To Kill a Mockingbird

What does Atticus do that interests Jem and Scout?

According to Scout, Atticus does "something that interests" her and Jem. What is it? What other surprising thing does he do, and why does this suggest to Jem that something it wrong?

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From the text:

We parted at suppertime, and after our meal Jem and I were settling down to a routine evening, when Atticus did something that interested us: he came into the livingroom carrying a long electrical extension cord. There was a light bulb on the end.

Jem believed that something was wrong not only because of the electrical cord, but that his father took the electrical cord out with him, and most importantly that he took the car.

"He’s takin‘ the car," said Jem.

Our father had a few peculiarities: one was, he never ate desserts; another was that he liked to walk. As far back as I could remember, there was always a Chevrolet in excellent condition in the carhouse, and Atticus put many miles on it in business trips, but in Maycomb he walked to and from his office four times a day, covering about two miles. He said his only exercise was walking. In Maycomb, if one went for a walk with no definite purpose in mind, it was correct to believe one’s mind incapable of definite purpose.




To Kill a Mockingbird