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Scout had earlier shown surprising control when she avoided a fight with Cecil Jacobs in Chapter 9 of To Kill a Mockingbird. He had taunted Scout, calling Atticus a "disgrace" and her a "coward." She knew that Atticus would be disappointed if he heard about it, however, so she dropped her fists and left with Cecil's taunts
"... ringing in my ears. It was the first time I ever walked away from a fight.
Scout exhibited her new-found skill best in Chapter 24 at the Missionary Circle tea. Miss Stephanie made several jokes at Scout's expense, yet Scout held her tongue as "Miss Maudie's hand closed tightly on mine" in support of her young friend. She sat quietly while the ladies talked about hypocrites, "sulky" Negroes, and Atticus' decision to defend Tom Robinson. In the end, she showed some of the first signs that she was learning self-control.
After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.
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