Why didn't the emergency room doctor believe Beatrice's sotory about how Mullet Fingers got hurt in Hoot?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The emergency room doctor did not believe Beatrice's story about how Mullet Fingers got hurt because his injuries were not consistent with the explanation she gave. 

Beatrice told the doctor that her brother had been bitten by a dog.  When the doctor asked what kind of dogs, she replied evasively, "big ones", making her story suspect from the very beginning.  The doctor then asked Beatrice how it happened, to which Beatrice replied,

"They nailed him at soccer practice...he came runnin' home all chewed up, so we brought him here as fast as we could".

Beatrice's mistake was telling the doctor that they had brought her brother to the hospital immediately, as soon as he got home.  From looking at Mullet Fingers' injuries, the doctor was then certain that Beatrice was not telling the truth.  He told her,


I believe your stepbrother was attacked by dogs...I just don't believe it happened today...the wounds on his arm aren't fresh...judging by how far the infection has progressed, I'd estimate he was bitten eighteen to twenty-four hours ago" (Chapter 12).