To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 22
Alexandra was waiting up when they got home, and she seemed almost sad for Atticus. When she saw that Jem was upset she reminded Atticus that she hadn't thought it a good idea for the children to go to the trial. Atticus told her that what happened at the trial was just as much Maycomb as the missionary teas she attended so they should learn to cope with it. Jem was in tears, trying to understand how the jury could have returned such a verdict, and Atticus told him, "'They've done it before and they did it tonight and they'll do it again and when they do it -- seems that only children weep.'" Chapter 22, Pg. 215 With that he went to bed.
The next morning Atticus and the children woke to an unusually large breakfast comprised of all the goods grateful friends of Tom Robinson had left on the doorstep during the morning. After the meal, the children went outside and found Miss Stephanie, Miss Maudie, and Mr. Avery gathered out in front of their houses talking. Miss Maudie called Jem to come over and Scout and Dill came with him. Miss Stephanie pelted them with questions until Miss Maudie hushed her and invited the children inside for cake.
Miss Maudie talked to Jem about the way things had turned out in the trial. She told him that Atticus was one of the men in the world who had been born to do the unpleasant jobs for everyone else. Jem explained to her that he was disappointed in the people of his town because they'd convicted Tom. He had believed that they were better than that, and they'd let him down. But Miss Maudie pointed out that not everyone involved in the trial had wronged Tom. She pointed out that Judge Taylor had appointed Atticus to defend Tom although court-appointed defenses usually went to young lawyers in need of experience. But Jem still wasn't comforted.
Miss Stephanie, Miss Rachel, and Mr. Avery were standing outside talking excitedly and they waved the children over. Scout knew something was wrong. Miss Stephanie told them that Bob Ewell had stopped Atticus at the post office corner and spat in his face. Ewell threatened to get him back even if it took the rest of his life.