In chapter five, Scout sits on the porch with Miss Maudie and inquires about their reclusive neighbor, Arthur "Boo" Radley. Miss Maudie explains to Scout that Arthur was always a very respectful boy and thinks that it is a shame the way his father forced him to remain indoors. Miss Maudie proceeds to tell Scout that Mr. Radley was a religious fanatic, and Scout struggles to comprehend the nature of people like Mr. Radley. Miss Maudie attempts to explain religious fanaticism by telling Scout that a Bible in the hand of some people is worse than a whiskey bottle in Atticus's hands.
Miss Maudie proceeds to elaborate on her analogy and says that some people are so worried about the afterlife that they never learn to appreciate this life. Scout then asks Miss Maudie if she believes all the rumors and legends surrounding Boo Radley and Maudie responds by saying,
That is three-fourths colored folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford. (46)
Miss Maudie is essentially saying that the unflattering rumors surrounding Boo Radley are simply stories that superstitious African Americans made up as well as imaginary tales from Miss Crawford, who cannot help but make up stories. The local black population fears Boo Radley and contributes to his legend. At the beginning of the novel, Scout mentions,
A Negro would not pass the Radley Place at night, he would cut across to the sidewalk opposite and whistle as he walked. (9)
Similarly, Miss Crawford also spreads false rumors about Boo Radley by claiming that she caught him staring in her window and blaming every small crime on him. According to Miss Maudie, all these rumors and legends are figments of people's active imaginations.