The action at the pageant is some of the most harrowing in To Kill a Mockingbird. The narrative starts innocuously enough; Jem accompanies Scout to her Halloween pageant. While backstage, Scout falls asleep in her costume, so she misses her cue to come on stage and arrives late. The director of the pageant is very angry at Scout for her error, and she accuses her of ruining the entire play. Scout is so ashamed that she refuses to leave the pageant until almost everyone has gone.
Jem and Scout walk home alone, and they begin to hear noises. They think it is their friend, Cecil, trying to scare them. Eventually, they can hear someone running after them, so they realize it is not Cecil. The pursuer, who we eventually learn is Bob Ewell, attacks them, but is killed by Boo Radley. The attack leaves Jem unconscious, so Boo picks him up and carries him home.