Atticus left us on the porch. Jem leaned on a pillar, rubbing his shoulders against it.'Do you itch, Jem?' I asked as politely as I could. He did not answer. 'Come on in, Jem,' I said.'After while.'He stood there until nightfall, and I waited for him. When we went in the house I saw he had been crying; his face was dirty in the right places, but I thought it odd that I had not heard him.
This is an absolutely brilliant piece of writing. As I read, I am reminded just how well Harper Lee - without even an ounce of sentimentalism - deals with these simultaneously weighty and insubstantial episodes - charting her protagonist's transition from childhood. How incredibly well her economical, unpretentious prose frames this all.