Hephzibah had been at Miriam House for many years. She knew more about the sloth and disinterest of the Board, the powerlessness of the Matron, and dishonesty of Odette, than anyone.
Further, having learned how to play the Matron she was able to convince Selma Rashford Grindley, (during her brief functional period) to change the lock and give her the backdoor key.
She kept the key in her room.
She ‘loaned’ it to others for a price.
With Ann South took over, Hephzibah told her many unpleasant things about the tenant in room 11, so that she wouldn’t believe a word that woman would say.
The woman in room 11 didn’t bother to say a word. She couldn’t care less if Miriam House became a brothel.
She had entered with some connection to making Miriam House better, but when a Matron would believe a lie told by Hephzibah over her, she stopped wasting breath, and sat back and watched.