To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 25
September came to Maycomb County, but summer weather stayed, and Scout missed Dill. The last two days he'd been in Maycomb, Jem had taken Dill down to Barker's Eddy to teach him to swim, so Scout hadn't been able to play with him. On his last day in Maycomb, Dill was walking home with Jem from the Eddy when they saw Atticus pass by in his car. Cal was in the backseat. Atticus let them ride with him because traffic was so light that they'd have trouble hitching another ride home, but he made them promise to stay in the car. He and Cal had been on their way out to Tom Robinson's house to tell his wife the sad news.
The town buzzed with the news for two days, and Mr. Underwood, the newspaper editor, wrote a scathing editorial in The Maycomb Tribune about the sin of killing cripples -- he compared it to killing songbirds. When Scout read it, she was a bit confused at first because Tom had been given his due process at court and had been convicted by a jury despite Atticus' attempts to save him. Then Scout understood.
"Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed." Chapter 25, Pg. 244