Boo Radley has been leaving a message for Scout and Jem. He is trying to tell them something by leaving items in the knothole of a tree. The first items that Scout found were two pieces of gum, but their wrappers had been removed and placed in the hole with them. Scout anxiously shoves the gum into her mouth and enjoys this delicious treat. When Jem comes home to find her eating gum that was on the Radley's property, he is both scared and furious. "Spit that out right now!" He yelled to Scout. "Don't you know you're not even supposed to touch the trees over there?" Jem is terrified of anything that has to do with the Radleys. He listens to all the rumors about them, and thinks that Scout should too, but as the gifts keep appearing, he begins to think differently. The Finch children start to connect with Boo instead of shutting him out. They no longer think of him as a heartless monster. He is leaving them presents; all Boo wants to do is help them.
It seems that Boo is trying to grab their attention by placing the shiny wrappers in the tree, for later he places them over a box with another gift inside of it. He gave them two polished indian head pennies. So far the objects placed in the tree always appear in pairs; one for Scout and one for Jem. Boo has been watching them for sometime, and wants to engage with them by giving them presents: gum as a nice treat to have any day, and old indian head pennies to make sure that they have good luck for life. Later, he hides a ball of grey twine in the tree for them to find. This time, instead of one item for each of them, he only gives them one ball of twine. This means that they must share it, instead of the other items which they had to themselves. We have not yet gotten far enough in the book to put the puzzle pieces together yet, but it seems that Boo is making them work together. The twine itself could symbolize many different things such as a tight bond between things, but we do not yet know enough to be sure about anything. Next, Boo leaves two soap figures, one for each of the Finch kids. This is to show us that he has been observing them enough to know exactly what they look like. Afterwards, Boo leaves an old spelling bee medal which is perhaps his from a long time ago. Atticus tells them that it is from before they were born. This medal could represent a win, or a goal accomplished, perhaps accomplished by the soap figures. The last thing that Scout and Jem find in the knothole is a broken pocket watch on a chain with an aluminum knife, which is said to be worth ten dollars. The watch is missing many parts and will most likely never operate. The knife however is fully functional. Since it is aluminum, it is not very strong, but it is very sharp. These two items on the same chain are a little puzzling as of right now, but one thing is clear: Boo is trying to tell them something. So far in the book, none of these items have an obvious purpose, but I believe that very soon, they will help the Finches in ways that only Boo could foresee.