This is the moment that Scout's greatest fantasy comes true.
Maybe someday we would see him. I imagined how it would be when it happened, he'd just be sitting in the swing when I came along. "Hidy do, Mr. Arthur, I would say..."
It was only a fantasy... He would never gaze at us. (Chapter 26)
But it has at last come true. In this instant, the old gossip about Boo being a ghoul disappears. He is not a blood-thirsty phantom, but a real, live neighbor seen for the first time in the flesh. Never having seen Boo before, she does not immediately recognize "the man in the corner" who has remained silent during Sheriff Tate's questioning. But she finally understands that "the sickly white hands," the "colorless" gray eyes, and the "dead and thin hair" could only belong to Boo. When Boo finally flashed his "timid smile," Scout is overcome by the realization that her dream has come true. The tears begin to flow, in part because Boo is standing right in front of her, but also because she knows that he was the man who had saved Jem and her on the way back from the school. When she led him outside to the darkness,
My small fantasy about him was alive again: he would be sitting on the porch...
Feeling slightly unreal, I led him to the chair farthest from Atticus and Mr. Tate. Boo would feel more comfortable in the dark. (Chapter 30)
Scout's tears come from the emotional experience of meeting Boo and having nearly been killed by Bob Ewell, but she remains calm enough to exhibit a few of the ladylike skills that she has recently discovered: She takes his hand, allows Boo to pat Jem on the head, and then escorts him back to the Radley house. "I never saw him again," and she returns home looking--as if through more tears--at the street lights "fuzzy from the fine rain that was falling."