To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 7
Jem stayed quiet and moody for a week, so Scout left him alone until he was ready to talk. School started, and Scout discovered that second grade wasn't much of an improvement on first grade. One afternoon Jem confessed the secret he'd been mulling over since the night he went back to the Radley place to retrieve his pants. He told Scout that when he'd wriggled out of his pants in such a hurry, they'd been tangled up in the fence, but when he went back to get them, they were folded across the fence and had been sewn up in a crude manner. They had seemed to be waiting for him, and that worried Jem.
They walked past their tree with the knothole and a gray ball of twine was stuck in the hole. They waited for three days before they took it just to be sure it wasn't someone's hiding place, but no one claimed the twine, so Jem took it. As days passed they found two soap carvings that closely resembled Scout and Jem, an entire pack of gum, a spelling bee medal, and a broken pocket watch with an aluminum knife on its chain. They decided to leave a note for their benefactor, but before they could leave the note in the knothole, Nathan Radley had cemented the knothole over. Nathan claimed that the tree was dying, so he cemented it up to save it. Later that evening Jem asked Atticus if the tree looked sick, and he said no. When Jem came in from the porch, Scout could tell he'd been crying.