after he muders Boggs, Colonel Sherburn is pursued by an angry mob ready for for lynching. When the mob reaches his home. Sherburn is standing on " the roof of his little front porch, with a double-barrel gun in his hand." "The stillness" Huck explains, "was awful creepy and uncomfortable." Finally, Colonel Sherburn delivers a powerful speech.
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“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."
He accuses them of being cowards because not one is man enough to do what he believes in alone. He says the cowards find their bravery in the mentality of a mob, that they follow because they have to..... not because they truly believe in what is happening.