” Do you defend n_______, Atticus?” [Scout] asked him that evening.
“Of Course I do. Don’t say nigger, Scout. That’s common.
“That’s what everybody at school says”.
“From now on, it’ll be everybody less one—”
“Do all lawyers defend Negroes, Atticus?”
“Of course they do, Scout.”
“Then why did Cecil say you defended niggers? He made it sound like you were running a still”.
” I am simply defending a Negro. It’s a peculiar case- wont come to session till Summer”.
” If you shouldn’t be defending him, then why are you doing it?”
” For a number of reasons, Scout. The main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again.”
” You mean, if you didn’t defend that man, Jem and me wouldn’t have to mind you any more?”
” That’s about right”
” Because I could never ask you to mind me again. Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one’s mine. You might hear some ugly talk about it at school, but do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let them get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change…”