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One good example would be the confusion that encompasses Atticus on the night that Bob Ewell attacked his children (Chapters 28-30). The usually clear-headed Atticus appears to be completely befuddled by the news that Ewell has been knifed to death. When Sheriff Tate gives him the news, Atticus initially comes to the conclusion that it must have been Jem that killed Bob. Tate also seems surprised at Atticus' reaction, and he tells him in no uncertain terms that it could not have been Jem. But Atticus is not convinced. He tells Heck that he'll lose the trust of his children if they hear different stories about the murder; Atticus refuses to cover it up just to protect Jem. Heck firmly repeats that no "boy Jem's size with a busted arm" could fight back and "tackle and kill a grown man in the pitch dark." Atticus finally accepts Heck's explanation, and Atticus silently agrees to accept Heck's version and officially call the death accidental--thus absolving the actual killer, Boo Radley, from the unwanted exposure of a public hearing or trial.
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