HETTY ROBINSON

Hetty Robinson learnt all about money when she was very young. As a child, she read the financial pages of the newspapers to her rich father. Her father died when Hetty was 30 years old and she inherited $1 million. When she herself died, her two children received a fortune of more than $100 million.

 Hetty made her money on the New York stock exchange. She was a genius. She was named ‘the Witch of Wall Street’ because she made money quite easily. She was one of the richest women in the world, but she was very mean; she counted every cent and she spent very little.

She didn’t own a house because she didn’t want to pay property taxes. She and her children lived in cheap hotels.  She spent almost nothing on clothes, and wore the same black dress every day. She washed it herself, but she only washed the bottom of the dress, where it touched the ground, because she didn’t want to spend money on soap. Other people had their own offices, but Hetty used a desk in the bank where she kept her money because it didn’t cost anything.

She sat in the bank and ate her sandwiches while she bought stocks and shares. If the bank complained, she
just moved all her money to another bank. Hetty’s family paid the price for her meanness. When she was 33, she married a millionaire, Edward Green, and they had two children. Green, however, lost all his money, so Hetty left him.

When her son, Ned, hurt his knee in an accident, Hetty didn’t want to pay for a doctor, so she took him to a hospital for poor people. The doctor knew that Hetty was wealthy and asked for money, but Hetty didn’t pay any money and took the boy away. His leg didn’t get better and two years later doctors removed it.

 But in the end Ned got his revenge. At the age of 81, Hetty had an argument with a shop assistant about the price of a bottle of milk. She got so angry that she had a heart attack and died. She left half of her money to her son, who spent it all on parties, holidays and expensive jewellery.

 

A. What do the following refer to?
1. it (para. 3)
2. they (para. 4)
B. What do the following words mean? Mark the best choice.
1. If a person is ‘mean’ (para. 2), she I he _____________ _
a) owns many houses
b) spends hardly any money
c) spends money easily
d) gives money to poor people
2. If a person is ‘wealthy’ (para.4), she I he is
a) kind b) ill c) rich d) in telligen t
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C. Mark the following statements True (T) or False (F).
T F 1. Hetty knew a lot about finance when she was young.
T F 2. Hetty had very few clothes.
T F 3. Hetty rented an office near the bank where she kept her money.
T F 4. Hetty kept all her money in the same bank all her life.
T F 5. Hetty wasn’t rich when she got married.
T F 6. When Ned hurt his knee, Hetty paid a lot of money to the doctor.
D. Answer the following questions.
1. Why did people call Hetty ‘the Witch of Wall Street’?
2. Where did Hetty and her children live in New York?
3. Why did Hetty leave her husband?
4. What did the doctors do to Ned’s leg?
5. How did Hetty die?
6. Why did Hetty argue with a shop assistant?
7. \'(ihat did Ned do with the monel’ after his mother died?

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