As Scout continues with school, she realizes that the curriculum is too slow for her. This deeply frustrates her. On her way home, she passes by the Radley Place and finds chewing gum left as a gift in the knothole. Jem becomes terrified about the knothole incident but the gifts keep coming as they later find two pennies hidden in the same knothole. When school ends at the beginning of summer, Dill returns to Maycomb.
Their games get reignited and they begin acting out the drama in Radley’s family. When the children are caught by Atticus, they lie about the origin of their games and question whether they should continue playing it or not.
Scout feels isolated from Jem and Dill’s relationship, which becomes stronger. This makes her spend more time with her neighbors such as Maudie Atkinson. Scout learns from Maudie Atkinson that Boo Radley has not yet died as many people assume. She feels that Boo is a victim of being raised by a harsh father who thought that many people would be going to hell. Maudie Atkinson further reveals that as a child, Boo was an approachable and well-mannered boy and that the stories being spread about him are completely untrue.
This makes Jem and Dill plan to give Boo and ice cream invitation with them. They do this through a note that they try to stick through the window but are busted by Atticus who asks them to stop disturbing Boo.
Dill and Jim sneak into Radley Place and creep around peeping through the windows in the company of Scout. The drama unfolds when they see the shadow of a man and escape. Gunshots erupt behind them as they escape, forcing Jem to leave his pants that were caught in the fence in order to flee.
After returning home, they find adults gossiping. According to Nathan Radley, the gunshots that were heard were because Nathan Radley was shooting at a Negro. Dill protects Jem when Atticus asks where his pants are. He says that Jem lost his pants in a game of strip poker.