Chapter 17

The trial to put Tom Robinson in jail had begun. The first person on the witness stand was Mr. Tate, the Sheriff. He was asked what happened the night when Mayelle was attacked. Mr. Tate said he drove to the Ewell’s house after Mr. Ewell came and told him his daughter was hurt. When Atticus questioned Mr. Tate, he asked if he had called a doctor since Mayella had been beaten. Mr. Tate said he had not called a doctor. Mr. Tate said Mayelle had a bruise on the right side of her face and around her neck.

The next witness was Mr. Ewell. He came up front looking clean and well dressed although he lived in a poor run-down area of town. Mr. Ewell explained about the night Mayella was hurt. He said he agreed with Mr. Tate that Mayella was beaten on the right side of her face and that he saw Tom Robinson do it. Then, Atticus had Mr. Ewell write his name on a piece of paper. He wrote with his left hand. Atticus was trying to prove that Mr. Ewell could have beaten Mayella since she was beaten mostly on the right side of her face and he was left-handed. Scout wondered if this was enough proof that Mr. Ewell beat Mayella instead of Tom Robinson.