To Kill A Mockingbird: Novel Summary: Chapters 21-22
Chapter 21: Calpurnia comes to the court to fetch the children. Atticus finally realizes that they have been watching the entire time. He admonishes them for leaving the house without permission but he allows them to return to the courtroom later to hear the verdict. Excited and extremely proud of Atticus, the children feel that their side has surely won the case. They eagerly anticipate the verdict and return to the courthouse where they rejoin Reverend Sykes after supper.
The jury takes longer than usual to return its verdict. When it does, however, the verdict is "guilty." Dumbstruck with disbelief, the children slide sadly into their seats. The lower level of the courtroom empties but the upper level, filled with black people, stand and wait for Atticus to depart. The black spectators respect Atticus for his effort and his obvious convictions. Scout describes the scene:
Someone was punching me, but I was reluctant to take my eyes from the people below us, and from the image of Atticus's lonely walk down the aisle.
"Miss Jean Louise?"
I looked around. They were standing. All around us and in the balcony on the opposite wall. The Negroes were getting to their feet. Reverent Sykes's voice was a distant as Judge Taylor's:
"Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passin'." (224)
Chapter 22: In this short chapter, the children and the town start to recover from the verdict. Atticus tells Jem not to worry too much because he will appeal the decision. Black people send large quantities of food to the Finch house to show their appreciation. The neighbors gossip about the case and life begins to return to normal. The only incident of note, however, occurs when Bob Ewell, still angry about the way Atticus made him look on the stand, confronts Atticus on the way to the post office. Bob spits in Atticus's face and "told him he'd get him if it took the rest of his life" (229).