Fiction

Excerpt from To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

:: Harper Lee

When Atticus looked down at me I saw the expression on his face
that always made me expect something. “Do you know what a compromise is?”
he asked.

“Bending the law?”

“No, an agreement reached by mutual concessions. It works this
way,” he said. “If you’ll concede the necessity of going to school, we’ll
go on reading every night just as we always have. Is it a bargain?”

“Yes sir!”

“We’ll consider it sealed without the usual formality,”  Atticus
said, when he saw me preparing to spit.

As I opened the front screen door Atticus said, “By the way,
Scout, you’d better not say anything at school about our agreement.”

“Why not?”

“I’m afraid our activities would be received with considerable
disapprobation by the more learned authorities.”

Jem and I were accustomed to our father’s last-will-and-testament
diction, and we were at all times free to interrupt Atticus for a
translation when it was beyond our understanding.

“Huh, sir?”

“I never went to school,” he said, “but I have a feeling that if
you tell Miss Caroline we read every night she’ll get after me, and I
wouldn’t want her after me.”

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