Explain fully the secrets to which Scout is referring in Chapters 5 and 6 of To Kill a Mockingbird.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Jem, Scout and Dill are at their sneakiest during these chapters, and they have several secrets they prefer to keep from Atticus. Atticus has caught them playing the Radley Game, and though Scout wants to "quit the game," Jem decides to merely change the names of the characters. But Atticus catches them in the act of trying to send Boo Radley a message attached to a fishing pole, and he warns them to

"... stop tormenting that man."  (Chapter 5)

The children take their quest to make contact with Boo to new heights when they decide to make a night raid on the Radleys' back porch. They see a mysterious shadow (presumably Boo), are sent scattering when Nathan Radley fires his shotgun in the air, and then discover that Jem has lost his pants on the Radley fence. They are able to keep their true actions a secret from Atticus when Dill explains the loss of Jem's pants to their nonexistent game of "strip poker"--a term of which Scout is completely clueless. The children decide that playing strip poker--whatever that may be--will make Atticus less angry than prowling about the Radley's and attracting gunfire. Jem later reveals yet another secret to Scout: that his lost pants have been crudely hemmed and were waiting for him, folded on the fence, when he went back for them.


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