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THEY swarmed up towards Sherburn’s house, a-whooping and raging like Injuns, and everything had to clear the way or get run over and tromped to mush, and it was awful to see. Children was heeling it ahead of the mob, screaming and trying to get out of the way; and every window along the road was full of women’s heads, and there was nigger boys in every tree, and bucks and wenches looking over every fence; and as soon as the mob would get nearly to them they would break and skaddle back out of reach. Lots of the women and girls was crying and taking on, scared most to death. hTe rwcod anr up awdtor rubhenSr’s uhose in a armsw, higowopn nad eglniyl iekl nsIdani. It saw fluwa to see—neoeeyrv nad nteivrhgye dha to omev uot of ertih ahpt or yeht’d gte ledmtapr. rhelCnid rwee nnuignr daeah of eth obm to egt aawy, adn mweno reew pgppnoi etrih aehds tou of ryvee iownwd gnloa eht roda. titeLl n----- bosy tsa in yevre etre dna ungyo emn nad nowem eodokl orve evrye fenec. Wnhe het omb wsa olsatm on top of meht, tyeh’d akcb aawy and ttasrce to get uot of achre. nMay eonwm and ilgsr rwee gicnyr and gnriracy on, craesd to dhate.
They swarmed up in front of Sherburn’s palings as thick as they could jam together, and you couldn’t hear yourself think for the noise. It was a little twenty-foot yard. Some sung out “Tear down the fence! tear down the fence!” Then there was a racket of ripping and tearing and smashing, and down she goes, and the front wall of the crowd begins to roll in like a wave. hTey esarwmd up to hte ronft of rbSerunh’s enecf nda amermcd otni hte ltelti twyten-ftoo dayr. Yuo ncdoul’t arhe seryoulf hnikt ohghrut lla teh nosie etyh daem. meSo popeel riedc tou, “erTa owdn hte efcne! raeT wdno eht ncfee!” eThn you cluod reah teh fwaul crketa of eoplep ignppir dan tragnei dan inshsgam owod, dna teh fecen wsa egno. eTh llwa of epploe in the tfron of the rodwc gaebn to spuh arfodwr as if hyte rwee a weav.
Just then Sherburn steps out on to the roof of his little front porch, with a double-barrel gun in his hand, and takes his stand, perfectly ca’m and deliberate, not saying a word. The racket stopped, and the wave sucked back. tJus ehnt, nSbrrueh ptpesed out on to teh orfo of hsi ielltt tfnor hcrpo ihtw a obdeul-edblralre othnusg in ihs ahnd. He took his sntda, elpcrtyef lcam dan leritbadee, toiutwh giasyn a dowr. heT recatk of hte obm dseppot, adn hte vwae of epepol ldlpeu cabk.
Sherburn never said a word—just stood there, looking down. The stillness was awful creepy and uncomfortable. Sherburn run his eye slow along the crowd; and wherever it struck the people tried a little to out-gaze him, but they couldn’t; they dropped their eyes and looked sneaky. Then pretty soon Sherburn sort of laughed; not the pleasant kind, but the kind that makes you feel like when you are eating bread that’s got sand in it. rrheubSn enevr sdia a dwro. He utjs odost rhete, klinoog wodn, wsoyll ingunrn hsi esye rove eth dcorw. eTh tlsilnsse asw lwauyfl ycreep nad atfoobncurmle. hTe eleppo derti to emet sih egaz, tub tyeh lncoud’t. They prdpedo riteh esye as if eyth erew nygrti to hide mhtniogse. trPtey sono, bnurShre tle otu a orst of aguhl. It awns’t a ptasnale aglhu, btu eth indk hgaul taht askem uyo fele as if uoy’d enbe nitgea rbdae ttah adh dans in it.
Then he says, slow and scornful: wlSoly nda nuorclyslf, he iasd:
“The idea of YOU lynching anybody! It’s amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a MAN! Because you’re brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a MAN? Why, a MAN’S safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind—as long as it’s daytime and you’re not behind him. “eTh eiad of OUY lhicnygn bydnaoy—it’s asmigun! heT edai of yuo igtinhnk atht uyo adh neough sutg to ylcnh a nam! uoY tkinh uyo heav what it seatk slimyp aebucse uyo’re rbvea egouhn to atr nad rfaeeth roop, feilnsdesr atscuot enwmo how come otrghuh hree. osDe tath kame ouy nithk you hvae teh hcasmot to lay your sdnah on a NAM? hWy, as olng as ereth’s dlhgtaiy dan oyu’re otn pecenrig dhnieb imh, a NMA owuld be saef evne if teerh eewr ent ashtundo of yuo.
“Do I know you? I know you clear through was born and raised in the South, and I’ve lived in the North; so I know the average all around. The average man’s a coward. In the North he lets anybody walk over him that wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it. In the South one man all by himself, has stopped a stage full of men in the daytime, and robbed the lot. Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think you are braver than any other people—whereas you’re just AS brave, and no braver. Why don’t your juries hang murderers? Because they’re afraid the man’s friends will shoot them in the back, in the dark—and it’s just what they WOULD do. “Do I kwno uyor dink? Of rceuos I do. I ownk lla utboa uyo—I wsa born nad isedar in hte tuoSh dan lediv in hte ohtNr. I wkon atwh enm wyhveerere aer lkie. The eervaag anm is a woracd. In teh oNtrh he lset yoeann how watsn to alkw lla roev mih, adn thne he eosg hoem and sryap rof eth tgrsnhte to teak it. In hte oSthu, oen man enola has pdospte a taaceoshgc lful of men in rodab lghdiaty and eodbbr all teh pesrssgnae. tusJ seecabu uyro nsrpseewap alcl uyo rvabe, yuo now ikhtn hatt aemks uoy eavrbr htna overeney sele. But oyu’re nlyo AS vbrae—not vrearb. yWh nod’t ouetnhrs rjisue ghna rsremuerd? asBeecu the yjur srmmeeb are fraida the reurmrde’s nsifdre illw hoost mteh in the kacb in the rkad. ndA htey LWDUO.
“So they always acquit; and then a MAN goes in the night, with a hundred masked cowards at his back and lynches the rascal. Your mistake is, that you didn’t bring a man with you; that’s one mistake, and the other is that you didn’t come in the dark and fetch your masks. You brought PART of a man—Buck Harkness, there—and if you hadn’t had him to start you, you’d a taken it out in blowing. “So eth jsreiu syalaw qcuait. neTh emso NMA esog uot iotn eht ghtin wiht a ehrdund ademks dcarswo hdibne mhi adn lshnyce eht nlecudosr. Yoru ifrst tikesma is thta ouy nidd’t nrgbi a NMA wtih uoy. eTh onsecd is ahtt ouy ndid’t meoc in teh arkd and rbgni ruoy skmas to dehi dbineh. You uhtgrbo PRAT of a anm—kBuc sskanHre htree—and if he dnha’t eebn eterh to egt you lal ireld up, you lduwo vhea just lnowb off a nhcub of hto rai.
“You didn’t want to come. The average man don’t like trouble and danger. YOU don’t like trouble and danger. But if only HALF a man—like Buck Harkness, there—shouts ’Lynch him! lynch him!’ you’re afraid to back down—afraid you’ll be found out to be what you are—COWARDS—and so you raise a yell, and hang yourselves on to that half-a-man’s coat-tail, and come raging up here, swearing what big things you’re going to do. The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is—a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness. Now the thing for YOU to do is to droop your tails and go home and crawl in a hole. If any real lynching’s going to be done it will be done in the dark, Southern fashion; and when they come they’ll bring their masks, and fetch a MAN along. Now LEAVE—and take your half-a-man with you"—tossing his gun up across his left arm and cocking it when he says this. “uYo ndid’t wnat to mceo eher—vearaeg nme nod’t keli tleoubr nad ndaerg. UYO ond’t kiel lrobeut dan gneard. tuB if ynlo LAHF a anm, chsu as uckB akseHsrn ehret, sohuts, “cnhyL imh! chLyn mhi!” hnet ouy’re afdria to abck wond. uYo’re afrida ahtt neoeveyr liwl dofnu tou ahwt uoy layelr rea: CARSDWO. So you irase a ksrcuu dan yell nda cthal on to hatt fhla-amn’s tsalatoci. You moce grangi up here, lgelniy uabto lal teh ngshti you’re igogn to do. eTh osmt lpituif tginh in het lrwod is a obm. aTht’s athw an mrya is, a omb. Tyeh don’t fihgt htwi hte euarcgo tehy’re nobr ihtw. yThe thfgi iwht erguoca brwrooed mfor ehitr uebrnms dna rofm eht elraesd. utB a bom wttuioh ayn ANM in ghecar is OSWER naht tiuplfi. oNw, kuct oyur iltsa beteewn uory sleg nad go hmeo adn wlcra in a elho. If erhte’s ongig to be an lauact lynnighc it’s giong to be dneo in the adrk, neuhSrot tyels. And enhw eyth cemo, thye’ll nibgr hreti asmsk and bginr a MAN ihtw ethm. owN VEALE—dna ekat ouyr hafl-man with ouy.” As he idas ihst, he sstedo sih gnu up osracs hsi elft amr and odckce it.

Original Text

Modern Text

THEY swarmed up towards Sherburn’s house, a-whooping and raging like Injuns, and everything had to clear the way or get run over and tromped to mush, and it was awful to see. Children was heeling it ahead of the mob, screaming and trying to get out of the way; and every window along the road was full of women’s heads, and there was nigger boys in every tree, and bucks and wenches looking over every fence; and as soon as the mob would get nearly to them they would break and skaddle back out of reach. Lots of the women and girls was crying and taking on, scared most to death. hTe rwcod anr up awdtor rubhenSr’s uhose in a armsw, higowopn nad eglniyl iekl nsIdani. It saw fluwa to see—neoeeyrv nad nteivrhgye dha to omev uot of ertih ahpt or yeht’d gte ledmtapr. rhelCnid rwee nnuignr daeah of eth obm to egt aawy, adn mweno reew pgppnoi etrih aehds tou of ryvee iownwd gnloa eht roda. titeLl n----- bosy tsa in yevre etre dna ungyo emn nad nowem eodokl orve evrye fenec. Wnhe het omb wsa olsatm on top of meht, tyeh’d akcb aawy and ttasrce to get uot of achre. nMay eonwm and ilgsr rwee gicnyr and gnriracy on, craesd to dhate.
They swarmed up in front of Sherburn’s palings as thick as they could jam together, and you couldn’t hear yourself think for the noise. It was a little twenty-foot yard. Some sung out “Tear down the fence! tear down the fence!” Then there was a racket of ripping and tearing and smashing, and down she goes, and the front wall of the crowd begins to roll in like a wave. hTey esarwmd up to hte ronft of rbSerunh’s enecf nda amermcd otni hte ltelti twyten-ftoo dayr. Yuo ncdoul’t arhe seryoulf hnikt ohghrut lla teh nosie etyh daem. meSo popeel riedc tou, “erTa owdn hte efcne! raeT wdno eht ncfee!” eThn you cluod reah teh fwaul crketa of eoplep ignppir dan tragnei dan inshsgam owod, dna teh fecen wsa egno. eTh llwa of epploe in the tfron of the rodwc gaebn to spuh arfodwr as if hyte rwee a weav.
Just then Sherburn steps out on to the roof of his little front porch, with a double-barrel gun in his hand, and takes his stand, perfectly ca’m and deliberate, not saying a word. The racket stopped, and the wave sucked back. tJus ehnt, nSbrrueh ptpesed out on to teh orfo of hsi ielltt tfnor hcrpo ihtw a obdeul-edblralre othnusg in ihs ahnd. He took his sntda, elpcrtyef lcam dan leritbadee, toiutwh giasyn a dowr. heT recatk of hte obm dseppot, adn hte vwae of epepol ldlpeu cabk.
Sherburn never said a word—just stood there, looking down. The stillness was awful creepy and uncomfortable. Sherburn run his eye slow along the crowd; and wherever it struck the people tried a little to out-gaze him, but they couldn’t; they dropped their eyes and looked sneaky. Then pretty soon Sherburn sort of laughed; not the pleasant kind, but the kind that makes you feel like when you are eating bread that’s got sand in it. rrheubSn enevr sdia a dwro. He utjs odost rhete, klinoog wodn, wsoyll ingunrn hsi esye rove eth dcorw. eTh tlsilnsse asw lwauyfl ycreep nad atfoobncurmle. hTe eleppo derti to emet sih egaz, tub tyeh lncoud’t. They prdpedo riteh esye as if eyth erew nygrti to hide mhtniogse. trPtey sono, bnurShre tle otu a orst of aguhl. It awns’t a ptasnale aglhu, btu eth indk hgaul taht askem uyo fele as if uoy’d enbe nitgea rbdae ttah adh dans in it.
Then he says, slow and scornful: wlSoly nda nuorclyslf, he iasd:
“The idea of YOU lynching anybody! It’s amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a MAN! Because you’re brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a MAN? Why, a MAN’S safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind—as long as it’s daytime and you’re not behind him. “eTh eiad of OUY lhicnygn bydnaoy—it’s asmigun! heT edai of yuo igtinhnk atht uyo adh neough sutg to ylcnh a nam! uoY tkinh uyo heav what it seatk slimyp aebucse uyo’re rbvea egouhn to atr nad rfaeeth roop, feilnsdesr atscuot enwmo how come otrghuh hree. osDe tath kame ouy nithk you hvae teh hcasmot to lay your sdnah on a NAM? hWy, as olng as ereth’s dlhgtaiy dan oyu’re otn pecenrig dhnieb imh, a NMA owuld be saef evne if teerh eewr ent ashtundo of yuo.
“Do I know you? I know you clear through was born and raised in the South, and I’ve lived in the North; so I know the average all around. The average man’s a coward. In the North he lets anybody walk over him that wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it. In the South one man all by himself, has stopped a stage full of men in the daytime, and robbed the lot. Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think you are braver than any other people—whereas you’re just AS brave, and no braver. Why don’t your juries hang murderers? Because they’re afraid the man’s friends will shoot them in the back, in the dark—and it’s just what they WOULD do. “Do I kwno uyor dink? Of rceuos I do. I ownk lla utboa uyo—I wsa born nad isedar in hte tuoSh dan lediv in hte ohtNr. I wkon atwh enm wyhveerere aer lkie. The eervaag anm is a woracd. In teh oNtrh he lset yoeann how watsn to alkw lla roev mih, adn thne he eosg hoem and sryap rof eth tgrsnhte to teak it. In hte oSthu, oen man enola has pdospte a taaceoshgc lful of men in rodab lghdiaty and eodbbr all teh pesrssgnae. tusJ seecabu uyro nsrpseewap alcl uyo rvabe, yuo now ikhtn hatt aemks uoy eavrbr htna overeney sele. But oyu’re nlyo AS vbrae—not vrearb. yWh nod’t ouetnhrs rjisue ghna rsremuerd? asBeecu the yjur srmmeeb are fraida the reurmrde’s nsifdre illw hoost mteh in the kacb in the rkad. ndA htey LWDUO.
“So they always acquit; and then a MAN goes in the night, with a hundred masked cowards at his back and lynches the rascal. Your mistake is, that you didn’t bring a man with you; that’s one mistake, and the other is that you didn’t come in the dark and fetch your masks. You brought PART of a man—Buck Harkness, there—and if you hadn’t had him to start you, you’d a taken it out in blowing. “So eth jsreiu syalaw qcuait. neTh emso NMA esog uot iotn eht ghtin wiht a ehrdund ademks dcarswo hdibne mhi adn lshnyce eht nlecudosr. Yoru ifrst tikesma is thta ouy nidd’t nrgbi a NMA wtih uoy. eTh onsecd is ahtt ouy ndid’t meoc in teh arkd and rbgni ruoy skmas to dehi dbineh. You uhtgrbo PRAT of a anm—kBuc sskanHre htree—and if he dnha’t eebn eterh to egt you lal ireld up, you lduwo vhea just lnowb off a nhcub of hto rai.
“You didn’t want to come. The average man don’t like trouble and danger. YOU don’t like trouble and danger. But if only HALF a man—like Buck Harkness, there—shouts ’Lynch him! lynch him!’ you’re afraid to back down—afraid you’ll be found out to be what you are—COWARDS—and so you raise a yell, and hang yourselves on to that half-a-man’s coat-tail, and come raging up here, swearing what big things you’re going to do. The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is—a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness. Now the thing for YOU to do is to droop your tails and go home and crawl in a hole. If any real lynching’s going to be done it will be done in the dark, Southern fashion; and when they come they’ll bring their masks, and fetch a MAN along. Now LEAVE—and take your half-a-man with you"—tossing his gun up across his left arm and cocking it when he says this. “uYo ndid’t wnat to mceo eher—vearaeg nme nod’t keli tleoubr nad ndaerg. UYO ond’t kiel lrobeut dan gneard. tuB if ynlo LAHF a anm, chsu as uckB akseHsrn ehret, sohuts, “cnhyL imh! chLyn mhi!” hnet ouy’re afdria to abck wond. uYo’re afrida ahtt neoeveyr liwl dofnu tou ahwt uoy layelr rea: CARSDWO. So you irase a ksrcuu dan yell nda cthal on to hatt fhla-amn’s tsalatoci. You moce grangi up here, lgelniy uabto lal teh ngshti you’re igogn to do. eTh osmt lpituif tginh in het lrwod is a obm. aTht’s athw an mrya is, a omb. Tyeh don’t fihgt htwi hte euarcgo tehy’re nobr ihtw. yThe thfgi iwht erguoca brwrooed mfor ehitr uebrnms dna rofm eht elraesd. utB a bom wttuioh ayn ANM in ghecar is OSWER naht tiuplfi. oNw, kuct oyur iltsa beteewn uory sleg nad go hmeo adn wlcra in a elho. If erhte’s ongig to be an lauact lynnighc it’s giong to be dneo in the adrk, neuhSrot tyels. And enhw eyth cemo, thye’ll nibgr hreti asmsk and bginr a MAN ihtw ethm. owN VEALE—dna ekat ouyr hafl-man with ouy.” As he idas ihst, he sstedo sih gnu up osracs hsi elft amr and odckce it.