According to Jem, what does the phrase "he bought cotton" mean in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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As Scout explains, undoubtedly realizing her readers would have no idea what the term alludes to, it means doing nothing. It's a euphemism for saying that Mr. Radley, at least as far as the children know, didn't work for a living. The origin of the term is obscure. It's obviously a regional Southern phrase that alludes to cotton, an important cash crop in the South. Various web sites explain that it means that Mr. Radley—or anybody who didn't work—would have bought rather than labored to make their own cotton cloth. That would imply...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 292 words.)

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