What nasty surprise awaits the children at the very end of Chapter 7?
At the end of Chapter 7, the children are unhappily surprised to find the knot-hole in the Radley tree has been filled in with cement. Throughout the chapter, Jem and Scout begin to find additional gifts in the knot-hole of the tree. They find a ball of twine, two carved soap figures, a spelling bee medal, a pack of gum, a broken pocket watch on a chain, and an aluminum knife. Jem and Scout write a thank you letter to whoever has been leaving the gifts for them in the knot-hole. The next day on the way to school, Jem and Scout find out that the knot-hole has been filled in with cement. Jem attempts to console Scout by telling her, "Don't you cry, now, Scout...don't cry now, don't you worry---." (Lee 83) Jem asks Mr. Nathan if he filled the tree with cement, and Mr. Nathan says he filled the knot-hole because it was dying. After Atticus tells Jem that he thinks the tree is healthy but can't be sure, Jem stands on the porch and cries until nightfall. The children had lost their chance to communicate with their anonymous friend who had been leaving them gifts.