Scout and her Aunt Alexandra seem to be having a contest about who can antagonize the other the most. Scout is angry with her aunt for constantly nagging her about the need to wear dresses and for not allowing her to eat Christmas dinner with the grown-ups; instead she has to sit at the "little table" with Cousin Francis. It is Francis who instigates Scout's trouble with Alexandra, blaming Scout for picking on her. Alexandra orders them to stop arguing and then turns to Scout.
"Jean Louise, if I hear another word out of you I'll tell your father. Did I hear you say hell a while ago?"
"I thought I did. I'd better not hear it again." (Chapter 9)
Alexandra becomes even angrier when Scout "split my knuckle to the bone on his [Francis's] front teeth" after Francis called Scout a "nigger-lover." Alexandra pays no attention to Scout; instead, she babies Francis, "wiping his tears... rubbing his hair, patting his cheek."