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The Mellower's mom isn't all bad, though she definitely knows how to take advantage of a bad situation. It's clear she thinks more with her purse than her heart—that's why she's so keen on getting a ransom from General Matsika, even though he's worried about his missing kids.
On the upside, while Mrs. H-W might be a gold digger, at least she's not especially cruel to the kids while she holds them hostage. She just wants to make sure they learn their place. Did you notice how she's bent on reminding them of her heritage?
"You don't know my name either, of course. Beryl Horsepool-Worthingham. My mother was a member of parliament—Vera Bloodworthy—and my father was High Court Justice Stilton Horsepool." (27.34)
Oh, well ooh la la. It's important to her that no one, especially the General's kids, think they are better than her.