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Part VI

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Part VI

Part VI

Part VI

Summary: Chapter 15

Jean Louise returns to the ice-cream parlor that is her childhood home. She has a flashback to when Jem and Henry were successful, glamorous high school seniors and she was an overweight, awkward, fourteen-year-old bookworm. Seniors traditionally invited their younger siblings to the Commencement Dance, and Jem convinced Henry to take Jean Louise as his date. Jean Louise picks out a new dress and buys false bosoms.

Jean Louise calls Atticus in a panic to teach her how to dance, and he sends over Uncle Jack, who gives her a crash course. When Henry arrives, he notices her new figure, but doesn’t say anything to her about it. They go to the dance, where the crowd is impressed with Jean Louise and her new dress.

During one dance, Henry suddenly pulls Jean Louise outside and points out that her “bosoms” are totally askew. She bursts into tears. Henry reassures her that it had just happened and that no one else had noticed. Henry flings the garments off into the distance and pulls her back inside, where no one seems to notice the change. Henry drops her off and kisses her goodnight. Jean Louise is smitten.

The next morning, Mr. Tuffett, the high school principal, calls a special assembly. Someone he says, has perpetrated an obscene act of defilement. He leads the whole school outside, where Jean Louise’s false bosoms are fluttering above a sign. Mr. Tuffett demands that the guilty party give him a signed statement that afternoon, or else he will expel the person who did it.

Henry is anxious at first, but he has an idea. Later that morning, Henry tells Jean Louise to write on a piece of paper, “Dear Mr. Tuffett. They look like mine.” He says that she must give it to Mr. Tuffett just before noon. Jean Louise follows his orders, growing more and more nervous by the minute.

When she gives the note to Mr. Tuffett, he immediately throws it in the wastepaper basket. She is the hundred and fifth girl to give him the exact same note. Jean Louise asks Henry how he got the idea, and he says that Atticus put him up to it. Jean Louise returns from her flashback to the present day, in her childhood backyard.

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