Hepzibah had been at Miriam House a long time. She’d started as a student, went through four years, graduated, got a job. She shared room 8 with two other girls, and the bathroom with the three in room 7.
She’d been through Miss Brown’s tenure and now Selma.
As one ugly woman to another, she had watched Odette, noting she had no respect for anyone. That she lied, stole, slacked off. And was never even threatened with firing.
Hepzibah learned more watching Odette than she did from her college courses. It was through watching Odette Hepizibah honed her ability to not merely avoid being caught, but being a suspect.
Just as Odette would complain about a tenant, then rob her, Hepzibah would complain about another tenant before acting.
Hepzibah’s style of complaint was to tell Odette, who always agreed and added. As an ugly woman, to insult another person was her joy. After advising Odette, they would go to Miss Brown.
Whether Miss Brown did anything or not, Hep would do what she intended.
Just before Selma became incapacitated, made her complaints against the woman in Room 11.
Just as Odette would complain then steal, Hep would complain then do what she planned.
Hepizibah wanted the key to the back gate. She claimed the woman in Room 11 always left it open. She was effective. A new lock on the back gate, Hepizibah had the only key. Of course the woman in Room 11 had not left the gate open, but with Hep and Odette against her, she lost.