“Heck, can’t you even try to see it my way?…if they don’t trust me they won’t trust anybody. Jem and Scout know what happened. If they hear of me saying downtown something different happened – Heck, I won’t have them anymore. I can’t live one way in town and another way in my home.”

– Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 30. Atticus to Sheriff Heck Tate, on the matter of hushing up the truth about Jem’s possible role in Bob Ewell’s stabbing. Atticus is acutely aware that his children look up to him as their role model and he is determined to remain a good example to them. He knows that if he is two-faced and lives a life of duplicity, then he will lose their trust and them. Atticus is a very moral person who puts a high value on truth.