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Jem and Dill had been walking back from the swimming hole trying to hitch a ride when they saw Atticus driving somewhere with Calpurnia. Atticus wanted them to try to get another ride since he wasn't going to go home for a while, but the boys convinced him to let them come.
“Go on with your game, boys,”
Tom's death is the hot topic in Maycomb gossip for a few days, mostly as a way to reinforce pre-existing stereotypes as to the foolishness of black people. People thought his death was typical because he was a black man trying to run away.
“Did you hear about?... No? Well, they say he was runnin‘ fit to beat lightnin’...”
“Scout, she just fell down in the dirt. Just fell down in the dirt, like a giant with a big foot just came along and stepped on her. Just ump—” “Like you’d step on an ant.”
Dill said Calpurnia and Atticus lifted Helen to her feet and half carried, half walked her to the cabin. They stayed inside a long time, and Atticus came out alone.
When they drove back by the dump, some of the Ewells hollered at them, but Dill didn’t catch what they said.
Tom's death is the hot topic in Maycomb gossip for a few days to reinforce pre-existing stereotypes as to the foolishness of blacks. The story seems well on its way to dying a quick death until Mr. Underwood comes out with a story about it in The Maycomb Tribune. Since it's the only paper in town, he can say whatever he wanted and not lose subscribers or advertising.
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