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Jem was highly upset by the jury's verdict in the Tom Robinson trial, and he was still angry the next morning. He "flashed" his eyes at Aunt Alexandra after she scolded Dill, and he "made a feral noise" when he heard Miss Stephanie gossiping about the children's visit to the courtroom. Miss Maudie called the children over to her house for cake, and then she offered them some advice. First, she told them that
"I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them."
Jem responded with some "fatalistic noises" and then complained that the people of Maycomb were not quite as good as they had previously seemed to him. Maudie did not altogether disagree.
"We're the safest folks in the world... We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us."
Maudie assured Jem that Atticus had plenty of supporters, and Tom did, too--particularly Judge Taylor and Sheriff Tate. She explained that Judge Taylor could have named the normal court-appointed attorney, but he chose Atticus because he knew Tom would get the best defense possible. She also told Jem that Atticus was the only man who could have kept the jury out for as long as it was, calling it a "baby-step" toward equal justice for the black man.
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