So serene was Judge Taylor’s court, that he had few occasions to use his gavel, but he hammered fully five minutes…As Judge Taylor banged his gavel, Mr. Ewell was sitting smugly in the witness chair, surveying his handiwork. With one phrase he had turned happy picknickers into a sulky, tense, murmuring crowd, being slowly hypnotized by gavel taps lessening in intensity until the only sound in the courtroom was a dim pink-pink-pink: the judge might have been rapping the bench with a pencil.

– Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 17. After Bob Ewell testifies that he had “seen that black n***** yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella”, the courtroom erupts and Judge Taylor tries to restore order. The spectactors had gotten what they came for, a cocktail of sex, scandal and hate-mongering, thanks to Ewell’s lies.