What is significant about Jem's decision to make a lone, nocturnal return to the Radley Place? What is the significant outcome of the return?
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Jem is forced to make an unexpected solo mission to the Radley Place one night to retrieve his lost pants. Earlier in the evening, Jem, Scout and Dill had made it as far as the Radley porch, from where Jem tried to peer in a window. But, suddenly, a shadow appeared, and the children prepared for the worst. But just as quickly, the shadow disappeared, and the kids sprinted for safety as a shotgun blast rang out. However, while crossing a wire fence, Jem's pants became entangled before he finally pulled free. When the kids joined a group of people who had gathered in the street to discuss the noise (a Negro was suspected of the mischief), Miss Stephanie realized Jem had no pants. He had lost them in the fence.
Knowing that Atticus would want to see them in the morning, Jem knew he had to retrieve them that night, in part because "Atticus ain't ever whipped me since I can remember. I wanta keep it that way." He made it safely back, but the next morning he had an even more unusual story to tell Scout.
When Jem has to go back in order to get his pants he has to go by himself and warns Scout not to tell her father. On top of that, when he goes back he realizes that someone must have sewed them together and knew he would be coming back. While reading the story it causes us to consider whether or not Boo Radley did this.
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