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In the aftermath of Ewell's attack of the children and his subsequent death, Sheriff Tate, Boo, and Atticus discuss what needs to be done. Atticus and Sheriff Tate are locked in a debate on what the public should be told. Atticus states that people should be told that Jem killed Ewell. He does not want people to gossip about a cover up. But, Tate convinces Atticus that it is better to tell them that Ewell fell on his own knife and died. They both agree Boo should be kept out of it. The community has never been kind to him, and would only fuel the fire if he were to be involved.
In the last chapter, Boo visits with Jem, and then Scout walks him home. She reflects on the change in perception she has had with regards to Boo. Later, Scout goes to Jem's room and falls asleep while Atticus reads to her. She falls asleep secure now that Ewell is dead, and knows her father will stay with them all through the night.
The enotes "Summary and Analysis" pages have excellent plot overviews for each chapter:
"Chapter 30 takes place in Jem’s bedroom until Dr. Reynolds appears with a package. Then Boo, Scout, Atticus, and Sheriff Tate go to the porch. Atticus and Sheriff Tate argue about Ewell’s death. Atticus says that Jem killed Ewell, but Tate says that Ewell fell on his knife. At last they all agree to Tate’s story. They decide on this story to protect Boo and to let the dead bury the dead."
"Chapter 31 tells of Boo’s visiting Jem and of Scout’s taking him home. She remembers the past and realizes that they have in effect been Boo’s children through time. She goes to Jem’s room and falls asleep as Atticus reads to her. She knows, as Atticus tucks her in, that he will be there through the night and in the morning."
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