In Chapter 26 of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout begins fantasizing again about daily seeing and conversing with their neighbor Arthur (Boo ) Radley. When she unconsciously brings up with her father her desire to see Arthur before she dies, he warns her not to...
In Chapter 26 of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout begins fantasizing again about daily seeing and conversing with their neighbor Arthur (Boo) Radley. When she unconsciously brings up with her father her desire to see Arthur before she dies, he warns her not to start up that nonsense again and further warns her of the dangers of wandering the Radleys' property since "Mr. Nathan shoots at every shadow he sees." These warnings let Scout know Atticus had known much more about what the children had been up to that summer than he let on to. After she gets the hint, she shuts up and thinks to herself about how she "marveled at Atticus."
One reason why she feels "marveled" is because, like many innocent children are prone to do, she thinks that she, her, brother, and Dill had successfully tricked Atticus into believing they had been up to completely different things; she thinks they had successfully kept a secret from him.
Another reason why she marvels is because she is astonished to see the amount of freedom Atticus has given his children. Rather than punishing them for wrongdoings he is secretly well-aware of, he gives them freedom to make and grow from their own mistakes.
At the same time, Scout still seems to be a bit conflicted in her perceptions of her father. Early in Chapter 4, she reflects that Atticus and Uncle Jack are the smartest people she knows. Yet, in Chapter 26, when she feels perplexed by her third grade teacher's demonstration of hypocrisy by speaking out against Hitler's treatment of the Jews while at the same time supporting unfair treatment of African Americans, Scout decides to talk to her brother about her perplexity, not her father. She starts to explain her problem to Atticus, but then stops, thinking to herself, "Jem understood school things better than Atticus." Unfortunately, Jem does not give the reaction she is expecting, and Atticus must comfort her. Atticus's comfort gives her further opportunity to marvel when he explains the following perceptive point of wisdom that Scout narrates in her own words:
Atticus said that Jem was trying hard to forget something, but what he was really doing was storing it away for a while, until enough time passed. Then he would be able to think about it and sort things out. When he was able to think about it, Jem would be himself again. (Ch. 26)
Hence, all in all, while Scout appreciates her father's perception, intelligence, and compassion and is beginning to marvel at them, she is still young, growing, and getting to know and further appreciate her father. Her youth still makes her feel conflicted about how she perceives her father.