In Harper Lee's 1960 novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," the lawyer Atticus Finch takes his two children, Scout and Jem, to visit the Ewell family at Christmas. The novel is set in the fictional town of Maycomb, Ala., and the Ewells, who live behind the town garbage dump, are Maycomb's poorest family. Bob Ewell is a white racist, who has falsely accused the innocent Tom Robinson, a black man, of raping his daughter. As Scout tells it:
"Nobody was quite sure how many people were on the (Ewell) place. Some people said six, others said nine; there were always several dirty-faced ones at the windows when anyone passed by. Nobody had any occasion to pass by except at Christmas, when the churches delivered baskets, and when the mayor of Maycomb asked us to please help the garbage collector by dumping our own trees and trash.
...A dirt road ran from the highway past the dump, down to a small Negro settlement some five hundred yards beyond the Ewells'. ...In the frosty December dusk, their cabins looked neat and snug with pale blue smoke rising from the chimneys and doorways glowing amber from the fires inside. There were delicious smells about: chicken, bacon frying crisp as the twilight air. Jem and I detected squirrel cooking, but it took an old countryman like Atticus to identify possum and rabbit, aromas that vanished when we rode back past the Ewell residence."