Summary: Chapter 18

Jean Louise drives home in a blinding rage and begins packing to leave. Alexandra comes in, asks if she’s had a fight with Atticus, and tells her that no Finch runs. Jean Louise explodes at Alexandra, and Alexandra begins to cry, which immediately makes Jean Louise feel guilty instead of angry.

As Jean Louise puts her car in the back of Atticus’s car, a taxi pulls up and deposits Uncle Jack, who tells her to listen to him. Jean Louise yells at him, and Uncle Jack smacks her hard across the mouth. When her head swings to the left, he smacks her again. Jean Louise staggers, blood ringing in her ears. She admits that she can’t fight Atticus and Henry anymore, but she can’t join them either.

Uncle Jack asks Alexandra for “missionary vanilla,” which is his code word for whiskey, and with a little prodding, she produces some. Uncle Jack pours some and makes Jean Louise drink it. Uncle Jack gets himself a drink as well.

Jean Louise asks Uncle Jack if he knows about the fight she had had with Atticus, and he says that he heard every word of it. After Jean Louise reflects for a few moments, she says that everything has still happened, but now, it feels bearable. Uncle Jack tells Jean Louise that every man’s watchman is his conscience. (Sound familiar again?)

Uncle Jack tells Jean Louise that she had been using Atticus’s conscience as her own and that she worshipped him too much. When Atticus was doing something that didn’t match with her own morals, it made her physically ill, and she felt like one of them had to kill the other to function as separate beings. Atticus let her yell at him because she had to regard him as a human, not as a god.

Uncle Jack says that Jean Louise is a little bit of a bigot because she stubbornly keeps her own opinions. When she disagrees with people, her instinct is to run away, not to stay and argue. Uncle Jack reminds Jean Louise that the most important thing to Atticus is, and will always be, the law. Uncle Jack asks Jean Louise for a match, which astounds her, since he had once yelled at her for smoking.