has plugged the hole because the tree was sick.
Jem was not too happy about Scout's reaction to his story about Hot Steams. Dill had never heard the term before, so Jem explained that they were a type of spirit that had not yet reached heaven. Scout discounted the tale, claiming that "Calpurnia says that's nigger-talk." So, Jem determined to pay Scout back quickly. When she demanded to be first when they rolled the tire, Jem pushed her roughly and "with all the force in his body," and she landed on the steps of the Radley house.
The surprises left in the knothole of the Radley oak tree ended abruptly when Mr. Radley cemented the niche. He apparently had discovered that Boo was leaving gifts for the children and disapproved of his son's actions.
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