The children never get over their urges to get a glimpse of Boo Radley in Part One of To Kill a Mockingbird. At first it is out of curiosity because of all the rumors they have heard concerning Boo's ghoulish practices at night; later, it is because they recognize that the presents left for them in the secret knothole of the oak tree have come from Boo. When Old Mrs. Radley died, Atticus visited the Radleys to pay his respects. Naturally, Jem and Scout wanted to know if Atticus had seen Boo; they also wondered if Boo "had got her at last," but Atticus told them that Mrs. Radley had "died of natural causes, much to our disappointment." Jem was afraid to ask Atticus the big question, so he made Scout do it. When she asked her father if he had seen Boo,
Atticus looked sternly around his newspaper at me. "I did not."
Jem warned Scout to ask no further questions, since he knew "Atticus was still touchous about us and the Radleys..."