Today, I met the Widow Flagg, who is to be my father’s new wife (not if I can help it), a short fat woman who reeks of carbolic soap and cheap perfume, and laughs like a donkey braying. I came home from the shops to find her parked in our living room, sitting on mother’s chair and looking for all the world as if she owned the place. She was so short that her feet didn’t touch the ground, just like a horrible little dwarf perched on a toadstool. She kept smiling at me and saying how she hoped we could be friends. Never. She has two daughters who are just as fat and ugly and stupid as she is. Father told me later it was because of their glands, but I don’t believe him. You could see the greed in their little pig eyes. And father wants to link our family with these terrible people. I couldn’t stand being in the same room with them. I ran away. I wanted father to follow me so that I could let him know how I felt, but I heard the poison dwarf telling him to leave me be, saying I was only a child. I’m not a child, I’m nearly sixteen. Already she’s driving a wedge between us.
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Father and I had a terrible row. Celia lives in the same part of town as the Widow Flagg and knows all about her. She isn’t a widow at all and her two fat daughters are bastards. Celia told me the woman is no better than a common whore, with men calling at her house at all hours of the day and night. I was shocked father would know such a person, but Celia said that was why he was interested in her, for the sex. I told her not to be so horrid.
I let father know what Celia had told me and he was furious. He made me go up to my room and said that if I ever repeated such disgusting stories again he’d disown me. He said mother would turn in her grave if she could hear me talk, but I know better than that. It’s him who’s let her down, not me. It’s him she would be angry with.