In chapter nine, Uncle Jack visits his brother's family to celebrate Christmas and is forced to reprimand Scout for punching her cousin in the face. Later that evening, Uncle Jack has an enlightening conversation with Scout about what transpired, and he apologizes for jumping to conclusions after she tells him what Francis called Atticus. Uncle Jack then leads Scout into the bathroom, where he proceeds to bandage her knuckles. While he is dressing Scout's minor wounds, she asks him, "What's a whore-lady?" (Lee, 89). Uncle Jack is immediately caught off guard by her explicit question and attempts to dance around the subject by telling her an outrageous, entertaining story concerning Lord Melbourne, whose life was quite colorful. His story about Lord Melbourne does not answer Scout's specific question and is simply used to distract her from the explicit topic.
Later that night, Scout overhears Uncle Jack discussing their conversation with Atticus. When Uncle Jack tells Atticus that he avoided answering Scout's question about the meaning of the term "whore-lady," Atticus tells his brother,
Jack! When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness’ sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles ‘em. (Lee, 90)