To Kill A Mockingbird: Novel Summary: Chapters 29-30

Chapters 29-30Chapter 29: In this short chapter, Scout recounts the events of the evening for Sheriff Tate.  Sheriff Tate and Atticus realize that the man in the room saved the children but they are unsure about who killed Bob Ewell.  As she finishes her story, Scout finally realizes that the stranger who carried Jem is Boo Radley.  It dawns on her that Boo has been watching and protecting her for a long time.  She approaches Boo with kindness, as if they have been friends for a long time.  No longer a mystery, a monster, or a stranger, Boo takes Scouts hand as Atticus, Tate, and Scout move to the front porch to discuss the matter further.
Chapter 30: Although it seems evident that Boo killed Bob Ewell, Atticus insists that Jem take the blame either because he truly thinks Jem killed Ewell or because he doesnt want to subject Boo to further investigation.  Tate and Atticus argue about the situation because Tate insists that Jem did not kill Ewell and he will not allow Atticus to let Jem take the blame.  Tate finally asserts his authority as sheriff and proclaims that Bob Ewell died after falling on his own knife.  He realizes that Atticus does not want to lie but he insists that they close the issue immediately.  He explains, “Im not a very good man, sir, but I am sheriff of Maycomb County.  Lived in this town all my life an Im goin on forty-three years old.  Know everything thats happened here since before I was born.  Theres a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for its dead.  Let the dead bury the dead this time, Mr. Finch.  Let the dead bury the dead” (290).  With that, the men agree not to prosecute Boo or Jem for the murder of Bob Ewell and Scout supports their decision by stating that she understands that Mr. Ewell fell on his knife and that prosecuting Boo would be like killing a mockingbird.