In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, how do the children claim to have spent the evening, when Mr. Radley fires his gun in his yard?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, the three kids—Jem, Scout and Dill—get together one last time before Dill has to leave to go home to his mother.

The children ask if they can go to Miss Rachel's fishing pool to spend some time. It is, ostensibly, where they kids go (as far as the adults are concerned), but the three sneak over to the Radley property; Jem and Dill have hatched a plan to look into the window of Boo's house so they might catch a glimpse of him.

Mr. Radley discovers that there is someone trespassing on his property, and after the kids see a shadow on the porch, they take off while they also hear a shotgun blast. (The reader finds out later that Mr. Radley aimed into the air, but the kids do not know this.) As they are running "for their lives" (or so they think), Jem's pants get caught on the fence and he has to leave them behind.

When the three youngsters return, innocently, they find the adults all gathered outside to investigate the disturbance. In explaining that Jem lost his pants while playing strip poker with Dill, they say that they were playing at the fishing pool, where they had said they were going in the first place. No one suspects that they were the ones responsible for the commotion at the Radley place.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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