To Kill a Mockingbird
But why had he entrusted us with his deepest secret? I asked him why.
"Because you're children and you can understand it," he said, "and because I heard that one-"
He jerked his head at Dill: "Things haven't caught up with that one's instinct yet. Let him get a little older and he won't get sick and cry. Maybe things'll strike him as being—not quite right, say, but he won't cry, not when he gets a few years on him." (20.18-22)
The adults in Maycomb never discussed the case with Jem and me; it seemed that they discussed it with their children, and their attitude must have been that neither of us could help having Atticus for a parent, so their children must be nice to us in spite of him. The children would never have thought that up for themselves: had our classmates been left to their own devices, Jem and I would have had several swift, satisfying fist-fights apiece and ended the matter for good. As it was, we were compelled to hold our heads high and be, respectively, a gentleman and a lady. (26.10)
I said I would like it very much, which was a lie, but one must lie under certain circumstances and at all times when one can't do anything about them. (13.20)