To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 6
Although Atticus had instructed the children to leave Boo Radley alone, Jem and Dill just couldn't let it go. So on Dill's last nightin Maycomb, after watching Mr. Avery pee off of his porch, Jem and Dill convinced Scout to go with them over to the Radley place and sneak up to the house to look in the window.
They couldn't see much in the window, so Jem had creeped up onto the porch and was peeking in the window when Dill and Scout saw a long, black shadow fall over him. Jem felt it and looked up. The shadow retreated and the kids took off running. Almost to the fence line that separated Radley property from the schoolyard, they heard a shotgun blast go off. They scrambled through the fence, but Jem caught his pants on the barbed wire and had to wiggle out of them and head for home. When they got to their house they saw a small crowd gathered in front of the Radley house, and they went over so as not to look suspicious. Nathan Radley was explaining that a colored man had been on his property and he didn't shoot at him, but he planned to put a bullet in whatever caused the next sound he heard out there.
After a moment Miss Stephanie noticed that Jem wasn't wearing pants. They made up an excuse about losing the pants to Dill in a game of strip poker played with matches.
That night while Jem and Scout were out on the screened porch, Jem decided that he had to go back to the Radley place for his pants so he wouldn't have to tell Atticus what happened. Scout didn't want him to go because she worried that he'd get shot and in comparison a whipping seemed like no big deal, but Jem refused to listen. He explained that Atticus had never whipped him before and he'd like to keep it that way, so he was going back for his pants. Scout says, "It was then, I suppose, that Jem and I first began to part company. Sometimes I did not understand him, but my periods of bewilderment were short-lived." Chapter 6, Pg. 61 Scout waited and after a while Jem crept silently back onto the porch.