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Newspaper Article On 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

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Maycomb Rape Trial

Summer, 1936

Maycomb, Alabama- The Tom Robinson trial concluded today. For those of you who are just learning about the case: Tom Robinson, a young black man, is accused of rape by Mayella Ewell, a 19 year old girl. The trial began with Judge Taylor's presiding and then Heck Tate,1st officer of the county, began by testifying. He began with saying that on November 21 Bob Ewell, father of victim and 7 others, came to him claiming Mayella had been raped by Mr. Robinson. He continued with saying how him and Mr. Ewell had went to the Ewell household where Miss Ewell was lying on the floor and looked enervated. He asked her who did it and she claimed Mr. Robinson was responsible for her rape and ill state.

Atticus Finch, a well respected lawyer that is representing Tom Robinson, then asked repeatedly if a doctor was called to examine Miss Ewell and in response Mr. Tate said,"Well I can tell you why I didn't. It was necessary, Mr. Finch. She was mighty banged up. Something sho' happened, it was obvious." Mr. Finch then pointed out that from Mr. Tate's testimony Mayella was beaten on the right side of her face which he highly stressed. Next to the stand was Bob Ewell who answered Mr. Gilmer, social solicitor, questions in a very bold manner and explained that he heard Mayella screaming while he was kindling. He ran to the house and looked through the window to see Mr. Robinson on top of his daughter. Mr. Ewell resumed with saying he couldn't go after Mr. Robinson since he was concerned for his daughter. He said he went after Mr. Tate and brought him to his home. Mr. Finch began his cross-examination and Mr. Ewell seemed very careful to answer the question but Mr. Finch seemed to make it a more secure atmosphere. They talked about the injuries Miss Ewell had and Atticus asked the simple question can you read and write which soon build up tension in the hot room. As the heat seemed to rise, everyone watched curiously as Mr. Ewell wrote his name and Mr. Finch declared Mr. Ewell's dominant hand his left. Mr. Ewell went on a tirade saying Mr. Finch is a tricky lawyer who took advantage of him. Mr. Ewell continued to stick with his story about Mr. Robinson. Called up to the stand next was Miss Mayella Ewell. She had the same story as Mr. Tate and Mr. Ewell besides the fact it's from her point of view. She said her father left her some work but she was to tired to do it when Mr. Robinson walked by. She offered him a nickel to come in and chop a chiffarobe. She said she went in to get the money and he followed her in. Then Mr. Robinson ran up behind her and got her around the neck, hit her repeatedly, flung her down and his way with her. The next thing she claimed to remember was her father standing over her and then fainted and woke up to find Mr. Tate helping her up. Mr. Finch then began his cross-examine and Miss Ewell then became headstrong. Atticus began by asking her about her home life and without realization she said her father spends their money on liquor. When Mr. Finch asked about her father treating her she said, "He does tollable, 'cept when-." She didn't complete her sentence. She soon realized what Mr. Finch was up to and denied to respond to his questions and denied as well that her father had ever beaten her. The questions turned towards the subject of Mr. Tom Robinson. He asked questions about her knowledge of who he was. She respond with answers like she had a few Negroes do odd jobs and doesn't remember. She didn't answer questions after being asked if she remembered being hit in the face by Mr. Robinson."Yes, he hit-I just don't remember,

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