To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What does Mr. Underwood have with him as he watches Atticus from the window?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write9,494 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In chapter fifteen, Atticus is visited by Heck Tate and several community members, who inform him that Tom Robinson will be moved to the county jail. They proceed to warn Atticus that the Old Sarum bunch might cause some trouble and Heck Tate even suggests a change of venue. Initially, Atticus is not worried and dismisses their concerns. However, he decides to visit the Maycomb jailhouse on the evening before the trial as a precaution. Once Atticus leaves the house, the children decide to follow Atticus and find him sitting alone outside of the jailhouse, reading the newspaper.

Suddenly, several carloads of people arrive from the Meridian highway and the men immediately surround Atticus. The men surrounding Atticus are the Old Sarum bunch, who are noticeably intoxicated and plan on lynching Tom Robinson. Scout is extremely curious and ends up running into the middle of the group of men, which surprises everyone.

Once the children come out of their hiding place, Atticus instructs Jem to leave, but he refuses. Tensions begin to rise, and Scout is completely unaware of the gravity of the situation. When she recognizes Walter Cunningham's father, she naively attempts to start a conversation with him. Fortunately, Walter exercises perspective and views the situation from Atticus's point of view. After Walter instructs the lynch mob to leave, Mr. Underwood yells from his window that he had Atticus covered the whole time. Scout then mentions,

Mr. Underwood and a double-barreled shotgun were leaning out his window above The Maycomb Tribune office. (156)

check Approved by eNotes Editorial