What explanation does Jem give for his missing pants in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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price7781 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Jem lies and says that Dill won his pants in a strip poker game.  He knows that Atticus would be mad if he knew that he was sneaking into the Radley yard in hopes of getting a glimpse of Boo.  The children are fascinated with Boo Radley and the superstitions that surround him.  Even after being told to stay away from the Radley place, the children are just too curious to let it go.  It's a scary episode because when Jem sees a shadow, he runs, and while trying to crawl under a fence, he gets his pants hooked on a wire.  In desperation, he takes off his pants and leaves them behind.  Jem vows to go back for them, and when he does, the rip is stitched closed and his pants are waiting for him on the fence.  The whole episode adds to the mystery of Boo Radley, and it leaves the reader wondering who repaired the pants and if we can honestly believe the gossip that swirls around the Radleys.

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