To Kill a Mockingbird Newspaper Article
Big Scandal By: Jessica Morash Above shows defence Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson Under the authority of Judge Taylor in the small town of Maycomb County, a black man named Tom Robinson (age twenty-five) was allegedly accused of raping Mayella Ewell (age nineteen). The events being told had originally happened according to defense Atticus Finch, when we heard him ask the alleged accused, “Tom, what had happened to you on the night of November twenty-first of last year? ” One of the first witnesses is called to the stand by Mr. Gilmer to testify on what happened the night Miss Ewell stated that she was raped.
The first witness was Heck Tate, Maycomb’s sheriff. According to his testimony, Mr. Tate stated that he was just leaving to go home when, “Mr. Ewell (Mayella’s father) came in, very excited he was, and said get out to his house quick, [a black man] raped his girl. ” In return, Mr. Tate was asked if he had indeed gone to Mr. Ewell’s house, and he had given his response, “Certainly. Got in the car and went out as fast as I could. ” It was reported that Mr. Tate had seen Miss Ewell lying in the middle of the floor and was “pretty well beat up,” Mr.
Tate then continued, “I asked her who hurt her and she said it was Tom Robinson – asked her if he beat her like that, she said yes he had. Asked her if he took advantage of her and she said yes he did. So I went down to Robinson’s house and brought him back. She identified him as the one, so I took him in. That’s all there was to it,” he finished, and the Judge proceeded by asking if Atticus Finch would like to ask any questions to Mr. Tate, and responded yes. Mr. Finch, seeming very relaxed with his legs crossed and arm on the back of his chair asked, “Did you call a doctor, Sheriff? Did anybody call a doctor? In response Mr. Tate stated that no, he did not call a doctor. However, Mr. Finch wanted to make it clear to everyone in the room; he repeated himself twice more and in reaction to doing this, he responded with, “I just wanted to make sure, Judge. ” Afterward, we’ve learned that Miss Ewell had gotten many bruises, as well as around the neck and had a black eye on her right side. Shortly after, we heard the name, “Robert E. Lee Ewell! ” to be called to the stand. The man was very small, meek he was. Mr. Ewell started off by saying his first words as, “That’s m’name, cap’n,” and you could see Mr.
Gilmer’s back stiffen as he spoke. Mr. Ewell was then asked if he was the father of Mayella Ewell to which he retorted, “Well if I ain’t I can’t do nothing about it now, her ma’s dead. ” Judge Taylor stirred, re-asked the question, then Mr. Ewell came back with his words and said, “Yes, sir. ” Mr. Gilmer then proceeded to ask Mr. Ewell what had happened in his own words. He started, “Well, the night of November twenty-one I was comin’ in from the woods with a load o’kindlin and just as I got to the fence I heard Mayella screamin’ like a stuck hog inside the house. ” As Mr.
Gilmer interrupted, he asked what time of the day it was, and to his response he continued, “Just ‘fore sundown. Well I was sayin’ Mayella was screamin’ fit to beat Jesus, so I dropped m’load and run as fast as I could up to th’ window and I seen-“ His face grew scarlet red, and he pointed his finger to Mr. Tom Robinson. Continuing, “[…] I run for Tate quick as I could. I [knew] who it was, all right, lived down yonder [for fifteen years]. ” Seeming hurried, Mr. Gilmer ended his session giving a quick, “Thank you, Mr. Ewell,” and returned to his seat. Shortly after Mr.
Finch had risen as well as Mr. Ewell and both men ran right into each other, resulting a laughing court room. From this action, Mr. Finch asked if he could ask a few questions to Mr. Ewell. Atticus first asked if Mr. Ewell had ran to a doctor, this giving no surprise considered he already asked it three times before to Mr. Tate. In reply to Atticus, Mr. Ewell spoke, “[Wasn’t any] need to. I seen what happened. ” Mr. Ewell also said that he agreed to everything Mr. Heck Tate said. Sure after this, Mr. Finch asked if Mr. Ewell could read or write, to which gave a small dispute with Mr.
Gilmer because he didn’t think his literacy would have effect of the case. However Atticus overruled this by making sure to prove his point in the next question, which was following after Mr. Ewell responded with, “I most positively can. ” So Mr. Finch gave Mr. Ewell a piece of paper and asked him to write his name and show everyone (just to prove he actually could read and write). It was seen that Mr. Ewell was left-handed, but he had no clue how this had effect, either. Atticus finally dismissed him. The third witness was called to the stand, we see that it was Mayella Violet Ewell.
Judge Taylor started by saying, “Just tell us what happened. You can do that, can’t you? ” This issues Mayella to burst out crying, covering her mouth. After a few minutes passed and Judge Taylor had calmed her down, Mr. Gilmer took over once again to ask questions. Miss Ewell then began by saying how she was on her front porch that evening while Mr. Robinson was walking by. She had asked him to chop up an old chiffarobe for kindling. “I said come here, […] and bust up this old chiffarobe for me, I gotta nickel for you. He coulda done it easy enough, he could.
So he come in the yard an’ I went in the house to get him the nickel and I turned around an ‘fore I knew it he was on me. Just run up behind me, he did. He got me round the neck, [cursing and saying fowl things] – I fought ‘n’ hollered, but he had me round the neck. He hit me again an’ again. ” Mayella then finished with, “He done what he was after. ” A while after Atticus had begun; he had asked Miss Ewell if her father had ever beaten her. In reply, “My [father] never touched a hair o’ my head in my life […]. He never touched me. ” Atticus then wanted to clarify that the man was Tom Robinson.
He asked him to stand, and it revealed that Mr. Robinson’s left arm was shorter than his right which ended in a small shriveled hand that just hung by his side. Mr. Robinson supposedly had his arm caught in a cotton gin when he was a boy and it tore all of his muscles loose from his bones. Exposing this to the crowd, Atticus then asked, “Is this the man that raped you? ” Confirmed that it was by Miss Mayella, Atticus’s next question was one word long: “How? ” Miss Mayella was stuttering her answer revealing that it “all happened so fast,” and “I don’t know how he done it, he just did. By her saying this, Atticus replies back, “Now, Miss Mayella, you’ve testified that the defendant choked and beat you – you didn’t say that he sneaked up behind you and knocked you cold, but you turned around and there he was – do you wish to reconsider any of your testimony? ” Regarding this, Miss Mayella stood firm and didn’t change a thing. This is when Atticus asked one last time if she wanted to be open and tell us what happened. However, she wasn’t too impressed by Atticus’s invitation and yelled, “I got somethin’ to say an’ then I ain’t gonna say no more.
That [man] yonder took advantage of me an’ If you fine fancy gentlemen don’t wanta do nothing about it then you’re all yellow stinkin’ cowards, stinkin’ cowards, the lot of you. Your fancy airs don’t come to nothin’ – your ma’amin’ and Miss Mayellaerin’ don’t come to nothin’ Mr. Finch! ” and she burst out crying once again. The last witness left was called by Atticus. Tom Robinson sat down and Atticus started the questioning. He then asked Tom’s point of view of November twenty-first. He spoke clear, “Mr. Finch, I was going home as usual hat evenin’, and when I passed the Ewell place Miss Mayella were on the porch, like she said she were. It seemed real quiet like, an’ I didn’t quite know why. I was studyin’ why, just passin’ by, when she says for me to come there and help her a minute. Well, I went inside the fence and looked around for some kindling to work on, but I didn’t see none, and she says, ‘No, I got something for you to do in the house. The old door’s off its hinges and falls coming on pretty fast. ’ I said you got a screwdriver, Miss Mayella? She said yes. […]. I pulled it back and forth and those hinges was all right.
Then she shut the door in my face. Mr. Finch, I was wondering why it was so quiet like, and it come to me that there weren’t a child on the place, not one of them, and I said Miss Mayella, where are the children? ” She replied that they had gone to get ice cream. Then he continued, “Well, I said I best be goin’, I couldn’t do nothing for her, and she says oh yes I could, and I ask her what, and she says to just step on that chair yonder and get that box down from the top of the chiffarobe. Next thing I know, she grabbed me around the legs, and it scared me so bad. Tom continued and said that after he had gotten off the chair, she jumped on him, in a hugging manner, followed by Miss Mayella kissing Mr. Tom Robinson. He then stated that he had not raped Mayella Ewell, or had harmed her in any way. The final summation of the trial began with going over evidence. Judge Taylor was saying, “The absence of any corroborative evidence, this man was indicted on a capital charge and is now on trial for his life. ” About five minutes later Mr. Finch rises to the jury to begin his speech for defence of Tom Robinson.
Following is the conclusion of the speech: “I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system – that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sounds as its jury, and a jury is only as sounds as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. ”