In Chapter 2, Scout recalls a time when Mr. Cunningham was one of Atticus' clients. Atticus was representing him and it had to do with an entailment. Mr. Cunningham says, "Mr. Finch, I don’t know when I’ll ever be able to pay you." Atticus replies that he shouldn't worry about it and tells Scout that he will be paid, but "not in money." Later, Mr. Cunningham repaid Atticus with wood, hickory nuts, smilax and honey, and turnip greens.
In Chapter 15, Atticus is guarding the jail, which holds Tom Robinson. Mr. Cunningham and a mob of others approach the jail. Scout tries to intervene, talking about Walter Jr. and entailments; she succeeds in getting the mob to go home. Mr. Cunningham says to Scout that he will tell Walter Jr. she says hello.
Mr. Cunningham then tells the mob to go home. “Let’s clear out,” he called.
Lastly, he says, “Let’s get going, boys.”
Mr. Cunningham does not say much throughout the novel but speaks up outside of Tom Robinson's jail cell in Chapter 15. When Mr. Cunningham first approaches Atticus sitting outside of the jailhouse, he tells Atticus, "Get aside from the door, Mr. Finch" (93). Atticus refuses to leave the jailhouse, and the Old Sarum bunch mentions that they called Heck Tate off on a snipe hunt. The children are watching and listening to the conversation nearby when Scout becomes curious. Scout ends up running into the middle of the group of men and recognizes Mr. Cunningham. Scout attempts to start a polite conversation with Mr. Cunningham by talking about his entailment and his son. Initially, Mr. Cunningham ignores Scout's attempts to have a conversation. Once Mr. Cunningham realizes the difficult position that Atticus is in, he shows empathy by recognizing Scout. Mr. Cunningham says,
"I'll tell him you said hey, little lady...Let's clear out...Let's get going, boys" (Lee, 95).
The Old Sarum bunch ends up listening to Mr. Cunningham and leaves the scene.