The tenant of room 11, as Hepzibah, had been there from the ‘active’ days of Miss Brown, through Selma’s original braggadocio and subsequent decline and death, and now the ‘phantom matron’, Ann South.
Unlike Hepzibah, the tenant of room 11 knew the members of the Board. She had been part of the congregation, and did, on occasion, attend service.
What she found so amusing was that no one on the Board had ever asked her what was happening at Miriam House.
They saw her at service, they knew where she lived, but they never asked. And she didn’t volunteer.
She found the members of the Congregation, from the pathetic Elvis March, to the dishonest and now absent Paul Mollusk, from the now disgraced Pharaoh to snoopy Van Barnes, the most inept and distasteful people she had ever encountered.
She thought it was ridiculous they would ‘hire’ a Matron to do nothing. They could have asked her and Odette to do the bits, like taking receipts, selling tokens, and post the names of the ’emergency’ people on the wall.
But they hired and paid Ann South.
Room 11 had seen through South pretty early but didn’t let on. Sure, if the Board were not made up of society’s dregs and had treated her with a tad of respect, she would have told them.
She knew something was going to happen; assumed Miriam House was about to go down the drain.
She began her search for a place to go for she had enough.