Jem, Dill, Calpurnia, and Atticus all ride out past the dump and "down the narrow lane to the Negro cabins" (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 25). Tom Robinson has died and Atticus needs to break the tragic news to his wife, Helen. Atticus brings Calpurnia along to comfort Helen.
Helen greets them politely, but then she realizes why they have come. She does not speak anymore. Dill explains to Scout how Helen reacts:
"Scout," said Dill, "she just fell down in the dirt. Just fell down in the dirt, like a giant with a big foot just came along and stepped on her. Just ump—" Dill’s fat foot hit the ground. "Like you’d step on an ant."
Helen's reaction is one of utter devastation. She has already suffered the emotional turmoil of having her husband imprisoned and convicted of a crime when he is innocent. She also faces financial difficulties, as she has been the only one able to make money while her husband is in jail. The news of her husband's death comes as the final blow.
Calpurnia and Atticus help Helen into her house. They stay in the house to talk to her. Atticus finally emerges, but Calpurnia stays inside the house to comfort Helen.