In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Cecil Jacobs do before the pageant which helps set up the incidents which occur after the pageant?
Cecil Jacobs makes his presence known before the Halloween pageant in To Kill a Mockingbird, so, naturally, Jem and Scout thinks it is him again afterward when they hear the mysterious noise following them. On their way to the pageant,
Someone leaped at us.
"God Almighty!" Jem yelled.
A circle of light burst in our faces, and Cecil Jacobs jumped in glee behind it. "Ha-a-a, gotcha! he shrieked. "Thought you'd be comin' along this way!"
After the pageant, Jem tells Scout to be quiet, and they listen for a noise. Whenever they stop walking, the sound stops as well. But they finally decide that
"It's just old Cecil," said Jem presently. "He won't get us again. Let's don't let him think we're hurrying."
Jem and Scout both take turns yelling at the unseen Cecil, but he never appears. Scout thinks it unusual for him "to hold out for so long." They soon find out that the noise does not belong to Cecil.
Cecil Jacobs follows and then scares Scout as she is going to the pageant. When Scout and Jem are walking through the dark woods on the way home from the pageant, they hear noises behind them, and Scout thinks that once again Cecil is trying to scare them. Of course, this allows Bob Ewell to get closer to the children before the struggle ensues.