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At the trial, the sheriff reveals that Mayella had bruises on the right side of her face. This is a crucial detail because it shows that whoever hit her was left handed. Tom's left hand is useless because he injured it in a cotton gin when he was younger. However, Mayella's father, Bob Ewell, is left handed. Atticus ends his cross examination of Mayella by asking her if it was Tom or her father he beat her. Mayella refuses to answer but finally says, “That nigger yonder took advantage of me an’ if you fine fancy gentlemen don’t wanta do nothin’ about it then you’re all yellow stinkin’ cowards, the lot of you.” So Mayella skirts the issue and appeals to the jury on the basis of race, not proof.
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