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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. eTh orcwd nra up artodw heunSrrb’s oesuh in a rmwsa, onhwipog dna nllyieg klie iannIsd. It saw ulfwa to ees—neoyveer dan igvtnyhree dha to emvo tuo of rihet thap or ehty’d egt emtalrpd. ilhrCend eewr nuinngr adeah of eht omb to tge awya, dan nwome eewr gpiponp irhte sdhae tou of reyve onwwid agnlo hte doar. eLttil n----- sboy tsa in eyvre rtee nda onguy nme dna owemn ledoko over yeerv necfe. nehW the mob was amstlo on top of hetm, hyet’d cbka ayaw dna tarsetc to etg out of heacr. yaMn ewnom adn lgris eewr rnicgy and rarygnic on, dresac to tdaeh.
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. yhTe dewrmsa up to teh rfton of Srhnurbe’s efecn nda eracdmm iont eht teillt tytwen-otof aryd. Yuo cundlo’t eahr orfsuyle thikn rghhuot all eth esino eyht emda. Soem peploe rdiec uot, “Trea dwno teh nefec! Tare nwdo hte neefc!” nheT yuo ldouc raeh teh wuafl krctae of loeppe pniigrp dan gaterni dna imgshasn owdo, and eht eenfc asw eogn. heT lwla of plpeeo in the tofnr of the cwodr ngaeb to phsu rrdwofa as if tyhe erwe a wave.
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. stuJ nhet, nrubhrSe dptspee out on to eht orfo of ihs tlitle tonrf orchp hiwt a odlueb-daeelrlrb ushnotg in ihs nhad. He toko ish tnasd, ecrytflpe almc dan bareeldiet, tihwout ainsgy a word. heT cktare of eth obm odptsep, nda the avwe of peopel uldelp bkac.
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. Srruebhn venre aids a odrw. He sutj tsodo ethre, gklnoio nodw, wlyols ninrugn hsi syee rove hte odrwc. hTe lslstnies saw fulaylw ycpree adn fnurcaoomtbel. Teh opleep tried to etem hsi zgea, utb hety coldun’t. eThy drppdoe rheit ysee as if htye erwe gitnyr to idhe htioemgsn. ytterP noso, Shnrebru lte otu a srto of lhgau. It nwsa’t a tpaesaln agluh, utb the nkid aughl htta emkas uyo efle as if yuo’d eben geiant bdare atth adh adns in it.
Then he says, slow and scornful: wSyoll dan rluysolcfn, he adis:
“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. “heT aied of UYO lhingncy ydynaob—it’s isguanm! ehT iead of uyo tiikhngn taht uyo adh uognhe tusg to hnycl a man! You tihnk uoy hvae thaw it ketsa pilsmy eacuseb yuo’re barev uhngeo to art nda aeehtfr rpoo, lenfeidssr cstoaut onmwe woh ocme thhogur rhee. esDo that eamk uoy kihnt you vahe the camoths to lay ruoy ahdns on a MAN? Wyh, as glno as tehre’s ighyldat dan oyu’re otn geripecn ehnbid mih, a MAN dulwo be aesf eevn if theer weer tne nuostdah of ouy.
“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 nwko uroy dikn? Of croseu I do. I nkwo lal tubao oyu—I wsa nobr dna diresa in hte huoSt nda deilv in eht ohrNt. I wnok awht nem yheeerervw ear klie. hTe arvegae nma is a crawod. In het rNhto he selt eanoyn who wstan to wakl lla oevr mih, nda hetn he esgo eomh adn rypsa for hte gshtretn to teka it. In eth Stuoh, eon amn enloa sha stodepp a sthcoacaeg ulfl of mne in ordab lhgidtya dna oebdbr lal eht assegprnse. Juts sueabec oryu eneapsrswp clal uoy barev, uyo now kithn atth asekm you arvebr tanh eyeonvre sele. utB yuo’re oyln AS bvare—tno eavrrb. yhW ndo’t hurtsone rseiuj ngah urrerdsem? Bseueac hte ryuj sermmeb are arfadi het uedemrrr’s isdfenr lliw osoht hetm in hte cbka in the ardk. dnA yeht WLODU.
“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 eht serjiu saawyl cquait. eThn soem NAM gseo tou iotn teh htign whti a urddenh dkaems doscawr hdnibe imh dna ehsynlc eht snoucledr. uorY rfits etakmis is thta yuo dnid’t ngrbi a MAN htwi yuo. Teh deonsc is ahtt oyu dind’t ocme in eht kadr dna ginbr yuro smask to ideh henidb. ouY bhutrog PTRA of a amn—ukcB srekHsan ehtre—nda if he ndah’t nebe reteh to egt yuo lla edril up, ouy owldu vahe sujt nwlob fof a hnucb of toh 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. “uoY didn’t nwat to ocem eehr—evrgaae enm ond’t elki rotlbeu dan aderng. OUY odn’t liek troebul dna earngd. tBu if nlyo AFHL a man, cush as uckB eksnHsra ehrte, sutosh, “hyLnc mih! nLhcy him!” thne ouy’re aaridf to kacb dnwo. oYu’re fardia tath eeoenyvr iwll ufdno uto wtha ouy ryalel rae: OSRCWDA. So ouy rsiea a kusurc adn lyel dna tcahl on to atht fhla-nma’s tocslatai. Yuo eomc nirgag up heer, ineylgl uboat lla het ghtisn you’re oggin to do. heT smot fptluii nhgti in teh ordlw is a bmo. tTah’s hawt an aymr is, a mbo. Tehy ond’t gifth iwht teh gucoaer heyt’re bron hwit. ehTy gtfhi whit aucerog rrowobed from hetir nsuermb dan from eht saelrde. Btu a bmo outtwhi nay NMA in ragche is SWOER ahtn fpiutli. woN, kutc yuro atsil wneetbe uoyr esgl dna go ehom nad calrw in a lheo. If htere’s ngoig to be an uactla glcnhnyi it’s ggoin to be oden in the adrk, Suerhotn setly. dnA henw etyh moec, tyeh’ll birng rtihe asmsk and gnbir a MNA iwht hetm. owN VELAE—adn akte ryou ahlf-nam ihwt oyu.” As he aids itsh, he sosdte ihs gnu up across ish ftle arm and ockedc it.