One Saturday, Aunt Alexandra invites company, and tells Scout to help Calpurnia serve. At the event, Mrs. Grace Merriweather talks about helping the poor oppressed people of Africa, then turns around and blames "some people" for her maid's "sulkiness" since the Tom Robinson trial. Miss Maudie shames the woman for talking badly about Atticus while enjoying his hospitality.
Mrs. Merriweather exemplifies the hypocrisy of Maycomb. She talks about "helping" the people of Africa, but she'd never treat them as equals, as indicated by her condescending attitude toward the black people of Maycomb.
Just then, Atticus comes home and tells Calpurnia, Aunt Alexandra, Miss Maudie, and Scout that Tom tried to escape from prison and was killed. Calpurnia leaves with him. Aunt Alexandra, Miss Maudie, and Scout return to the party and act as if nothing has happened.
Scout had thought courage was only a part of male life. But there is something courageous in denying Mrs. Merriweather the pleasure of hearing what's happened to Tom.