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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