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The Witch of Wall Street

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Hetty Robinson learnt all about money when she was very young. As a child, she read the financial pages of the newspaper to her wealthy father. Her father died when Hetty was 30 years old and she inherited $1 million. When she herself died in 1916, she left a fortune of almost $100 million to her two children.

Hetty made her money on the New York stock exchange. She was a financial genius. She made money so easily that people called her the Witch of Wall Street. But although she was one of the richest women in the world, she was very mean. She counted every cent and she spent as little as possible. She didn’t own a house, because she didn’t want to pay property taxes. So she and her children lived in cheap hotels.

She spent almost nothing on clothes, and wore the same long black dress every day. She washed it herself, but to save soap she only washed the bottom of the dress, where it touched the ground. 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 and sold stocks and shares. If the bank complained, she just moved 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 she had two children. Green, however, lost all his money, so Hetty left him. When her son Ned injured his knee, Hetty didn’t want to pay for a doctor, so she took him to a free hospital for poor people. Unfortunately the doctor knew that Hetty was rich and he asked for money. Hetty refused and took her boy away. His leg didn’t get better and two years later doctors removed it.

But eventually 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 became so angry that she had a stroke and died. So Hetty’s meanness finally killed her. Ned inherited half of his mother’s fortune, and he spent it all on parties, holidays and expensive jewellery. He even bought a chamber pot covered with diamonds!


Ex. 8. Are the sentences true (T) or false (F). Correct the false ones.


Example: She came from a poor family. __F__

She didn’t come from a poor family. Her parents were wealthy.

1. She knew a lot of finance when she was young. _______


2. She owned a big house. ________


3. She didn’t have many clothes. ________


4. She sent her clothes to a laundry. _________


5. She rented an office in Wall Street. ________


6. She had lunch at restaurants. ________


7. She married a rich man. _________


8. She sent her son to the best hospital in New York. _______


9. She died in an accident. ________


10. Her son invested her money. ________




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