Jem was twelve. He was difficult to live with, inconsistent, moody. His appetite was appalling, and he told me so many times to stop pestering him I consulted Atticus: “Reckon he’s got a tapeworm?” Atticus said no, Jem was growing. I must be patient with him and disturb him...

I turned to Calpurnia but was hushed before I opened my mouth. Subdued, I fixed my attention upon Reverend Sykes, who seemed to be waiting for me to settle down. “Will the music superintendent lead us in the first hymn,” he said. Zeebo rose from his pew and walked down the center...

“Put my bag in the front bedroom, Calpurnia,” was the first thing Aunt Alexandra said. “Jean Louise, stop scratching your head,” was the second thing she said. Calpurnia picked up Aunty’s heavy suitcase and opened the door. “I’ll take it,” said Jem, and took it....

Because its primary reason for existence was government, Maycomb was spared the grubbiness that distinguished most Alabama towns its size. In the beginning its buildings were solid, its courthouse proud, its streets graciously wide. Maycomb’s proportion of professional people...

Although we heard no more about the Finch family from Aunt Alexandra, we heard plenty from the town. On Saturdays, armed with our nickels, when Jem permitted me to accompany him (he was now positively allergic to my presence when in public), we would squirm our way through sweating...

I finally found my voice. “How’d you get here?” By an involved route. Refreshed by food, Dill recited this narrative: having been bound in chains and left to die in the basement (there were basements in Meridian) by his new father, who disliked him, and secretly kept alive...

After many telephone calls, much pleading on behalf of the defendant, and a long forgiving letter from his mother, it was decided that Dill could stay. We had a week of peace together. After that, little, it seemed. A nightmare was upon us. It began one evening after supper. Dill...

Atticus’s office was in the courthouse when he began his law practice, but after several years of it he moved to quieter quarters in the Maycomb Bank building. When we rounded the corner of the square, we saw the car parked in front of the bank. “He’s in there,” said Jem. But...

Jem heard me. He thrust his head around the connecting door. As he came to my bed Atticus’s light flashed on. We stayed where we were until it went off; we heard him turn over, and we waited until he was still again. Jem took me to his room and put me in bed beside him. “Try...

Jem giggled. “He’s got a Co-Cola bottle full of whiskey in there. That’s so’s not to upset the ladies. You’ll see him sip it all afternoon, he’ll step out for a while and fill it back up.” “Why’s he sittin’ with the colored folks?” “Always does. He likes...