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Jem and Scout are changed forever when they are attacked on their way home from the Halloween pageant. It is the final act on the theme of lost innocence in the novel. It results in the death of Bob Ewell and serious injuries to Jem, who suffers a broken arm. He recovers, however, and though his "left arm was somewhat shorter than his right... He couldn't have cared less, so long as he could pass and punt." Atticus at first believes Jem is responsible for Bob's death, but it soon becomes clear that it was Boo Radley who had come to the children's rescue. Scout's fantasy comes true when she shyly addresses Boo for the first time, and she soon realizes that he has been keeping an eye on "his children" for several years. She proudly escorts Boo back to his house, and then she stares upon her neighborhood from Boo's porch, as if standing in Boo's shoes and seeing things through his eyes. "I had never seen our neighborhood from this angle," and when she returns home, she finds Atticus reading while Jem sleeps. She learns a final lesson from the book Atticus is reading: Like Boo, the main character,
"... when they finally saw him, why he hadn't done any of those things... Atticus, he was real nice..."
"... Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them." (Chapter 31)
Scout and Jem are attacked by a mystery person. They at first think that it is Cecil, however it soon becomes apparent that it isn't, and their pursuer isn't going to stop until he or she gets what they want. By the time Scout is able to get up, it is evident that Jem is nowhere to be found and all that remains is the body of an unshaven drunk stinking of whiskey. When Scout heads for home (as quickly as possible!) she see's a man carrying Jem towards her house.
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