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Atticus Finch shows his fearless side best when he faces the lynch mob alone when they come to take Tom Robinson from the jail. Atticus had previously heard that Sheriff Tate may not be in town on this night, and he suspected trouble. So he sat waiting in front of the jail when the group of men came.
"You know what we want," another man said. "Get aside from the door, Mr. Finch."
"You can turn around and go home again, Walter," Atticus said pleasantly. "Heck Tate's around somewhere."
"The hell he is," said another man.
"... Called 'em off on a snipe hunt... Didn't you think about that, Mr. Finch."
"Thought about it, but didn't believe it. Well then," my father's voice was still the same, "that changes things, doesn't it?"
But suddenly, Scout and Jem appeared. The men ordered Atticus and his kids to leave--"You got fifteen seconds to get 'em outta here"--but no one budged, and soon the mob was dispersed by the children's unknowingly innocent conversation. Atticus' own fear showed only briefly; after the mob left, he "was leaning against it (the jail) with his face to the wall. Unable to summon a response to Scout's question, he only
nodded, produced a handkerchief, gave his face a going-over, a blew his nose violently.
(Chapter 15, pages 153-155)
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