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Mr. Ewell kept the same distance behind her until she reached Mr. Link Deas's house. All the way to the house, Helen said, she heard a soft voice behind her, crooning foul words. Thoroughly frightened, she telephoned Mr. Link at his store, which was not too far from his house. As Mr. Link came out of his store he saw Mr. Ewell leaning on the fence. Mr. Ewell said, "Don't you look at me, Link Deas, like I was dirt. I ain't jumped your-" […]
"You don't have to touch her, all you have to do is make her afraid, an' if assault ain't enough to keep you locked up awhile, I'll get you in on the Ladies' Law, so get outa my sight! If you don't think I mean it, just bother that girl again!" (27.8, 12)
For Ewell, it's all about power—by scaring Helen he's declaring his power over her, but Deas is even scarier: he's got reputation and power in Maycomb, so he wins this round. Sometimes there are good reasons to be on the right side of the law.
I learned more about the poor Mrunas' social life from listening to Mrs. Merriweather: they had so little sense of family that the whole tribe was one big family. A child had as many fathers as there were men in the community, as many mothers as there were women. J. Grimes Everett was doing his utmost to change this state of affairs, and desperately needed our prayers. (27.18)
What's so wrong with this picture of Mruna social life? Apparently it works for them, right? Nope. Major problem: it doesn't involve putting people into neat little categories.