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The Guilty Verdict (Chapter 21)
Jem and Scout are finally discovered in the balcony, having gone unnoticed by Atticus. The children return home for dinner, but Atticus allows them to return for the final verdict. The jury is out for hours--only Atticus could "keep a jury out so long in a case like that," Miss Maudie says later-- but Scout realizes that Tom has been found guilty even before the verdict is announced.
A jury never looks at a defendant it has convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson.
The Missionary Circle Tea and the News of Tom's Death (Chapter 24)
Scout is dressed in her Sunday best for Aunt Alexandra's important hosting of the Missionary Circle. Scout is well-behaved, but she discovers that the "ladies" in attendance are far from ladylike. Their Christian charity does not carry over to Scout or the Negroes of Maycomb, and Scout recognizes that several of them are "born hypocrites." When Atticus makes a surprise appearance, he has bad news: Tom is dead, shot seventeen times by prison guards while trying to escape.
Maycomb's Reaction to Tom's Death and B. B. Underwood's Newspaper Editorial (Chapter 25)
"Maycomb was interested in the news of Tom's death for perhaps two days," but Maycomb Tribune editor B. B. Underwood--a man who "despises Negroes," according to Atticus--"was at his most bitter." He compared Tom's death "to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children," and Scout finally understands that the trial had been an effort in futility.
... in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the moment Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.
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