At Aunt Alexandra's missionary circle, Scout successfully carries a pitcher of coffee to the ladies. Proud of this accomplishment, Aunt Alexandra "smiled brilliantly" and asks Scout to join the ladies. Scout is uncomfortable among the ladies but tries to appease her Aunt Alexandra by dressing in her "pink Sunday dress" and taking a seat near Miss Maudie. Earlier in the novel in Chapter 5, Scout shares a moment in which she knew she and Miss Maudie would be friends. Scout remembers that, "With a click of her tongue she thrust out her bridgework, a gesture of cordiality that cemented our friendship."
Once seated, Scout is faced with the daunting task of answering the ladies' questions. She is clearly nervous as she sits holding tightly to the chair. It is Miss Maudie who poses the first question asking, "Where are your britches today?" Scout responds that they are "under her dress." Scout is not intending to make a joke, but all of the ladies laugh at her except for Miss Maudie.
Miss Stephanie asks if Scout plans to be a lawyer. Scout responds that she plans to be a lady and again, the ladies laugh. Miss Maudie touches Scout's hand, and she is able to stay calm and speak. Miss Stephanie then lets Scout know that she'll need to start wearing more dresses. At this point, Miss Maudie squeezes Scout's hand and according to Scout, "Its warmth was enough." Miss Maudie knows that Scout is nervous. Her touch calms Scout and helps her feel comfortable.