What crisis shows the children a surprising skill their father possesses in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of Chapter 10, Scout describes her father as "feeble," and creates a list of things that Atticus is incapable of doing. His advanced age and bad eyesight are just two of his inadequacies that seem to embarrass Scout. But when a mad dog is seen stumbling down the street, who does Sheriff Heck Tate hand his rifle to in order to dispose of the animal? None other than Atticus.

     With movements so swift they seemed simultaneous, Atticus' hand yanked a ball-tipped lever as he brought the gun to his shoulder.
     The rifle cracked. Tim Johnson leaped, flopped over and crumpled on the sidewalk...

The children discovered a talent that Atticus possessed but had never discussed with them: that of the crack marksman. In his youth, Atticus had been known as "Ol' One Shot" Finch, the best shooter in the county.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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