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At the beginning of Chapter 15, Dill’s mother decides to let him stay at the Finches and Scout says, “We had a week of peace together. After that, little, it seemed. A nightmare was upon us.” The reference to a “nightmare” foreshadows the future attempt by the Old Sarum bunch to lynch Tom Robinson at Maycomb’s jailhouse the day before his trial, which happens later on in the chapter. Four cars full of armed men arrive at the courthouse to find Atticus posted outside Tom Robinson’s jail cell. The situation could have turned ugly quickly, for both Tom Robinson and Atticus, but the arrival of the Finch children gives Mr. Cunningham some perspective. Fortunately, Scout intervenes and her presence makes Mr. Cunningham “stand in the shoes of Atticus,” as he and the gang decide to leave. Harper Lee foreshadows early in Chapter 15 the controversial moment that takes place towards the end of the chapter.
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