Mr. Wormwood, the Great Car Dealer

Matilda’sparentsownedquiteanicehousewiththreebedroomsupstairs,whileonthegroundfloortherewasadining-roomandaliving-roomandakitchen. Herfatherwasadealerinsecond-handcarsanditseemedhedidprettywellatit.  

"Sawdust",hewouldsayproudly,"isoneofthegreatsecretsofmysuccess. Anditcostsmenothing.Igetitfreefromthesawmill."  

"Whatdoyouuseitfor? "Matildaaskedhim. "Ha! "thefathersaid. "Wouldn’tyouliketoknow."  

"Idon’tseehowsawdustcanhelpyoutosellsecond-handcars,daddy."  

"That’sbecauseyou’reanignorantlittletwit,"thefathersaid. HisspeechwasneververydelicatebutMatildawasusedtoit. Shealsoknewthathelikedtoboastandshewouldegghimonshamelessly.  

"Youmustbeveryclevertofindauseforsomethingthatcostsnothing,"shesaid. "IwishIcoulddoit."  

"Youcouldn’t,"thefathersaid. "You’retoostupid. ButIdon’tmindtellingyoungMikehereaboutitseeinghe’llbejoiningmeinthebusinessoneday." IgnoringMatilda,heturnedtohissonandsaid, "I’malwaysgladtobuyacarwhensomefoolhasbeencrashingthegearssobadlythey’reallwornoutandrattlelikemad. Igetitcheap.ThenallIdoismixalotofsawdustwiththeoilinthegear-boxanditrunsassweetasanut."  

"Howlongwillitrunlikethatbeforeitstartsrattlingagain? "Matildaaskedhim.  

"Longenoughforthebuyertogetagooddistanceaway,"thefathersaid,grinning. "Aboutahundredmiles."  

"Butthat’sdishonest,daddy,"Matildasaid. "It’scheating." 

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