To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Scout have on at the fire that makes Atticus think the children have disobeyed him?

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Atticus woke Scout and Jem up in the middle of the night on a cold winter evening.  They sleepily went outside with their father to discover that Miss Maudie's house was engulfed in flames.  There was concern that the Finch house could also catch on fire, so that was why the children went outside.  Atticus did not want his children to be in the way of the men fighting the flames, so he ordered them to go wait by the Radley house.  Scout and Jem obeyed their father and waited.

Scout and Jem waited outside in the cold until dawn.  Miss Maudie's house had burned to the ground, but theirs had not caught fire.  Atticus brought them back inside.  Then he noticed something on Scout:

"I thought I told you and Jem to stay put," he said.

"Why, we did.  We stayed—"

"Then whose blanket is that?"

"Blanket?"

"Yes ma’am, blanket. It isn’t ours."

I looked down and found myself clutching a brown woolen blanket I was wearing around my shoulders, squaw-fashion (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 8).

Atticus thought Scout had moved from her spot to get the blanket.  He had asked them not to move.  Slowly, they all began to realize that Boo Radley must have given Scout the blanket.  All the other men had been fighting the fire.

 

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