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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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In Chapter 30, Sheriff Tate and Atticus are discussing what happened during the attack. Initially, Atticus believes Jem is responsible for stabbing and killing Bob Ewell. Sheriff Tate then explains to Atticus that Boo Radley was the person who killed Bob Ewell, but says he will tell the community that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife and died. Sheriff Tate then comments that he refuses to tell the community that Boo Radley heroically saved the children by defending them against Bob Ewell because it would bring Boo unwanted attention. Sheriff Tate knows Boo Radley is extremely shy and reclusive. He considers it a sin to have various citizens bothering and thanking Boo for saving Jem and Scout. Scout understands why Sheriff Tate is protecting Boo Radley and compares Boo's situation to shooting a mockingbird.

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