Any text in brown is from the screenplay at http://www.script-o-rama.com/
That night Scout reads to Atticus, but Boo Radley is really the topic on her mind. Jem has filled her head with so many tales she simply has to separate the fact from fiction. She asks Atticus some questions. “Atticus, do you think Boo Radley ever really comes and looks in my window at night? - Jem says he does. This afternoon when we were over by their house...”. Atticus interrupts hoping to stop this particular subject cold in its tracks. “I told you and Jem to leave those poor people alone. I want you to stay away from their house... and stop tormenting them”. Even though she says she’ll do as her father says Atticus just knows this particular subject won’t go away any time soon. As eight-thirty rolls around Atticus calls a halt to reading. Scout inspects her fathers watch for what is probably the millionth time. Jem has informed her that one day he’s going to own it, and she wonders why. Atticus tells her that’s its customary for the son to get some of the fathers belongings. When Scout asks what she’s going to get she almost puts him on the spot. “I don't know that I have much else of value that belongs to me. But there's a pearl necklace, there's a ring that belonged to your mother. I put them away, and they're to be yours”. When she hears the word “pearls” a wonderful smile of glee comes over her face. The smile is mischievous yet innocent. Mary Badham, when she was interviewed by NBC news in 1999, said this particular scene is her favorite. Director Robert Mulligan stated that Mary’ reaction was perfect “you just can’t direct kids to react like that. It’s something that has to be spontaneous”.
Atticus and Scout say goodnight to each other, and Scout turns over to sleep. This is another scene Robert Mulligan couldn’t have directed, and Scouts actions weren’t scripted. When the film was edited it caused some to cry. Horton Foote, the screenwriter, was one of those who wept. “She did my work proud”.
But she isn’t silent for long. For she and Jem have a running conversation about their mother. “Jem? - Yes? How old was I when Mama died? - Two. - How old were you? - Six. - Old as I am now? - Mm-hmm. - Was Mama pretty? - Mm-hmm. Did you love her? - Yes. - Did I love her? - Mm-hmm. - Do you miss her? - Mm-hmm”. While this back and forth conversation is going on Atticus is sitting on the porch swing. He seems to be listening to this conversation while thinking about a subject that we are just about to learn about.
He sees Judge Taylor, who is played by Paul Fix, walks up the front stairs. The judge pulls up a chair. At first the talk is about the weather, then the judges wife, but both men know what is about to happen.
“'Evening, Atticus. - Good evening, Judge. Rather warm, isn't it? Yes, indeed. How's Mrs. Taylor? She's fine. Fine, thank you.
Atticus, you've heard about Tom Robinson. Yes, sir. Grand jury will get around to charging him tomorrow. I was thinking about appointing you to take his case. Now I realize you're very busy these days with your practice. And your children need a great deal of your time. Yes, sir. I'll take the case. I'll send a boy over for you tomorrow when his hearing comes up. Well... I'll see you tomorrow, Atticus”. The judge thanks Atticus in a manner that makes you think Atticus just lifted the weight of the world off the judges shoulders. And in a way Atticus did exactly that.
In the morning Dill is betting Jem won’t go farther than the Radley house riding a tire. Jem maintains he goes past it nearly every day of his life. Scout gets a bit lippy and adds “always running”. Jem isn’t too pleased to have that little bit of news disclosed, and pushes Scout into some bushes. The expression on her face is simply priceless. It’s an “I’ll get you” look. The way these two behave you’d think they really are brother and sister. Dill is supposed to ride the tire first, but Scout makes a fuss, and to maintain peace in the civilized world Jem reluctantly lets his sister go first.
Scout gets in, curls up, and goes…and goes…and goes. Jem can hardly believe his eyes. Nor can Dill. They’re both in state of shock. Then they realize where she’s headed. She crashes in the front steps of the Radley house,and plops out. Jem yells for her to collect her wits and get out of there. It doesn’t work out that way. He has to rescue his sister from the evil Radley house.
With Scout rescued from the clutches of the Radley house Jem confronts Dill. “Now who's a coward? You tell them about this back in Meridian County, Mr. Dill Harris” Jem crows proudly.