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Atticus's humility is best displayed in Chapter 10 of the novel when he is summoned by Sheriff Heck Tate to kill the mad dog. "Jem and I nearly fainted" when Sheriff Tate "handed the rifle to Atticus." They were under the assumption that Atticus was "feeble" and untalented, but after he kills the dog with a single shot between the eyes, they discover that he was once a marksman with a rifle--"the deadest shot in Maycomb County." Atticus has never told them about this deadly skill, and he scolds Heck for nearly giving away his secret. But Miss Maudie feels it is best that the children know that Atticus is good for something besides creating "airtight" wills and playing the Jew's Harp. Jem and Scout are both surprised that Atticus has never told them about it--that "he'd be proud of it"--but Maudie explains that
"People in their right minds never take pride in their talents..." (Chapter 10)
When Scout tells Jem that she can't wait to tell all her friends about "Ol' One-Shot Finch" at school, Jem warns her to keep it to herself.
"If he was proud of it, he'da told us." (Chapter 10)
Jem is proud of his father and his humble nature, recognizing that
"Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!" (Chapter 10)
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